Polo & Pan is an internationally dominating electronic indie group, hailing from France. With their bright sounds and colorful visuals, they have worked to build a fanbase around the world. The group is made up of Paul Armand-Delille and Alexandre Grynszpan and their friendship and positivity is as infectious as their unique sound. The vocalist is Victoria Lafaurie. They have played all around the world, including a set at Coachella. This love of traveling is expressed on their latest project – their EP “Feel Good.”
The duo discussed the impact of seeing the world, “The more we have traveled, both geographically and from a sonic point of view, the larger the canvas. Imagination is memory and by listening to thousands of songs, syntheses are formed in our creative process. We exchange our ideas and choose the best without ever listening to our ego. We let our fantasies speak. ‘Feel Good’ takes us sailing on the Nile or exploring across the Amazon.””
Polo & Pan have released a dose of exploratory sunshine with their EP “Feel Good,” a much-needed burst of curious joy.
“Feel Good,” the opening and title single from the project, is a relaxing treat that invites the listener to sit back and relax or stand up and dance – There is happiness to be found, and Polo & Pan want to help you locate it. Distanced vocals, experimental percussion and heavy playful piano create a lively sound that’s very classic for the group. The music video to the track features Paul and Alexandre floating about, which is incredibly fitting. They sing, “Feeling the spring, crisp morning light/Tingle you get, love at first sight… People you love, worth every fight…Sometimes you just wanna Feel good, feel good (You know I like to)…”
The chorus is highly repetitive but the other verses are full of imagery while the instrumentals of the track create an opening song that takes the listeners by hand and whisks them away into the world of Polo & Pan.
“Attrape-Rêves” (which translates into “dream catcher” in English) continues the story of “Feel Good.” If the previous song was an introduction into the fantastical scenery of the project, then “Attrape-Rêves” is Polo & Pan grappling with the realities of a life untethered.
The musical sound is darker and futuristic, with a heavier electronic emphasis, melancholy saxophone and deeper synths. Singing in French, Victoria Lafaurie croons, “I’m on a cruise/In a lonely glider/Yet you told me to keep my feet on the ground…I wanted to experience extraordinary things/I do not know why I make myself of the cinema…Of a film where you are not there…Your scent on our sheets/The memory of your voice/But I don’t remember.”
Polo & Pan explained the story, “It’s a love story riddled with doubt but endowed with the naivety and poetry inherent in our songs. It’s through dreams that one can escape and find certain answers to love.”
A transitional track, “Pili Pili” tells its part of the story through flutes, winding keyboard and a bouncing electronic beat. Pili pili is a type of spice, used in sauces found in African and Portugese dishes. The heat of the food is found in the excitement of the song. The music moves like a dynamic force, as though it is the musical interpretation of a chase on a winding set of stairs (as seen on the EP’s cover art).
“Peter Pan” immediately opens with a more acoustic sound, which is not common from Polo & Pan. Childlike rhyming is used to emphasize the youth-like wonder being created by the twinkling background noises and plucking ukulele. The instrumentals work to create a sound that urges the listener to imagine slowly falling stars and floating pixie dust, which is very fitting for a track titled “Peter Pan.” A collaboration between Victoria Lafaurie and their touring partner Antonin, the song has a different feeling and sound than the other songs on the EP. They sing, “He’s my Peter Pan/She’s my Tinkerbell/Everyone knows the end/Let’s go to Neverland.”
While I would like to make it clear that do not necessarily approve of the use of the “You cowboy, I Indian,” lyric, I do believe that the group was attempting to use a very colonialized U.S. illusion to nostalgic games. This emphasizes a sense of youth, which continues to play a central role in the song.
The group does not shy away from telling stories with happy meanings, as Paul explained, “We mistakenly think that we have to look in our sufferings and our flaws to be artistically efficient, but neither Alex nor I find ourselves there. Optimism is the glue of Polo & Pan.”
“Peter Pan” sounds as though it’s from a music box, concluding the project with a very lullaby like farewell, as it’s time to drift off to dreamland.