After four long years of waiting for the next album, Polo & Pan have finally fed their fans. As someone who played their Cercle set on a constant loop during quarantine to pretend I was at a real party, this release couldn’t come soon enough. I first discovered the French duo back in 2019 at Coachella, prior to their unforgettable set I had never even heard of them. After their performance, I along with many others in the crowd, dove headfirst into their discography.
That killer Coachella set inspired me to go see their own tour. I caught the Los Angeles stop at the Novo in late 2019, and they did not disappoint. I was in awe of their subtle visuals and funky groove, not to mention a sold out crowd. Songs like “Nana” and “Canopee” had an all American crowd screaming French lyrics at the top of their lungs. Success as a foreign act in America is no easy feat, and it seemed these two were doing so with ease. As both a fan and a critic, I approached this new album, Cyclorama, a bit weary. Their first album Caravelle holds such a special place in my heart, how could this one possibly top it?
Gaining popularity however comes with responsibility, and that includes keeping fans happy. Modern fans are needy and the music world these days requires a quick turnover. Waiting four years in between albums is relatively unheard of, yet Polo & Pan strike me as the type of guys who don’t rush their art. I was lucky enough to get access to their music *slightly* before the drop, so I’ll give you the scoop on everything this album has in store.
MY STAND OUT TRACKS
“Ani Kuni” is the first single off the new album and it presents a sound that is both familiar to fans yet fresh at the same time. I think the top comment for the music video on YouTube says it best.
“You guys are the proof that the world can be a lot better if we allow ourselves to be more innocent and never forget our inner child.”
My inner child definitely jumps out on this one. It’s a fun, whimsical, upbeat tune to put on and throw your adult worries away.
“LES JOLIES CHOSES”
“Les Jolies Choses” instantly reminded me of “Pays Imaginaire”, one of my favorite tracks off their debut album. The vocals are eerily similar on both, so I can only assume they used the same singer. I really like that they did that because it provides a continuity between albums, telling a story almost. It serves as a subtle wink to their fans who have stayed with them from one chapter to the next. This song overall is idyllic and beachy, if you close your eyes hard enough, you may end up on the French Riveria.
“Tunnel” I think is their riskiest track thus far. The vocals, beat, and tone are different from most- yet they still bring their signature style with every song. I guess what’s different about this song is the emotion it evokes. Most of their songs to me bring peace, excitement, joy. This however is dark, tempting, and dangerous… kinda like a tunnel.
For those salivating at the thought of new Polo & Pan music, I can promise your craving will be satisfied. Paul Armand-Delille (Polo) and Alexandre Grynszpan (Pan) are clearly a dynamic duo, and are taking the world by storm. As they continue to amass fans across the globe, I see no signs of their career slowing. As I mentioned, the pressure was on after releasing an iconic debut, and I feared a potential sophomore slump. However these two are clearly incredibly in sync, and after this album I feel they have solidified a signature sound. They are established enough to the point that you hear a few beats and go “This is a Polo & Pan song.” I look forward to hearing those trademark funky beats in countless clubs for many years to come!
Take a listen and let me know what YOU think!