Bratislava, Slovakia – Make yourself comfortable, take a cup of tea or coffee and turn the volume up. If you haven’t heard about this young aspiring quartet from Bratislava, you’ve been missing out. Indulging in the waters of a feelgood, somewhat upbeat indie-pop sound mashed up with a touch of electronica and hip-hop flow, Don’t Trust Butterflies are nothing short of incredible.
Given their young age and short time on the scene, we can confidently say that the music they produce is well-sculpted and utmost professional, yet with a great potential for future growth and evolution. Understandably, their growing fan base and recognition are just a natural reaction to their spot-on action.
When we said the band was young, we meant really young. Formed by 18-year-olds – Simon Stubniak, aka The Curly Simon (vocals and electronic drums), Gregor Hraska (guitar), Jan Burgr (bass), and Denis Dubovicky (drums) – Don’t Trust Butterflies reflects the essence of youthful enthusiasm and energy materialized in innovative approaches towards song-writing. When natural talent meets determination, the result won’t disappoint.
Leaving the garage so soon
To reminisce how it all started, let’s go back in time to 2017. The unsuspecting Slovak musical scene is suddenly taken by storm when their debut single “Colors” left the confines of the rehearsal room and skyrocketed in local radio rankings. The single won the Demovnica contest organized by Radio FM and paved the way for the band’s recognition and new-found fame. The following year, their EP Red Butterfly came out, which not only contains 15 minutes of very good music but was honoured by the presence of professionals who polished the sound to near perfection.
The song “Places” was mixed and mastered by Matej Straka, a rapper and producer from hip-hop duoNeries. “Eyes” was produced by Emil Fejt, while “Fly Away”, “Colors” and “Late Night were mixed and remastered by Lukas Sadlon. Not every up-and-coming band of teenagers can attract the attention of such renowned names of the local music industry. The fact that Don‘t Trust Butterflies did speaks for itself.
But this is not where the impressively swift start of the band ends. Four years in, and along with their debut EP yet another record titled “Where’s Gregor?” (2020) came out, once again topping the charts.
The music is great, the sound is crystal-clean, and the band is evidently full of promise. But is it enough to maintain their rapidly growing fame and popularity? I’m a firm believer that up-and-coming bands have to offer more than that to stand out in the long run. Eye-catching music videos could do, and well-written lyrics with revisited potential can also prove a nice feature. That is exactly something Don’t Trust Butterflies did not neglect.
Simon Stubniak‘s lyrics are definitely not a first draft, hit-or-miss kind of writing. Picturing emotional landscapes in a tight fit with a river-like flow, they explore various facets of the lives and existence of young adults. As a writer myself, I have no other option left but to admire the skill and effort put into these pieces on a par with actual poems. Moreover, the unique atmosphere of the music goes hand-in-hand with a strong lyrical content, creating a cohesive piece of art.
When it comes to the visual end, my critique would hardly do it justice, since video-making isn’t among my fields of expertise. On the other hand, even the least knowledgeable listeners can tell that their videos nicely fit the essence of their music, indubitably put through the care of able and professional hands, giving the band yet another edge over their struggling peers.
As a result, Don’t Trust Butterflies is exactly the band we need. Considering Slovakia’s mostly stagnant musical scene, this isn’t the music stuck in low standards and obsolete patterns of domestic production. Regardless of what their name suggests, these are butterflies you can trust.
By Pavel Šoral