Czech Republic Magazine

Meet Kalle, the hypnotic Czech duo from beyond


Brno, Czech Republic – Hailing from the Bohemian city of Tábor, Kalle is an atmospheric stream of sound that comes in waves. Self-produced, minimalistic, and ethereal, Kalle’s music calls for deep listening. Grab your best headphones and tune Kalle in, the journey to the beyond starts now…

Kalle’s unique musical self

Quite in the fashion of the Slovak band Tolstoys, Kalle is clear evidence that simplicity can outclass big production and complex structures. Their music revolves around the synergy of David Zeman’s dainty guitar work delicately interlaced with Veronika Buriánková’s angelic vocals. Their music flows, taking listeners to otherworldly places. But the journey to their current musical identity went through several interesting twists.

As unlikely as it might seem, Kalle had dived into the brooding waters of indie alternative sounds with considerable post-rock, almost shoegaze influences later in their career. They first launched their musical journey in 2007, forming an alternative rock band called Veena, at times reminiscent of early days Cage the Elephant. They later switched to a post-hardcore outfit known as Nod Nod. 

No sooner than 2014 did the emerging alternative scene witness Kalle’s debut Live from the Room. The mark they left was evident from the start. Kalle’s debut came out as a self-produced effort, establishing a characteristic sound the Czech duo takes pride in today.

Well received, Live from the Room paved the way for their second LP Saffron Hills, released three years later in 2017. Kalle’s most recent album Songs with the Acoustic Band, available on their official YouTube channel in its entirety.

A mesmerizing stage presence

Kalle’s music was built for the intimate experiences of small venues, where the crowd is huddled tightly right under the stage.

Dim lights, clear sound, and not a single tone lost. The journey they put listeners onto is a solitary path down one’s stream of consciousness. Their subtle stage presence makes listeners lost in thought, while the repetitiveness of their music sometimes reaches the meditative qualities. 

Onstage, Kalle usually performs as a full band with guest musicians, each artist contributing subtle touches to the resulting music edifice. With the vocals frontmost, the instrumentation provides the canvas for Veronika’s vocals to shine, although no traces of individualism are present in their performances. 

Vibe-matching lyrics

Besides the outstanding music, the lyrics are also crafted with artistic precision, each word weighed and thought over. Every verse is placed exactly where it should be. Kalle’s lyrics are sung fully in English, hence are accessible for international audiences.

Rather short, with an inconclusive message, the lyrics offer a vast variety of individual interpretations. Like poems that reach deep into the subjects of solitude, melancholy, inner feelings, and a wide range of emotional expressions, Kalle leaves the outcome for listeners to translate and adjust to their own personal experience.

Their mostly single-word song titles also help Kalle craft the impression of indefinite scope of artistic reception. And unlike many bands today, Kalle’s song-writing doesn’t rely on the strength of catchy choruses.

Lyrically as well as musically, each segment of the song stands equal to the other. Although Kalle’s writing can be interpreted in many ways, their lyrics always fit the overlapping feelings their songs convey.

The words and sounds flow in cohesion and grow on the listeners with each instance, surely proving a perfect melancholic blend for long walks in the gloomy and shortening days of autumn.

By Pavel Šoral

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.