Better than a pierogi? Here’s some awesome Polish pop

I recently got back from a semester abroad in Kraków, Poland, and despite the fact that most people listen to American and British pop, I still discovered some awesome international music. Here are a few of my favorite songs (+ one artist):

Nic do Stracenia – Mrozu
It only seems right to start with a Polish song, since that’s where I lived for four months. “Nic do Stracenia” which basically means “Nothing to Lose” is pop meets gospel in the best way possible. I’m a sucker for bright horns and this catchy beat. Plus, you can see a Polish pop star trying to dress really cool in the video:

Vart Jag Mig I Världen Vänder – Den svenska björnstammen
I’m going to be honest. I have no idea what this Swedish song means. Or how to pronounce the artist’s name at all. But something about the weird flute intro and the harmonizing a capella sections makes me love this song.

Balada Boa – Gusttavo Lima
Spanish music is extremely popular across all of Europe. This song, along with Pitbull’s “Taxi” followed me everywhere I went. Multiple artists have sung this over time, but it’s hard to find a good version. Especially when at first I thought the lyrics were “che che de leche” and they’re “tche tche tcherere.”

Na Pewno – TABB & Sound’n’Grace
Another Polish song that is similar in many ways to “Nic do Stracenia,” this is just a simple Polish pop jam. The lyrics are very positive and uplifting, something along the lines of “Don’t give up, you’re never alone.” The song’s name, “For sure” corresponds with the line “Nothing is for sure.” There’s nothing like an upbeat existential crisis in another language.

Gabriel Rios
Gabriel Rios is a Puerto Rican/Belgian artist who sings in English and has the most beautiful, smooth voice. His music is very acoustic, usually guitar, cello, standup bass, and his vocals. His entire latest album This Marauder’s Midnight is amazing, but this is the major single from it, “Gold”: