New album: Buddhist Bubblegum & Wiggly || Dreaming Of The Desert (Split)

Slovenia and Poland are not at the top of my list of countries I asssociate with sunshine pop, but perhaps I should recalibrate. Meet Buddhist Bubblegum, a project by Wiktor Szotowski – a Polish emigrant now based in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. His most recent release is a split with Wiggly, a pseudonym for “an eclectic, freewheeling singer” songwriter form the US state of Missouri. More than each artist simply contributing songs to the split, Dreaming Of The Desert is a collaboration, with Wiggly providing lyrics to one of the Buddhist Bubblegum songs (Summertime), and Buddhist Bubblegum covering a Wiggly original (Stationary Weathervane).

The Wiggly side of Dreaming Of The Desert challenges my comfort zone, but I’m fascinated. Wiggly’s music is all over the place, and experimental folk is probably the easiest way to describe it. The acoustic guitar is joined by all kinds of soundscapes and quirky instrumentations. Quite mesmerizing.

The Buddhist Bubblegum side though, that’s where I feel right at home. Szotowski puts his own spin on ’60s pop with Buddhist Bubblegum, combining sugary sweet melodies with fuzzy and jangly guitars – and steady upbeat drumming by Maks Rozman of the Slovenian pop groups Regen and Masaž. Remember The Brother Kite? That’s the first reference that came to mind. Or if you don’t know that band, Buddhist Bubblegum kinda is like a blend of Nada Surf and The Resonars. It’s perfect music to accompany you on your ride to your early morning surf sessions. Or perfect music for your commute. Or for your work-from-home sessions. Or your bike ride. I guess what I’m trying to say is, listening to Buddhist Bubblegum will make any day more enjoyable.

Dreaming Of The Desert is out now on CD at New Jersey label Cavern Brew Records.

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