Album Review: Scala & Kolacny Brothers

 I was introduced to Scala & Kolacny Brothers earlier this year and was blown away by their haunting choral covers of popular music. Ever since I have anticipated their latest album with baited breath. Scala is the brainchild of the Kolacny brothers – Steven supports the group of approximately 16 girls with his moving piano accompaniments whilst Stijn conducts.

For those unfamiliar with their sound their speciality lies in taking well-known popular songs and creating something otherworldly. Their success has been propelled with their cover version of Radiohead’s “Creep” used in The Social Network’ film trailer, their U2 cover of “With or Without You”  on the trailer for ITV Drama ‘Downton Abbey’, along with their version of "Last Christmas" also being used for the Christmas special of 'Downton Abbey'.

"Creep" and "With or Without You" appear on the album along with similarly haunting versions of “Use Somebody” (Kings of Leon), Everlong (Foo Fighters) and my personal favourite “Nothing Else Matters” (Metallica).

In between these well-known covers there are also original compositions by Steven Kolacny. There is the uplifting track “Seashell” with its upbeat tempo and electro vibe that remind me slightly of Enya. Then there is the darker track “Masquerade”, with an emptier accompaniment of deep piano and electro drums.

While I would have liked more original compositions to appear on their album (their previous single release of ‘Raintears’ is often a visitor to my playlist), there is no denying that there is something quite beautiful in the sound of Scala & Kolacny Brothers. It’s a perfect chillout album for a cold winters day with a warm mince pie.

Review by Melissa Phillips