“Szymon’s tragic genius created a perfect, complete world in itself” – The Saturday Paper
Blue Coloured Mountain is the 7-track follow up to Szymon’s posthumously released and critically acclaimed debut album Tigersapp. The music is beautiful in its otherworldliness; like his debut, Blue Coloured Mountain is brimming with Szymon’s much-loved signature sounds: his ethereal voice and the accompanying falsetto harmonies, the off kilter multi-instrumentation and the shuffling poly-rhythms. But it also contains hints to where Szymon’s music was heading before he tragically took his own young life after years battling depression and mental illness.
Discussing Szymon’s music his brother Donnie Borzestowski, who is drummer for Gang of Youths, says, “I think he was progressing in his sound and his ability. I remember a couple of months before he passed away, he handed me a CD with (new song) ‘Yakuza’ on it and was like, ‘I want you to have this. I like this song. I think it’s one of my best.’”
There was a new side to Szymon’s music emerging, one with heavier grooves, a more electronic emphasis and an upfront clarity to the vocals. Taken in the context of Szymon’s wider body of work, these tracks feel like a picture coming closer into focus.
“The way those songs were coming together, he was finding that sound more,” Donnie explains. “It was super exciting to see where that was heading.”
Having uncovered the seven tracks that make up Blue Coloured Mountain while trying to back up Szymon’s old computer, Donnie and his family initially felt torn about sharing them. “It felt kind of weird in a way,” Donnie says. “Cos these are little gems we have as a family. It’s a way for us to remember him, but I think they’re almost too good to not share.”
The family made a decision not to change anything about the recordings. The way they are on the EP is the way Szymon left them. It’s a testament to the distinctive, fully formed sound Szymon created in his short years as a songwriter that these tracks hold together so well. From the almost clubby, instrumental ambience of ‘Anhalt’ to the baroque pop flourishes of ‘Orestes’ through to the heartbreaking, jangly strum of EP closer ‘Come Back Home’, Blue Coloured Mountain feels like an intended and complete body of work.
“That was his goal,” Donnie says. “He just wanted to listen back to his music in like 80 years or whatever and still wanted it to feel good and sound good. To have a sonic quality to it that was timeless.”
While releasing Szymon’s music into the world is somewhat bittersweet for his family, the reaction to Tigersapp around the globe has reminded them of his music’s ability to heal and transform. “Honestly it puts a smile on my face,” Donnie says. “We’ve had messages from people all around the world, reaching out and saying how it’s touched them, and how it’s given them hope in dark times. It’s a really beautiful thing to see, that he’s still with us and still out there.”
Released in 2015, not only did the recordreceive an ARIA nomination, but also led to an invitation from Splendour In The Grass for Donnie and an all-star line-up including Donnie’s bandmate David Le’aupepe, Emma Louise, Sam Cromack (Ball Park Music) and Little May, to bring Tigersapp to life onstage at the festival.
While we’ll sadly never know where Szymon’s music might have gone in the future, we can only be grateful to have another seven uncovered gems in the here and now to fall into.