The Polytones

The Polytones


Super-compelling, conversation-stopping melodies, with sweet, rich vocals singing songs of lost love, lust and Lousiana. Goosebump-making smooth guitars to make your head sway and your insides happy.


You might expect a band named The Polytones to wear different stripes and sounds on their sleeves. Precise power-pop drumming. Lush, swirling harmonies. Unpredictable bass lines set against the urgency of compelling, heartfelt and folk-tinged vocals. Ottawa's The Polytones are as unique as they come, with a knack for artful melody that brings to mind bands as diverse as Belly and Cocteau Twins, Stars and New Order.

Little wonder, then, that the band happens to be made up of a cross-section of talent from the local scene: celtic rock stalwarts Jimmy George, beloved Kelp Records rockers Paperjack, and indie-pop mainstays Toque.

All this unlikely chemistry is precisely what makes the Polytones' debut full-length resonate so well with listeners. You and I were made of dynamite...(Independent, 2006) is the letter from a crush passed to you in class, taking you on an emotional journey through strikingly beautiful, heart-wrenching tales of lost love and lust : “What are you waiting for?” asks you out, “April afternoon” is the honeymoon, “King of Siam” puts everything on the rocks and “Broken stems” dumps your ass like the Thursday trash. “The Weatherman” is the teary conversation with your bestest friend ever on your pink mattell-o-phone.

You could argue the record is sending a few more mature signals of long-term commitment, though, sweeping audiences across the country off their feet. Dynamite garnered widespread critical acclaim, topped national college radio charts, won the band a Toronto Independent Music Award for 'best indie rock', and helped the band place a song ("After the Show") as the closing theme for the Comedy Network's Jon Dore Television Show. Not a bad start for a debut, but the love song is only getting sweeter.

The question now, then, is how to follow all of this up with a new album. The band's response? Why, irresistable new songs about brain-teasers, geological phenomena, Winnebagos and things that sparkle, all scattered over disco rhythms and their trademark shimmering guitars ...of course. The only thing predictable about the follow-up to Dynamiteis that it'll hit stores and airwaves near you in 2008.

praise for you and i were made of dynamite:

"If sleepy, melancholic pop songs were Canada's new currency, then the Ottawa-based Polytones would be rolling in dough...bare-bones, honest music...[and a] sweet, sincere voice [that] makes the music so endearing. The Polytones seem to have struck a perfect balance for tunes that are both catchy and emotional."
Evan Davies, NOW Magazine (Toronto)
"If writing undyingly catchy, straightforward pop ditties is what the The Polytones strive for, then success is theirs...This long-awaited debut record of sharply arranged pop-rock tunes is a display of the best of the band's musical wares...irresistably head-bopping, upbeat numbers (and) wistful, folk-tinged gems."
Jennifer Tattersall, Ottawa XPress
"..A gem...they sound like music should. Gorgeous vocals are supplied by Lesia Manchulenko as she sings powerfully and elegantly on this emotional ride. This CD blows most other local releases out of the water. You won't regret picking it up."
Michael Vickers, The Fulcrum (University of Ottawa)
"The Polytones live up to their name with a nicely varied palette of sounds...Reverbed and distorted guitar mix in some grit without straying from pop melodies...bittersweet vocals tremble and swoop in the same ballpark as Jane Siberry or a more forceful Nina Nastasia...drums and bass provide nuanced rhthyms...Strong songs put a sprightly turn on problems of the heart and unrequited longing ... You and I were made of dynamite is a consistently fine album."
Andrew Carver, Ottawa Sun
"Dream-pop in the tradition of Cocteau Twins...A really solid group...their live show has great energy."
Matthew Crosier, CBC-Radio
"...If you're curled up by the fireplace on a cold winter night, this record is the one to play."
Kathryn Dougherty, The Charlatan (Carleton University)
"[Grade: 'A'] Lead vocalist Lesia Manchulenko takes you on a tranquil tour with her enchanting voice as you follow her storybook version of a relationship...[The Polytones have] made it pristinely clear that they intend on sticking around for a bit and making their presence known within Canada."
Joe Zabukovec, The Newspaper (University of Toronto)
"Lesia Manchulenko's voice is what makes The Polytones - and this album - stand out. You and I Were Made of Dynamite is full of potential pop hi


April afternoon

Written By: The Polytones

Here we are, all trying to catch our falling star
Holding on to faded, tumbling meteors
Don’t you know, it’s time to ley those credits roll
Velvet falls
Before you know, It’s time to go

And I’ve got an answer to everything you’d never want to know
But who’s gonna listen to the timid words of a brokenhearted soul

Time may come, and come again in triplefold
Black and blue, were only colours after all
Cast your will to a friendly April afternoon
Never know, who’ll stop into your picture show.

Broken stems

Written By: The Polytones

Woke up with that feeling again
So familiar, I’ve got people to apologize to
Hating my decision making
progress, so slowly
backwards getting used to waiting

At my doorway, argued for an hour or more as less became expected of me

And how did I
end up in this flower garden, tilting at you with the broken stems
Now I’ve got your name inscribed,
on my breath from holding it again.

Bruises on my second nature
making me wonder how we ever lose the first
Argued at my doorway for an hour or more as
less became expected of you.

King of Siam

Written By: The Polytones

Been thinking tonight about the riverbed.
Why are we smiling in that picture, you said.
Could be time to disengage from rattling bars on an open cage,
everyone's invited and it's come as you are.

And your car was alive with the telling of a good lie.
You traded in your trophy wife for the chance to be the Kng of Siam.
But your know that you can't afford to go all the way to foreign lands for the chance to be the King of Siam.

Been thinking tonight about little things that never seemed to worry you and me
I've been wondering why when you kissed my eyes the sadness on your breath was left behind
Been thinking tonight, yesterday too about your question...I only wish I knew.


1) You and I were made of dynamite... (tracks currently receiving airplay: Souvenir, After the show)

2) Self-titled EP

Set List

45 - 60 minutes, all originals, pop/rock songs (usually about 10)

1) The wind is up
2) King of Siam
3) April afternoon
3) The rocks match
4) My mistake
5) Souvenir
6) What are you waiting for
7) Broken stems
8) The weatherman
9) After the show
10) Sympathetic friend