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Budapest indie stars Platon Karataev find their own voice with new third album

Using the metaphor of water as a unifying force, Hungarian indie band Platon Karataev will soon release their third album Partért kiálltó, Shouting for the Shore. Now singing in Hungarian after previous releases in English, the guys seem to have finally reached a certain place where they have found their own authentic voice. With a sell-out show at Müpa behind them, and upcoming ones at the A38 Ship in October, we sit down with lead singer and songwriter, Gergely Balla, who reveals the circumstances behind their new work.

Our musical journey is a constant wandering, but this album is our innermost self, the thing we have been searching for…” says singer-guitarist Gergő Balla.

The four young men of Platon Karataev first started performing songs together in 2016. Since then, the group has gone through an organic development, going deeper, both personally and as a result in their music, too. “This album is the continuation of Atoms, but those feelings and inner processes inside of us have since come to a conclusion, so this album is us, this is the core of our music,” confesses Gergő.

After their two previous releases, For Her in 2017 and Atoms in 2020 both containing English-language tracks, this album will be a breakthrough, as this will be the band’s first work entirely in Hungarian.

Lyricist Gergő explains that the reason behind singing in English was never to become famous abroad, it was more of a self-defence mechanism. As the songs were so personal, it was simply easier to put them down on paper in English. He also ponders his personal barrier with Hungarian, feeling that the great Hungarian poets and writers achieved everything with their literature in their own mother tongue. Now he feels that he has found his own voice:

I felt a wall between myself and the English songs, and if I had had that barrier the listener must have felt that too, because in a way I didn’t own the English songs,” confirms Gergő.

He also says that the connection is fundamentally different now with the Hungarian songs and it’s important that local audiences hear the music and lyrics together in their mother tongue.

Authenticity is the key

We simply gain more with singing in Hungarian as our aim is and will always be to stay authentic and to have an impact as deep inside as possible.”

He also reveals that the pandemic situation had a positive impact on the band’s musical work together. In fact, he and friend, Sebestyén Czakó-Kuraly, the other composer and frontman of the band, were inspired and very productive during lockdown.

They produced several original songs and some tracks are even ready for the fourth album as well, explains Gergő. But of course, Covid had its negative effects on Platon’s life, as it did for every performing artist. The band were forced to cancel tours, while their concert to promote Atoms had to be postponed to October.

Gergő confirms that their third album, Partért kiálltó, will officially come out in January 2022, after a number of singles. The title track has already been released and, according to Gergő, it perfectly encapsulates where the band is heading musically with this third LP.  

A metaphor for water as a unifying force guides the listener through this unconventional hit, hardly the stuff of radio play: 

Finding the void

We have found that artistic void inside to create something others have rarely achieved in Hungary”. 

He explains that their most recent single is not an easy song to digest. It requires the listener to dig deep inside and be present in the process. But then those brave enough to have joined the band for this journey will hopefully experience catharsis at the end.

The band know that the song doesn’t conform to the mainstream, but for Platon, the most important factor was authenticity where the whole album was concerned. The other songs on the album will be similar in approach, but different in atmosphere. Yet they remain connected by the unifying water metaphor:


We never wanted to provide answers, what we are aiming to do is to ask questions with our music. But as we all know, sometimes certain questions could serve as the greatest answers.”

Apart from gaining wider popularity in Hungary, Platon Karataev have garnered attention abroad, too. In 2019, they performed at Sound City Liverpool. As Gergő tells us, this showcase festival experience was rather unique in that they played before other artists and industry professionals, not the normal festival crowd.

Since then, they have been invited to play in Germany, Holland and France. Upcoming tours will take in several cities there once the pandemic situation calms down.

But, before going abroad, they played a sell-out show at Müpa earlier in September. Now come two nights at the A38 Ship on 23-24 October, with tickets currently available for the second show.

Plans then include a fourth album in 2023 and taking advantage of fewer Covid restrictions for further appearances in Hungary and elsewhere.

Gergő hints that upcoming concerts might feature unreleased songs from the new album, old English songs translated into Hungarian and some covers as well, all to be performed for the first time. He would also like to spice up shows abroad with a few new Hungarian tunes, for international audiences who might already know their English songs.

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