Czech band Vltava's new album asks: Is life all fun and games?

Robert Nebřenský, Spass muss immer sein /There always has to be fun

Czech band Vltava recently released a new album, much to the delight of their fans who have been waiting six years since the last one. Indeed, fans were so eager for its release that they supported its creation with a crowdfunding campaign.

With the German name Spass muss immer sein, which could be loosely translated as “There always has to be fun”, the sixteen-track record is designed as a concept album, with individual songs challenging or contradicting the proposition of the title in different ways.

Frontman Robert Nebřenský says the German name is a nod to Czechia’s history under the Austro-Hungarian empire, when, as well as Czech, German, Slovak and Hungarian were also spoken in the country.

The fifth track on the album, Tati, haló!, also features lyrics in German, Hungarian and Slovak, in addition to Czech, as a reminder of Czechia’s multilingual past, and the twelfth track, Pouto, pays tribute to a poem by the Hungarian writer János Pilinszký.

Vltava was formed in 1986, but didn’t release its first full-length album until six years later. This latest album is their seventh.

The album, composed by the whole band gradually starting in January 2018, will have three concert debuts, on January 25, 26 and 27 of the coming year. The performances will take place in the premises of the Jazz Dock club in Prague.

During its more than thirty-five years of existence, the band, consisting of guitarist and singer Robert Nebřenský, keyboardist František Svačina, bassist Tomáš Uhlík, drummer Ondřej Pomajsl and Ondřej Klímek on saxophone, flute and clarinet, has created a musical style which is hard to define, combining poetic texts with instrumental genre diversity.