Local band Nectar plays punk-rock tunes that are brisk, loud, and instantly catchy—timeless music that is far from groundbreaking and complex but never gets old.
“I’m fine with simplicity,” said 25-year-old Nectar lead singer and bassist Kamila Glowacki. “I always think of the Ramones. It’s so simple but it’s so good.”
The band’s zesty new EP, 4 Songs, would make the Ramones proud. Unabashedly stripped down, Nectar is cut from the same cloth as early 1990s groups such as the Breeders and Hole.
Other Nectar influences, according to Glowacki, include Go Sailor and Tiger Trap, bands fronted by female lead singers and fellow players who combine appealing sounds with a respectable din, doing so with a Ramones-like crispness. Lately, Glowacki has been digging the Blake Babies. Her taste in music is extensive, but Nectar is strictly old-school punk rock.
Nectar was born out of Glowacki’s solo material and formed in the time-honored tradition of musicians playing in and out of each other’s bands. Nectar members Glowacki, Jake Mott (drums), and Aaron Shults (lead guitar and Glowacki’s boyfriend) also play together in Kowabunga! Kid. Nectar guitarist Sean Neumann, meanwhile, plays alongside Glowacki in Single Player.
As if all that internal music collaboration weren’t enough, last year Glowacki started the impressive all-female punk band La Louve, a group that is even more musically ferocious than Nectar and includes her younger sister. Glowacki’s presence in bands is stamped all over Bandcamp and Facebook, and that’s the way she likes it.
“It’s just been something I’ve been doing since high school,” Glowacki said of her prolific musical career in Champaign-Urbana. “It’s a release. It’s very cathartic. I consider myself a visual artist, too, so it’s just another creative means of producing. I have met so many people through music, and it’s just great to have a [musical] community.”
Glowacki picked up the bass guitar in middle school due to her obsession with Nirvana. She loves playing guitar, and as the main songwriter of Nectar does most of her writing on that instrument.
4 Songs is a raw, tasty preview of a future full-length album by Nectar, which Glowacki hopes to release next year. The ultra-short songs on the EP pull listeners in right away, starting with “Ursa Minor,” which leads things off with abandon. The pace hardly ever slows down, and Shults sneaks in a few crafty licks here and there for variety.
Somehow, amid the pile-driving rhythm guitars and crashing symbols, the more delicate voice of Glowacki manages to be heard.
The band will play several dates in March, April, and May, which will include an April 20 show with the Philadelphia group The Spirit of the Beehive, a group Glowacki is a huge fan of.
Glowacki is currently working toward a graduate degree in art education at Illinois, and she works as a museum educator at Krannert Art Museum. She takes the aesthetics of her bands seriously, making it a point to meld the music and artwork.
This summer she’ll teach at a Parkland College camp that combines music and art. All this activity suits Glowacki just fine.
“I always like to have something to look forward to,” she said, “whether it’s a tour over the summer or a show coming up. That keeps me going and builds momentum. I’ll complain about being busy, but I do love it.”
And the C-U music scene is all the richer for Glowacki’s efforts. In an age when it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s authentic, Nectar is stirringly the real deal.
4 Songs is available for purchase through Rat King Records. Experience Nectar in action at their April 10th show. While you're at it, also check out some of Kamila’s other projects when she plays with Kowabunga! Kid on March 25th and with Single Player on April 12th. All shows are at Blips and Chitz.