Formed as a three piece in 2004 by an American ex-pat, Perth born band Institut Polaire were destined from the start to have a dizzying array of influences. With a palette of sounds ranging from country tinged psychedelia to 60's soundtracks, bubblegum pop to kraut-rock, Institut Polaire are musically schizophrenic; taking little pieces of each genre to create a special blend of their own. However this humble three piece blossomed into a full – blown collective who currently number between 7 an 9 members members toting everything from vintage Wurlitzer pianos to violins, banjos, trumpets, Powerbooks and glockenspiels
Since the EP “The Fauna and The Flora” the band have been busy, not only recording this brilliant debut, the band moved interstate from their Perth homes and are now residing in Melbourne, where they hit the ground running with shows and recording.
Within the move they lost drummer Russell who stayed in Perth who has been replaced by Toby Lang on drums (formerly of The Audreys and Veruca Salt). Also, they have re-joined forces with founding member Ash Blakeney who left IP to move to Melbourne in 2005. He’s now returned as lead guitarist after Ben Blakeney left to focus on his own projects. The divine Cath Colvin (violin) has also moved on for she has just given birth to her first child! The changes have been positive for all and these members contributed to the debut album before departing.
The collective have previously shared the stage with acclaimed artists such as Camera Obscura, The Clientele, Architecture in Helsinki, Jens Lekman, Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr., Love of Diagrams, New Buffalo, Gerling, Bob Evans, Starky, The Panics and The Lucksmiths.
While** Institut Polaire** may have been short on releases thus far, they haven’t been short on accolades- taking out the prestigious WAM Song of the Year Prize in 2006 for the single “City Walls & Empires”, and receiving generous airplay nationwide. They were also winners of Triple j's Western Australia's Unearthed winners in early 2007.
Institut Polaire released their debut EP "The Fauna And The Flora" on October 2, 2007 to rave national reviews including Single of the Week honours from both Drum Media and Rave street press. They have been added to rotation for (a rare) two tracks on Triple J and garnered wide airplay on community stations around the country. The release was accompanied by an ambitious video for “City Walls & Empires” (see below) filmed at Carriageworks Arts Complex in Sydney.