Picks of the week from industry insiders...
Tallinn Music Week 2013

This year’s Tallinn Music Week showcase featured 233 mostly new-to-Clash artists representing 20 nations, from Estonian indie bands to British DJs, Georgian choirs to Mongolian folk singers. So who were the breakthrough acts? We asked a selection of music industry experts to pick their favourite – and there’s a clear winner.


Bernadette Karner
Austria Music Export

“My favourites were TRAAMS (UK), I could have watched them for hours. After rushing from venue to venue I was hoping for some rest at Kino Soprus, the seated venue where TRAAMS were playing, but they didn´t gave me the chance. Instead of taking a seat I found myself in the front row, almost dancing. A friend of mine described them as a mix of [krautrock act] Camera and The Strokes, and I couldn´t have said it better, so I simply have to steal his quote.”

Sami Sänpäkkilä
Fonal Records, Tampere, Finland

“I really liked Chikiss (Russia). A mix of Vangelis and ‘80's disco. A bit shy in performance but definitely gonna be something to look for if she continues down that route.”

Madis Nestor
Owner of Biit Me record store and venue, Tallinn, Estonia

“It's hard to choose the one moment of the whole festival, but what inspired most was the fact that there can sometimes be some surprises that you never might expect, one being a very punk and hypnotic band from Denmark - Shiny Darkly. Didn't know about them before, but I'm quite interested to see where they will develop in the end.”

Kjetil Nordhus
Sørveiv festival, Norway/singer with metal band Tristania

“One of the records I listened to a lot in 2012 was ‘Beekeeper’ by Danish act Rangleklods. At SPOT Festival in May that year I managed to miss their concert. I followed up by missing the one at Eurosonic AND ByLarm too. But as we say in Norway, er, things come in fours, and I managed to find my way to Rangleklods' first gig of two, at the Von Krahl theatre on the second evening of TMW. Firstly I was stunned it must practically have been sold out. And afterwards I could enjoy one year's waiting time, as Rangleklods is worth waiting for!”

Gianni Polvo Molvo
Luxembough Music Export

“It’s not easy to choose one favourite act from this great line-up but unfortunately I have to! I would choose TRAAMS. I saw them at the Fat Cat night and I must say it was pure and refreshing energy, a triangle of power blowing your clothes away and forcing you to go crazy and waving your arms and feet in all directions. They sounded like a newer version of D.E.V.O. mixed with some Weezer elements and great noisy guitar solos. Great live band.”

Lissu Kirves
Art Goes Kapakka festival, Helsinki, Finland

“I loved many bands, so it's hard to pick just one: to me Odd Hugo, Mari Kalkun, Midrid (all Estonia), Alise Joste (Latvia), and Mainekk (various) stood out this time. But maybe the most impressive performance was at a record store. The sounds weren't that good but Pastacas (Estonia) - one man’s crazy looping show - impressed me deeply. Great talent, creative and lack of fear."

Søren Kristensen
Northern Winter Beat Festival / Empty Tape Records, Denmark

“The best band I saw at TMW were TRAAMS. These guys did a great concert. They played in an old cinema and I started sitting down but after four songs I found myself dancing at the front row. An edgy and cool sound that fits perfectly for my alternative rock-lovin' ears. I’ll also mention Estonian folk singer Mari Kalkun and her new band, Runorun: I had been looking forward to this and they didn't disappoint. A concert like this is why you travel all the way to Tallinn, because Mari's sound you don't find anywhere else. In an ideal way she combined the Estonian music tradition with a new, unique sound.”

Ramūnas Zilnys
Lietuvos Rytas newspaper, Lithuania

“Odd Hugo, Mari Kalkun, Rangleklods and Sibyl Vane (Estonia) were really good, but I’ll go for Elephants from Neptune. They totally ruined the stereotype of Estonians being calm and reserved.”

Gis Von Ice
Band manager/consultant, Iceland

“My highlight of Tallinn Music Week Festival was without doubt TRAAMS, and also Svjata Vatra (Estonia). TRAAMS are a very interesting three-piece indie punk/rock band, a great front guy that knows how to use his guitar and the band keeps you excited through the whole show. I’ll look forward to seeing them again. Svjata Vatra is an Estonian-Ukrainian world-folk band with a great live performance that reminds me of Gogol Bordello. Their name translates as ‘holy fire’ and they should play at every festival there is.”

Si Hawkins
Clash Magazine news editor

“I’ll go for Midrid, three lovely young Estonian violinists who I met before their show at the perfectly-suited Foxy Vintage shop: they drummed up an audience by playing a couple of tunes outside, and packed the place out (admittedly it is quite a small place). It’s a timeless and tuneful noise the ladies make, via those strings and some gorgeous vocal harmonies. Admittedly one song did nearly kill me due to its umpteen false endings as I crouched down filming it and briefly lost the use of my legs. But, hey, being legless is not uncommon at Tallinn Music Week.”


Interviews by Si Hawkins


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