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10 best Hungarian acts playing Budapest in early 2022

2022 sees the welcome return of live music to Budapest and many Hungarian bands now have new albums to showcase. Here’s who to look out for in the first three months of the year.

1/10

aZorka

AZorka is a solo project by singer-songwriter Dorottya Lackfi, which debuted with the six-track EP, Elharapott szavak (‘Bitten Words’) last autumn. She presents this emotional and intimate material at Turbina, fronting at her own four-piece band, support provided by ethno-surf-rock Folksteps. Verse will be another feature of the performance, as aZorka is the daughter of award-winning poet János Lackfi.

2/10

Damara

Damara, made up of shamelessly young members, present their 2020 release Keresem a helyem (‘I’m Looking For My Place’) at the Turbina Cultural Centre. Their pleasant, friendly, youthful and eclectic pop music strikes a sympathetic chord. Another new Hungarian band, the indie folk Pandóra Project, are special guests.

3/10

The Keeymen

The Keeymen were put together by members of several bands, a kind of modest Hungarian supergroup. They present instrumental, fast-paced surf rock, so far enjoyed in EP and album form, and at a handful of gigs. Now they’re back again as second album 2 is being launched with a show at the Turbina Cultural Centre. Garage-rock trio DARĀGE provide support.

4/10

Platon Karataev

The third major album by Platon Karataev is their first in Hungarian. Before Partért kiáltó (‘Shouting for the Shore’), the first two were sung in English. As lead singer/songwriter Gergely Balla told us in an exclusive interview in September, the material touches on themes such as existence, confronting ourselves and the passing of time. The record launch at the Akvárium Klub promises to be a heavy, uplifting and cathartic experience for all.

5/10

Дeva

Of late, Dorina Takács, aka Дeva, has been a pleasant surprise on the Hungarian music scene, many waiting for her debut album with great anticipation. Weaving electronica and folk, it features the singer-songwriter’s own band, who should create a special atmosphere for the record launch at Trafó.

6/10

Abel Label

Drummer Ábel Mihalik became widely known when he joined Kiscsillag in 2008, having spent a year with related group Kispál és a Borz. Itching to do something new, he left the band in 2016. Abel Label is the result and, over the last five years, they have made five records, each in a different style. The most recent, Nothing Matters, is electronic, even nodding towards ’70s’ prog, to be showcased on 3 February. Note that this concert was originally scheduled for 14 January, and tickets for that show are valid for this one.

7/10

Lóci játszik

No two ways about it: Lóci játszik are an out-and-out pop band, in the best sense of the word. Lóci are none other than the frontman Lóci Csorba, who established his reputation with the music for hit Hungarian film VAN valami furcsa és megmagyarázhatatlan (‘Something Strange and Inexplicable’). His extremely lovable band are releasing their third album, Színes, magyarul beszélő (‘Colourful, Hungarian-Speaking’), which the band are taking on the road. First stop, the A38 Ship here in Budapest!

8/10

Blahalouisiana

The fourth album by Székesfehérvár pop-rock-soul outfit Blahalouisiana will be showcased at the Akvárium Klub, before the band hit the provinces. Although the show hasn’t sold out yet, it’s worth getting your tickets pretty quickly – Blahalouisiana’s star is rising among the constellation of Hungary’s latest pop combos.

9/10

iamyank

All Machines Will Fail is the latest project by iamyank , as he again brings something completely different to the audience. After his electronic music adventures and immersion in contemporary music, he returns to his own rock roots. Expect something pretty heavyweight at the record launch for iamyank’s latest experimental metal project.

10/10

Kiscsillag

Better late than never. This could also be the hook for the album launch for the sixth release by Kiscsillag, Tompa kések (‘Blunt Knives’), issued after a two-year hiatus in 2020. The term ‘eagerly anticipated’ applies here, as Kiscsillag are fronted by András Lovasi, also the songsmith for his previous group, Kispál és a Borz, arguably the most influential Hungarian alt-rock band of the 1990s.

Cimkék

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