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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.