We needed it.

After the annual festival Tallinn Music Week got cancelled last year, we all craved for fresh live chords and beats to shake us up on chilly +8 Celsius September nights. And it happened! Hundreds of bands and solo artists from folk to metal to punk made it this time. Come hell or high water.

The sun was setting in the northern capital when The Coco’nuts (Latvia) took the Funk Embassy stage to warm up the funk/R&B TMW night. As Estonia neighbours Finland and the rest of cold Scandinavia, it takes a while to put the crowd into motion. But there was one person to melt even the “frozen” audience: Estonian heartwarming jazz singer ANETT. The blond diva’s soothing, crystal clear voice and everything-will-be-alright vibe quickly translated into a grateful crowd of listeners, swinging softly from side to side.

Anett became a well-recognized Estonian singer after her triumphal top 3 result at pre-Eurovision national selection, Eesti Laul (“Estonian Song”) in 2020. She didn’t end up going to Eurovision but her funk/jazz collab ‘Write About Me‘ became many critics’ and fans’ favorite. Not to mention goosebumps many of us had, as she introduced her latest song ‘Rain or shine’. Watch the live footage from TMW below:

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In the meantime, it was the metal stage of Sveta Bar to attract heavier and “darker minded” souls. Latvian progressive metal group OGHRE shook the stage to the core and set the bar high. The band has, in fact, been nominated for the Latvian Music Recording Awards for Best Rock/Metal Album 2018 and Best Metal Album 2021. Lyrics centered around humanity’s footprint on the planet combine with their aggressive approach and result in an arresting visual and audial experience.

The next on the metal “menu” was a female singer-songwriter ROXY JULES, straight from Denmark. However, the stage seemed a bit lonely, as she single-handedly plucked along to the playback. It’s when she was joined by an impressive two-meter tall guitarist Mads Bertelsen that the crowd started feeling it: “Huh! You know what? I’m starting to enjoy it. It’s something art-housy like Bjork.”

Curious about current rock music trends, I anticipated seeing Estonian-based, born-in-corona-year psychodelic rockers DREAMKRUSHER! Yes, just like that, with an exclamation mark at the end for additional emphasis. Truth be told, my dream was certainly crushed by megawatts of guitars, suppressing any attempts of the vocalist to produce decipherable screams into the mic. Still, I bet, it found its audience as well, especially those who are familiar with the works of the members of Dreamkrusher! from their ex-bands like JUUR, Liblikas and Kannabinõid.

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Hmm… I needed something to cheer me up and get me moving, and scrolling through the list of participants and venues, I couldn’t help fixating my eyes on the inviting name BROTHERS MOVING. Moving the audience? Moving and dancing on stage? Or maybe moving the world? Turned out, three in one!

This smart Danish fun-loving trio of Knoblauch brothers, based in NYC in 2008 really made my day! The fearless three brothers, Esben, Aske and Simon, get into the groove from minute one, flavoring their guitars and drums with harmonica, cajón and what not. With in-unison singing and a grain of self-humour, guys’ harmony is indescribable. Must-see act of tonight, hands down! Exclamation mark!

Check out Tallinn Music Week Day 1 photo gallery below:

Text and photos: Tatiana Spiteri, AlteRock