Stuart Garlick, ERR January 16, 2015
Estonian music is accused of many things: it's formulaic and generic, people say; the scene is dominated by a few super-producers and uber-managers, others say. At the 2015 Estonian Music Awards, we saw the counter-argument to this, in the form of a band of polite, shy young people from Viljandi, who play simple, hopeful folk songs.
Curly Strings, whose rise has been steady and deserved, took home four awards, for best album, debut album, group and song, a clean sweep of that for which they had been nominated. The quartet from Viljandi always look happy on stage, and seem to have communicated a bit of that positivity across to both the public and Estonian music scene's decision-makers.
There were various theories as to how and why such an unreconstructed folk group could have taken the hearts of so many music fans. This reporter's favorite pet theory is that music fans, unless they spend all day in a lab listening to Aphex Twin, love nothing more than music that absorbs and communicates its own influences, speaking to the listener in ways he or she used to enjoy when younger.
Estonian Music Awards: a celebration of retro and future