June 15, 2020 14:20
5 Hungarian bands you should definitely check out

Hungarian popular music has always been a blend of the past and the contemporary; the folk and the modern; the retro and the futuristic. Hungarian bands saw unprecedented domestic and international successes in the last couple of years. We collected five bands of the recent past that are worth paying attention to!

The Qualitons (funk rock, psychedelic rock)

Although founded back in 2010, Qualitons has only rose to fame in the past couple of years. Their psychedelic funk-rock music is a unique phenomenon in Hungarian pop music. It has even brought international renown to the band: during the summer of 2016, the members of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, while touring in the country, attended to one of their concerts. In 2018 they played at the famous South by Southwest festival in Austin and in 2019 they were the first Hungarian band invited to a session at the radio station KEXP in Seattle.


Quixotic (synthwave)

Synthwave is a form of artistic expression that was widely popular in the 80s and early 90s and had deeply transformative power on the music of the era.  The genre had a widespread renaissance in the past few years. Quixotic is one of the most successful representatives to this retro wave: his top hit “Palms” is still on the list of the most popular synthwave tracks in the world. If you want to experience the neon-pink electronic sunsets of 80’s Miami, you should definitely give it a listen!


Middlemist Red (neo- psychedelic rock)

Middlemist Red is a psych-rock band from Budapest founded in 2012 that has won multiple awards and recognitions in the past couple of years. One of their early singles "Single Switcheroo" has won a major Hungarian song-contest and eventually was picked up by Deezer to participate in the international competition “Young Guns”. First, Middlemist Red made it into the best four out of 182 participants and was eventually picked as the winner of the competition by the listeners. In 2015 they had their first European tour and they were invited to participate in the Midem Festival's Artist Accelerator programme.


Margaret Island (indie pop)

Founded in 2014 and named after the famous island in Budapest, Margaret Island is an indie pop band that combines acoustic elements with Hungarian folk themes. Their first album, “Egyszer volt” (Once upon a time) was released in 2015 and by 2016 they earned the Fonogram Prize, one of the highest recognitions in pop music in Hungary. Their music and artistic expressions are heavily influenced by Mumford & Sons and Passenger while recognising the classical Hungarian beat tradition. Their latest release, “III” became a golden record in 2019.


Folkfonics (alternative funk pop)

While Hungarian folk motifs are an integral part of many contemporary pop bands, you should definitely check out Folkfonics where folk music is the main driving force. Founded in 2016, the band comprises of graduates of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. Their primary mission is to introduce the most iconic Hungarian folk songs to the popular musical trends of today, thus, classical instruments and electric guitars and drums are all part of their artistic inventory.


Links and sources:  Index.hu: Qualitons album premier ; Qualitons concertblog.a38.hu ; recorder.blog.hu ; koncert.hu ; koncertsziget.hu

Source of the picture: Pixabay

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