Darren Hanlon a good excuse to leave Tallinn

  • 2007-07-04
  • By Joel Alas

LAID BACK: Hanlon, who is loved across Australia for his simple melodies and playful lyrics, will be appearing at the Schilling Ilusa Muusika Festival in southern Estonia on July 7.

Tallinn - One of Australia's best singer-songwriters is coming to Estonia this weekend... the trouble is you'll have to go a long way to hear him.
Darren Hanlon is known across Australia for his simple uplifting melodies and playful lyrics.
He's sometimes called a posterboy for the alternative folk movement, due to his profile amongst shoe-gazing, second-hand-clothes-wearing bohemian types.
His music is overwhelmingly positive and occasionally nonsensical, with song titles such as "Don't Bogart My Heart" and "The Ostracism of Vinny Lalor."
His instrument of choice is a jangly guitar, over which he lays laid-back lyrics sung without any pretense or stretched ability. Hanlon strips back his sound to the bare essentials, allowing his clever, cute and catchy lyrics to win over.

So far how will you have to go to hear Hanlon play?
About 50 kilometers inland from Parnu to a tiny village named Kilingi-Nomme nestled in the forest.
Hanlon will play at a small and relaxed festival called the Schilling Ilusa Muusika Festival (or literally, the Schilling Beautiful Music Festival) on Saturday July 7.
Don't be put off by the location, it's not so hard to get to. There's a bus leaving Tallinn at 11:45 a.m., or you could always jump a train to Parnu and head out to Kilingi-Nomme on numerous buses from there. It's the excuse you've been looking for to flee the city this weekend.

The promoters of this unknown event have managed to wrangle an impressive line-up of performers. Also on the bill is Kimya Dawson, an intriguing voice from Washington state.
Dawson also plays basic acoustic guitar tunes, and it's her unusual vocal style that grabs your attention. It's so simple it sounds childish, but that's the charm of Dawson's music.
Her musical career is run off the back of a do-it-yourself mindset. Most of her recordings are made on four-track tape decks in her bedroom, and her fan base grows by word-of-mouth.

Dawson is part of a burgeoning movement in the U.S. known as 'antifolk,' which combines the attitude of punk music with the activism of early folk music. The name is somewhat misleading, as the music tends to nestle comfortably in the folk genre, and shouldn't be considered an attack on it. In fact, Dawson borrows many activist tactics from early folk singers, like writing messages on her guitar.
The Finnish-based African rhythm group Wonuwali will also perform. Wonuwali play sounds inspired by the music of Guinea in West Africa, and attract attention thanks to their bright costumes.
There are also a few local bands performing. The main local act is Vaiko Eplik and his band Iliit. They are regarded as the best indie rock band in Estonia 's which might not sound like much of a boast, but it's something to be proud of.

And by the way, if you miss Hanlon's gig in Kilingi-Nomme, don't fret. He's booked to play Depo in Riga on Tuesday July 10, and Juuksur bar in Tallinn on Saturday August 4.

Schilling Beautiful Music Festival
Kilingi-Nomme, south-west Estonia
Saturday July 7