Project Smok is the neo-trad trio of Ali Levack, Ewan Baird and Pablo Lafuente, whose nonconformist and progressive Scottish traditional music has set them apart since their formation in 2017.
Known for their ability to effortlessly blend trad music with contemporary new-age pop influences, Project Smok are at their most comfortable pushing boundaries, making listeners stop and re-evaluate their musical expectations. The close-knit group meld naturally between the innovative, explosive and emotive, drawing outside inspiration from indie pop acts like The 1975, LANY and Bon Iver, to more time-honoured, West Coast styles of playing. They do away with any perceived limits of genre from the first note. With tunes built around the distinctive piping of BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2020 Ali Levack, paired with Ewan Baird’s skilled bodhran playing and Pablo Lafuente’s nuanced guitar, electric guitar and production, the trio manage to naturally bring together an array of musical aspects. Throw in instrumental virtuosity, blistering drive, infectious rhythm and a delicate sensitivity and you have Project Smok’s thirst-quenching sound.
They offer an unconventional, idiosyncratic, energetic synergism that defies expectation. It’s little wonder they have fast become a recognised and household name in the traditional music scene.