Neo-traditional trio of nonconformist and progressive Scottish folk music
Blasting onto the scene, Project Smok is Pablo Lafuente, Ewan Baird and BBC Young Traditional
Musician of the year 2020 Ali Levack, whose forward thinking Scottish traditional music has set
them apart since their formation in 2017.
With tunes built around Ali Levack’s distinctive whistle and piping, 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-
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. They do away with any perceived limits of genre from the first
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 released their EP Esperanza in March 2021, after their debut album Bayview was
shortlisted for ‘Best Album of the Year’ 2020, nominated for the ‘Belhaven Bursary for Innovation’
2019 and nominated for ‘Best up and coming Artist’ 2018 at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music
Written as a follow up to their 2017 EP ‘Horizons’, Bayview features an unforgettable collaboration
with 2019 Scottish Album of the Year nominee Edwyn Collins.
The album was brought to life in Edwyn Collins’ famous Clashnarrow Studio in Helmsdale on
Scotland’s north east coast, using a treasure trove of special analogue and vintage equipment to
showcase their truly refreshing sound. It was premiered in spectacular fashion at Celtic
Connections 2020 in Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket to a sell-out crowd.
Bayview cemented their place as a young band at the forefront of the traditional music scene who
have great intensions and crave innovation. 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.
Bayview album reviews
The trio have fashioned a fast flowing, light and airy music driven by virtuosity, drive, rhythm and
sensitivity. Tim Cumming, Songlines
..music of a quality that can only come from a profound and comfortable synergy among all the
artists, … a modern and yet evocative album launching Project SMOK as a band at the forefront of
contemporary folk music. Michele Mele, Bright Young Folk
.. pushing the boundaries between the contemporary and the traditional, to marvellous effect.
Kenny Smith, Scottish Field
A must-have album. Michael Moll, FolkWorld