The Hatters

The Hatters – Russian Gypsy Folk Rock

Published: January 17, 2022

The Hatters are a gypsy-folk rock band that was started in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2016. The five main members of the band include: Yuri Muzychenko, Pavel Lichadeev, Alexander “Kikir” Anisimov, Dmitry Vecherinin, and Anna Muzychenko.

The group of musicians officially formed their band in 2016 when they released their first song, “Russian Style” online. This song is almost fully sung in English, yet the content is entirely Russian. Later that summer, the band went on a festival tour in Russia and followed it up with appearances at numerous venues in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Later in 2016, the official music video for “Russian Style” appeared on Youtube, and currently has over 14 million views. The following year saw the release of the band’s debut album, “Полная шляпа” (Full Hat – 2017), which is actually slang in Russian for something that “really sucks.” Here they are obviously using the term lounge-in-cheek, which is entirely within their style.

Above: “Russian Style” – The Hatter’s first release

The Hatters classify their music as Russian-Gypsy street folk – a quite unconventional and original genre. Much of their music implements sounds from a bass, accordion, and violin. Their edgy style landed them on a list of the top ten bands to watch in 2017 by journalist Mikhail Kozyrev. Additionally, magazine called the band “the most fashionable musical project in St. Petersburg”. They have particularly gained traction with younger audiences because of their care-free and entertaining music.

Aside from “Russian Style”, the band has released several popular and somewhat satirical music videos. Their 2018 hit, “No Rules” and 2019 release, “Танцы” (Dances) have a combined 27 million views on Youtube. (links to lyrics for No Rules and Танцы). It should also come as no surprise that the band is now playing as part of the Little Big family, a fellow band and now label that revels in genre-bending, rules-breaking music.

The Hatters are both entertaining and admirable. Their music is upbeat, fun, and original – likely unlike anything you’ve really heard before (although maybe like a really happy version of Gogol Bordelo).

Above: “No Rules” – currently The Hatter’s most watched video on YouTube

About the author

Hudson Dobbs

Hudson received his BA in Russian Studies with a minor in Corporate Communications from Baylor University. At the time he wrote for this site, he was serving as a Home and Abroad Scholar as part of a Spring, 2022 session of SRAS’s Language and Society program St. Petersburg, Russia. While abroad, Hudson will be researching the Russian coffee culture, as well as the evolution of specialty coffee in Russia. His goal is to open his own coffee shop in the US - taking his experiences abroad and applying them to his future business.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Hudson Dobbs