Perhaps, due to its proximity to reticent Russia, and a history of repeated occupations, you'd expect Estonia to be a relic of the Soviet era - but you'd be sorely mistaken. The far-Eastern European nation actually ranks pretty damn highly in many areas: freedom of press, civil liberties, education and Internet connectivity; quite the farcry from its sizeable neighbour. The economy is bustling, culture is booming - Tallinn (the capital) was named one of the world's best digital cities and City Of Culture in 2011 - and defying assumptions, Estonia's quality of life appears to surpass the UK's in numerous areas.

The musical output is also of a cardinal quality, and though we don't see Estonian acts traipsing through the Top 40, the offerings are impeccable, especially those of label Seksound. The label was founded almost a decade ago in 2004 by members in esteemed shoegaze outfit Pia Fraus (who have worked with Ulrich Schnauss). Seksound has released many records, often plucking the best of the independent circuits and allowing acts such as Mirabilia, Honey Power, Popidiot, Galaktlan and Imandra Lake to be seen by wider audiences. They've got a meticulous approach, carefully putting out music to share with likeminded individuals, but accidentally becoming artisans of a country's indie/rock/shoegaze offerings. An LP on Seksound is always worth checking out.

Shelton San - on Seksound - are a long-standing pillar of Estonia's noise-rock scene. They've recently supported Wooden Shjips during their jaunt to Tallinn, whacking of rampant beats, untamed vocal howls and '80s-flecked fretwork, across the night air. They're an impressive act, but without speaking Estonian, it's difficult to dredge up any more insightful titbits.

Post-punk collective Lack Of Eoins hail from Viljandi, Estonia. Signed to none other than Seksound, they've been churning out gruff, bitter noises since their inception in 2006 (though they were crafting rumblings under a different guise even earlier than that). Though the post-punk grit shines through glaringly, there's also myriad other threads that make this infinitely more interesting than your run-of-the-mill post-punk. They veer away from Savages-level dourness, careening instead for a beacon of dance-funk, borrowing rhythms, it would seem, from Ed Banger. The guitars are wild, '70s glam-pomp, the brass on 'Sudden Death Mode' is maudlin scandi-folk, and on more than one occasion, vocalist Madis Järvekülg groans like Bowie.

Candy Empire prove that it's not just Seksound that can offer choice musical cuts. They spin a finespun tapestry, combining lo-fi '90s alt. pop á la Cardigans, smooth Gorillaz-y hip-hop and dreampop vocals. 'Sleng Teng' is an astounding barrage of mesmerising pop standards and the somewhat-askew bubbles of nostalgi-rock. It's deliciously delirious. Fans of Asobi Seksu will be intrigued.

Another act shaking up the Seksound monopoly is Zebra Island. Working with I Love You Records (based in Riga, Latvia), they've played alongside Zola Jesus and at a handful of regional festivals over the summer, recently dropping Saturnine, their debut LP, back in April. They weave a sonic web which has drawn comparisons to M83, School Of Seven Bells and Beach House - while the latter may be less noticeable, flecks of French electronigaze legends M83 can be found, and the ethereal gothwave of SOSB can be plucked. Zebra Island combine the candy-coated vocal harmonies with the sharp acid of glacial synths and dance beats. As per dreampop tradition, the whole shebang is glazed with a muddled wooze.

Swerving vehemently away from the indie/shoegaze/dreamy/post-punk territory for a moment - though it does seem to be Estonia's speciality area - we have Alinah Sipps, an experimental producer (or perhaps collective?). Conjuring a concept album centred around a smoky jazz cafe in the '70s, entitled, aptly, Jazz Café, the musician/s weave modern rap with Russian folk, jazz and old school gangsta rap beats. It's an intriguing listen, summed up best by Far From Moscow, a blog set up by David MacFadyen - from the department of Slavic languages and literatures at UCLA - to promote Baltic music and musicians from ex-Soviet states. You can also stream most of Jazz Café there.

Considering the relative size of Estonia, there's a trove of music to be discovered - either via our recommendations above, or through the rosters of Seksound, I Love You and the discussions on Far From Moscow.