The Sound Cafe
Trad.Attack! Transform Estonian Folklore With Pop Genius On Their New Album 'Bring It On'
Photo Credit: Renee Altrov Design: Martin Rästa
Bring It On is the exciting new album from Trad.Attack!, featuring a thunderous mix of Estonian folklore with electronica, drums, programmed beats, fiddle, the Estonian bagpipe, soaring electric guitar solos and pumping pop-folk. Bring It On is equally blessed with sensitively produced folk songs, perfect layered harmonies sprinkled with atmospheric brass instrumentation and dulcet vocals.
Estonia’s power trio: Sandra Vabarna, Jalmar Vabarna and Tõnu Tubli - Trad.Attack! have come together once more for a electro-folk serving of tunes on Bring It On with a stated purpose to head into new musical territory. Trad.Attack! have produced the album using their trusted instruments but also new instrumentation, performing with guest vocalists and musicians who bring new languages to the songs. While the album is mostly performed in dialects from different parts in Estonia, Bring It On also features lyrics in English (‘Liugu-laugu’), Yemeni Arabic (’Öelge sõnnu’) and Georgian (’Kiigelaul’).
Trad.Attack! chose to collaborate with both national and internationally acclaimed musicians for the album. Bring It On includes guest performances from Estonian guitar legend Laur Joamets (Sturgill Simpson), Canada’s internationally acclaimed The East Pointers, Yemen Blues co-founder and vocalist, Ravid Kahalani and the Georgian male choir, Iberi. BRING IT ON also features Seto singers from southeast Estonia and respected bassist, Martin Laksberg. As guitarist Jalmar Vabarna says,
“This album has set us off on a new journey to broaden our horizons. We try out new instruments and search for new sounds. Our paths have crossed with those of many other musicians, from the worlds we know and from the unfamiliar ones.”
For five albums in a row now, the ever-changing Trad.Attack! has completely re-imagined a way to experience the ancient music of their ancestors, reshaping their assimilation and claiming the narrative in a contemporary voice. Bring It On is bursting with Estonian magic. As Tõnu Tubli says,
“We have decided to roam the picturesque but unvisited woods with a clear aim to reach out to the other side. But, along all this way, we will not forget our roots, we remain true to who we are and know what makes us special. The songs on this album remember the start of their journey and bravely look into the unknown.”
Trad.Attack! are touring Estonia nationally in April 2023 and performing at Colours of Ostrava 2023. The trio have received 29 Estonian music awards to date. No doubt, they will receive many more with Bring It On, an album which proves why they are Estonia’s #1 band.
Becoming better requires courage to change. Trad.Attack! are experts in traditional folk re-invention. As their name suggests their approach to their songcraft is with great vigour, power and passion. Taking traditional music and long vanished village voices from Estonian towns and villages, Trad.Attack! have become the influencer in their home country and perform their big sound all around the world which inspires both the young and older generations alike.
All three band members grew up with music around them and each had been active on the Estonian music scene for more than 15 years before they started Trad.Attack! in 2013.
In the beginning it was meant to be just simple, fun and experimental. Surprisingly for the band, their first tune “Kooreke” became a hit in Estonia... Since then the band has received 29 music awards in Estonia and released 4 albums. The last album ‘Make Your Move’ (2020) made it to the Grammys pre-selection list. Their 5th album is on the release runway for March 31st 2021 and ahead of Bring It On . While realising their huge musical ambition and also taking a step into the unknown, Trad.Attack! also pursues a masterplan – to play live in every country of the world.
In the nine years since coming together, Trad.Attack! has reached every continent and performed in 38 countries at significant festivals such as the Woodford Folk Festival (Australia), Womad (UK, Chile), Rudolstadt Festival (Germany), Rainforest World Music Festival (Malaysia), Vancouver Folk Festival (Canada) and many significant showcase festivals (Womex, Folk Alliance International, Mundial Montreal). In summer 2023 the band will perform at one of the biggest music festivals in Europe – Colours of Ostrava. Now there are only 158 countries still to experience the power of Trad.Attack!.