Arena sized workings of traditional folk songs – with a twist
Sometimes, it can take while before one’s true calling is discovered. The three members of Estonia’s Trad.Attack! had spent more than 15 years floating around the country’s music scene before joining forces in 2014. Yet what started as something that was just meant to be “simple, fun, and experimental” has morphed into an international juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing down. First single ‘Kooreke’ was a surprise hit, and they haven’t looked back since; 19 music prizes in Estonia alone, two acclaimed albums, and tours through 32 countries, from China to Canada and everywhere in between.
Their trick is to combine the old and new while offering something fresh for both camps; “Nordic turbo folk for the 21st Century” said one memorable review. Some songs are built up from old standards, others are based on scratchy recordings of folk classics, but everything is given a makeover – pulsing rhythms, new melodies, and a stomping energy that’s as infectious as it is exciting. For a trio, they whip up an impressive racket, relying mainly on 12-string acoustic, drums, and various whistles and flutes. They’ve even been known to make use of bagpipes.
One stated goal is to tour in every country on earth – as of today, they only have 164 left to go. You can’t fault their enthusiasm, nor the effort they pour into their shows and music; a more joyful hour is hard to find. Individually it might have taken them a while to find their path, but collectively Trad.Attack! have wasted no time becoming a main attraction.