Vanligt Folk May Have Made the Year’s Craziest Record

Vanlight Folk

No, really. We’re not just begging for clicks with that headline; Vanligt Folk’s Hambo LP is like nothing we’ve heard in a while, a psychotropic take on the traditional Swedish dance in its title that’s got delirious traces of minimal wave, EBM and dub. And if you actually speak their language, you’ll also notice how the Gothenburg trio is raging against Sweden’s far-right party—yet another troubling example of how nationalist ideas have taken hold in Europe. It’s protest music with a pulse, and an erratic one at that.

Have an early listen below—right alongside an exclusive track-by-track commentary—and check out the record’s official release through Kontra-Musik and Kess Kill next Monday….

The first three songs we did for this album were the opening tracks. We basically did them all in one five-hour session on a Roland SH-101, Korg MS-20 and Clavia Nord Drum 2. Vocals were added later. Watch out for the live version of this track where drummer Jonas is on a mad Bollywood cowbell trip!

Hambo is a traditional Swedish folk dance played in 3/4 time. This is a version of a Hambo played in 6/4 with an EBM twist. Probably our best song to date. Definitely one for the dance floor.

Dancehall beat. Touches on the subject of identity politics. A song where the Roland VT–3 plays a big part. Carl sings directly into two VT3’s and uses them as part of his performance and voice both live and in the studio. No trickery added later.

Another song with that dancehall feel. Made in a stream of consciousness out of a fruitless attempt to make an EBM track—something we usually fail at. This track also has a very Swedish, “foresty” feel to it.

This track might also be one of our best tracks to date. The live version is longer, with deafening acoustic drums. Go see us live!

A song about aging. Or degradation maybe. The groove is almost bearable. Made in GarageBand.

This song had the working title “Merry Christmas.” This is all SH-101 and drum samples on the Reaper timeline. Amazing lyrics btw! Google Translate it—and good luck with that 😉 [Editor’s note: Well, we tried. It appears to be a warm and fuzzy tune full of cancer, anxiety, and pig metaphors. We think.]

“Bad Vibe” is the English title of this song. Dancehall feel. Body dub. Mainly Nord Drum on this track, run through different flanger guitar pedals. A lot of drum layering and electronic percussions. Burning sticks and stomach ache.

This song paraphrases and borrows the main theme from Swedish Hambo classic “Jänta och jag.” Bass is SH-101, melody is MS-20 with Space Echo, rhythms are samples, crackles and hum looped in the DAW.