Based in Gothenburg, Vanligt Folk are a trio mixing together EBM, Swedish folksong, and polska with unpredictable results. At times charming and at other times terrifying, their latest album on Kontra-Musik and Kess Kill, Hambo, crystallises the group’s irreverent approach to creating their unique sound.
Vanligt Folk’s name can be translated to ’common people,’ making use of primitive electronics, drums, and skewed vocals—ranging from harsh social commentary to the purely nonsensical—to create their own take on body music. Comprising of Jonas Abrahamsson, Carl I Carlsson, and David Sundquist, Vanligt Folk began in 2013 and have released two albums. Jag Har Utvecklat Mig Till Både En Hund I En Katt emerged in 2015, and this year, along with Hambo arrived the equally bizarre Svenskbotten. When performing live, the trio position themselves somewhere between electronic and analogue instruments, making a pulsing cacophany reminiscent of Liars as well as EBM legends DAF.
Thematically, their music is inspired by social realism and absurdism, and they cite filmmaker Roy Andersson as a key influence. While making nods to traditional Swedish music and folk customs, Vanligt Folk treat such sanctity of national traits with a sense of brazenness. According to Vanligt Folk, "[t]he only thing that needs to be respected is The Dance and those who take part in it, whether accompanied by accordions or drum machines. Or both.”