It all began when Swedish musicians David Hjalmar Andersson and Emanuel Lundgren wanted to see Marilyn Manson in concert at Gröna Lund, an amusement park in Stockholm. Unaware that the show had sold out, they arrived and were promptly turned away at the gate and, instead, began a long walking conversation about music and life and the details that connected the two. Having known each other for 20 years, they were well aware of each other’s rhythmic proclivities – with Andersson often performing supporting roles in Lundgren’s band I’m from Barcelona. Throughout the previous two decades, they had always talked about collaborating together within the confines of a duo, and in the aftermath of that recent discussion, they decided that now seemed like as good a time as any to see what might arise from that suggested musical partnership.
“After this evening, Emanuel and I started to meet up in his studio in Hornstull to write and record music,” Andersson explains. “An album we discovered and inspired us early on was Vanity 6's self-titled album from 1982, produced by Prince.”
During those sessions, Yalmar began to take shape, with Lundgren taking on the role of producer and Andersson developing his own voice as both a songwriter and a singer. Now, 4 years after that initial collective inkling, Yalmar’s debut EP is set for release later this spring. Revealing an abundance of spirited and experimental dance rhythms buffeted by precise pop arrangements, the album is a testament to a friendship steeped in a long musical history as well as the complicated movements of dual creativities in search of unexplored pop territories.
On recent single, “The Breakup,” Andersson and Lundgren create a vivid landscape of electro-clash distortions, warped vocals and agile melodies that stretch out for miles. Andersson experiments with a sort of mad-science pop theatricality which suits these sounds well. Everything is so unpredictable, from the odd voice modulations to the rapturous synth reverberations. The accompanying video, created by Michelle Pan, weaves in a large collection of what appears to be old home movies and ‘80s imagery layered through lo-fi filters. This cacophony of images acts as the perfect counterweight to the song’s thumping rhythms and ecstatic melodic expressions.