It’s remarkable to consider that the Swedish trio (sometimes quartet) Väsen have been around for 30 years now, releasing album after album of satisfying music, often with a sly touch of gentle humor. They helped to create the movement of European instrumental music, grounded in native folk tradition, but with ambitions and reach far beyond it. With nyckelharpa/viola/guitar and three virtuoso players, they’ve stayed at the forefront.
Rule of 3 isn’t a musical revolution of any kind. It’s simply a journey further down the road that Väsen began to walk three decades ago. Stylish, clean, skilled, and bristling with a mix of old-fashioned craft and sweet inspiration. There’s no need for flashy playing. As always, everything serves the tune. Whatever this band had to prove, they did it many years ago. Now they can simply play for the sheer pleasure of it. - Chris Nickson