Tag Archives: Kings of Convenience

New Kings Of Convenience: Rocky Trail

Video: Kings Of Convenience – “Rocky Trail”

Kings Of Convenience - Rocky Trail (Official Video)

From Peace Or Love, out June 18 on EMI.

Back in the Great Sellout Wars of the early 2000s, the Kings of Convenience were one of the bands I would bring up to demonstrate that a television commercial could indeed turn someone on to good music. Their song “Toxic Girl” was used in an ad for something or other where a young person was on a bus, longing for someone. That’s all I remember now. I just spent about five minutes trying to find the spot online but failed.

The way it worked back then was we would hear a cool song, search the internet for who it was, and then download a 128mbps MP3 via Napster or Audiogalaxy. Later, when we stumbled across the cd in the used bin, we’d buy it for six bucks, and if we really liked the whole thing, we’d be sure to pick up their next album on release day. If the band ever toured we’d go see them, and if they had cool merch we might even get a shirt.

It seems naïve now, but at the time we believed that filesharing would ultimately lead to more revenue for musicians. And maybe it did for a while there when people (like us) still bought physical media. Streaming obliterated this system. But that’s another story.

Back when Kings Of Convenience released their last album, 2009’s Declaration of Dependence, there was no streaming. “Album downloads” were still a big thing that was on the rise. It’s a different world now, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to their new single. It’s got that same breezy grooviness that first caught my ear when I saw the ad with the kid on the bus. It’s not really bossa nova but you can imagine a Getz/Gilberto cover of any of their songs, including this new one.

The video features a single, continuous shot of the duo and some friends hanging out in an extremely Scandinavian apartment. Totally on brand and wonderful. Made me realize how much I’ve missed these guys. Let’s say we give them one more time, one last chance to speak again…

Kings Of Convenience: web, insta, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Kings of Convenience – Boat Behind

MP3: Kings of Convenience – “Boat Behind” from Declaration of Dependence, out now on EMI/Astralwerks.

Nothing unexpected here, but if you’re looking for something shocking from the Kings of Convenience, you’re probably looking in the wrong part of Norway. Here we’ve got more of the delicate harmonies and gentle fiddles over groovy, swinging acoustic guitars and upright bass that we’ve always loved from the duo. Quiet, once again, is the (no longer very) new loud. Or, as Johnny Loftus put it in 2001, Herbal Tea is the New Moonshine. And it’s still good.

Kings of Convenience: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Continue reading Kings of Convenience – Boat Behind

Kings of Convenience: Herbal Tea is the New Moonshine

Norway’s Kings of Convenience Sing Me To Sleep

America revels in sameness. Freeway exits, waffle houses, and hemmed jean shorts on overweight men – The USA is easily categorized. In a location-based Pepsi Challenge-style competition, it’s a sure bet that most wouldn’t confuse Paris, Texas with Paris, France. That said, sometimes you see a photo. Maybe it’s cropped strangely, or the focus is off. But for whatever reason, you can discern from the scant details present that the shot is distinctly European. Sometimes, you can even posit a theory of actual location. (Even without using your broad knowledge of Teutonic street signs.) In the slightly-off architecture of a parking garage in the background, the particular hue of a painted wall, the nuances of Europe make themselves clear.

It’s in the details that The Kings of Convenience dwell. And, like looking at old issues of National Geographic in your basement, a quick scan of Quiet Is The New Loud ‘s cover art reveals that the Kings of Convenience don’t hail from Topeka. Upon a blue stone sits Erland Oye and Eirik Giambek Boe, the duo that make up the Kings. Boe comforts a female friend; Oye gazes into the camera with a look of bemused intelligence. I’ve never been to Norway. But if I ever go, I expect it to look much like this album cover. In fact, I expect the country to sound like Quiet Is The New Loud.

The title is no joke. The material never seems to go above a lover’s whisper, as cryptic tales of love, loss, and realization unfold. “I realized that the one you were before,” sings Boe in “I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From,” “had changed into somebody for whom I wouldn’t mind to put the kettle on.” His voice, resonating off the speaker cabinets in your living room, imparts the knowledge gained from a difficult relationship. Like a nicer, Scandinavian Joe Pernice, the embers glowing within the song give off its true warmth, even in pain. Conversely Pernice, the infamously sad troubadour of Scud Mountain Boys and The Pernice Brothers, never takes his knee off his audience’s chest. You smell the liquor on his breath as his songs of love, heartbreak, and drug use crash into ditches off US 131.

The Kings of Convenience give one the impression of getting up early…and liking it.

Is tea and clean living better than cloudy weather, crumpled cigarettes and Old Grandad? Will a new movement of Scandanavian Hug-Core save the world? Not necessarily. But listening to Kings of Convenience and their astute pop music, it’s almost like receiving an aural detox. Quiet Is The New Loud features a centerfold in its booklet – a panoramic view of a pristine Norwegian lake at daybreak. The shot is evocative of the album’s peaceful moments. The plunking of nylon strings, quietly harmonized vocals that revel in the endings of words – these are the details that define the music of the Kings of Convenience, just as the curious idiosyncrasies in an aging, yellowed photo on the wall of a booth at Waffle House can give away its European locale.

JTL