In all things OBB, I try to maintain a focus on what I believe is important and, with regards to the music featured, be true to what I enjoy.
The Songwriter Series is a new project of mine. The singer-songwriter genre is one that, as I have written about, I find much depth in and one which has an ability to greatly move me. So far, Joe Purdy and Lucy Rose have been featured and the aim going forward is to develop this towards more organic and original material, including interviews and EPs from lesser known artists. The first of these will be an interview and new music from Han in the coming weeks.
Kings of Convenience feature in The Songwriter Series #3. These are by no means a new group, having released their first album in 2001, but they are not as well know or as widely recognized as their beautifully crafted, supremely balanced sound deserves. Described as “indie folk-pop”, the duo from Norway met at school and are musicians in the truest sense. Their first album, Quiet is the New Loud, was a key part of, and lent its name to, the New Acoustic Movement. This movement began in 1999 and, taking artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, Jeff Buckley, Belle & Sebastian and Elliot Smith as inspiration, gave rise to the success of acoustic-centred artists such as Elbow, Coldplay, Starsailor, Turin Brakes and eventually Damien Rice.
What Kings of Convenience give you is a true sense of beautiful simplicity. Their lyrics are honest in a way which can only be a result of a huge degree of brutal self-reflection, of pouring their own, personal experiences and themselves into each and every word. Never do they change or waste lyrics to fit a certain sound or riff. What they are saying is of the greatest importance. This is particularly apparent in the entirety of their second album, Riot on an Empty Street, with some choice lines that include:
“How come no-one told me, all throughout history, the loneliest people
were the ones who always spoke the truth, the ones who made a difference by withstanding the indifference”
“I think I’ve bought everything we need, don’t look back, don’t think of the other places you should’ve been, it’s a good thing that you came along with me”
And a personal favourite, “I’d rather dance than talk with you” (We can all relate to this experience)
The honesty and depth of the lyrics are perfectly offset by the beats and delicate blend of music used. Some upbeat, some stripped back, but all perfect in portraying a given message.
I promise that once you begin listening to Kings of Convenience they are a band and type of music you will come back to again and again for many different reasons and emotions.