Friday, September 07, 2007

Kings of Convenience

Kings of Convenience are an indie folk-pop duo from Bergen, Norway. Consisting of Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe, the musical group is known for their delicate tunes, calming voices, and intricately subtle guitar melodies. Both Øye and Bøe sing in their tracks, and both of them compose.

Erlend and Eirik were both born in 1975 (Erlend on November 21 and Eirik on October 25), and have known each other since the age of eleven. At sixteen, they played together in the band Skog ("forest") with two other friends, releasing one EP Tom Tids Tale, before breaking up and later forming the Kings duo. The twosome were signed to the American label Kindercore after appearing in European festivals during the summer of 1999. After a spell living in London in 2001, they released their debut album Quiet Is the New Loud. The album was produced by Coldplay producer Ken Nelson. The album was very successful and even lent its name to a small movement of musicians in the pop underground (including acoustic contemporaries such as Turin Brakes) which took Belle & Sebastian and Simon and Garfunkel as their inspiration and focused on more subtle melodies and messages. Versus, an album of remixes of tracks from Quiet Is the New Loud, came out shortly after. After this breakthrough year, not much was heard from the band.

Øye spent the next few years living in Berlin and doing solo material, releasing music under the DJ Kicks series as well as a solo album titled Unrest. He also has a side project named The Whitest Boy Alive It was not until 2004 that the Kings' follow-up Riot on an Empty Street was released. The video made for I'd Rather Dance With You, the second single from Riot on an Empty Street, topped MTV's European list as the best music video of 2004. The album also featured contributions by Leslie Feist. It's been a quiet period for the band, leading to speculation they had stopped working together.

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