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Yes, the Kings of Convenience. They of the cool name. This duo were indie folk before it was a thing.
Although Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe formed the group as a duo in 1999 in Bergen, Norway, the two had known each since grade school and had performed in a group together as early an age as 16. I feel like I didn’t come across these guys right away but probably in 2002 or 2003, a year or two after their debut album’s release, and likely became familiar with them given the hype bestowed upon “Versus”, a remix album of their debut.
Speaking of their debut album, the title really says it all: “Quiet is the new loud”. Those older amongst you reading this might listen to their music and immediately identify Simon & Garfunkel as the most obvious influence. And you wouldn’t be wrong but their also drew inspiration from contemporaries Elliott Smith and Belle & Sebastian. “Winning a battle, losing the war”, the first track on the debut, is representative of its entirety. It is mainly gentle finger plucking on the acoustic guitars and lilting vocal harmonies, Any other instrumentation is almost incidental. It is as lovely, quiet, and calm as a Sunday morning at the cottage and listening to their music makes you yearn to be there.
Oh, what I’d give… I think to myself as I board the bus to work. Thankfully, it’s Friday.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 2001 list, click here.