Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend Special: Erlend Oye

*I hope this post will make up for the lacks of updates in the past few days. That was me and blogging, I just couldn't do it if I wasn't in the right mood.

There he is, one of the true music icons of our times. The uncoolest bespectacled, curly-haired music geek. Yes, you can tell I'm quite a fan. I've been meaning to made a monstrous post that he deserved, covering all of his projects past and present, and I can't put it off any longer. Norwegian musician, the Erlend Oye, is the center of this weekend special.

I first knew Erlend as one half of Kings Of Convenience. The video for 'Misread' was playing on TV and I thought 'Hey, this video's kinda clever! And the music is quite something'. Never did I expect then that this band would become one of my all-time favorites. Kings Of Convenience is like the modern-day Simon & Garfunkel. They're immune to trends and fads, just two friends in Scandinavia that like to play guitars and pen songs in their youth. Erlend's voice is distinctive and easily recognizable, one that can emit many feelings. It's like sitting under the shades of an apple tree in a summer afternoon. It's like a day spent looking through all of your old photo albums and realize how things can change. Their music might be better if listened to alone. Timeless bedroom music...

Kings Of Convenience - Misread (there's a one-take springtime-themed video...)
Kings Of Convenience - I'd Rather Dance With You (there's a video of Erlend Oye teaching ballet kids silly moves...)
Kings Of Convenience - Cayman Islands (there's a boring 'performance' video)

So after the success of the debut 'Quiet Is The New Loud', while Erik was busy studying, Erlend started exploring his other side of musical interests, the electronica side, and soon he collaborated with Royksopp and others, released a stopgap remix album, had his own electronic solo debut, and eventually, a DJ-Kicks mix. None of them appears to be uninspired and pretentious, it really seems that Erlend enjoyed his newfound passion with a genre so opposite to that of KOC, and it's refreshing for me, too, to hear his emotive, wistful voice harmonizing with IDM beats and seas of synths. Here are some choice cuts from those aformentioned albums.

from VERSUS:
Kings Of Convenience - I Don't Know What I Can Save You From (Royksopp Remix)
Kings Of Convenience - Weight Of My Words (Four Tet Remix)

from DJ KICKS:
Erlend Oye - The Black Keys Work (Phonique Remix)

from MELODY A.M.:
Royksopp - Remind Me (Someone Else's Radio Remix) (his best collab ever, IMO)

from UNREST:
Erlend Oye - A Sudden Rush (fave track on the album)

from Limited Edition "7 Single (2006)

Kompis & Erlend Oye - All Ears

In 2006, a band named The Whitest Boy Alive started popping all over the blogosphere, and it took me a while to take notice and find out that it is Erlend's new side project. It was first started as an all-programmed, electronica outfit, but eventually, they decide to strip it all down to a sparse arrangements of just vocals, bass, drums and guitars. The result is 'Dreams', an album for those who had been wondering 'What if KOC gets a bit more dancier?'. There are songs that are awestricken, indeed, and here are a couple of them.

from DREAMS:
The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (you must search the video up on YouTube, the animation is just amazing...)
The Whitest Boy Alive - Fireworks (love this bit: "Patience is just another word for getting old/Resolution's just as impossible as letting go"...)

As a bonus, here are some more rare covers. Be sure to check out the Feist one, if I hadn't known it better, I would have just thought of it as a new, unreleased song of their own.

Erlend Oye - No Train To Stockholm (Lee Hazlewood Cover)
Erlend Oye - Friends And Lovers (Bread Cover)
Kings Of Convenience - Gatekeeper (Feist Live Cover)

Apparently, Erik, the other king, has his own side project, too, which is called Kommode, but do not expect any album to be released soon, as they only got one song up at their MySpace, and both Erik and Erlend have confirmed to be working in their Bergen studio again, for album #3. I'm counting down the days...

If you need some more fantastic live recordings for your download pleasure, this is the place to be. It's quite incredible what they have in stores over there...

Erlend Oye's fan MySpace
Kings Of Convenience's MySpace
The Whitest Boy Alive's MySpace

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