The concept is simple: Two harmonic voices, two guitars and a now gradually growing catalogue of folk-pop songs that are equally soft, gentle and bossa-flirtatious.
Kings of Convenience have many times been called the Norwegian answer to Simon & Garfunkel. With great skills in songwriting and attention to melodies without all those unnecessary ornaments, it’s easy to nod in recognition to such a comparison.
The band knows just how to keep an audience silent and listening with great attention. If they don't sing along to the songs, that is.
Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe met in Bergen in the mid-90s. They quickly found a common interest in music. Throughout the 2000s, they created great intimate moments with a handful of albums, with Quiet Is the New Loud (2001) and Riot on an Empty Street (2004) as true highlights.
Kings of Convenience conquered the top spot on the national chart and quickly made a name for themselves internationally. Their acoustic sounds were in perfect timing with the prevailing 'new acoustic movement' as it was coined by NME in the UK. The purity of their Balearic-sunlight melodies, infused with the elegance of bossa nova, set them apart from many of their pale English counterparts. And they even made the geeky appearance with wool jumpers and oversized spectacles look cool!
After the band's third record in 2009, the project stalled. Erlend Øye moved to Berlin and cultivated new music projects (including The Whitest Boy Alive who will also perform at this year's Roskilde Festival!).
It took a full 12 years before The Kings of Convenience were ready with a new album. Not that they hadn't been busy working on new material. But they took their time. The duo spent five years recording in many different cities around the world. The goal was to find just the right mood and vibe to give a magic spark to the songs. They succeeded (just look at the following great reviews here, here and here). The record sounds like a natural follow-up as if the band has never been away. A mini documentary about the making of the record shows some of the artistic struggles – watch it here.
The last time Kings of Convenience performed at Roskilde Festival was in 2010. They played on the Arena stage in front of their largest audience ever. Now the year is 2022, and it will be like a true homecoming when the Norwegian duo once again steps on the stage at Roskilde Festival.