a song for someone who needs somewhere to long for
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


The Kings of Convenience have a new record coming out. It's called Riot on an Empty Street, and it contains, at the very least, two lovely songs. Here they are.

The Kings of Convenience - "Homesick". As heralds of the 'new acoustic' movement, as two gentle-voiced fellows with acoustic guitar(s), the Kings of Convenience were inevitably compared to Simon & Garfunkel. Compared, compared, and compared again. While the argument could be made for the band's first two discs, Riot on an Empty Street does not sound like a Simon and Garfunkel album. Erlend Oye's been too busy listening to old (and new) records, folding them together on the decks. The Simon & Garfunkel analogies will keep coming, however, because "Homesick" is the first track on the album and it's the one that all critics will hear, even if they skip the rest in order to make their deadlines. "Homesick" is an unabashed ode to Paul and Art: I recognize it in the vocal harmony, that wonderful familiar interval. I recognize it in the words ("I can't stop listening to the sounds / of two soft voices / blended in perfection / from the reels of this record that I found"). I recognize it in the spirit of the song, the loneliness that leads to progress - the path of a boxer, perhaps, on his way to America. Taking up what you long for. How can something so simple say so much?

The Kings of Convenience - "The Build Up". Twice on the album, the Kings of Convenience are joined by a third voice. And the third voice (hold your breath!) is Leslie Feist. "Know How" is a glad shuffling shrug which doesn't quite get interesting until Leslie joins in, casting a chill with her five-second solo. "The Build Up," however, gives a clearer taste of Leslie's talents. (Clearer like raindrops tumbling over a lake, raindrops dangling on the ends of pine-needles, raindrops flying from the wheels of your bike, that silver black and red.) Astonishingly, Erlend lets Feist end the album, he lets her rising-falling song linger. This is the Kings of Convenience without their strummy crutches, without the network of golden notes. Instead: there's a draft.

The album comes out in the UK on June 21st. Do buy it.

For those of you in seek of yet more advance-leaked music, TTIKTDA's got Polyphonic Spree which, despite the improvement (bigger! more glad! more like the Flaming Lips!) still leaves me flat. I concede that in person I might be blown away (again, see the Lips), but on record I hear only a bunch of huffing and puffing.

Mystery & Misery introduced me to The Fatales, who are a revivifying indie rock band. Yeah Yeah Yeahs + Harvey Danger. Listen to "Where'd You Get Those Shoes".

Posted by Sean at June 8, 2004 1:25 AM

oh Homesick is far too Simon and Garfunkely for me - i think i now realise that i only ever liked them cos i fancied the dark haired one.

Posted by jed at June 8, 2004 4:50 PM

Thanks for the Kings of Convenience MP3s, although for me the real discovery might be Leslie Feist, whom I've not heard of.

Posted by Anonymous at June 8, 2004 5:41 PM

always wanted to hear more Kings of Conv....thanks for that. but i agree the first song may jump over the line of tribute to mimicry. not sure though. makes me want to listen to "Old Friends".

Posted by scandal face at June 8, 2004 6:37 PM

love it.

i find nothing wrong in exploring the harmonies and acoustics of S&G. that shit is beautiful.

Posted by robot mark at June 8, 2004 11:03 PM

thanks for the new KOC stuff - man, usually i listen to some form of loud rock, hip hop, or electronic music, but then other times i really need some nice quiet acoustic songs to take the edge off, and these work so well

Posted by robot blair at June 9, 2004 12:08 PM

Well, you just created a new KoC fan by posting 'The Build Up'. Thanks for that. :)

Posted by merckeda at June 9, 2004 1:10 PM

Wow. I completely missed that Leslie Feist was on this K.O.C. track - glad I caught that and very glad you posted it - sixeyes.blogspot.com

Posted by Alan W at June 10, 2004 9:47 AM

Oh, great, just what I need. *Another* album that needs to be bought this summer... Thanks, Sean.

Posted by Andrew at June 10, 2004 12:52 PM

Ahhh Feist. I'll be seeing her this Thursday when she hits the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg. I've posted some tracks from "Let It Die" at www.pop77/com/blog

Frank's also posted a review of the Toronto show at www.chromewaves.net

Posted by chris at June 14, 2004 11:53 AM

I loved the first Kings of Convenience album, but thought it would be enough. More of the same would be overdoing it I thought. But you convinced me I should buy the new one, so I did, and it's great. Thanks.

Posted by Phil Gyford at July 23, 2004 5:29 AM

I just used your site to look up the name of this band because I wanted to put them on my "sleepytime" playlist, couldn't remember their name, but could remember that I'd first found them through here and that you'd mentioned the inevitable Simon & Garfunkel comparison.

So thank you. yeah. Information, usefulness.


Posted by Tuwa at July 12, 2007 12:16 AM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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