“[I Was A King] confidently weaves together shoe gaze, indie rock, and pop to create a product that can appeal to both the cynical and the cheerful.” – NPR
“[Half-handed Cloud] clearly knows what he’s doing and has a specific effect in mind… great attention to detail.” – Pitchfork
|Stream I Was A King’s “Happy” (Feat. Robyn Hitchcock and Emil Nikolaisen)
This latest 7″ in Oslo-based label Splendour’s split series features two friends and collaborators that find themselves rubbing shoulders with the likes of Daniel Smith and Sufjan Stevens. I Was A King bring us their bright 60’s-pop style single “Happy,” featuring Robyn Hitchcock and Emil Nikolaisen (Serena-Maneesh). They also cover Half-handed Cloud’s “Baby Moon.” Half-Handed Cloud offers up a 5 track EP entitled “Blood Brothers” in four-and-a-half-minutes. The manic and lightning quick EP takes a look at the story of several Christian Missionaries in different geographical and historical contexts. It also includes a cover of I Was a King’s “California.” The split 7″ will be released this week on January 10th. Splendour will also be releasing diskjokke’s limited edition “Now Dance” 7″ single, due out on January 24th. More details to follow.
I Was A King
Hailing from Egersund, Norway, Frode Strømstad, the mastermind behind I Was A King, is becoming an accidental maestro of curious juxtapositions: sweet and sour, timeless brevity, easy chaos. Unaffected and honeyed voices (Strømstad and Harrys Gym front woman Anne Lise Frøkedal) float through a maelstrom of garage-guitar-fuzz and duct-taped drum kits, and melodies that seem to contain forever are wrapped in tiny packages of three minutes or less. What started as a series of bedroom recordings became a recording project between two childhood friends (Strømstad and Emil Nikolaisen of Serena Maneesh). The result has been dubbed “royally brilliant” by NME. This is music that is full of air and rush, cut free from heartless, cold mechanics, rushing into the very center of joy. It’s boarding an old roller-coaster; the tracks creak just enough under the weight of the cars to add an element of danger but you can’t stop smiling, and the whole affair is over much too soon.