There’s something to be said for songs about calm domesticity and the identifiable everydayness of just being alive. This is what Norwegian indie-folksters, Kings of Convenience concern themselves with.
Okay, most of their songs are actually about girls - but then, all the best songs, all the really interesting songs are about girls. ‘Failure‘ though, seems to be from the viewpoint of a girl, walking home in the rain with her significant other. A slight, wistful, pastoral tale of looking on the bright side: "Failure is always the best way to learn, retracing the steps until you know, have no fear, your wounds will heal". It’s raining now, but the storm clouds will soon pass.
Taken from the superb 'Quiet is the New Loud' album, 'Failure' is beefed up, as a single, with added happy/sad brass parping, complementing Erlend and Erik’s warm, Simon & Garfunkel style harmonising. The sumptuous singing and instrumentation make KOC the perfect soundtrack for those summer days where don’t want to do anything but sit under a shady tree and watch the blossom fall.
It may all sound like effortless, acoustic breeziness, but it’s deceptively complex - if it was so easy, then this is how Starsailor would sound.
CD2 deserves a special mention. It features a cover-version curio: a brave but, ultimately - unsurprisingly - unsuccessful version of the mighty Joy Division song 'The Eternal' recorded in 1996 when the band were called Skog. Yes, Skog.
Better is their sweet live version of Tom Petty’s 'Free Falling'. Just two voices and an acoustic guitar make this a sublime treat. By far the best version of this song I’ve heard. Towards the end what I thought was a choir began lowly singing backing vocals. it soon became apparent, however, that it was, in fact, the Rome audience! Seems that KOC‘s fans are in fine a voice as the band themselves.
Anyway. 'Failure: a success.
7David Merryweather's Score