Sunday, 28 September 2008

resolution just as impossible as letting go

Trying to see The Whitest Boy Alive at Melt! Festival was an utter catastrophe. For those of you unfamiliar with the group, they are the most recent project of Erlend Øye (with glass of milk above), otherwise known for his sterling contributions to Kings of Convenience alongside fellow Norwegian Eirik Glambek Bøe.

I first became aware of Erlend Øye through the Kitsune Maison 3 compilation, which uses Done With You by The Whitest Boy Alive to round off proceedings beautifully. The first that will strike you about their debut album, Dreams, is the utter simplicity of it all. Øye has a way of singing that is so simple, almost entirely free from self-doubt, that feels so wonderfully reassuring. This is matched with a lyrical poise that allows him to delve into standard songwriting subject matter of love, loss and lust with a grace and lightness that is unrivalled.

Whilst his work with Kings of Convenience was marked predominantly by acoustic guitars and soft vocals that surrounded warm, fuzzy lullabies, The Whitest Boy Alive pack more of a punch whilst retaining the warmth from before. This is partly due to their being, as opposed to a duo. The evolution of the project is worth mentioning, as it started as an electronic dance project but Øye and his Berlin-based companions slowly grew frustrated with the lack of spontaneity forced upon them through the sole use of electronics and established a more traditional lineup. I get the feeling the whole album was probably recorded in one room with lots of analogue equipment.

This original intention still shines through when you examine the structure of the songs that rise and fall in a dance orientated way - this is not your average guitar album. When stripped of all instrumentation, the vocals sound magnificent when sprinkled with with the filter-house wizardry that is Fred Falke.

Check out the interview below by Tim Noakes (Dazed and Confused's main music man) and listen to the tracks below.

The Whitest Boy Alive - Fireworks

The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (Fred Falke remix)

///visit their webshop and buy Dreams


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