Norway: a country of intense natural beauty, endless sunshine and the highest standards of living in the world. No wonder that I Was A King make music that’s so happy the songs themselves are fit to burst, right?
Well, kind of. I get the feeling that I Was A King are a little… well, bored of all the good times, and are trying out this whole ‘miserable’ thing, you know – to see what it’s like. Naturally they partly fail, but that’s no bad thing, resulting, as it does, in songs that throb with bliss and only tinged with sadness.
A pop song with ‘hit’ writ large all over it, Norman Bleik‘s melody is a lightly trodden dance straight into Teenage Fanclub territory – hence the name – and it’s chiming, charming and purer than mountain water. Norman Bleik isn’t the first song to press Byrds-y wistfulness into My Bloody Valentine‘s warm blizzard of noise, but it is the first for a long time to do so this successfully.
Best Wishes mines the same rich vein of dreamy, fuzzy melody, a songs whose saccharine stylings are tempered with washes of well-measured blissed-out Shoegaze guitars.
I Was A King meld icy Scandinavian sweetness, duvet-cosy feedback and (whisper it) Britpop choruses to form their own musical fjord. Cleverer than you’ll initially give it credit for, sadder than you’d dare hope, and drenched with sunny yearning. Delightful.
PS: They’re playing at the Ja Ja Ja Scandi-showcase in London in a week’s time. Don’t miss them.
Photography By Silje Andersen