Erlend Øye may not be an instantly recognisable name, but he’s a Norwegian musical legend. In my eyes, the Norwegian Jarvis Cocker!
An integral part of the Bergen Wave, his career has ranged from folk to full-blown electronica, perhaps my two favourite genres of music. He was the driving force behind Kings of Convenience and The Whitest Boy Alive as well as releasing a successful solo album and collaborating on numerous other projects.
“Quiet is the New Loud” by Kings of Convenience was a major part of my soundtrack to University life. Its quiet, melodic, relaxing tones helped see me through some very stressful times and I’m pretty sure marked the birthplace of my current love of folk music. Listening to Toxic Girl calms me down even to this day!
He’s delved in and out of electronica over the years, helped no doubt by the years he spent in Berlin. Some of his solo work is heavily influenced by this experience, yet some is even more delicate than Kings of Convenience. A perfect example of his solo work is Sudden Rush, with more than a nod to Royksopp and a video directed by Jarvis Cocker.
The most well known of his side projects was his contribution to the DJ-Kicks series, which has also seen albums from Hot Chip, Chromeo, Tiga and Stereo MCs amongst others. Erlend’s DJ-Kicks album was remixed by himself and features his vocals on many of the tracks.
His latest project is Whitest Boy Alive, perhaps best described as a beatier version of his previous work. Their self penned description is:
the whitest boy alive started as an electronic dance music project in 2003. it has slowly developed into a band without any programmed elements
It doesn’t develop the sound much from Kings of Convenience or his solo work, but it’s well worth a listen all the same.