Have to say that I started off the week eh-ing about I Was a King, the Norwegian pop band whose Old Friends album is coming out this week on Sounds Familyre. It was a little too sugary, Beatles-y pop for me the first couple of times through, and Frode Strømstad’s voice is about as high and cute and ingratiatingly melodic as anything this side of Robert Schneider. But listen long enough and all sorts of weird bits start to emerge, the musical/saw and banjo duel that ushers in “Learn to Fly,” the slanted rock aggression at the start of “The Wylde Boys” and, even on tightly harmonized, hooky “Nightwalking,” a bizarre eruption of orchestral dissonance in the midst of well constructed verses and choruses. So, maybe Old Friends is not quite as stultifyingly familiar as it seems on first listen and maybe it’s worth a second and a third.
Here’s “Nightwalking” via Stereogum, so you can decide for yourself.