In the early part of this decade, Kings Of Convenience delighted many with their beautifully subtle music. Five years on from their last album, the time was obviously not spent on complex arrangements. The Kings Of Convenience oeuvre remains an uncomplicated affair with the duo of Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Bøe relying mainly on acoustic guitars, their own harmonies and what can only be described as good old-fashioned songwriting.
As with their previous records, ‘Declaration Of Dependence’ only begins to take shape after a few listens. On first hearing, the music sounds merely pleasant then it moves the mildly interesting to the really rather beguiling. Initially light songs such as ‘Me In You’ reveal a tapestry of intricate chords reminiscent of the very early years of Everything But The Girl whilst ‘Renegade’ and ‘My Ship Isn’t Pretty’ form an airy, melancholic middle section. However, no matter how many times I listened to the likes of ‘Rule My World’ or ‘Peacetime Resistance’ (to pick out just a couple of indifferent tracks) it was hard to recall them an hour later.
It may appear harsh to criticise Kings Of Convenience for not maintaining the form of their previous two releases but they set such high standards that a tinge of disappointment is inevitable. Yet even if their simple formula of indie-folk shows signs of drying up, there’s enough good songs here to accompany rainy weekends for a while yet.
Simon And Garfunkel, Everything About The Girl, Nick Drake