An introduction is in order. This is I Was a King
: a Norwegian rock band that filter swaggering 70's guitar lashings (with just the right essence of glam coating its' surface) through the more modern screens of today's indie rock for an awfully confident and forceful kind of listen. Got it? Good! Now forget everything we just told you...because their performance at the Guest Apartment is nothing of the sort.
Instead, Frode Stromstad
and Anne Lise Frokedal
mesh delicate vocals, their harmonies divine, with some glowing acoustic work for a tender, three song set that falls nothing short of charming as it cycles through. To learn the pair call Norway home is not be surprising. This is the cure for the jack frost blues; cold weather comfort that's a refuge from the ice, the snow, the wind, and the rain. Performed here, "So Shy", "Your Name is Wild" and "Step Aside" sound something like a subtle batch of color painted across the canvas of a bleak, winter sky. It's not so intense, it's understated. But pressed against a dominating grey context, is vivid and pops. Something sort of beautiful in the void of dead weather. - David Pitz
Indie rock outfit I Was a King was formed in Oslo, Norway by singer/songwriter/guitarist Frode Strmstad in 2006. Taking a cue from stalwart, 90s shoegaze acts like Teenage Fanclub and My Bloody Valentine, as well as lo-fi, power pop icons Guided by Voices and psychedelic rock royalty the Creation and Strawberry Alarm Clock, Stromstad released I Was a King's debut Losing Something Good for Something Better in 2007. The album received accolades in both its Scandinavian homeland, as well as in the British press. 2009's eponymous sophomore effort featured appearances by Emil Nikolaisen (Serena Maneesh), Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Smith (Danielson Famile), and Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor). - all music