Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Erlend Øye 


Wednesday, Feb 12 2003
The last 15 years saw the rise of the "Unplugged" phenomenon, in which rockers like Nirvana and Oasis got all sensitive with their acoustic instruments. Now, Norway's Erlend Øye is moving in the opposite direction. As half of Kings of Convenience, the singer/songwriter initially released two records of mopey hushedness, spearheading the "quiet is the new loud" movement with the 2001 album of the same name. But on his first solo disc, Unrest, Øye embraces the digital world, enlisting 10 different electronic producers from across the globe to augment his tunes.

Most of the contributors favor spare, simple elements to back Øye's delicate voice. Danish-born Norwegian transplant Björn Torske uses a snappy piano hook and a squelchy electronic bass line to make "The Talk" swing, while France's Minizza anchors "The Athlete" with treated clarinets. "Ghost Trains," produced by Morgan Geist of hot American duo Metro Area, sounds like the kind of warm and melodic electro-pop that Steve Masters used to play on Live 105 back in the late '80s, when artists like Cabaret Voltaire and Fortran 5 ruled his rotation.

Not all the collaborations work, however. The track with Atlanta hip hop scientist Prefuse 73, "Every Party (Has a Winner and a Loser)," recalls a cheesy soundtrack to an ancient video game. But with several countries and styles represented, it's amazing how cohesive Unrest sounds. It helps that Øye seems more confident and soulful with the digital backing -- you can almost imagine him scoring with the ladies, rather than whining about being ignored. Sometimes it's necessary to speak up if you want people to hear how good you are.

About The Author

Tamara Palmer


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"