As of late, Kings of Convenience have been getting more attention from their work with Canadian singer-songwriter Feist than from their ten-year career. It can be sort of easy to overshadow the duo: their melancholy whispers and subtle finger picking is a brand of indie that refuses to give in to a new movement toward more electronic beats. But like Bøe says, getting attention has never really been the main focus.
“It’s funny, we never feel like we’re trying to get popular and for some reason, that seems to be the reason why we become popular everywhere,” he says. “It’s the fact that we’re not selling out and we’re not doing everything we can to get on TV or get an interview.”
Kings of Convenience’s latest album, 2009’s “Declaration of Dependence,” echoes a commitment to their craft, with a minimalist approach and hushed lyrics that say it is better to be together than to be alone.
Bøe and Øye have been making music since the two were sixteen, growing up and learning guitar together in Bergen, Norway. Though there have been considerable gaps of inactivity between albums and projects—spurring recent speculation of a breakup—they continue to move forward at their own pace.
“We need to spend quite a lot of time apart from each other, which I think is healthy because we develop a lot together and we also develop when we do our side projects,” Bøe says. “To me, it feels like the way my music should sound: it should be doubled by Erlend’s harmony and when I play guitar, I’m always hearing his guitar solos and melodies connected to my playing. Musically, we have this lifelong relationship where we need each other.”
The band is considerably more popular in their homeland and across Europe, but Bøe says success is measured differently in America. He reflects on this after their recent tour across Asia, where he says, “people know us because they’ve seen us on MTV.”
“Here in America, it seems like our videos are very rarely shown and we’re not so much a mainstream phenomenon,“ he says. “People who come to our shows are people who love music and who read music magazines and music books, so it seems our position is very easy in America than in other places.” (Dee Fabbricatore)
June 10 at Metro, 3730 North Clark, 7pm, $30.