Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole is “Norman Bleik” by I Was A King by from their 2009 self-titled album from The Control Group.
If an album, much like a person, can be judged based on the company it keeps, then I Was A King’s most recent album already has a step on the competition. With the help of folks like of Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Smith, Gary Olson, and Emil Nikolaisen, Norwegian songwriter Frode Stromstad and company have pieced together an album that hints not only at the wandering fuzz of early-90s shoegaze, but somehow, someway, intersperses it with the type of alt-country noodling you’d feel more comfortable attributing to bands like Wilco. The track “Norman Bleik” is pleasantly distorted, the sort of sonic grit that has you quietly nodding your head, not covering your ears in pain. This track feels dredged from a nostalgic yearning for the fledgling days of the 1990s, but filtered through the always startling pop sensibilities of Scandinavia. It’s no wonder that a roster of talented and well-known musicians agreed to step onboard to bring this project to light.
I Was A King will hit the U.S. at the end of the month and stop in Seattle at Neumos on June 14. Check their full tour dates on their MySpace page. Here’s the band performing “Wild Boys” in Oslo just a couple of weeks ago: