I Was A King: 'Golden Years'

I Was A King 300

Five-piece Norwegian band, I Was A King Silje Andersen hide caption

itoggle caption Silje Andersen

It's hard to believe the Norwegian group I Was a King has only been around for a few years. The group's self-titled album confidently weaves together shoe gaze, indie rock, and pop to create a product that can appeal to both the cynical and the cheerful. In addition to having a well-developed sound that exceeds its age as a band, on just its second album, the band has also already collaborated with indie darlings Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Smith of Danielson, and Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor in addition to fellow Norwegian artist Emil Nikolaisen of Serena Maneesh.

To record I Was A King, the band left Oslo and headed to Brooklyn. Frontman Frode Strømstad admits that the band didn't initially expect to get a whole album out of their short three-day recording stint at Marlborough Farms. But thanks to some "crazy and inspiring sessions," I Was A King left with far more songs than would comfortably fit on an EP.

That said, clocking in at just over thirty minutes, I Was a King has a surprisingly short run time for fifteen tracks, which means the group knows how to craft a tight pop song. "It's All You," the album's longest cut doesn't even hit the four minute mark, but it has many of the traits of an epic song, with its lengthy instrumental introduction, soaring piano melodies, and lyrics about love, longing, and loss.

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