Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe, Norway's new millennial Simon & Garfunkel are back, issuing a DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE five life- and world-altering years after RIOT ON AN EMPTY STREET.
This time around, Kings of Convenience are Feist-less but lyrically feisty. DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE is an album that seems open to interpretation on at least three different levels - personal, artistic, and global.
In addition to the album's title, songs such "Rule My World," "Freedom and Its Owner," "Peacetime Resistance" and "Scars on Land" suggest that the Kings have been thinking much about a world dominated by a single global superpower. If so, they sound less than impressed. "Only someone who's morally superior/can possibly and honestly deserve/to rule my world."
At the same time, maybe these are just metaphors to reinforce the fact that love remains a battlefield, as in songs such as "Mrs Cold" and "Me In You."
"Boat Behind" could be about two lost lovers or two childhood friends getting back to work together: "So we meet again after several years... of separation/Moving on moving around/Did we spend this time chasing the other's tail?"
As with Quiet Is the New Loud and Riot on an Empty Street, this new album is gentle, catchy, and packed with songs that are real "growers." Played low, it's delightful background music. Louder or through headphones, its lyrical punch is clearer, with sad-wise lyrics giving a melancholy edge to its summery sound.
Ultimately, however you interpret these songs, Kings of Convenience recognize the simple truth that in today's globally connected, interdependent world, actions have consequences. And relationships matter.