Songs You May Have Missed #731

Kings of Convenience: “I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From” (2001)

From Kevin Maidment’s album review:

Although Kings of Convenience are keen to play down any blatantly self-evident similarities to Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, and Belle and Sebastian, the winsome and placidity-favoring Norwegian duo of Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe have probably already got the subway buskers of tomorrow lining up to lend an ear. Studentlike in appearance (one of them has a duffel coat and John Major specs) and unashamed to softly impart such nonrock lyrics as “put the kettle on” and “using The Guardian as a shield to cover my thighs against the rain,” the weightless and airy acoustic guitar muse of Quiet Is the New Loud isn’t a million miles from Radiohead’s “Nice Dream” or Pink Floyd’s “If” with a subliminal swish of bossa-nova rhythm. A contentedly purring cello, a plaintive touch of piano, and the muffled sound of a trumpet add necessary sonic depth, and the results are as pleasant and civilized as a little light conversation over tea in the drawing room. But what a shame they chose to name themselves after a lavatory.

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Ten Artists Sounding Uncannily Similar to Other Artists


Welcome to our little homage to musical homage. The following ten artists, whether by willful attempt or sheer happenstance, managed to pull off amazingly credible imitations of more notable musical acts. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We’ll let you decide:

Dave Kerzner: “Stranded”

This Dark Side-era Pink Floyd sound-alike couldn’t possibly have happened by accident. Kerzner’s 2014 New World album, though it literally and figuratively shows its influences on its sleeve, is actually an outstanding progressive rock record in its own right. But “Stranded”, more than any song I’ve ever heard, shows an artist who’s assimilated the Floydian musical vocabulary.



Lissie: “Further Away (Romance Police)”

Late-70’s Fleetwood Mac is revisited by singer-songwriter Lissie, complete with the Lindsey Buckingham guitar and Stevie Nicks vocals.


Ali Thomson: “Take a Little Rhythm”

You may remember this #15 hit from 1980. If so, you almost surely thought it was Paul McCartney because it perfectly mimicked the sound of his late-70’s hits, not to mention the Tom Scott sax solo of “Listen to What the Man Said” and the prominence of the bass guitar in the mix. And also because who the hell is Ali Thomson?


Jeremy Fisher: “Scar That Never Heals”

With all the stories floating around about Paul Simon cribbing musically from other artists it’s good to see another singer so “inspired” by Paul. Or so it sounds to me.



Kingdom Come: “Get it On”

This one’s just brazen. From John Bonham’s thunderous drum sound to Robert’s Plant’s wail to a riff that, to say the very least, “evokes” Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”…come on, guys. I mean, that sound is taken. Get your own.


Tyler Ramsey: “Stay Gone”

Neil Young is channeled on this one, though it’s not clear if Tyler Ramsey consciously does so. I hear echoes here of some of young Neil’s early 70’s tunes such as “Winterlong”.



Band of Horses: “Long Vows”

Again with the Neil Young! Band of horses sound like they got hold of a Zuma outtake here. In a good way.


UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Simon and Garfunkel Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Kings of Convenience: “Homesick”

The Norwegian duo known as Kings of Convenience capture the close harmonies and intimate spare sound of “Scarborough Fair”-period Simon & Garfunkel on this one. Or as their own words in this very song describe it “two soft voices, blended in perfection”.


Accept: “Balls to the Wall”

It seems in the world of 80’s metal you could scrape out a bit of a career merely by imitating an iconic act. Since their red hot career has presumably cooled off by now (unless like Spinal Tap they’re enjoying a revival in Japan) I wonder if it’s occurred to no-hit wonder Accept–and to the previously mentioned Kingdom Come for that matter–that there’s always a living to be made as a tribute band? Who could better fill the AC/DC void now that Brian Johnson has called it quits?



Tin Tin: “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”

In case you’re not conversant with late-60’s pop, or old enough to remember that the Bee Gees had quite a successful career before anyone had ever heard of disco, Aussie duo Tin Tin was pretty much exactly what the Gibb brothers sounded like from about 1968 to ’72. It’s not a shock that Maurice Gibb produced the quaint “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”, Tin Tin’s only U.S. top 40 hit and a long-forgotten chestnut. It carries the stately sound of contemporaneous Bee Gees hits such as “Lonely Days” and “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You”.

Recommended Albums #57


Kings of Convenience: Riot On An Empty Street (2004)

Erlend Øye and Erik Glambek Bøe are Norwegian indie folk duo Kings of Convenience, part of the short-lived “new acoustic movement” of the previous decade which brought such artists as Damien Rice, Turin Brakes and Starsailor to the fore.

Their 2001 album’s title, Quiet is the New Loud, practically became the movement’s rallying cry. Riot…followed a three year gap between releases which saw Øye experimenting with dance pop before returning to his acoustic folk roots here.

kings ofThis album builds on the lilting, appealing acoustic folk sound of the earlier release while expanding the sonic palate with well-placed strings, cello, horns, banjo and upright bass.

“Homesick” echoes the sound of Simon & Garfunkel’s “two soft voices blended in perfection”. The existential confusion of “Misread” wafts across on a gentle bossa nova rhythm.

Perhaps the album’s most affecting song, “Sorry or Please” finds its protagonist, recently released from prison, reconnecting with the old neighborhood and a potential new flame. The coy, clumsy, tentative first steps of a nascent love affair are articulated by both the lyric and the wistful trumpet-and-banjo solo (an unlikely but effective pairing). Exquisite.

Five weeks in a prison,
I made no friends.
There’s more time to be done, but
I’ve got a week to spend.
I didn’t pay much attention first time around,
But now you’re hard not to notice,
Right here in my town.
Where the stage of my old life
Meets the cast of the new.
Tonights actors… me and you.

Each day is taking us closer,
While drawing the curtains to close.
This far, or further, I need to know.
Your increasingly long embraces,
Are they saying sorry or please?
I don’t know what’s happening,
Help me.

Through the streets,
On the corners,
There’s a scent in the air.
I ask you out and I lead you.
I know my way around here.
There’s a bench I remember,
And on the way there I find that the movements you’re making,
Are mirrored in mine.
And your hand is held open,
Intentionally, or just what I want to see?

Your increasingly long embraces,
Are they saying sorry or please?
I don’t know what’s happening, help me.
I don’t normally beg for assistance,
I rely on my own eyes to see,
But right now they make no sense to me,
Right now you make no sense to me.

This is a remarkable album of gentle folk with a sweet nostalgic feel. It makes a persuasive case for the power of quiet music.

Listen to: “Homesick”

Listen to: “Misread”

Listen to: “Cayman Islands”

Listen to: “Stay Out of Trouble”

Listen to: “Sorry or Please”

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