Trackpacking is a recurring series highlighting musicians that inspire me to travel.
When I think of Bergen, Norway, I think of gorgeous fjords, fishing boats in the bay, and colorful houses poking through hillside forests. And the soundtrack in my head is always the same – Bergen natives Kings of Convenience. Perhaps this is a romanticized view of the town – I’ve never been to Bergen – but it’s difficult to see it any other way with the clean whisper-folk melodies of the Kings playing in the background. If you enjoy the sounds of Simon & Garfunkel or Belle & Sebastian, you owe it yourself to check out the men of Kings of Convenience, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe.
The Kings of Convenience sound is stripped down and pure, characterized by melodious, soft voices and harmonious acoustic guitars with the occasional violin, cello, or piano. The rare track is also blessed with the Bjork-like inflections of Feist. For such soft-spoken singers, they are bold in the way they position their clean-cut melodies center stage with little other instrumentation to shroud them. Øye’s voice has a warmth to it that invokes an intimate, cozy mood. Combine these two with anything less than perfect execution and the flaws would ring out conspicuously. And yet all I hear is music made to look easy.
This is relaxing chill-out music, but why does it inspire me to travel? I’ve noticed a similarity in the feeling I get from listening to Kings of Convenience and actually traveling – it’s like a shot of fresh, cold air going straight to the creative centers in my brain. I guess you’d call that inspiring.
Pack These Tracks
The links below use Apture instead of taking you to Youtube as in previous Trackpacking posts. Just hover your mouse over the icon to hear the song.
- Winning A Battle, Losing The War, from Quiet Is The New Loud.
- Homesick, from Riot On An Empty Street.
- Surprise Ice, from Riot On An Empty Street.
- 24-25, from Declaration of Dependence.
- Riot On An Empty Street, from Declaration of Dependence.
Create a Moment
- Early morning in the kitchen making breakfast.
- Late afternoon with wine and good company.
- Wee hours of the morning with someone close to you and a blanket.
What music moves you? Please share it in the comments – I’d love to hear it!
Original photo by roboppy via Flickr under Creative Commons