Norwegian musician Erlend Oye’s output reads like a map of the Musical World. Here’s 5 of my favourite tracks.
Erlend Oye – Sheltered Life/Fine Day (Acapella) [DJ Kicks Mix)
A smooth slice of calm techno, with Oye singing Miss Jane’s extremely haunting 1983 acapella track, It’s a “Fine Day” over the top. The result, a beautiful juxtaposition of both tracks. Oye’s distinct vocal style can take the creepiness out of any said track. This album, part of the DJ Kicks mix series is a beautiful mix of Electronica, pop, covers and eclectic solo tracks, many unreleased at the time. A highly recommended purchase.
The Whitest Boy Alive – Golden Cage [Dreams]
Mr Oye formed the Whitest Boy Alive upon moving to Berlin in 2003. Many know this song due to the uplifting, sun drenched remix delivered by Fred Falke. This track slow burns like a summer beach session. Distinctive WBA guitar tone throughout the chords, backed by a funky bassline reminiscent of Daft Punk, that threatens to outshine every other instrument on the track, yet always keeps its place and Oye’s intimate and monotonic vocals, distinct and not moving too far in terms of pitch or tone. Enjoyed most on a Balcony, Summers afternoon with a beverage in hand and friends in abundance.
The Whitest Boy Alive – Courage [Rules]
Much like most WBA songs, those same distinct chords, snare powered rhythm keeping those drums to a subtle yet pleasant level, synth stabs and of course Oye’s monotonic urge to show some courage, which comes across as pleasant advice rather than a disheartening shot at your personality.
Kings of Convenience – Peacetime Resistance [Declaration of Dependence]
A group Oye formed with childhood friend Eirik Glambek Boe, KOC create beautiful duel acoustic guitar compositions with folk and pop leanings. Listening to them conjures up visions of tropical islands or lush European summer vacations. Peacetime Resistance comes from my favourite KOC album. Another finger picking acoustic beauty, this time coupled with a catchy violin. Sweet, beautiful and an absolute joy to listen to the guys’ soft, delicate vocals. Subtle, lush and fresh.
Erlend Oye – La Prima Estate [Single]
Oye’s music is influenced by where he lives. In this case, La Prima Estate (which translates to ‘The First Summer’) was written in Oye’s new found home on the Italian island of Sicily. Sung entirely in Italian, this is a slice of pure pop gem, sounding like an update of a classic Italian Pop Song from the 60’s or 70’s, in the form of Adriano Celentano or the like. Extremely catchy, summery and a flute melody that will not escape your head. The song is about Oye’s friend Lucia and her graduation. If you ever want to learn a little Italian, listen to this track. The most enjoyable Language lesson anyone could ever have.