The Whitest Boy Alive
Norway rock outfit The Kings of Convenience must have enjoyed their visit to Hong Kong in March. Norwegian singer-guitarist Erlend Oye (pictured) is returning to Hitec, this time with his down-tempo dance act, The Whitest Boy Alive.
A little bit Hot Chip, a little Andrew Bird, and a fair helping of slow funk, The Whitest Boy alive redefines mellow and adds a twist of twang. The four-piece's latest album, Rules (2009), is a chilled-out dawdle with few exhilarating moments but plenty of cool charm.
Oye's spare vocals paddle slowly around lagoons of lo-fi synths and chopped electric guitar chords while airy spaces in the sound do as much as anything to fill out the vibe. The album is a fair follow-up to the better-received Dreams (2006), in which TWBA's neat and spartan pop enjoyed the benefit of novelty, but the oh-so-restrained sound does ultimately test one's powers of concentration.
The band does, apparently, up the ante in a live setting, and Oye's pitch-perfect voice is a beauty to behold alongside his nerdily happy white-man ways. But don't show up on March 17 expecting to rock out with your Glock out - unless, of course, your weapon turns out to be a glockenspiel.