Former Norwegian Royalty

I'm the King of Eight and I'm here to state that everything here must number eight. The guards, for instance, by the gate, must always number exactly eight.

The latest in the never-ending stream of cool new bands from Scandinavia is Norway's noisy janglers I Was the King. For all intents and purposes the duo of Frode Strømstad, King at Marlboroughwho's a Norwegian indie gadabout and owner of Hype City Records) and Anne Lise Frøkedal (who also fronts her own excellent band, Harrys Gym).  The record was made in Brooklyn at the Ladybug Transistor's Marlborough Farms studio with big help from head Ladybug Gary Olsen and fellow Norwegian Emil Nikolaisen of Serena Maneesh. Sufjan Stevens, who is longtime pals with the Nikolaisen, helps out on a few tracks, as does Danielson.

The self-titled album's 15 tracks, only one of which makes it past three minutes, owe a lot to '60s psych pop, bands that loved '60s psych-pop (take your pick from Elephant 6), with a healthy dose of skwonky noise a la Broder Daniel, Dinosaur Jr. and Teenage Fanclub. The latter gets name-checked, punnily, on I Was the King's current single, "Norman Bleik":

MP3: I Was a King – Norman Bleik

MP3: I Was a King – Breath

Out now in Norway and other parts over there, I Was a King hits American shores April 7 via The Control Group (home of Figurines and El Perro del Mar) and the band is promising a U.S. tour this summer.

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