Norway's Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe, aka Kings of Convenience, were both born in the fall of 1975, and their third studio release reaches us - after a five-year wait - in late October, so the album's autumnal textures feel just right. It's refined, poised, sweater-and-scarf music to settle down with in advance of winter's messy hysteria.
But it also might induce hibernation, or at least a series of long naps. The duo's impeccably harmonized voices are more hushed than ever, gently prodded forward by acoustic guitars that pluck sad, pretty chords. Lyrics focus on soured relationships and cold, numb lovers. Despite the hiatus, there's been little evolution in the duo's sound, and an all-round too-careful, restrained quality permeates the album's static final half.
Still, Boat Behind shows some pep, 24-25 is awfully moving, and Freedom And Its Owner mellowly grooves like Lovers Rock-era Sade.
Top track: Boat Behind