Introducing… King Midas

Our Introducing... series focuses on artists who we think are worth shouting about. Here we have Norwegian cloak'n'dagger art-pop peddlers, King Midas.

Posted on Mar 11th, 2014 in Features and Interviews, King Midas, Fysisk Format / By Larry Day
Introducing… King Midas Here at Bearded we aim to shed light on acts who don't necessarily have giant labels or muscley budgets waving banners behind them. This Introducing series will focus on artists who we think are great, regardless of how much hype surrounds them or where their origin story lays.

Name: King Midas
Location: Norway
Genre: Art-pop
Similar Artists: Mew, Phoenix
Contact: Facebook
Events: New album Rosso released March 17th on Fysisk Format

There's not many bands that can stake the same claims as Norse art-pop outfit King Midas. Though basically everything they touch turns to gold (gold- geddit?), since the early '90s, they've managed to sustain a low-profile, so much so that when they surreptitiously vanished a few years back, rumours circulated in the Norwegian underground scenes as to their potential whereabouts: “some said the band was disbanded and gone bankrupt in the vegetable business, some said they paid their various debts by selling their instruments and that they’ve been making an acapella triple-album.”

Interesting stuff, to say the least.

For their upcoming full-length Rosso, King Midas eschew the glam-rock and experimental pop of previous LPs in favour of cutting-edge electro-indie. They dabble in earthquake basslines, the kind that shatter sternums and reverberate ribs until you spew your guts; avante-garde melodies formed from panpipes, 'Billie Jean'-esque phraselets, Edvard Griegisms and baffling brass passages. Whilst definitely accessible, it's an entirely unique brand of noise, rarely adhering to any genre or style, instead opting to sheer off into the kingdom of strange. It's taken six years to record their first international release, but these Scandinavian sonic warlocks haven't compromised the quality over that time. It's a frenetic, expansive, indulgent record that'll sap your spare time like Flappy Bird (that's already a dated reference, isn't it?).

King Midas may not have swollen fanbases in mainland Europe or the US or anywhere else outside of their home region, but there's no doubt that will change with the release of Rosso. It's a bold, powerful album, crammed with disparate elements and cherrypicked genre hallmarks (see if you can glimpse the sampled monkey howls), that together really shouldn't work, but somehow pull together to become more than the sum of its parts. King Midas may have once been denizens of the shroud, lurking in disguises and turning mythical, but this party-starting stab of Intelligentsia will make that a thing of the past. King Midas have taken a hefty while to get this far, but it's set to pay dividends imminently.