Album: Kings of Convenience, Declaration of Dependence (Source/Virgin)

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The Independent Culture

Eirik Glambek Boe and Erlend Oye, a guitar-picking duo from Norway, inadvertently emerged as leaders of what was briefly known as the New Acoustic Movement with their 2001 debut Quiet Is the New Loud.

Their third album, recorded after a five-year hiatus, highlights exactly how wrong all the intervening imitators got it. Declaration of Dependence exudes a heartbreaking humility. ("Rule My World" must be the world's gentlest critique of US/UK foreign policy.) It is, in KoC's words, "a quiet protest against loneliness".

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