Sure, a cup of coffee might be a pretty good morning pick-me-up, but take it from us — skip the caffeine today and listen to Kid Astray’s new album instead. After years of touring and dropping bouncy, sunshine-drenched tracks such as “The Mess” upon the world, the Norwegian sextet has finally woven their joyful sound into one ultra-polished debut album. Featuring old favorites like 2014’s “Easy Way Out” as well as newer numbers, Home Before the Dark is a heartfelt chronicle about growing up. But, while it would be easy to become overloaded with nostalgia, this LP instead sets an upbeat tone with awesome dance-pop melodies and catchy hooks. Just before the album dropped (today!), we quizzed Kid Astray guitarist Even Steine about perfecting their sound and Norway travel tips.
First things first: Tell us about your new album!
With pleasure! We recorded some of the songs in Liverpool with Tord Knudsen from The Wombats in late 2013, and about half a year later we went to Manchester to record the rest of the album with producer Joe Cross. Both the cities and the producers left their mark on the final product, as you can clearly hear Tord’s and Joes’s British touch merge with our Nordic sound. We had a lot of fun making it, and we’re very excited about showing you what we’ve been up to!
What’s the story behind the album title, Home Before the Dark?
This album was written mainly when we were 17-20, so a lot of thoughts about childhood and adulthood arose during that time. In the last song of the album, fittingly titled “Not A Kid Anymore,” we sing that the only worry we had as kids was to get home before the dark. That was sort of the mantra of our childhood. “You can play in the woods, but you’ve got to get home before sundown.”There’s a lot about those lines, borders, moods and feelings that change and shift during the adolecent years, and that became a natural part of this album.
Fill in the blank: the best part/worst part about being in a band with a bunch of your good friends is…
The best part would have to be that you hang around people you like all day. No dirtbags. The worst part is maybe that we’re working almost every day, so we forget to do stuff together that’s unrelated to the band. Like, just hanging out.
What’s one thing that people who have never been to Norway should know?
It’s stunningly beautiful, even to us! The last couple of years we have been driving up and down this very long, but yet quite small country, and the scenery from the tour bus (van) can be mega fantastic. From the white painted fishing villages down south, through the beautiful fjords, and then you enter theese massive plains. It’s very Lord of the Rings.
As a band whose expertise is dance party pop music, what some of the ingredients to having an epic dance party?
We’ve been to many dance parties, but only a handful of them were truly epic. Like we used to say: “It’s not about the booze, it’s about which Motown record you choose.” So, put on something funky, gather a bunch of people (dancing with strangers can be just as fun as dancing with friends), turn up the volume and stay up late.
If you could soundtrack any movie, which one would you pick?
I think our music would go well with a lot of ’80s sci-fi. There’s something about the vibe in those films that’s just great. Goofy effects and cheesy screenplays, but done with a lot of love, and kind of cool looking. The original Tron movie, for instance, could sure use some Kid Astray.
Buy Kid Astray’s album here.