MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of I Was A King’s “Growing Wild”

“‘Growing Wild’ describes living alongside darkness and chaos, but also summoning the courage to face it—even sharing it with someone else,” says Frode Strømstad of the abrasively beautiful new single from Follow Me Home, the ninth album from his Oslo, Norway, noise-pop outfit, I Was A King. “There’s an element of comfort in the phrase, ‘Just like you, I’m not afraid’—even though the statement may not be entirely truthful.”

Formed by Strømstad in 2006 and co-helmed by Anne Lise Frøkedal, I Was A King parlayed its cult following into a one-off major-label deal in 2012 with You Love It Here, co-produced by Robyn Hitchcock and Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake. The band’s impeccable melodic instincts continued to shine through on the three albums that followed between 2014 and 2020. Follow Me Home keeps the solid run going, with I Was A King essentially stripped down to a two-piece. The album is available October 28 on the band’s own Coastal Town Recordings.

In August, I Was A King played a small show in a biker garage in its hometown of Egersund. “Our good friend Donald Milne came over from Scotland to film the show,” says Strømstad. “The idea of making the ‘Growing Wild’ video came out of a happy accident. A lightning storm hit us toward the end of the night, and the lamps and power at the garage started flickering before it went black. Donald made us go back there early the next morning when the power was back on. He got some more shots of us that blended in nicely with the clips he made night before.”

And they even got a hand from one of the bikers. “He helped with swinging the ceiling lamp back and forth while Donald was filming and giving directions,” says Strømstad.

MAGNET is proud to premiere the video for “Growing Wild.”

—Hobart Rowland