In August 2015, Norway’s DJ turned solo artist, Gundelach, a.k.a. Kai Gundelach, made a two-week trip out to New York City to record Gundelach, his self-titled debut EP. The day he arrived, Kai received some bad news: his friend back home had killed himself. “I just had to work—that was the only thing that felt right and comfortable,” he remembers. “I recorded all of the vocals and all of the lyrics, and when I sang them, lyrics that originally meant something different suddenly suited what had happened with him really well.” Little did he know that the EP would go on to receive a Pop Album nomination at the Spellemann Awards, Norway’s Grammy equivalent.
These are the kinds of stories that become totally tethered to and inseparable from the artist whenever you listen to their music. You play Kai’s debut single, “Alone in the Night,” and imagine the many years he spent writing songs in his bedroom—privately and just for himself. Listening to his newest single, “Duck Hunting,” you imagine the guy behind the turntables where he spent a near decade wanting to “make music and not just play other people’s music.” The long wait is all the more difficult to believe because, as you’ll probably agree, Kai doesn’t have a bad song to his name yet. Now he’s about to create more sweeping waves with his hotly-tipped debut LP, Baltus.
Baltus is out via U OK? on March 16. “Duck Hunting” is now available to purchase on iTunes.