Thursday, February 07, 2008
Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
Jens Lekman, "The Opposite of Hallelujah" (YSI link)
Jens Lekman, "Your Arms Around Me" (YSI link)
This one's from last year, but it's so good that it deserves a place in an early 2008 post. Every so often, I have conjured up an image of what a particular artist sounds like and it is completely 100% wrong. Such is the case with Jens Lekman, who for some reason I placed in the Tom Vek category of soul singer backed by electronic beats. I truly wasn't prepared for the sound of this album or just how fucking rad Lekman is.
Night Falls Over Kortedala is an indie pop album, pure and simple. It's perfect late-night listening, for those sad and lonely nights when you only have music to keep you company. One hears echoes of Burt Bacharach, Belle and Sebastian, Scott Walker and others; of course, it's an updated version of all of those influences, as much of the music, from strings to drums, are sampled. It's not easy to know what's sampled and what's live, although I can't say I really cared when listening.
For me, the sound that matters most is Lekman's voice, which sounds so perfect to me. For longtime readers, you know that I am not a huge rock or indie fan, it usually takes a unique and great voice to draw me in. Lekman's alternates between a deep crooner's voice to a fragile falsetto and I love it. On the refrain of "The Opposite of Hallelujah" especially, it seems on the verge of cracking. That song was the first one to blow me away, a bouncy number with piano and strings that has a twinge of melancholoy sweep through it, especially with each "You don't know what I'm going through" at the end. "Your Arms Around Me" is a slower number, a love song centering around a kitchen accident. Right now, this is probably my favorite track, it's so sweet and sincere, a wonderful respite from the irony and distance of so much of what I listen to. The strings are amazing on this, really add to that epic feel all good love songs should have. The rest of the album is just as good and in a similar stylistic vein.
I just want to lay in bed, sip tea, think about love lost and maybe even have a good cry when I listen to this album. Readers know that there is no higher compliment I can give. For me, it falls easily next to the music of Caribou, exquisite, lush pop music that makes me sad and a little happy. Highly recommended, grab a copy and listen for yourself. You can't sance 24/7, this is the music for the other times.