A Swedish pop star’s New Year resolution
For a Swedish pop star, Jens Lekman seems to be a very humble guy. On his website, he gives out an email address for “Smalltalk,” where he says, you can write to him but only about personal matters. He’s also a hopeless romantic who likes to sing about heartbreak, Friday nights at the drive-in bingo and occasionally the fake boyfriend of his lesbian best friend, who wants him to be her fake boyfriend over dinner with her father.
Lekman may be a household name in his native Sweden, but here in the States he’s more or less only known for a few songs in the 2009 Drew Barrymore film, “Whip It.”
First of all, I highly recommend his music if you’re going through a breakup, want to start anew or simply want to enjoy the catchy-yet-delicate swells of his tender Swedish vocals. He knows how to tell an intricate story through his lyrics that will leave you wanting to enter his world through the speakers.
Lekman’s last album, “I Know What Love Isn’t,” came out in 2012, was one of his most mellow releases, portraying a lot of sad breakup-like personal situations.
After that, he hasn’t been seen or heard of much. Even the delicate piano refrain in the last song of the album makes you think he hid away to stare out the window and eat cereal for the rest of his life.
However, Lekman broke the news on his website that he is, in fact, working on a new album. He plans to write and release a new song every week for the year 2015 via SoundCloud.
This musical venture he calls “Postcards” is treated like a personal diary where he says the date at the beginning of the song and proceeds with a tune ranging from a small piano diddy to a banjo-driven country ballad.
This resolution is set in a personal memo on his website, where he explains why he wants to take on such a tasking experiment. He writes:
“You see, I spend a lot of time on my songs, on their details. I sweep the streets that my characters walk on and polish every doorknob until I feel confident to let other people in. But it does lead to a very isolated creative phase… I’ve been longing to share my thoughts and life with you a bit more. I’ve been longing to write about things that make sense one particular day but that might make no sense once the album comes out.”
He goes on to say that he hopes to sit down with his fans at the end of the year and listen to all 52 songs to reminisce on “who we kissed and who we missed,” and remember where we were.
“Postcards” has a unique topic, from a song he wrote specifically for a wedding he was playing that week, to his longing to play in small venues such as libraries and living rooms across Sweden (that’s how he announced an impromptu couch tour, even including the email address of his booking agent in the lyrics).
I am excited to receive a digital “Postcard” from Lekman every week this year, and I highly recommend that you look at his SoundCloud and enjoy his sweet serenity.