Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman delighted us with his soft-spoken charm on Halloween morning while in the midst of touring for the new album, I Know What Love Isn't, his first in five years. The record builds upon the charming wit and rich arrangements we loved on previous efforts Night Falls Over Kortedala and When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog. Conversely, it also pares back production and finds songwriting inspiration (whether Lekman liked it or not) in the break up of a relationship.
Jens Lekman has never been one to take songwriting inspiration from the usual sources. The Gothenberg, Sweden native has shown a knack for infusing wit and romance into unlikely places, somehow finding subjects in the likes of drive-in bingos and Rocky Dennis. His new record, I Know What Love Isn’t, might find him in more ordinary pop music circumstances—it’s a “break-up” album, after all—but his ear for endearing charm and a little self-deprecation is no less in tune. This, despite the fact that he had no intention to write about heartbreak—as he told us, “It just didn’t feel like it was a subject that led anywhere.” Where it has led is to a new collection of songs that served as unexpected therapy for Lekman, whose rainclouds ultimately reveal silver linings.
Lekman delivers solo takes on songs from the new record, as well as his new translation of a song by fellow Swede Kjell Höglund.
Audio recording/mixing: Steven Kray
Video production: Nate Sjol
Video shooters: Ifanyi Bell / David Christensen
Interview: Jeremy Petersen
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