Jens (pronounced Yens) Lekman’s latest record, Night Falls Over Kortedala isn’t exactly new. It’s been available for three years now, but it’s only recently that the record and the artist have been getting the much-deserved attention in this part of the world. That's thanks to his two-gig stint (tonight March 30 at Saguijo and tomorrow March 31 at NBC tent) in our gig-hungry country. [firstpara]
And so. Philippines, meet Jens Lekman, the prolific Swedish singer-songwriter— not of the more popular Swedish act Abba tradition, mind—who has long been something of a password amongst the trendy and hip and the young.
He’s been compared to other indie favorites like Belle and Sebastian, Magnetic Fields, and because of his wit and story telling, The Smiths.
Night Falls is his second proper record, and if you care to google your way around Mister Lekman here, you’ll see words and phrases like “most cohesive” “stunning” and “smoother and grander than before” thrown around liberally.
It opens with “And I Remember Every Kiss” and already you’ll be hooked with what seems to be a monastic declaration of, nothingness: “There will be no kisses tonight/ there will be no holding hands tonight.”
Whether it turns you off and earns a disgusting wtf, the fact is, you are hooked. The song starts slow (with Lenkman’s lyrics providing the much-needed hook), and then builds up to a bellowing climax, thanks in large part to chamber-esque music and his lyrics.
The jangly, spiritedly “Sipping on the Sweet Nectar” ups the ante, with Jens, starting yet another tale. While the thick instrumentation may throw a casual listener off (ohmygawd, could there be a timpani in this, wait, is this a dance-disco track?!), the nice melody (follow his singing, now) and his story telling (about, again, kissing) will keep you from skipping the track.
It’s unfamiliar, you see, almost like a score from a movie or a play that you ignore because it plays over the scene that has kids singing and dancing and having a grand spankin’ time and you focus on that delightful scene, instead because really now, who can refuse such?
“The Opposite of Hallelujah” brings the energy down to a nice pace; the pace that folks long familiar with Jens, know and love. It may be a sad song, but awesome wit and sarcasm will have you laughing with Jens.
Witness: “I took my sister down to the ocean/ but the ocean made me feel stupid” and “I picked up a sea-shell/ to illustrate my homelessness/ but a crab crawled out of it/ making it useless.”
WORDS BY: LOU E. ALBANO