One assumes that every songwriter must love what they do. What a pleasure it must be to spend the majority of your time doing precisely what it is that you are most passionate about? For Swedish songwriter Jens Lekman, the joy he takes from creating music pours out in every beat and note he plays, and in every syllable he sings. Now thirteen years and four albums into his career, this obvious passion and love for his job hasn’t diminished in the least.
Like previous Lekman albums, ‘Life Will See You Now’, his fourth LP, is a cosmopolitan melting pot of popular music. Throughout the forty-one minute running time, Lekman absorbs a wide array of sounds and styles, ranging from bosa nova and calypso (‘Wedding in Finistère’), twee pop à la Belle and Sebastian and Kings of Convenience (‘How Can I Tell Him’), and disco (‘How We Met’), melding each together with an ease and verve that makes their symbiosis feel perfectly natural. Lekman‘s soft caress of a voice glides over each track, anchoring the whole album with a gentle tonality that has become a trademark of his style.
What becomes more apparent with each of Lekman‘s is just how skilled he is as a songwriter. There should be little doubt now that he is a virtuoso craftsman. The playfulness of genre in his work can distract from this fact – particularly the strangeness of his lyrics, which can be so unique that even single lines can bare his personal stamp upon them – but when one listens to the barebones of each track, it would be difficult to argue that Lekman produces anything other than incredible artefacts of popular songwriting. In truth, in the hands of a less skilled craftsman, the marriage of genres that Lekman is able to achieve would fall apart.
Although ‘Life Will See You Now’ is not groundbreaking work, largely it follows the suit of his previous albums, what Lekman‘s aim seems to be is to offer to his listeners songs that are nothing other than beautiful, often melancholic in their beauty, but beautiful nonetheless. On the album closer ‘Dandelion Seed’, Lekman gently croons that “The wind is like a string section.” This lyric feels like an embodiment of Lekman‘s style and of ‘Life Will See You Now’ as a whole. Easy, gentle and gorgeous.
‘Life Will See You Now’ is out now via Secretly Canadian.
UK & SCANDINAVIA Tour dates are as follows…
28 Mar @ Whelans in Dublin, IE
29 Mar @ Oval Space in London, UK
30 Mar @ The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, UK
31 Mar @ Band on the Wall in Manchester, UK
01 Apr @ St. Luke’s Church in Glasgow, UK
03 Apr @ Vasateatern in Stockholm, SE
04 Apr @ Uppsala Konsert & Kongress in Uppsala, SE
05 Apr @ KB in Malmo, SE
06 Apr @ Studie 2 in Copenhagen, DK
07 Apr @ Orebro Concert Hall in Orebro, SE
08 Apr @ Pustervik in Gothenburg, SE
09 Apr @ John Dee in Oslo, NO