When I heard that the seventh album from Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche ‘Please’ was written after the divorce from his director wife Mona Fastvold (who he had worked on in 2013 while recording the soundtrack to ‘The Sleepwalker’) I felt a little apprehensive and slightly uncomfortable at the thought of reviewing something so personal. It also crossed my mind that the normally up-beat creations may be tapered down and replaced with material of a more morose and gloomy nature, and let’s be honest it would have been understandable given the life changing experience Lerche had experienced.
However, my concerns were alleviated within the first 10 seconds of opening track ‘Bad Law’. The low-tempo’d, crooning tracks simply were not there. Instead you’re presented with an almost carnival representation of lost love, break ups and heartache. What else would you expect from an artist whose material never ceases to surpise. It’s trademark Lerche.
Lyrically there are moments of obvious grief but the wonderful indie-rock instrumentation refuses to conform to the normal mournful tracks one may expect.
Opening track ‘Bad Law’ and the wonderful ‘Legends’ have a tempo that is impossible to ignore. Certainly they’re more attune to an indie-disco than a break-up. The latter is sure to be a play-list and radio favourite the world over due to it’s extremely addictive chorus.
‘Sentimentalist’ stands out on this release. It’s one of the slower tracks but clearly an example of how this situation has allowed Lerche to grow as a songwriter. There is an essence of desperation in the lyrics and it’s these and the wonderful harmonies that see you scrambling for the ‘repeat’ button.
Great albums evolve from real life experiences. This can certainly be said of ‘Please’.
Details of a European tour are set to be announced shortly. In the meantime an 18 date US tour begins in September to promote ‘Please’. The full track listing for ‘Please’ is as follows…
01. Bad Law
04. At Times We Live Alone
07. After The Exorcism
08. At A Loss For Words
09. Lucky Guy
10. Logging off
‘Please’ is out on the 22nd September 2014 on Kobalt.