Jens Lekman: Night Falls Over Kortedala
Jens Lekman opens Night Falls Over Kortedala with the sure step of an artist in complete command of his creative self. Imbued with epic grandeur, "And I Remember Every Kiss" fades in with a melancholy timpani roll, a stirring string section and Jens crooning with every wistful bone in his body. After the first verse, the strings passionately swell into a wall of sound and - with one gravity-defying pass-through - Jens delivers his death blow to cynicism by declaring, "And I would never kiss anyone / Who doesn't burn me like the sun / And I remember every kiss like my first kiss;" illustrating just why many consider him one of the most important of the hopeful broken hearts coming of age in contemporary music. Like a modern day Chet Baker, Jens absolutely loves to sing about heartache.
On "Sipping On The Sweet Nectar", Jens introduces a dance beat to his string, horn & croon combo. And it only gets bigger from there with the tableside backbeat of "Opposite of Hallelujah" to the live favorite "A Postcard To Nina", and the slender hooks of "I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You" to the Frankie Valli purity of "Shirin" - an epic ode to Jens' barber which is reminiscent of a Mexican folk ballad.
Jens arduously labored over the songs on Night Falls Over Kortedala over the last three years between relentless tours (which ranged from full blown 8-piece ensembles to just Jens alone with a ukelele at the mic). Kortedala refers to a neighborhood in Jens' hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, where his studio Koredala Beauty Center is located. It also refers to a vague musical pop sound with hints of tropicalia that has been coming out of Gothenburg's clubs over the last few years. Having more in common with Paul Simon's Graceland, Jens' latest is a response to more than an engagement in today's Kortedala music of his Swedish peers. An exercise in insularity, Night Falls Over Kortedala has achieved its specific sound not from going out but from Jens staying in and coming to grips with the sounds he had in his head, or as he said, "from the sound of my own voice reverberating off my home's old '50s brick walls, from the ghosts of everyone who's lived here before me clapping along with their little ecto-plasm hands. My record basically never leaves the 30 square meters that I live on until the very last song when i take a short bus ride to the countryside in 'Friday Night at the Drive-in Bingo'."
Night Falls Over Kortedala features Jens friendlies Frida Hyvönen and El Perro Del Mar.