Exposure: Lykke Li
It’s hard to get past the fact that Lykke Li has been responsible for one of the most incessantly catchy songs of the year in ‘Little Bit’, a teasing slice of strangely romantic Scandi-pop weirdness which features the frankly intriguing couplet ‘And for you I keep my legs apart / and forget about my tainted heart’. If that was the only song she had in her, we’d be impressed. But it isn’t.
Who is she?
Lykke Li Timotej Zachrisson, a 22-year-old Swedish lass and affiliate of fellow peddlers of Scandi-pop catchiness Peter, Bjorn and John (whose Bjorn Yttling produces many of her tracks). Born to a photographer mother and musician father, her upbringing was spent in - deep breath - Stockholm, Lisbon, Morocco, Nepal and India, which you’d like to think was at least part of the inspiration for her impressively diverse debut album Youth Movies. Raising the cultural diversity stakes just one more notch, the album itself was recorded in New York.
What does it sound like?
That depends on where the shuffle button takes you. ‘Little Bit’ is a breathy, ethereal tainted love song. ‘Breaking It Up’ takes the basic template of Britney or Madonna at their stroppiest and infuses it with loud, 80s electronic piano and a chorus that sounds like it was sung by the choir at a school for wayward girls. ‘Tonight’, on the other hand, is an ultra lo-fi kitchen sink ballad.
Who is she compared to?
Given the fact there’s been a Moshi Moshi connection in the past, the old Kate Nash juxtaposition comes out to play regularly. We’re saying a lo-fi, bedroom-recorded Kate Bush is just as adequate a comparison, though.
Lykke Li plays the Arches, Glasgow, Tue 25 Nov.