Profile: Swedish indie pop maestro Jens Lekman
- Malcolm Jack
- 15 November 2012
Gothenburg, Sweden, 1981
Sweden’s most lovably literate, witty and wistful indie-pop bard began his recording career circa 2000 with a string of outstanding lo-fi EPs revealing clever samples mixed with more traditional singer-songwriter elements. His 2004 debut album When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog was followed by 2007’s Night Falls Over Kortedala and 2012’s equally near-flawless I Know What Love Isn’t.
On corresponding with fans
Forget Facebook or Twitter, Jens likes to keep it old-school and direct through the Smalltalk section of his retro HTML website. Email him on a set topic of the month (recent examples include teenage rebellion, platonic love and coffee), and he’ll respond. ‘I see our communication as an exchange, not a service,’ he explains.
On getting dumped
‘You don’t get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully,’ croons Lekman, in the defining line from his current album. Written over a hot summer in Melbourne after being ditched by a long-term girlfriend, it’s an intelligently bittersweet reflection on the emotional cycle of a bad break-up and ‘grey areas’ of love, full of raw honesty and pathos.
On stalking Kirsten Dunst
For all the sad stuff, there’s humour in abundance in Lekman’s music – see the recent An Argument With Myself EP. ‘Waiting for Kirsten’ is the story of a shambolic attempt to meet the actress in Gothenburg after she namedrops him in a local newspaper ahead of a shoot in the city, while the title track finds Lekman drunkenly stumbling around Melbourne after-hours subjecting himself to some hilariously schizophrenic chastising: ‘Fuck you,’ Jens cusses Jens. ‘No, you fuck you.’
The Arches, Glasgow, Sun 25 Nov.