Exposure - Lykke Li

Tomorrow’s music today. This issue: Lykke Li

Lykke Li

Floating somewhere between Feist and Björk, 22-year-old Lykke Li’s breathy, sugary vocals got a bouncy, electronic makeover when Björn Yttling, of Peter, Björn and John produced her debut album. Since her catchy single ‘Little Bit’ came out in February on Moshi Moshi, she’s squeezed in a lo-fi Jools Holland set, some airplay on Grey’s Anatomy, and a US tour. We called her cellphone in New York to hear more.

What’s the album about?

The lyrics are very open. It’s my life, based on times when I felt lonely or happy, loved or not loved. I wrote it in my bedroom with an old computer and synthesiser. Certain songs like ‘Hanging High’ made me cry.

How did you hook up with Björn?

We’re both from Stockholm, which is small, but I’d hate people to think we all sit around writing music together. I just phoned him up. I didn’t know his music then, but I wanted him to produce something raw and intimate. Not too pop, more dirty, with hip hop sounds too.

How’s the tour going?

Press stuff is no fun, but I like travelling and performing, especially festivals where I can hang out with other artists. And I love being in New York, you can be anybody or nobody. I lived here for a few months when I was 19, before I started writing music. My favourite times are probably talking to Björn or Mattias Montero (who directed the ‘Little Bit’ video). I like it when we’re being creative and my brain can go bananas.

King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sun 8 Jun. Her debut album Youth Novels is out Mon 9 Jun.

Lykke Li - Tonight

Lykke Li

Ethereal, quirky, tribal electro from the Swedish vocalist.


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