Jens Lekman goes to Magnetic Fields territory and beyond. - Oh My Rockness

Recommended Show
April 01, 2008
We saw Jens Lekman completely captivate crowds comprised of our normally jaded youth during Austin's SXSW a couple weeks ago by playing sweet pop songs about love and, well, love. Huh. Who knew this fair blond Scandanavian lad could turn all those insecure hipster scowls into unabashed happy smiles.

Twenty-something-year-old Swedish pop star (in Sweden, anyway) Jens Lekman writes quirky singer-songwriter stuff that has led to Beck meets Stephen Merritt comparisons. Using his acoustic guitar, along with harps, violins, mandolins and scattered electronic beats, Lekman delivers classy, bittersweet melodies over clever wordplay.

But really, it's about his voice. Lekman has a clear, bordering on angelic, tone that makes tales like "holding his girlfriend's hand as she pukes" nothing less than lovely. It's hard to tell if Jens Lekman is secretly saying "ha ha" or if he's a completely earnest artist. Probably, he's a little of both. Not crazy enough to cut off his ear, not normal enough to be carried at Sam Goody.

Lekman is more interesting than Belle and Sebastian with a greater vocal range than Nick Drake, and has roughly the same modesty as every other soon-to-be rock star (his own website said he was ranked the 15th most beautiful person in Sweden, which is like being #1 in the U.S. Everyone is hotter than us over there.)


Jens Lekman plays Webster Hall, on Saturday, April 5th.


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