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New Music: Jens Lekman

By Jason Herring, September 25 2014 —

Swedish musician Jens Lekman has always taken inspiration from the trivial. This is apparent on his new self-released mixtape WWJD, out Sept. 2 on Soundcloud, where the indie-pop musician devotes a song to a bracelet asking ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ But despite the unconventional topics, Lekman never fails to instill his quirky humour into his work.

The three original songs on the mixtape are the first new material from him in two years — following his LP I Know What Love Isn’t — and are interwoven with tracks from other artists. Lekman’s tracks are outtakes from an upcoming album, which he says were cut because they “didn’t fit in with most of the other songs [I] was writing.”

The first song on the mix, “WWJD,” is immaculately produced, with gorgeous synthesizers and carefully layered vocals. The lyrics read like a poorly written country hit making the song hilarious and a lot of fun to listen to. The next track, “What’s That Perfume That You Wear,” is a throwaway song, which features Lekman obsessing over a girl’s perfume. Hearing Lekman list potential aromas his lover could be wearing while steel drums play in the background just ends up sounding ridiculous.

The mixtape closes with “I Remember,” which floats by on a lazy summer drumbeat. In the nostalgia-filled song, Lekman reminisces about a childhood vacation to Italy and the realization that not all of his peers had families that could afford those kinds of trips. Even though the moral of the song gets bogged down by explicit references to class struggle, it succeeds because of the singer’s sincerity.

While not all of Lekman’s songs shine, the mixtape is enjoyable from start to finish and it should tide fans over until the release of his next album.



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