Jens Lekman

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Jens Lekman
Jens lekman hugo 2007.jpg
Jens Lekman, 2007
Background information
Birth name Jens Martin Lekman
Born (1981-02-06) February 6, 1981 (age 33)
Angered, Sweden
Origin Gothenburg, Sweden
Genres Indie pop
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, MPC
Years active 2000-present
Labels Service
Secretly Canadian
Website jenslekman.com

Jens Martin Lekman (pronounced [jɛns mɑrtɪn lekmɑːn])[1] (born 6 February 1981) is a Swedish musician.[2] His music is guitar-based pop with heavy use of samples and strings, with lyrics that are often witty, romantic, and melancholic. His work is heavily influenced by that of Jonathan Richman and Belle & Sebastian, and he has been likened to Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields), David Byrne,[1] and Scott Walker.[3]

Early life[edit]

Lekman was born in Angered, Sweden.

Music career[edit]

From 2000 to 2003, Lekman recorded and released much of his material privately on CD-R. Because one of his songs during this time was entitled "Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song to the Blind Girl", inspired by the movie Mask,[4] Lekman was mistakenly referred to as "Rocky Dennis". Lekman says that it was a "mistake": "someone thought that was my real name cause I had a song about him, and then radio picked up on it, and I never had a chance to change it".[4] He put the confusion to rest with his Rocky Dennis in Heaven EP (2004).

In 2003, Lekman self-released a 7" vinyl EP, Maple Leaves. When the same EP was released on CD by the Swedish independent label Service Records later that year, he was a well-known name.[citation needed] The songs "Maple Leaves" and "Black Cab" were heavily played on Swedish national radio. He soon signed a contract with the American label Secretly Canadian for releases outside of Sweden. Heavy touring and his debut album soon followed.

His first album When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog was released in 2004, and consisted of recordings made between 2000 and 2004 (some tracks had been previously released independently by Lekman). The album attracted attention among the alternative music press in both Europe and the U.S. The song "You Are the Light" was a successful radio hit, and a video received some rotation in the Nordic MTV and ZTV. In Sweden, the album reached #6 on the national chart. Lekman was nominated for three Swedish Grammies, three P3 Guld and three Manifest awards, and the album was named the album of the year by Nöjesguiden.

A concert film shot from Lekman's sold-out show with José González at Göteborg's concert hall in December 2003 was broadcast by Swedish national television in 2005. In June 2005, a compilation CD of Lekman's first three EPs (plus extra tracks) was released as Oh You're So Silent Jens. Lekman's cover of Scout Niblett's "Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death" appeared on Secretly Canadian's SC100 compilation.

Night Falls Over Kortedala was released in Sweden on 5 September 2007 and worldwide on 9 October 2007. The single "Friday Night at the Drive-in Bingo" preceded the album's release.

Live performances by Lekman have differed in style; at times he has performed alone with only a guitar and a CD player, sometimes doing a cappella versions of his songs, while at other times he has been accompanied by a choir and string quartet. In 2008, he toured with an all-female back-up band (dressed mostly in white) that provided basic rock instrumentation as well as horns and backing vocals. In December 2008 Jens played a short China tour organised by Split Works.[5]

In 2010, Lekman released a free song entitled "The End of the World is Bigger Than Love" online. This was his first release in three years.

On 19 March 2011, Lekman played a show in support of libraries during the widespread closures in the United Kingdom where he premiered a new song, "Every Little Hair Knows Your Name".[6]

Lekman's An Argument With Myself EP was released in September 2011 to generally favorable reviews. This was followed up by I Know What Love Isn't in September 2012, Lekman's first full-length album since 2007, also receiving favorable reviews.

On 2 September 2014, Lekman released a 33-minute long mixtape titled WWJD, which included three unreleased songs: "WWJD", "I Remember", and "What's That Perfume That You Wear?"[7] The mixtape has been described as being "one cohesive experience as intimate as writing a postcard, as pleasant as receiving one."[8]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album and details Chart
peak
(SWE)
[9]
Chart
peak
(US)
[10]
Certification
2004 When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog
  • Release date: 7 April 2004
  • Record label: Service Records
  • Rerelease date: 7 September 2004
  • Record label: Secretly Canadian
6
2007 Night Falls Over Kortedala
  • Release date: 5 September 2007
  • Record label: Service Records
  • Rerelease date: 9 October 2007
  • Record label: Secretly Canadian
1 192
2012 I Know What Love Isn't[11]
  • Release date: 4 September 2012
  • Record label: Secretly Canadian
3 137

Compilations[edit]

  • Oh You're So Silent Jens (Service Records, 8 June 2005; Secretly Canadian, 22 November 2005) - a collection of previously released singles, EPs, and compilation appearances

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • Jens Lekman/José González (Service Records, January 2004) - 300 copies, contains "If You Ever Need A Stranger (To Sing At Your Wedding)"
  • El Perro del Mar/Jens Lekman (Secretly Canadian,30 October 2004) - contains " I Don't Know If She's Worth 900 Kronor"
  • Jens Lekman/Blood Music (Insound, November 2006) - contains "A Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill", with spoken word introduction
  • "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo" / "Radio NRJ" (Service Records, 14 July 2007) - 800 copies
  • The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love (self-released, 2010)

Collaborations[edit]

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • En Garde Fanzine CD-R (2003) - contains "F-Word" and "Sky Phenomenon"
  • Based on a True Story (2004) - contains "Be Good"
  • Accelerator Compilation (July 2004) - contains "The Wrong Hands"
  • Risky Dazzle: A Service Party Shuffle (January 2005) - contains "Maple Leaves", "And I Remember Every Kiss (Demo Version)" (previously unreleased), and "You Are the Light (Reprise)
  • Rallye Cloak 02: Swim Sweet Swedish (24 August 2005) - contains "Boisa-Bis-O-Boisa"
  • SC100 (24 April 2007) - contains a cover of Scout Niblett's songs "Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death" and "Shining/Burning"
  • Four Songs by Arthur Russell (20 August 2007) - contains "A Little Lost"
  • Whip It! (29 September 2009) - contains "Your Arms Around Me"
  • Det ordnar sig (February 2014) - contains a cover of Peter Lunblad's "Ta Mig Till Havet"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jens Lekman interview at Splendid". Splendidezine.com. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  2. ^ "Jens Lekman Performs in NPR's Studio 4A". NPR. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  3. ^ "Album Reviews: Jens Lekman: Night Falls Over Kortedala". Pitchfork. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Jens Lekman Interview". Indiepop.it. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  5. ^ [1] (http). spli-t.com (2008). Retrieved on 2012-15-08
  6. ^ "Jens Lekman pays tribute to Kirsten Dunst, reveals brand new song". thelineofbestfit.com. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  7. ^ "WWJD MIXTAPE by Jens Lekman on SoundCloud". soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  8. ^ "In Praise of Jens Lekman's Excellent Curveball, WWJD". pitchfrok.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  9. ^ "SwedishCharts.com Jens Lekman discography page". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  10. ^ Billboard, Allmusic
  11. ^ "Jens Lekman anuncio su nuevo disco: I Know What Love Isn't". Radioalterno.com. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 

External links[edit]