When I interviewed Sweden singer/songwriter Jens Lekman for a magazine profile three years ago, our afternoon went thusly: small talk in a radio station, lackadaisical strolling around Chinatown, swapping of alternately saccharine and humiliating dating stories over Thai veggies, window-shopping of lighting fixtures in Tribeca.
And then I bought him fruit tarts for some reason, which seemed to genuinely thrill him. In other words, it was a delicate, twee encounter fit for one of his songs. In fact, I do expect a reference to the strawberry custard on his next album.
Since Lekman moved (somewhat spontaneously) from his native Gothenburg, Sweden to Australia, his output has been minimal. Too bad, because his mischievous sophomore album, 2007’s Night Falls Over Kortedala, was all the momentum he needed; an intricately sampled baroque and soul concoction from a giddy audiophile, it combined his catchiest pop hooks yet with his drollest lyrics, but all underscored with palpable sincerity.
“A Postcard to Nina” fretted over befriending his lesbian friend’s father (led to believe Jens was her boyfriend), and “Your Arms Around Me” was the most gorgeously smitten ballad to also include details of a bloody kitchen accident.
Lekman recently announced two American tour dates, his first solid ones since the Kortedala support run. After one night in Los Angeles, he’ll hit the Green Building on Union in Brooklyn on December 10. Tickets are currently sold out, but stay vigilant; his live looping and wryly contemplative asides are indelible moments.