Night Falls Over Kortedala

Jens Lekman
****

Swedish indie cronner Jens Lekman has an oversized heart. On his latest album, he’s haunted by haircuts that resemble love affairs, guns named after girlfriends and first kisses.

Over the clean-sweeping grandeur of the opening track, Lekman declares,“I would never kiss anyone who doesn’t burn me like the sun”. No wonder he has to audit his affections to keep sane. “I see myself on my deathbed saying, 'I wish I would have loved less,’” he sings in his wistful baritone on “Sipping On The Sweet Nectar”.

The album is named after a former Swedish neighbourhood that Lekman dismissed as suburban hell (he was mugged there numerous times) so the town is lucky to be associated with an album full of hypervivid production and dizzying, melodic confidence.

Night Falls Over Kortedala
bounds along with zippy flute flourishes, energetic handclaps, plucky piano, restless brass and heartfelt R’n’B falsettoes, with Frida Hyvönen and El Perro del Mar on backing vocals. On one track, Lekman sings,“If I could cry, it would be like this,” and violins follow. It’s a moment that’s tragic, wry and oddly euphoric: a perfect snapshot of the album. 

Lee Tran Lam,
The Big Issue,
4-5 December 2007