Free Jens Lekman mp3s
January 29, 2006 9:22 PM   Subscribe

He's been compared to Stephen Merritt, Jonathan Richman, Beck, and Calvin Johnston (who he's sampled). Here be Jens Lekman's Department of Forgotten Songs--a small sampling of his charming pop tunes. Not familiar with him? Try Pocketful of Money or Boisa-Bis-O-Boisa for starters. (2nd and 3rd link are mp3s)
posted by Manhasset (27 comments total)
"You Are The Light" is one of my favorite songs of the last 10 years. Thanks, manhasset, for bringing an awesome artist to the attention of MeFi.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:00 PM on January 29, 2006

Man, "A Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill" is one of my modern favs. And my heart goes BA-BA-BU-BA-BUMP!
posted by ford and the prefects at 10:07 PM on January 29, 2006

oh. my. god. Jens on MeFi?!

I fell hard for Maple Leaves back in '03 and I've been pretty much obsessed ever since. (his site, btw)

Finally caught him in ATL in early '05 and it was worth the several hour drive.

His "duet" with Calvin is priceless. I was also sad to see the dept. of forgotten songs end. It was such fun!

I'm glad to see he hasn't given up music despite selling all his instruments in December (scroll a bit).

For fans of swedish pop, check out Sambassadeur.
posted by shoepal at 10:21 PM on January 29, 2006

Bah. Shoulda searched more thoroughly before posting. More MP3s on SC's site: Black Cab, You Are the Light, and Rocky Dennis Farewell Song to the Blind Girl.
posted by Manhasset at 10:25 PM on January 29, 2006

I saw him give the most sweet-natured performance at a small bar late last year. Jens played most of the show solo - just him and a cheap-looking uke. He finished quite a few songs on his knees when the mic stand failed to keep the mic at head-height. A bass-player joined him for a couple of numbers - and by bass-player I mean a very cute girl who just COULDN'T play the instrument (they didn't finish any of the songs on which she was meant to play because she just couldn't get through them without fucking up and stopping), but even this complete lack of musicianship was somehow forgiveable. When the set was finished he took his uke out to the beer garden and sat, sang and chatted with the punters. I've got a pretty low tolerance for "twee", cute musical acts, but the songs and his stage presence were just so good that night, that even I left the gig with a huge grin.
posted by bunglin jones at 10:40 PM on January 29, 2006

I have to agree with ford and the prefects, "A Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill" is one of my favourite songs of late. "Black Cab" is my current tune-of-the-shower, and "Pocketful of Money" should appear on every mixtape-made-for-wooing. Thanks for the post -- instead of going to bed, I'm going to stay up and listen to all the mp3s on the site.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 10:41 PM on January 29, 2006

I'm know everyone has their own taste level for what is considered "good", but after hearing the Boisa-Bis-O-Boisa I must now go rip my ears from my head in the hope that the inane sounds will stop. Please make them stop.

Seriously, please make them stop...
posted by qwip at 10:45 PM on January 29, 2006

qwip, that one is a bit much, even for a die hard fan. Black Cab is probably a good starting point for fans of Belle&Sebastian, Magnetic Fields, et al.
posted by shoepal at 10:52 PM on January 29, 2006

To be fair, I wasn't critiquing any of the other stuff. But sweet Jimmy's knees, that was some annoying "music".

And yes, I used the scare quotes on purpose.
posted by qwip at 11:49 PM on January 29, 2006

Thank you for this post. I had never heard of Lekman, but I really like what I have heard. More CDs to add to my never ending list of music to get.
posted by HSWilson at 1:01 AM on January 30, 2006

Jens Lekman: Idiosyncratic Pop from Sweden on NPR
posted by srboisvert at 2:40 AM on January 30, 2006

Nice listen on an early Monday morning. Thanks!
posted by BT at 4:12 AM on January 30, 2006

For those who don't know, "Black Cab" is about the slightly dodgy illegal entrepreneurial taxi drivers that cruise around scandinavian countries late at night. Real taxis are very expensive, these are just people with their own cars doing some business. They might be psycho killers...
posted by anthill at 5:03 AM on January 30, 2006

Calvin Johnston should not have a " T " in it

I was trying to see what albums Calvin did - and couldn't find any - till I realized it was misspelled and he led Beat Happening.

Thanks for the links! I just purchased Jens "greatest" "Oh, You're So Silent Jens" last week.
posted by donkelly at 6:08 AM on January 30, 2006

I adore Jens Lekman - thank you!
posted by pinky at 6:09 AM on January 30, 2006

He does sound like Gordon Lightfoot singing songs by Magnetic Fields (Merrit), Smiths (Morrissey) and Belle & Sebastian (Murdoch).
posted by donkelly at 6:11 AM on January 30, 2006

I've been reading about Jens and meaning to listen to him. Thanks for the links.

Calvin Johnson also founded K Records.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:12 AM on January 30, 2006

srboisvert, thanks for the NPR link. I can't effing believe he was on NPR. Nuts!
posted by shoepal at 6:18 AM on January 30, 2006

It seems like everybody has been on NPR lately. They also have a couple of pretty good podcasts - All Songs Considered - Open Mic and lots of great live shows.
posted by srboisvert at 6:50 AM on January 30, 2006

Ooh, I got "You Are The Light" on one of my MefiSwap discs and was a convert. The quirkiness reminds me of The Divine Comedy in some places.
posted by TheDonF at 7:39 AM on January 30, 2006

This is great. Thanks. I've been into him since I got one of his songs in the MeCha mix swap. And now I will download like mad.
posted by dame at 9:39 AM on January 30, 2006

Not worthy of the Jonathan Richman comparison in my opinion. I'm also a big fan of Beck and Belle & Sebastian, but this did nothing for me I'm afraid.
posted by MrMustard at 10:50 AM on January 30, 2006

Very promising. Much better than the hysterically overrated Stephen Merritt, of whose "69 Love Songs" only about nine are not a waste of time. This Jens, he has a certain something in his voice. You trust him.
posted by Faze at 12:51 PM on January 30, 2006

Oooh. I love this. 'Black Cab' is sweet. "Oh no, god damn, I missed the last tram. I killed the party again. God damn, god damn...." Priceless.
posted by ubi at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2006 thanks Manhasset....
posted by ubi at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2006

Thank you so much for this post. I've been wanting to hear more Jens Lenkman ever since I heard Black Cab last year.

Speaking of which, thanks to anthill, too, for the explanation of what's going on with that song. It really is delightful.
posted by moss at 9:15 PM on January 30, 2006

So I listened to it, and predictably, given the comparisons, I like it a lot. The Jonathan Richman and Stephin Merritt (it's spelt Stephin, folks) comparisons make sense.

I can only shake my head at Faze's comment.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:25 AM on January 31, 2006

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