Sunday night I trekked down to Richard’s on Richards (Vancouver’s finest concert venue, in my opinion) to catch Swedish indie/pop singer Jens Lekman. Lekman’s last release, Night Falls Over Kortedala was a familiar occurrence on my iTunes playlist last year.
I brought along a friend who had never heard of him, and I couldn’t really find the right words to describe his songs. They can be poppy, light, and fun. But they also can pack an emotional punch. I guess he’s a little bit of a mix between The Smiths, and The Magnetic Fields. He has a powerful charming voice very similar to a younger Morrisey.
When we entered Richard’s the opening act was already on stage. I was told that Lekman was touring with a lesbian comedian, Tig Notaro. Unless we missed her set, it seems like she wasn’t the opener. We were greated by a lone guitarist/singer on stage crooning out some quiet heartfelt songs. I didn’t catch his name, but I wasn’t really feeling it. There wasn’t a lot of energy to his set.
I was a little shocked at the size of the crowd that Lekman was able to draw. I don’t know if the show was sold out, but there definitely was an audience. The crowd erupted as he came on stage with his backing band: a bass guitarist, drummer, violinist, and laptop operator. He made a request to encouraged us to record his performance, but to please keep it off the internet. “Let’s just keep this between us, you and me.”
The show went on with Lekman playing a lot of great songs, including “Black Cab”, “A Postcard to Nina”, and a crowd enhanced version of “Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig”.
I really enjoyed the sound of his show, but I was a little disappointed that a lot of the sound was coming from pre-recorded tracks on the laptop. It made the songs have a rich melodic quality that sounded really full, but I would’ve loved to see more band members actually playing.
The set lasted about 50 minutes, followed by 2 1-song long encores. Quite a good way to spend a Sunday night. I encourage you to take a listen to the two songs below.