Jens Lekman

The 25 Greatest Songs About City Life

Most big cities with any sort of history have a song. If that city’s New York, it has about 1000 of ‘em. But to be a classic of the genre, the song has to speak to bigger themes about city life, be it the hustle, the danger, or the beauty below the filth. Here are the 25 best, from Lou Reed to Nas to The… Read More

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10 of the Most Deceptively Depressing Songs in History

The legend of the Hungarian Suicide Song is one of those things that does the rounds on the blogs every few years, and it surfaced again on io9 over the weekend. The song in question — László Jávor and Rezső Seress’s “Szomorú vasárnap,” which translates into English as “Gloomy Sunday” — is famous for having allegedly catalyzed multiple suicides over the years, including its composer Seress’ in 1968. Quite how much truth there is in all this is forever unclear, but one thing’s for sure: the song’s depressing as hell. Still, it’s not always the obviously downbeat songs that cover disturbing and/or depressing subject matter — sometimes it’s the most deceptively jaunty songs that conceal the saddest lyrics.
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20 Great Albums You Can (Legally) Download for Free Right Now

David Byrne and St. Vincent have followed up their excellent Love This Giant album from last year with a new EP entitled Brass Tactics. Apart from the fact that it contains a previously unreleased track, the most notable thing about the EP is that they’re giving it away for free, making it the latest addition to an ever-increasing volume of music that you can download — legally! — for free right now. There’s so much, in fact, that it’s kind of overwhelming. Here’s a selection of 20 records that Flavorwire recommends you add to your collection right… Read More

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20 of the Flat-Out Funniest Songs in Rock ‘n’ Roll

In an attempt to save you (not to mention ourselves) from the general Monday-morning awfulness that tends to follow a lovely spring weekend, Flavorwire has compiled a playlist of indie/rock/generally guitar-based songs that are genuinely funny. These are 20 of the flat-out wittiest and most amusing songs we know — and we guarantee that at least one of them will make you chuckle. (Note: we’re discounting actual comedy songs here, so no Lonely Island/Flight of the Conchords/etc.) Keep the hilarity going by adding to our list in the comments. … Read More

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10 New Tracks You Need to Hear This Week: David Bowie, Suede

It’s Friday, which means that, yes, it’s time for us to round up the 10 most noteworthy tracks of the week that’s gone by for your listening — and, ideally, downloading — pleasure. It’s been a pretty fantastic week for new music, and thus there’s plenty of goodness to be had after the jump: the return of Suede and that Bowie chap, Jens Lekman writing a song for two big-hearted fans, Thom Yorke doing Thom Yorke things, new solo stuff from Electrelane’s Verity Susman, a kinda interesting Majical Cloudz remix, new songs from Low and La Big Vic… and more! Everything awaits you at the click of a mouse. Get into it, gentle readers! … Read More

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10 Great, Unexpected Mixtapes by Musicians Who Aren’t DJs

This week sees the release of the soundtrack to British psychological thriller Berbarian Sound Studio, a soundtrack that’s notable for being a) creepy as hell and b) the last thing ever recorded by much-missed British duo Broadcast before singer Trish Keenan’s death from pneumonia in 2010. Keenan’s death robbed the music world of a distinctive voice and a singular talent, and the release of Berbarian Sound Studio has got us listening again to the fantastic mixtape a friend of Keenan’s released in her memory a couple of weeks after she died. This in turn got us thinking about other artist-made mixtapes that have brightened up our iTunes over the last couple of years, eclectic selections made by musicians you wouldn’t necessarily expect to dabble in DJ mixes — we’ve shared a few of them after the jump. … Read More

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50 of the Best Closing Lines in Music

It was about 18 months ago now that we collected an epic selection of our favorite opening lines in music, and we’ve been meaning to get around to closing lines ever since. There are plenty of candidates for such honors as far as films and books go, but surprisingly few for music — it’s a more difficult exercise than it looks, perhaps because heaps of songs end with multiple renditions of the chorus rather than a punchy parting shot. Still, we’ve put together a bumper selection: 50 of the best.… Read More

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A Selection of Great Duets We’d Love to See

As we’ve written here in the past, the duet is an inexact science — some of the collaborations that you’d think should have been roaring successes proved to be disastrous, and vice versa. We’re still on the fence as to which group the new St. Vincent/David Byrne collaboration Love This Giant, which is out today, falls into — but either way, the fact that two of our favorite artists have made a whole record together got us thinking about other dream duets we’d love to see. We’ve started the discussion with a bunch of suggestions. Who would you like to see in the studio together? … Read More

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10 of the Funniest Love Songs in History

Jens Lekman’s new record I Know What Love Isn’t is out this week, and on the whole it’s a pretty morose affair, as befits its status as a breakup album. Still, even on a record this subdued, Lekman’s signature humor can’t help but shine through, despite the fact that he’s left some of his funniest recent songs (namely “Waiting for Kirsten” and “An Argument With Myself”) off the tracklisting. The fact that Lekman’s songs are often as witty as they are moving is something that we’ve always liked about him — after all, love is frequently as bewildering, ridiculous, and, yes, funny as it is wonderful and inspiring, and love songs are a whole lot more effective if they eschew clichéd romanticism for realism. With that in mind, here’s a selection of wry, witty, and/or plain old silly love songs that make us laugh, starting with one of Jens’ best. Let us know your favorites in the comments. … Read More

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