Jens Lekman

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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The 15 Albums You Need to Hear in September

You know summer is well and truly over when the humidity recedes, the days start getting shorter and the big album releases start coming thick and fast. Yep, it’s almost time for the September rush, and this year the crop is particularly good — so much so, in fact, that we’ve expanded our usual round-up of 10 albums you need to hear in the month to come to a bumper list of 15. As ever, we’ve also rounded up the rest of the month’s notable releases: the good, the bad, and the ugly. So tell us: what are you looking forward to hearing in… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Ron Howard has confirmed that he and Brian Grazer will be filming Jay-Z’s Made in America music festival for a feature that will be released next year. “This will not be a concert film,” he explains. “It’s a reflection of the fabric of what it means to be Made in America – what the… Read More

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Your Favorite Musicians’ Unexpected Favorite Records

You may have read recently that Mitt Romney Paul Ryan is the world’s most unlikely Rage Against the Machine fan, and the spectacular WTF-ness of his inexplicable declaration of fondness for left-wing agitrock will endure as one of the stranger moments of the 2012 campaign trail. The whole strange business also got us thinking: well, there are plenty of features around wherein artists have been asked to choose a selection of their favorite albums or songs. Surely there are some wacky choices in there? We got reading, and yep, there are some real winners to be found… so here’s a selection of such choices that we found particularly interesting — either selections we’d never heard of, or selections we just wouldn’t have expected. Who’d have thought that Bradford Cox was the only person in the world to like the second MGMT album, or that Frank Black was into weird faux-Greek music, or that both Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were experts on reggae? Read on for more… … Read More

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10 MP3s You Need to Download for Free This Week: Jens Lekman, The Darkness

It’s Friday, which means another installment of our regular roundup of downloadable MP3 goodness from around the web. This week’s highlight is a track from the new Jens Lekman album, which you can grab today if you’re quick enough. There’s also more silliness from The Darkness, a free track from the OMBRE album that was released this week, the latest installment from Adult Swim’s consistently excellent Singles Program, unexpected renaissances for Andre Williams and Men Without Hats, and a whole heap more. Since all this action costs precisely nothing, what are you waiting for? All the download links await after the jump. … Read More

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10 Indie Musicians Who Would Make Great Pop Stars

Ariel Pink’s new album Mature Themes is out this week, and it’s as strange and idiosyncratic as ever, mixing killer pop songs and curious whimsy in roughly equal measures. Pink’s more pop-tastic moment have always led us to think that somewhere inside him was/is a huge international pop star just waiting to get out. (Whether Pink is inclined to let this inner pop star out is, of course, another matter entirely.) Anyway, either way, hearing Mature Themes got us thinking about other indie types who, in an ideal world, could/should be chart-destroying megastars. The lines are blurrier than ever these days, of course, and there have been plenty of genuine crossover acts drawn from the ranks of the indie world, if that term even means anything in 2012 — M83, Feist, even (whisper it quietly) Bon Iver. Who might be next? Read on. … Read More

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A Simple Music Video for Jens Lekman’s New Song ‘I Know What Love Isn’t’

Nicest Guy in Indie Rock Jens Lekman has a new album due out September 4th, and we’re getting our second taste of it in a music video for the title track, “I Know What Love Isn’t.” (The first video, for “Erica America,” debuted in June.) The clip is simple — it’s just the singer and a few backing musicians performing against a white background — but the mini-symphonic song and its typically blunt, droll lyrics don’t need any embellishment. An incredibly unromantic marriage proposal, the track finds Lekman entreating a woman, “So let’s get married / I’m serious / But only for the citizenship / I’ve always liked the idea of it / A relationship that doesn’t lie about its intentions and shit.” Not exactly the stuff swoons are made on, but a welcome dose of honesty from a man whose awkward moments are consistently his most wonderful. … Read More

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