Live: Jens Lekman @ The Echo, 5.27.09

Jens Lekman
All photos by David Greenwald

As I hinted at in my review of Destroyer’s recent Echoplex gig, bands without a new album to promote tend to be looser, more relaxed — more fun. Not that Jens Lekman doesn’t always bring the Swede-pop party, but even by his standards, this show seemed special. The joyful musician revealed three new tracks, all worthy contenders of LP4: “New Directions,” an upbeat “song about Google maps” he also played when I saw him at the Henry Fonda Theater in 2008; “The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love,” a Field Mice-like strummer that recalled his folkier early work; and “An Argument With Myself,” the funniest of the bunch, a Paul Simonesque lyrical traffic jam sans Simon’s tragic yuppiedom. For the rest of the set he turned mostly toward 2007’s Night Falls On Kortedala, and the more I see Jens — this was my third time — the more it’s obvious he wants to make people dance. For most sad-hearted, sharp-tongued singer-songwriters, this would be the worst move possible, but for Lekman, all his new directions are worth following.

Previously: Live: Jens Lekman at the Henry Fonda Theater, 3.21.08 | at the Troubadour, 11.10.07