Lykke Li – Youth Novels

Sometimes we need to clean out our musical closet and revisit, even reconnect with what has been past choices of musicians. Lykke Li’s debut album, released in 2008 offered a new perspective on the energy originally constructed. I took the time to delve into this eleven track, uplifting and spiritual slice of pleasure, to find a new love of this Swedish beauty.

Her voice reaches an indescribable soprano range that is both vintage and effortless. Throughout the album you hear her playful, harmonising, synchronised vocals go above your average indie pop artist. She incorporates a 50’s styles, A Cappella in most of her songs like “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “I’m Good, I’m Gone;” merging the past with present, making it her own.

“You’ll be the rhythm and I’ll the beat,” repeats in her somewhat poetic lullaby introduction, inviting the listener to contribute to this album. We as a whole are the puzzle that completes her art piece. Her choice with "Melodies and Desires" with “This Trumpet in My Head” shows her creative desire to diversify her album by including theatrically works of her music. The careful balance between instruments and lyrics, contradict and complement each other simultaneously, stunning work.

“Dance, Dance, Dance” reminds me of Paolo Nutini’s original song “New Shoes” with that cheerful, playful tune that opens the day and motivates you to get out of bed. This is one of those effortless, positive songs that encourage you to want to move. The instruments used to complete this song are admirable, proving a fast beat isn't necessarily needed to produce a pleasurable song. Her version of this song is one that has to be seen live, to be truly appreciated. She replaces the saxophone with a kazoo, its one breath taking performance.

Lyrically, Lykke Li has a remarkable gift to construct rhythm with catchy verses to every single song. Her skill is a deliberate attempt to impart meaning behind her words, is remarkable.  "Time Fly’s” is one of my favorites and has a darker view than others which are more uplifting, such as “Little Bit”.  Time Fly’s beautiful composition combined with her obvious passion produced a deeper tone, that can’t be duplicated. She brings about a surreal experience of sadness through her aching, faded, tearful voice that really makes this song a deep thought experience.

Two particular tracks, that have a collaboration of instruments, melded together into one song, seem to be unfamiliar today within indie pop.  For instance “Little Bit” and “Breaking It Up” have the essence of warmth, a fresh freedom such as what the transition from spring into summer offers us. An almost sensual influence that we can all feel relaxed and seduced by, at the same time. This has to be listened to loud to be appreciated, relish the license to free your mind and soak in the optimistic beats by singing along.

If you’ve never heard of Lykke Li then you’re truly missing out, but if it’s been a while, go back and clean out those eardrums with this album; you wont regret it. 

Elle Sutherland