We’ve yet to see the proper follow-up effort to his 2007 master stroke, Night Falls Over Kortedala, but this new five-song EP should be seen as an essential release for devotees of Swedish singer/songwriter Jens Lekman. Full of the poppy arrangements that characterized his last album, there’s enough of Lekman’s trademark wit and self-deprecation on display in this 17-minute set to remind listeners of his status as one indie music’s best storytellers.
The EP leads with its titular track, a frantic chronicle of a drunken stumble through the streets of Melbourne. The song captures Lekman, ahem, arguing with himself in a booze-fueled moment of introspection, playing both sides of the conflict with lines such as “F*ck you, no, you f*ck you!/You didn’t come here for nothing, did you?”. It’s a funny affair, especially sung with Lekman’s soft voice and Scandinavian accent.
In “Waiting for Kirsten”, Lekman and a friend stalk Kirsten Dunst across Gothenburg after she mentions she’s a fan of his music in an interview. Ultimately, Lekman fails to meet the actress and is turned away by the hotel receptionist for being too intoxicated when he tries to leave her behind a mash note. “A Promise” forgoes the humor for a sadder tribute to a sick friend. Lekman’s arrangements on the songs are all lavish endeavors, as expected, with horn sections, melodic strings, and sax and flute solos kicking in at different points.
The songs on An Argument With Myself reportedly didn’t gel with the songs on the currently in-development third LP, so this may not offer any clues to what that next record will sound like. Nonetheless, it’s a great mini-dose of Lekman charm that should be welcome to anyone that’s been missing him these four years.
Essential Songs: “An Argument With Myself”, “Waiting for Kirsten”