About Lykke Li
Stockholm, Sweden’s Lykke Li is set to release her highly-anticipated sophomore album, Wounded Rhymes, on her label LL Recordings on March 1st, 2011. Produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn & John and recorded in Stockholm, Wounded Rhymes is the follow up to Lykke Li’s critically-acclaimed debut, Youth Novels.
As one of 2008’s most talked-about albums, Youth Novels a postmodern pop masterpiece combining elements of folk music, hip hop, singer/songwriter confessionals and more – established Lykke Li Zachrisson as a true innovator of melody and style. Released when she was just 22, her voice alternated between a world-weary sigh and a coquettish coo, simultaneously eschewing protection while wanting to be looked after; evoking a steely strength behind her eyelash-batting shyness. Embracing her own contrasts, Lykke Li strove to load the songs on Youth Novels with heavy emotions but deceptively simple instrumentation, often times relying on sparse melody lines and basic beats upon which to pile her incredible choruses. Live, her performances were as startling as they were riveting: armed with a paired down drum kit, a necklace made out of percussive instruments, a guitar, a bass and a microphone, many were confounded by how much energy, emotion and heart came out of one very simple set-up and one hell of a singer, just barely out of her teenage years. Youth Novels skyrocketed to the top of many of the year’s Best Of lists, and saw Lykke Li sell out tours across the globe, including lauded sets at massive festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, an incredible heartbroken song called “Possibility” as the centerpiece of the Twilight-New Moon soundtrack and more.
But then, there was silence. Upon completing her last dates in support of Youth Novels, Lykke Li who had spent two solid years touring the world felt uneasy, unsure of where to go next. She had found it difficult to write since Youth Novels was released, feeling cramped in backstage quarters, airports, dark hotel rooms. After two manic years of every place, person and pleasure on the planet calling for her attention, as well as a failed romance under her belt, Lykke Li found herself in desperate need for a place to lay her head rather than another stage to fill. She decamped to New York City, where she had gotten her first taste of performing at open mic nights many years back. She rolled around the city, ultimately deciding it would provide her no comfort, and so like all great artists she went West, ending up in the California desert to bury her recently-broken heart in the sand and to star in a trippy dark film by her friend Moses Berkson called Solarium. Upon its completion, she settled in Los Angeles in a house on a hill, where she rented a not-so-grand piano and bought a bicycle, an autoharp, and bouquets of flowers to put around her room. She began to work.
Settling in with her loneliness, Lykke Li turned to records she had always loved for inspiration, combing through everything from Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Dr. John to the Velvet Underground, This Mortal Coil, and the omnipresent hex of Alan Lomax’s field recordings. She found herself again leaning towards the raw power of simplicity, something into which she had first tapped via her live show, and she started to write. Once she was done, she returned to her adopted hometown of Stockholm, and went into the studio with Bjorn Yttling to assemble her new record.
The resulting album, Wounded Rhymes, is one of the most tremendous records you will hear in 2011. Channeling the demise of The Shangri-La’s Leader of the Pack, women under the influence, ladies and gentlemen of the canyon, a Kung-fu Marianne Faithful, and an armed Nancy Sinatra on peyote, Lykke Li has created an eleven song album that sounds like no other. The record is packed full of pounding, voodoo drums, girl group gang vocals, sparkling guitar lines, woozy keyboards, love unrequited, hope reignited and her own very powerful voice, sounding bigger and bolder than ever before. From the hazy 60’s organ driving opener “Youth Knows No Pain” to the sparse toe-tap-solo-guitar-swing of “Unrequited Love” to rollicking single “Get Some” to the dense drums of the propulsive “Jerome,” Wounded Rhymes is a testament to Lykke Li’s brilliant musical voice, one unlike any other.
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