• Jens Lekman, my new Patty Griffin

    Jan 21 2006, 20h25

    This is my first journal entry, so I thought I'd use it to talk about my new favorite artist, Jens Lekman. This is where I tell a really cheesy story, so choose to stop reading, or accept that it's cheesy and continue reading:

    Last year around winter time I got really depressed for one reason or another. I used to go for long walks where I'd listen to lots of new music; it helped clear my mind. Mainly I listened to Patty Griffin. Most of you who know me know that I have an unhealthy obsession with her. That's mainly due to that period of my life. Her albums, specifically Impossible Dream, had a way of making me optimistic for the future, but keeping me depressed at the same time. Songs like Cold As It Gets, Rowing Song, and Top Of The World have this hopeful air, but are incredibly solemn. I would thus wander the UW-Madison campus feeling like shit, but somehow, actually connected to Patty's music. Cheesy, I know, but I warned you.

    Anyways, last night was Friday, and while all my friends went out, I simply didn't feel like it. It snowed for the first time in weeks yesterday, so I decided to try a walk, something I hadn't done in maybe 10 months. For one reason or another, I put Jens Lekman on, a Swedish singer/songwriter that is just about as cheesy lyrics-wise as you can get. And yet, within lyrics like "We went home to her place and cooked up some chili / Warmed us from the inside cause the oustside was chilly" I find incredible truth and heart in his voice. The connection didn't occur to me until about an hour into the walk, but for the first time since Patty Griffin, I had found an artist that I actually believed. His words are so sweet (romantic sweet, not cool sweet), and yet he gives off the image of a scared puppy other times. He's confident, but never overpowering, even on tracks like You Are the Light where he belts it out surrounded by an entourage of horns.

    As I basically trudged through blocks and blocks of snow, it was a good feeling to find that connection to an artist that I hadn't had in so long. You all should check him out. He's brilliant and instantly loveable.