Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
Even though he really hasn’t gone anywhere, I still miss Jens Lekman. There was a period where the guy put out a seemingly endless string of amazing pop songs. From what I hear his well of inspiration hasn’t dried up, but the frequency of his releases sure has. Lucky for me, Minty Fresh had the wherewithal to get the American distribution rights for Suburban Kids With Biblical Names’ #3, equally excellent purveyors of gonzo Swedish pop.
#3 is, at its core, a “summer” album. Breezy melodies abound, floating out of any number of eclectic instrument combinations: mandolin, vocoder and drum machine (“Loop Duplicate My Heart”), ukulele, trumpet and whistling (“A Couple of Instruments”) Pixies-esque electric guitar, atonal recorder and banjo (“Noodles”)… the list even hits irony-mangled sounds like synthesized steel drums and beat-boxing. Like Lekman’s “Happy Birthday, Dear Friend Lisa,” having Scandinavian iciness injected into Caribbean rhythms on “Funeral Face” is one unlikely hybrid I will never tire of hearing.
Also reminiscent of Lekman are the Kids’ supply of wry witticisms and pop culture references. “Parakit,” a song about the nostalgia in returning to their home town, features this smirking gem: “…the tags are still there ‘Meat is Murder’ and ‘Pavement’/ I used to wonder when I went for a walk if they meant Pavement the band or if it’s just coincidence.” Even better is “Loop Duplicate My Heart,” a truly bizarre love triangle between a boy, his musical instruments and his computer and its romantic declarations like “tonight I’m making out with my computer” and “there are really so/ so many interesting effects/ I want to try them all on you.” It’s this kind of potentially unhealthy relationship with technology that yields albums this good. Let’s all pitch in and rent them a room.
Minty Fresh: www.mintyfresh.com