Song of the Week / Uncategorized

Song Of The Week

Every week we will bring you a song that we have been hammering lately. It might be a new release, but equally it might be an album track, or something that was released a while ago which we have only just discovered and/or come to truly appreciate.

Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t

We love Jens Lekman. We do think we couldn’t listen to a whole Jens album in one go, because he is awfully twee sometimes, his songs are very samey, and frankly just too damn happy (most of the time). But one song we have only discovered recently, is this wonderpiece of happyindiepop.

We think Jens probably uses a formula when he writes/composes songs, and fair play to him, because this song is an example of said formula going exactly right. From the delight of the woodwind solo, from the delicious repetition of the refrain ‘I know what love isn’t’ to end of the song, with many a nonsensical ‘oooohhhh-oooooh’ in the background, with many a xylophone in the intro, this song is pretty much perfection. 

Lyrically, the song is A+ with gems such as ‘look to the left, there’s a 9.5 down the street / and to my right a perfect 10 in the driving seat’ ; ‘so let’s get married’ (girl laughs) ‘I’m serious… but only for the citizenship ..’ ; ‘a relationship doesn’t lie about it’s intentions and shit’ ; ‘Hey, do you want to go and see a band? / No I hate bands, it’s always packed with men spooning their girlfriends.’

But we can’t make out if this song is really, underneath the sheen and pretence of happiness, is actually a sad song. We’re thinking past a view of knowing what love isn’t in terms of seeing flaws in other couples who are supposedly ‘in love.’ If you know what love isn’t, doesn’t that mean that you have experienced “love” and realised that what you thought was “love” actually wasn’t. You realised it was just a thing of convenience. You realised you had yourself fooled at the time. And perhaps this is where Jens excels. In making the sad seem more happy (‘The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love’, from the same album, is a perfect example of this; it’s the very rarest of rare things, a non-bitter, happy, break-up song.) 

Anyway this song makes us wish it was summer and we were in Sweden. Neither of those things are true right now.

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