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Boomkat Product Review:
I ask you, when did indie music get so soulful? Once confined to skinny girlish types with thick glasses and parentally-approved knitwear, in 2007 we are seeing something rather strange happen to the C86 generation. One of my favourite records so far this year was from Broken Social Scene's Feist, and what was so remarkable about 'The Reminder' was its unashamed liberal usage of Motown soul and deep vocal jazz - not things you'd usually associate with the Canadian post-everything scene. Swedish feller Jens Lekman is another pasty feller from colder climes eager to lavish a little bit of Motor City grandeur to proceedings and 'Night Falls Over Kortedala' is his most soulful and most consistent effort to date. It's odd, it sounds like an indie album from start to finish but then at the same time it doesn't - with his liberal use of samples Lekman sounds like he's unearthed the meeting point between Morrissey and Marvin Gaye - all ascending strings and baroque vocals, but where this could descend into retroist comedy it ends up sounding original and utterly joyous. People will no doubt mention 60s Scott Walker, will throw around the Magnetic Fields, but what Lekman has managed to do is capture the imagination of indie music followers and critics everywhere by doing things his own way and making his music a joy to listen to. 'Your Arms Around Me' could almost have been produced by Kanye West with its wonky strings, harps and crunchy beats, but then at the same time it still sounds like a lesser heard Morrissey track - it's still indie-pop. With the end-of-the-pier jig of current single 'Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo' which frames life in Lekman's hometown while still managing to sound like a crackling 45 from the 1950s there should be enough on this record to convince even hard-faced indie haters to give the Swede a chance, and without a doubt enough to put the record in the top end of many an end-of-year chart. A fabulous, colourful and creative album with charm and humility - by the time it finishes you'll be grabbing a ticket to Gothenburg to find out what's is in the water over there after all... Essential purchase!