I am not, by nature, the kind of person who likes to argue about someone’s opinion. But, back against a wall at a party, I would vehemently defend the rankings of the following list. (Now all we need to do is throw the kind of party where Jens Lekman’s non-album collaborations are discussed in detail. Any takers? I’ll bring the hummus and pita chips.)
5. Benni Hemm Hemm: “Aldrei”’
“Aldrei” is a minimal track. It’s all about the heavenly harmonies created by the sound of two voices combining. (Oh you’re so ethereal Iceland/Jens.)
4. The Concretes: “On the Radio”
Jens contributed barely-there vocals on The Concretes’ 2006 single, “On the Radio.” (He’s also listed as an ”Honorary Concrete” in the liner notes) So chances are that this barely counts as a collaboration. But it’s notable for two reasons:
1. It’s just a straight up well-written soft pop song that Jens had a (small) hand in.
2. I enjoy finding proof that people actually enjoy their job. One imagines that his time in the studio was more about hanging out with pals than money.
3. New Buffalo: “Inside (The Corrections)”
Sally Seltmann (a.k.a. New Buffalo) sings with a fragile alto, leaving Jens’ baritone croon to carry the weight of this horn and percussion-based track. The two play well together—conjuring a late night, “one glass of red wine too many” vibe with a barely- concealed sense of melancholy.
2. Montt Mardie: “Castle in The Sky”
If you love Jens (since you’re stuck with me this far, I can only assume that you do), you should check out fellow Swedish singer/songwriter/hopeless romantic Montt Mardie. His 2007 duet with Jens could have easily slotted into When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog. Two young boys, one young girl, a love triangle. Heartache knows no age.
1. Tracey Thorn: “Yeah! Oh Yeah!”
“Do I drive you up the wall?/Do you dread every phone call?/Can you not stand me at all?” Tracey Thorn +Jens Lekman + The Magnetic Fields = romantic/pessimistic pay dirt.
“Walk along the river under trees If you don’t make a sound in the dark No one will hear and no one will see Hold on and push the boat Please be a part of this”
Representando a Islandia, viene Benni Hemm Hemm, con su sonido puro, absolutemente islandes (aunque hoy esta en Escocia UK), como nos ha acostumbrado Sigur Ros por ejemplo. La musica de su fundador y artista principal, y en su comienzo, tambien productor, Benedikt H. Hermannsson, es melancolica, pero no triste. Nos podemos relajar escuchando “Retaliate”, una canción que nos hace sentir el frio viento de la isla, y el paisaje de pampa y hielo. La banda nace en 2003, lanzando el EP “Summer Plate” solo en Islandia, luego en 2005 lanza el album “Benni Hemm Hemm”, esta vez en Islandia y Japon. Con 26 años, el artista deambula por la escena indie europea. Esperemos algun dia recibir en Chile a toda una delegacion de islandeses con sus guitarras acusticas y pianos. El video ilustrado y animado, acorde al estilo musical, simple, de colores frios, que no busca efectismos. Video hecho por Michael Kirkham y Vivien McDermid.