LYKKE LI-“Youth Novels”

I’m having trouble finding out much about Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson (stage name “Lykke Li”). I received her “Little Bit” EP in the mail, without much fanfare, and I really like it. I’ve also been able to locate streams of her debut, “Youth Novels” (two songs from the album are also on the EP), which has been released overseas but doesn’t appear to have a U.S. distributor yet. Her label is listed as LL Recordings, but I’ve seen indications that this label is not a true indie—it may be distributed through EMI, but I can’t be sure.

For now, I’m going to give the Swedish singer-songwriter the benefit of the doubt and assume that she’s not affiliated, so she gets a review here. And not just any review—“Youth Novels” is extraordinary. It’s sexy in the cold, sexless way Bjork is sexy. It’s quirky in the mainstream pop way that Tori Amos is quirky. “Little Bit,” the (well-selected) single is the most mainstream tune on
the record, and it’s great, but don’t let it keep you from digging deeper. “Breaking It Up,” with its child-like sing-a-long and sugary innocence hides a sad song about the end of a relationship. You can write the record off as harmless pop, but I’d have to disagree. This is about as good as pop can get.

Her “Little Bit” EP was released domestically in 2007. The fact that I’m just getting it in the mail indicates to me that there are plans for a U.S. launch of the album. Let’s hope!

Little Bit

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