Tiny Desk

Jens Lekman

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14 min 1 sec

If you're suffering from a broken heart, Jens Lekman is here to remind you that there are more important things to worry about. Like, say, the end of the world.

With his cozy baritone, Lekman dispenses this advice in "The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love," one of many treats doled out during his visit to the NPR Music offices. The Swedish singer has a knack for extracting enormous ideas from the mundane details of life, and populates his music with relatable yet poignant truths: "You know that thing when you have the same dream for 720 nights in a row, and you wake up one morning and you think, 'Okay, I get it'?" With that in mind, he kicks off this performance with the unreleased "I Want a Pair of Cowboy Boots," with lovely vocal harmonies from drummer Addison Rogers.

Lekman the performer is a singer-songwriter, sure, but he's also like a storyteller, actor and comedian. His onstage banter falls somewhere between the effortless delivery of a seasoned comic and the nervous rambling of an indie-rock frontman. In an office setting, he looks like just about anyone's coworker, swapping funny stories during a lull in the workday.

In an especially charming moment, Lekman recounted his hilarious attempts to meet actress Kirsten Dunst when she visited his hometown of Gothenburg. Throughout his tale, Lekman showcased his ability to deadpan without irony and be romantic but not mawkish; there's always sincerity in his sharp, insightful lyrics. "Waiting for Kirsten," a standout from his excellent An Argument With Myself EP, contains a twist of a lesson, but you'll have to hear it for yourself to find out what it is.

Set List
  • "I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots"
  • "The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love"
  • "Waiting For Kirsten"

Filmed and edited by Michael Katzif; audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Michael Katzif/NPR

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