Swedish pop star Jens Lekman has the recognition of a Kanye West or an Ashlee Simpson in his home country, but his sound might compare more aptly to Lawrence Welk or Burt Bacharach.
The 24-year-old Lekman's deep, silky voice and instrumentation often lend a retro-pop feel to his music. But it's hard to imagine a lyric such as "Yeah, I got busted/I painted a dirty word on your old man's Mercedes-Benz/'Cause you told me to do it" finding its way into an old love tune from the 1960s. Another song — several, in fact — make reference to Rocky Dennis, a boy with a disfiguring bone disorder whose life was dramatized in the 1985 movie Mask.
Lekman's most recent album is Oh You're So Silent Jens. He joins Scott Simon from Stockholm to perform and talk about his music.