Jens Lekman Performs in NPR's Studio 4A

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Jens Lekman's latest album is Night Falls Over Kortedala.

Jens Lekman's latest album is Night Falls Over Kortedala. Kristin Lidell hide caption

itoggle caption Kristin Lidell

Swedish indie-pop star Jens Lekman draws inspiration from some unlikely places for his latest album, Night Falls Over Kortedala — one quirky new track is about posing as his lesbian friend's boyfriend. But Lekman makes it work with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and carefully crafted sound.

The name of the album refers to a suburb outside of Lekman's hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden. He describes Kortedala as a gloomy, boring town.

"It's a place I couldn't wait to get out of but a place I couldn't help but romanticize at the same time," he says.

Lekman performs songs from Night Falls Over Kortedala and takes questions from listeners about his work and his influences. Tammy Karlsson joins him on drums.

SXSW 2008: Jens Lekman

When a twentysomething musician makes records that sound more like Burt Bacharach or Harry Nilsson than anything else, it's going to reek of either pretension or cheese. In Jens Lekman's case, it's both — and, surprisingly, the result is delightful. Hear the concert recorded live at the Parish in Austin, Tex., on March 13, 2008.

The Swedish singer-songwriter knows when his tongue is firmly planted in cheek. Many moments in his latest album, Night Falls Over Kortedala, are so ridiculously over-the-top that listeners can't help but laugh. While he crafts his music with impeccable care, the great part is that Lekman's pretty obviously laughing, too.

Hear the other bands from this concert: Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Yeasayer, A.A. Bondy, Shout Out Louds.

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