'BPP' Jukebox: Sondre Lerche's Scandinavian Cool

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Put a quarter in the BPP Jukebox to hear a live performance of "To Be Surprised," a track recorded by Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche at the Bryant Park Project studios.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Mike, can I borrow a quarter?

MIKE PESCA, host:

Oh. Is this going to be one of those call-someone-who-cares things?

MARTIN: No. I really need a quarter.

PESCA: Well, I think I do have one.

MARTIN: Thanks. You know, I mean, we have had so much heavy stuff this hour. A lot of politics, it's all good stuff...

PESCA: Yeah. I liked how you took an abstract international issue and kind of brought it down to the human level.

MARTIN: Hey, thanks.

PESCA: Sure. I like when you do that.

MARTIN: That's why I get paid the big money.

PESCA: Yeah. Like this quarter.

MARTIN: Like this quarter! Exactly. Public Radio, baby. But I really feel the need for a little mental sorbet that only the BPP Jukebox can provide.

PESCA: OK. It's a good idea. What do you have in mind?

MARTIN: I was thinking maybe Sondre Lerche, you know, the Norwegian singer we had on the show awhile back.

PESCA: Lerche?

MARTIN: Lerche - nice Scandinavian folk song. No politics, no heavy stuff, just a chance to kind of catch our collective BPP breath.

PESCA: Do you want to know my favorite thing about Norway?

MARTIN: What is it?

PESCA: Fjords. Also, the fascinating history of warfare and intrigue going back to the smaller petty kingdoms which were later unified into one larger kingdom in the Battle of Hafrsfjord by Harald Fairhair in the ninth century through the Viking age.

MARTIN: How do you know this? Just so bizarre, the things that you collect in your mind, Cliff Clavin. OK. Let's just move this along. We could have a history lesson, but I want to get to the music. Give me that quarter.

PESCA: OK. Here you go. You're never going to pay me back are you?

MARTIN: No. I'm not.

(Soundbite of jukebox)

(Soundbite of song "To Be Surprised")

Mr. LERCHE: (Singing) I'm not going to say That you ever stop to think along the way, But baby, be prepared to be surprised. You better be prepared to be surprised. Honey, be prepared to be surprised. It's all I know.

I'm not going to state Obvious observations everybody makes, But baby, be prepared to be surprised. You've got to be prepared to be surprised. Oh, honey, you better be prepared to be surprised. It's all I know.

The weight of the world And the hurt and the dirt Can make you disturbed, But I heard, but I heard, When I wrap my arms around you, Every mistake we made crumbles. When I wrap my arms around you, Everything echoes a new song.

I'm not gonna whine Or scream out I'm so tired Through the mike. But baby, be prepared to be surprised. You better be prepared to be surprised. Oh, honey, be prepared to be surprised. It's all I know.

The weight of the world And the hurt and the dirt Can make you disturbed, But I heard, but I heard, When I wrap my arms around you, Every mistake we make crumbles. When I wrap my arms around you, Everything echoes a new song

I'm not gonna lie, Saying everyone's gonna be all right And fine until we die...

MARTIN: That's Sondre Lerche with "To Be Surprised," live in the BPP studios. And that does it for this hour of the BPP. We don't go away online, though. We're there all the time at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Rachel Martin.

PESCA: And I'm t-shirt wearer Mike Pesca. This is the Bryant Park Project from NPR News.

(Soundbite of song "To Be Surprised")

Mr. LERCHE: (Singing) You've got to be prepared to be surprised. You've got to be prepared to be surprised. Oh honey, be prepared to be surprised. It's all I know.

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Sondre Lerche's Two Real Lives

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Sondre Lerche Standard

Musician Sondre Lerche has put out two major records in one year. Courtesy of Sondre Lerche hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sondre Lerche

This year, Sondre Lerche has had a regular studio album, Phantom Punch, and done the entire soundtrack for the film Dan in Real Life, starring Steve Carrell.

Lerche has had indie respectability since his 2001 album, Faces Down. Now that he has burst through to the mainstream, Lerche keeps on plugging, performing a few songs live in our Bryant Park studio.

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