Jens Lekman: Positively Negative The Swedish indie-pop star stopped by opbmusic.org in Portland to perform songs from I Know What Love Isn't in the studio. Watch Lekman perform the album's darkly uplifting title song.

Favorite Sessions

Jens Lekman: Positively Negativeopbmusic.org

A native of Gothenberg, Sweden, Jens Lekman has never been one to take songwriting inspiration from the usual sources — he's shown a knack for taking unlikely subjects like drive-in bingo parlors and Rocky Dennis and infusing them with wit and romance.

Lekman's first full-length release in five years, I Know What Love Isn't, might find him facing more conventional pop-music circumstances — it's a break-up album, after all — but his endearing, self-deprecating charm is no less in tune. He says he'd had no intention to write about heartbreak; as he told us, "It just didn't feel like it was a subject that led anywhere." But it clearly proved therapeutic for Lekman, for whom rainclouds ultimately reveal silver linings.

Credits

  • Audio recording/mixing: Steven Kray
  • Video production: Nate Sjol
  • Cameras: Ifanyi Bell, David Christensen
[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Theodore performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Theodore

The music of Theodore is dark and transformative, with the kind of spare elegance you can hear in Sigur Rós or Pink Floyd.

Gary Clark Jr. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 1, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Gary Clark Jr.

These three songs, from Clark's incendiary new album This Land, roar with the assurance and force of a showman at the top of his game.

Weezer performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Weezer

Performing unplugged, the band forgoes its usual meticulousness in favor of a shaggy, entirely acoustic mix of new songs and '90s-era deep cuts.

Alejandro Escovedo performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 16, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Alejandro Escovedo

The veteran rocker and a backup band from Italy play songs from their album The Crossing, chronicling an American Dream of rock and roll and Beat poetry.

Meg Myers performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 5, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Meg Myers

Myers replaces her album's roaring electric guitars and electronics with a pulsing string quartet, piano and brushed drums — and uncorks a cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill."

Aaron Lee Tasjan performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Aaron Lee Tasjan arrived in an ascot and mustard-colored shirt, sporting red, round sunglasses and mutton chops. It was a fashionable nod to the psych-pop and rock sound he brought to the Tiny Desk.

Pedro the Lion performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 13, 2018 (Claire harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Pedro The Lion

No matter how dark or disastrous, there's always been an undercurrent of grace to the music of David Bazan. He returns to his Pedro the Lion moniker for this memorable Tiny Desk performance.

Back To Top