Jens Lekman has announced his new album 'I Know What Love Isn't' will be released on September 3rd via Secretly Canadian in the UK. It's his first full-length album in five years no less. Jens will head off on a full UK/EU tour the week after release in September, calling at three dates in the UK including Hackney Empire on the 20th September. Full details are below.
The follow-up to 2007's critically acclaimed 'Night Falls Over Kortedala', the new album chronicles the bittersweet pursuit of love. 'I Know What Love Isn't' came out of a break up, something Jens didn't see as worth writing about initially. But the songs began taking shape from images and memories. As Joan Didion said that she writes entirely to find out what she's thinking, Jens wrote until he caught up with his thoughts, leading him inevitably back to the break up. Taking comfort from 'Oh, The Divorces', a song written and dedicated to him by Everything But The Girl's Tracey Thorn - "Oh Jens, Oh Jens / your songs seem to look through a different lens / you're still so young, love ends just as easy as it's begun" - her missive to him proved a defining moment, arriving at a time when he found himself confused and in doubt. He was changing and, subsequently, so were his songs.
Musically, 'I Know What Love Isn't' chooses an economic route. From the vast palette he created for '...Kortedala', he's chosen a few starker colours this time around. There are strings, but no string section; an upright piano - not a grand; a single saxophone and grace notes from a flute. As Jens explains - "I wanted the songs to take off almost unnoticeably, where the chorus is separated from the verse only through a small detail like a tambourine or a harmony". A country-fied piano makes 'Become Someone Else's' rise up; vocals from Melbourne singer Sophie Brous makes the chorus in 'Erica America' soar.
In the title track, Lekman distils the essential truths from every day life vignettes whilst singing about a sham marriage. "I thought of the Friday nights when I'd be cruising up and down the street with my best friend in her crappy old Holden, talking about getting married to get me into the country. That we could build this constructed relationship around a purpose rather than some vague feeling that could change at any time. But in the end, the sham marriage is much too great at story to be kept secret. At least when you make a living from telling stories".
'I Know What Love Isn't' tells a story which isn't new - but which is essentially human. It tells of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to truly discover what love is.
As mentioned above, Lekman makes his first full visit to the UK since 2011 this September with a full band.
Jens Lekman Live Dates
28 - CASTELBASSO, IT, Soundlabs Festival
11 - ARHUS, Train
12 - COPENHAGEN, Vega
13 - OSLO, Rockefeller
14 - MALMO - KB
15 - GOTHENBURG, Pustervik
17 - STOCKHOLM, Dramaten
19 - MANCHESTER, Ruby Lounge
20 - LONDON, Hackney Empire - on sale 9am Monday 11th June)
21 - BRIGHTON, The Haunt
23 - PARIS, GaitÃ© Lyrique
24 - STRASBOURG, La Laiterie
25 - UTRECHT, Tivoli de Helling
26 - BERLIN, Postbahnhof