September 2nd, 2014


While travelling through mid west America some time ago I stopped at a gasstation and bought a WWJD bracelet for $1.99 and insisted that it stood for ‘What Would Jens Do?’. I would look at it when I felt indecisive, think about what Jens really would do and then do the opposite of that. I thought that would be a good way to find some new paths in life, and to get away from the paths I kept taking that didn’t lead me anywhere good.

WWJD is a song about regrets, learning from your mistakes, and bettering yourself. I wrote it last year, recorded it quickly and felt it didn’t fit in with most of the other songs I was writing. Together with ‘What’s That Perfume That You Wear?’ and ‘I Remember’ they weren’t adhering to the rules I had set up for my next album but they were also too good to forget. So I weaved them in exclusively on this mixtape where they are stations on a longer journey, where loops and smaller fragments, ideas for songs and favourite songs by others swoosh by outside the window. Feel free to open that window and feel the breeze in your hair.

Yours truly
Jens Lekman

0:00 - Jens Lekman - WWJD
3:05 - Bunny Maloney - Baby I’ve Been Missing You
6:18 - David Byrne - Theodora Is Dozing
7:59 - The 11:08 Train Swooshes By
09:52 - Jhene Aiko - Stranger
11:34 - Jennifer Lara - Our Love
13:10 - Georges Delerue - Theme from Camille
15:25 - Jens Lekman - What's That Perfume That You Wear?
18:47 - Ralph MacDonald - The Path
20:33 - All Your Sorrows Reversed
26:25 - Jens Lekman - I Remember

Contains smaller fragments from: The Philly Devotions - Yeah Yeah Girl. The Duprees - Why Don’t You Believe Me? Soul 2 Soul - Back To Life (acapella). Beethoven - Stringquartet no 5 in A Major. Dalida - Salma Ya Salama. Fairouz - Zourouni. Angel Haze - Same Love. Syl Johnsson - I Hate I Walked Away. Hermeto Pascoal - Musica da Lagoa. Crue-L Grand Orchestra - (You Are) More Than Paradise (Freaks Switching Channels 12inch Mix). Paul Johnson - Where Can You Be. Jim Nabors - With These Hands. Israel Vibration - The Same Song.

Lilian Paunovic Olsson sings harmonies on ‘WWJD’.

Thanks to Sara, Luís and Malin for the inspiration and Rachel Tabet for the Fairouz track ID.

August 27th, 2014


Tomorrow, the 28th, I will be playing at the support show for the hungerstriking Palestinian refugees at Järntorget, Gothenburg.
This is at 17:00.
You can read more here and sign the petition.
And here is the event.
Please come and show your support.

August 12th, 2014


For my last three shows I’ve handed out small envelopes with dried lavender to be opened during one of the new songs. It’s a song about a certain scent and the memories connected with that scent. Lavender is only one part of it but it’s one of the more distinctive notes. My intention was to make the show a bit more 4 dimensional for a moment. To make you feel what I feel.

The song will maybe be in your hands soon.

July 21st, 2014


Me and Henning Fürst, on our way back home from the Isle of Eigg
Photo by Malcolm Jack

June 30th, 2014


July 31st
Göteborg, Sweden
Skjul Fyra Sex
Benefit show for Göteborgs Kvinnojour

June 19th, 2014


Before I step on the train to Uppsala I’m having a casual conversation with a friend and I tell her that I’m going there to do a songwriting class for teenagers. “Have they chosen to go voluntarily?” she asks without realizing how the question comes out. I find it hilarious, that this class would be a punishment. I imagine a student being called into the principals office, the principal saying: “Well Susanne, I see here that you’ve missed quite a few classes, I’m sorry to tell you this but I will have to send you to a songwriting class with Jens Lekman.”

Well, I’m sure for many, this WOULD be a punishment. But yes, it’s voluntary, everyone’s signed up for it because they want to go. Which is why I’ve agreed to do this. The principal’s name for this week is Marit Bergman, a songwriter and friend who I deeply admire, who was a bit of a mentor for me when I took my first wobbly steps as an artist 11 years ago. She’s asked me to join as her co-teacher and I’ve happily agreed.

The first day, after a short introduction, we kick right into the first songwriting exercise. We’ve brought along a photo that Marit has found and we discuss what is happening in this photo. A story evolves together with the students, we disregard the portrayed actors actual names, their history and era and we imagine a new story where they’ve just met on a date. Something’s a bit off, he doesn’t look like in his profile photo on the internet. She’s dissapointed and looking for a way out from this disaster. Drama ensues, we have a story!

After lunch I give them an exercise in writing lyrics. They get to either start every sentence with “I am” as in the latest Kent single ‘La Belle Epoque’. Or start every sentence with “I Remember” as in Joe Brainard’s book with the same title. Two very basic exercises in finding a narrative within fragments not necessary linked by a chronological order or storyline. ‘I Remember’ seems to work best and several very personal and touching lyrics are written.

Day two. I think I know everyone’s name after practicing in my head the night before. But I arrive only to find two more people have showed up. It throws me off and I avoid adressing anyone directly the rest of the day, which is probably a good thing as no one seems completely comfortable yet, it’s still just day two and we all want to blend in with the group. Me and Marit introduce the classic scaffolding technique where you take a song you like and either write new music for it’s lyrics or new lyrics for it’s music. Everyone chooses to rewrite the music, giving a nostalgic sadness to a Five Seconds Of Summer song or an ill boding darkness to a Katy Perry song. Then, once musically rewritten, they get to also rewrite the lyrics. By the end of the day, all groups have written completely new songs that sound nothing like their originals.

All of the participants are girls, most of them around 13-16 years old. A lot of them are excited about the idea of working as professional songwriters or musicians though one girl says she’s only doing it for the fun of it, she wants to work with international relations and solving conflicts. We point out that songwriting would be a great tool for solving conflicts. Possibly also to create conflicts.

My favourite moment happens on the last morning when I teach one girl with a talent for the guitar some dreamy jazz chords and together with another girl who sings really well they write a song that uses melodies to illustrate and underline certain parts of the lyrics. A falling raindrop descends through a falling scale and a line about distant thunder is accompanied by soft rumbling from the darkest notes on an old upright piano. “It’s onomatopoetic!” I call out but quickly realize that’s probably not the exact word for it.

I get home late at night. As I turn on the water boiler I get a text from Marit. “Gerry Goffin is dead.” it reads. “How sad” I reply, “But it feels nice that we just sent eight new Gerry Goffins and Carole Kings off into the world.”

June 10th, 2014


Dear world, what’s up?

On July 11th and 12th I will play two shows in Shanghai with the string section from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. For about half of the songs, none other than Van Dyke Parks (!) has arranged the strings. I’m listening to these arrangments as I’m writing this, they are amazing. It really sounds like the songs are in heaven.

Here’s the links:
July 11th
July 12th
Venue info

Next week, Marit Bergman and I will be hosting a songwriting class for anyone between the age of 13-21 in Uppsala. I believe there are still a few spots left! Read more here and sign up quick.

July 24th I will be at / on Gotland, doing a show in / at Bungenäs Kalklada. That show is with Sumie.

Your little lighthouse far away
Jens Lekman

March 12th, 2014


I told you this year was going to be a year of very random shows.

July 18th - 20th I will be playing a solo show at the Howlin Fling Festival on the tiny tiny tiny isle of Eigg in the Hebrides. Population: 83. If you have a ticket, good for you. If you don't then try your luck here. The tickets all sold out before the line-up was announced.

Also playing: Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip. Beth Orton. Luke Abbott. Many more. Check this interview for more info right now. And Lost Map Records website will soon have more updates.

I'm also going to DJ and I'm bringing my old DJ partner Henning Fürst with me.

February 25th, 2014


The local magazine Faktum, which is a magazine the homeless here in Gothenburg get to sell exclusively to earn a little bit of money, asked me last year if I wanted to be part of an interesting record. The idea was that the sellers made a list of their favourite songs and then a bunch of local artists picked a song each to cover. I got the list and I felt I could either go for a very very safe choice, like some old Bruce Springsteen song, or I could go for something more challenging, like Peter Lundblad’s ‘Ta Mig Till Havet’.

Now if you’re not swedish, I'm not sure how to explain this song to you. In it’s original 80’s production it reminds me of a time when Gothenburg smelled of day-old crustaceans and langos and was the uncoolest place in the world. It reminds me of the crayfish parties in August when someone brought out an accordion they were too drunk to play. But behind all this, if we’re being honest here, there is a melody, very sweet and sad, almost like a hymn. And that’s exactly what I thought - if you strip this down to its melody and play it like a hymn on an old organ with the exact amount of dust in it. And if you sing it without any hint of irony, as honest and from the heart as possible. Then it might just work.

If you want to hear it, go buy the CD from any Faktum seller around town. You’ll not just get a CD but you’ll also help a homeless person in a very direct way.

February 6th, 2014



33. What a beautiful number.

February 2nd, 2014


Here we go! The big kranskommun tour of 2014!

No tickets sold, just show up in time (all shows start at 19:00). A hat will be passed around afterwards for donations.

April 29 - Uddevalla - Kajkanten, Bohusläns Museum
April 30 - Alingsås - Nolbygårds Ekobageri
May 1 - Trollhättan - Mejeriet
May 2 - Vänersborg - Café Mic

January 21st, 2014


Since I'm writing and recording currently, you can expect a period of very random shows. Shows that are either in places I rarely visit or shows that are built on a different idea than the usual show.

First off, I have two shows in Malmö and Lund, march 5th and 6th at 'Oslipat Tolkar', which is an event where six comedians get to pick one song each from my catalogue and build a story or interpret it freely from a comedy viewpoint. After each comedian I perform the song they've chosen.

MALMÖ march 5th
Ola Söderholm
Kalle Lind
Johannes Finnlaugsson
Matilda Berggren
Felicia Jackson
Lina Linderberth

LUND march 6th
Ola Söderholm
Matilda Berggren
Felicia Jackson
Erik Börén
Niklas Andersson
Lina Linderberth

January 12th, 2014


Happy new year!

I'm doing two shows in Istanbul, Turkey on february 14th and 15th. I haven't received the info yet, the name of the venue or where to get tickets but I thought I'd tell you anyway. They're small solo shows, just me, no band. The tickets are released tomorrow, monday, somewhere. Trawl the internet. Call your friend, that guy who knows everything, call your local psychic, open your window and shout "where do I get tickets to the Jens Lekman show?". As soon as I get the info I'll let you know.

I'm terribly excited to see my turkish friends again. It's been way too long.

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