Like Jonathan Richman, Jens Lekman is a doeeyed and baritonevoiced songwriter who travels the world singing simple, unaffected songs about universal experiences. And like Richman, he writes some of the purest, most genuine music ever recorded.
But where Richman relies on just a primitive guitardrum setup to share his vision in concert, Lekman aims for something grander. For his latest tour, he’s recruited a quintet of musicians, including a violinist and cellist, whose swooning strings caress his more intimate songs and aggrandize his zippier, poppier ones. With a little assistance from a laptop, Lekman’s arrangements can conjure anything from classic soul to disco to calypso. Jonathan Richman’s music only sounds this fully realized in Jonathan Richman’s head.