Jens Lekman Biography

1981, Göteborg, Sweden. This quirky artist rose above the confines of the indie singer-songwriter ghetto to become a mainstream pop star in his native Sweden in the early years of the new millennium. Lekman learnt to play the guitar and piano to a very high standard in his early years, and having mastered the instruments was inspired to begin writing his own songs. In 2000 he started to release his own CD-Rs under the name Rocky Dennis (a character from the Jim Carrey movie The Mask). He began to build up an underground cult following in Sweden, earning particular acclaim for the 2003 vinyl-only EP Maple Leaves. The EP was re-released on CD later in the year and received extensive airplay on Swedish radio. Comparisons began to be drawn between Lekman and singer-songwriters including Scott Walker and Rufus Wainwright. The most pertinent comparison was to Stephin Merritt, the prolific US artist known for his infectious tunes about relationship break-ups and life’s strange nuances. Lekman’s own material told of girlfriends past and present, love lost and yearned for, of heartbreak and heartfelt happiness, all delivered in an eclectic 60s influenced musical extravaganza.

Lekman broke into the North American market during 2004, releasing the EPs Maple Leaves and Rocky Dennis In Heaven, the latter a kiss-off to his former alias. The album When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog was released through Indiana-based label Secretly Canadian Records. Comprising new material and re-recorded versions of the CD-R songs the album was a Top 10 hit in Sweden and a critical favourite in both Europe and North America. October 2005 saw the release of Oh You’re So Silent Jens on Secretly Canadian, a compilation of the previously released EPs You Are The Light, Rocky Dennis In Heaven and Maple Leaves with some additional unreleased material.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.