Google Play Free Song of the Day 7/8/2014

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Lykke Li

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Dance, Dance, Dance

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Lykke Li

About the artist

Advance hype fueled by the Little Bit EP had Lykke Li pegged as the next in a growing string of cool-kid-approved pop stars to leak out from Sweden’s endless supply, but Youth Novels doesn’t entirely play out as expected, emphasizing neither Robyn’s electronic dance-pop precision nor the affable strumming of Jens Lekman or Peter Björn and John (whose Björn Yttling handles production duties here, and also co-writes every track). Although it does bear some traces of those musicians, as well as El Perro Del Mar’s earnest melancholia, the album is decidedly odder and harder to pin down, proffering an idiosyncratic, stripped-down vision of pop that foregrounds repetition and simplicity over familiarity or even melody (though rest assured, there is ample catchiness to be had here). The graceful symphonic layering of the beat-less, spoken-word opener “Melodies and Desires” starts things off on a deceptively lush note, but much of the album is about as instrumentally sparse as pop can get, often sounding as though it were cobbled together from a scrap yard of barely functioning instruments and non-instruments. The painfully introverted hip-shaker of “Dance Dance Dance” (“my hips they lie/cause in reality I’m shy shy shy”) lilts atop an aptly minimalist groove consisting of nothing but two insistently bowed bass notes, some found-sounding percussion, and a brief sax solo, while even the assertive standout “I’m Good, I’m Gone” gets by on little more than hand claps, driving drums, a bit of vibraphone doubling, and a simple bass line pounded out on a piano’s lower register.

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