Let us be the first to say that we- on the eve of '04 - are most definitely entering the greener side of the pasture. Maple Leaves is the first of two EP's by Jens Lekman planned for release on Secretly Canadian, and his first release outside of his native Sweden. Ever since the first time we heard Mr. Lekman, we've been overwhelmed by the wisdom of his work. At only 22, he's a musician writing that rare kind of song that maintains a fine balance between bliss and sorrow. His songs are about life's heavy stuff, packaged with a bowtie and a smile. He has deservedly been the center of much hype in Scandinavia as of late. Having made a name for himself performing under the name Rocky Dennis, he recently hit #11 on the Swedish national record sales charts with this very EP. Most everyone who's heard him believes him to be the next great pop star emerging from the streets of the DIY underground. With an angelic voice and golden ears he seems to be drinking from the same hard waters as Harry Nilsson, the Magnetic Fields, Runt-era Todd Rundgren, Bill Callahan's Smog, the Modern Lovers, Rufus Wainwright, and Belle & Sebastian.
On Maple Leaves we find Jens as Rocky Dennis, the illegitimate son of a coked-out Cher. He's in love with the girl that delivers his morning paper, he's not afraid to cry, and as he sings Goddamn, I killed the party again in "Black Cab", he's the fucking sweetest kill-joy there ever was.
He's currently working on his debut full-length, slated for release in mid-2004 on Secretly Canadian. He's already got over 100 songs in the can, but this feverish perfectionist won't stop until his ears are satisfied.
(SC070 released: 02/03/04)