Lykke Li @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 10/30/07

Busy night on the concert circuit on Hallow’s eve’s eve, with Artist To Watch Lykke Li playing her second NYC date (free show at Knitting Factory the night before) and the Forms CD release show at Cake Shop (with a simply awesome opening set from Pattern Is Movement — post TK). So Stereogum split the difference with some of us off to celebrate the Forms stellar The Forms LP and go to photog Abbey Braden in the trenches at Merc to witness the latest in the ongoing Swedish pop invasion with support from PB&J’s Björn. She reports…

Let’s face it, several of the people in attendance were there simply because of Björn Yttling’s name — he’s producing Lykke’s album and was present on backup instruments — on the marquee. 30 seconds into her gig at Mercury Lounge, though, it was crystal clear that that it was Lykke’s night. Bounding onstage as the bells on her neck jingled in sync to the opening bars of “Little Bit,” she launched into an amazing set.

After a few tracks she announced it was “time to slip into something a little bit more comfortable” and slid behind a keyboard. Vocals that came across as a whispery little girl in the demo translated to a breathy yet controlled falsetto. Any preconceived notions of Annie were obliterated by shades of Kate Bush; girl is wise beyond her years. There were plenty of opportunities to dance and she informed the audience that they were “allowed to laugh and talk and, I dunno… kiss!”

By the time she got to her last song, “Tonight” there was a sense of urgency infused in her delivery that made it exponentially more powerful than the demo mp3 that’s floating around. Add to that a necklace complete with sleighbells what appeared to be a kazoo and other tiny instruments, Lykke Li defies any sort of formula and is undeniably in it for the long run. Jump for more pics and “Little Bit” official video.

Lykke Li – “Little Bit”

Grab “Tonight” MP3 here.