New Sondre Lerche – “Heartbeat Radio” (Stereogum Premiere)

Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche lives in Brooklyn these days, but the 26-year old’s still writing ambitious, orchestral pop that proves difficult to pin down geographically. Heartbeat Radio, the 12-song followup to the Dan in Real Life soundtrack, comes with string and horn arrangements via High Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan, which add to the dramatic feel: The meta title track recalls an imagined Rufus Wainwright musical. There’s an oldster throwback quality to it — Lerche’s questioning FM radio, whether or not it’s become automatic, if the DJs have drowned in “a sea of reverb,” what comes after heavy rotation, and whether or not this particular song’s too long to make it onto the airwaves. It makes him nauseous, but because he’s a trooper, he wants it to know that his heart still beats for it. He’s a better person than I am.

The Heartbeat Radio tracklist, complete with the clearly Brooklyn influenced “I Guess It’s Gonna Rain Today.”

01 “Good Luck”
02 “Heartbeat Radio”
03 “I Cannot Let You Go”
04 “Like Lazenby”
05 “If Only”
06 “Pioneer”
07 “Easy to Persuade”
08 “Words and Music”
09 “I Guess it’s Gonna Rain Today”
10 “Almighty Moon”
11 “Don’t Look Now”
12 “Goodnight”

Heartbeat Radio is out 9/8 via Rounder. Lerche will tour the US in September and Europe in October. Dates TBA soon.