Band To Watch

Band To Watch – SXSW Edition: Lykke Li

This week we’re revisiting and reflecting upon the original write-ups for some of our favorite Bands To Watch playing SXSW ’08…

We were immediately hooked by Bjorn-championed Lykke Li, aka Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson, more or less on the basis of the irresistible “Little Bit” and its kooky video, where Li dances unabashedly and in a way you’re not used to seeing an indie rocker move. Unless their name is Feist. The Swedish chanteuse’s first EP Youth Novels was released on (her own) LL Recordings in February, but she’s since signed with Dolores (I’m from Barcelona, Loney, Dear, etc.). She heads out on tour with El Perro del Mar in April. Here were our first impressions from when we decided we’d be keeping an eye out for her.

Originally Published 10/26/07
Swedish chanteuse Lykke Li reminds us of a blog-birthed Kylie Minogue, though in some of her live configurations there’s the Blow’s karaoke vibe and always just a little bit of Feist’s charismatic but awkward charm. An icier, Scandinavian Lily Allen mixing tons of soul with her electro? Thing is, she plays with live instruments, too. It’s fun trying to figure her out because she doesn’t have a huge catalog at this point. Though she has a bona fide hit-in-the-making single: We can’t get the 21-year-old’s sugary, undeniable falling-in-love song “Little Bit” out of our heads. To help you develop the addiction as well, we’re offering it in as many versions as possible: Check out the tune, the hammy line-dancing video, and a “Take Away”-style turn.

Lykke Li – “Little Bit” (MP3)

Did you catch those lyrics? “And for you I keep my legs apart / and forget about my tainted heart … / I will do it, push the button, pull the trigger, climb a mountain, jump off a cliff ’cause you’re my baby / I love you love you a little bit.” Yeah, just a little bit. That’s romance! Seriously, really dig the mix of powdered-sugar pop with the dirty realism of infatuation. Helps to get a sense of Lykke as a kinetic, slightly geeky performer if you check out the official video (note the hippie dude freakin’ at the organ):

As well as “Little Bit” in the streets of Stockholm:

To get a little bit outside the “Little Bit” box, here’s a live version of the bubble-gummy teenage alienated “Everybody But Me.” There’s also plenty more treats streaming at LiSpace. Or, if you’re in the NYC area, you can catch Lykke live next week with Björn Yttling (yes, of Peter and John fame). He’ll play a few different instruments while she lays down the vocals. As we speak, he’s also producing her forthcoming, Stereo-anticipated full-length debut (expect it in 2008). So far she’s released a three-track, limited-edition EP “Little Bit” in Scandinavia and has recorded songs with Röyksopp and Kleerup. Can’t wait for more, more, more.

The “Little Bit” 10″ is out on LL Recordings.

[photo by Marcus Palmqvist]

SXSW Itinerary:
3/13 @ 2110 S. Lamar Blvd (Birds Barber Shop)
3/13 @ Emo’s Annex (Brooklyn Vegan Party)
3/13 @ MoMo’s (Hunnypot Party)
3/14 @ Emo’s (Pitchfork Day Party)
3/14 @ SXSW Daystage
3/14 @ Ninety Proof Lounge (Rob da Bank’s Show)
3/14 @ Maggie Mae’s (Great Escape Showcase)
3/15 @ 204 E. 4th Street (Fader Party)
3/15 @ Club DeVille (Hot Freaks Blogger Party)
3/15 @ The Jelly NYC Texas Garage (Nylon Magazine Show)
3/15 @ 504 Willow Street (SXS&M)

Tags: Lykke Li