Song Of The Day 7/5/2014: Lykke Li - "Love Me Like I'm Not Made Of Stone"

New Music Week: Before Lana Del Rey gave the whole personage the Americana subtext it needed to shift units, Lykke Li was the poster person for retro-melancholy in pop music. I still prefer Lykke's recordings to Lana's (although I like Del Rey's new album Ultraviolence quite a bit more than Born To Die). My affection for Lykke was cemented after I saw her at the Showbox back when I was reviewing concerts for The Seattle Times. Dig this bit of cinemaphile rap I tried to pass over on Times readers:
It was hard to see Lykke Li's appearance at Showbox At The Market Thursday night without thinking of the character of Death in Ingmar Bergman's film The Seventh Seal. Draped in a bulky black smock with slicked-back hair and a pallid complexion, Li's presence differed from Bergman's chess-master ghost's only in that she didn't have a hood, and her smock had splits in the front and back to reveal that she in fact had human legs. Li's 16-song, 80-minute performance showed her unique talent for mixing stark coldness and epic, Wall-Of-Sound pop with unmistakable compassion — again, not unlike the Death persona in The Seventh Seal. However, it's doubtful Death would ever play to a sold-out room that hung on its every word.
Oh HELL yes! Rockin' the Times' Eastside 55-year-old white male demo with a Swedish artistic archetype they stood the biggest chance of recognizing and tying it to a pop culture movement they couldn't care less about but that nonetheless needs to be reported by the major metropolitan newspaper because they had to look semi-current! I run this game! Put that in your æbleskiver maker and heat it 'till it's lightly browned on all sides!

Li's new album I Never Learn contains more of the same, except there's less hope, less physical outlet for horny ambivalences, and just as much compelling music. Let's close out New Music Week the way I always like to close out weeks: in a plea of desperation.

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