The Easy Gramophone - February

5 songs you can legally download and listen to - free

Feature by Sean Michaels | 15 Feb 2006
  • Jens Lekman

1. Final Fantasy – Please Please Please
He's composed an album to be released only as sheet music, toured the globe with the Arcade Fire, been hailed in the New York Times as "the world's most popular gay postmodern harpsichord nerd", but all this is distraction, all this is noise: what matters is the pure lunging beauty of Owen Pallett's songs, the way his looped violin darts and dips and punches, diving from a serene bridge into the busted-up fury of the finale. This song ice-skates and then the ice cracks: there's people dying, screaming, amid all the snowy birches. [From 'Has A Good Home' (Blocks)]
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2. Jens Lekman – Black Cab
Lekman's got an ego, or so The Skinny's resident Swede will tell you. Lekman's got artistic hang-ups that get in the way of a good time. But even then, even then, Lekman's still got his charms Ð and this, one of Jens' very first indie-pop hits, puts all his talents on display. Black Cab will make you smile and sigh and laugh, melancholy but not, a harpsichord that keeps time over a sparkling guitar and distant washbasin drums. Appearing this month at Nice N Sleazy's! [From 'Oh You're So Silent, Jens' (Secretly Canadian)]
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3. The Physics of Meaning – Down at Columbia and Cameron
Pop punk with fiddles too, lorries of synths that unload onto the tarmac, a song about girls that can be a song about sudden storms and storms of feelings. Grandaddy and Busted do a pas-de-deux, each glad in each other's company, sharing root beers as they wait for their girlfriends to come out of the wardrobe. [From 'The Physics of Meaning' (Bu_hanan)]
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4. Rachiel Ries – You Only
It'll be Valentine's Day after all, and even we lonesome sorts can use a love-song: something to tide us over, say. There's some dust in this, some Southern twang, but all its cheerful afternoon-ness is a ruse, a trick. Over the dewy smile are bedroom eyes, and behind the smile is a tongue. [From 'For You Only' (Waterbug)]
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5. Sambassadeur – Between the Lines
More Swedes! And they've brought hand-claps! We need this song because we've all got to walk in rain, to trudge in snow, to draw ourselves out of our grey days and in through the golden doorways of our homes. Now we can sit at tea and listen to harmonies, to warm guitar, to a band that sounds like The Shins and Of Montreal, fuzzy and friendly and incapable of letting you down. [From 'Sambassadeur' (Labrador)]
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Jens Lekman plays Nice n' Sleazy on Feb 11.