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This Is How Jens Lekman Learned to Face His Fears

The Swedish songwriter literally drove copies of his last album to the landfill, but with 'Life Will See You Now' he's back more assured than ever.

Jens Lekman takes his time when crafting albums. After the Swedish singer-songwriter won international acclaim with his sophomore breakthrough, 2007's dazzling  Night Falls Over Kortedala, he waited five full years to issue a proper follow-up. And now that it's been nearly another five years since 2012's subtler  I Know What Love Isn't, the 35-year-old is returning with his fourth studio album,  Life Will See You Now, out February 17 via Secretly Canadian.


Fans of Lekman still had plenty of material to tide them over these past few years. At the start of 2015, the chamber-pop auteur vowed to release one new song a week for a project dubbed "Postcards," and by year's end, Lekman had put out 52 fresh songs for the series. That autumn, he also put on an installation called "Ghostwriting," in which he wrote and performed songs based upon stories that fans shared with him. Both exercises were designed to help him out of a creative rut that he stumbled into after  I Know What Love Isn't failed to earn the same hosannas as its predecessor. Self-doubt took hold, and Lekman questioned if he should give up on music entirely. "I've always felt like I should be a little bit ashamed of what I'm doing," he says over the phone from a studio-bunker in Gothenburg, Sweden. "There's a part of me that's like, 'Really? You're 35 now and you're still doing this? Maybe you should get an education and get a real job,' and yadda yadda."

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