DJ Pick of the Week: Jens Lekman, 'Evening Prayer'

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Jens Lekman
Jens Lekman (Ellika Henrikson)

My DJ Pick of the Week is a cut from Jens Lekman's newest album, Life Will See You Now, called "Evening Prayer."

A general rule of thumb with Jens Lekman's music is this: the happier the music, the sadder the song, and vice versa. "Evening Prayer" features a chipper dance beat (buoyed by backing vocals from Loulou Lamotte) but tells a bittersweet and complex story. A great Jens Lekman song is one where you initially pick up on a few specific, quirky details, as a grander narrative eventually sets in. In this case, it's easy to focus on the fact that the central imagery of "Evening Prayer" is a 3D-printed model of a tumor; it's an image that makes the listener sit up and say, "Wait, what?" As it turns out, the tumor model represents the cancer that the narrator's friend has been battling, and has been the subject of the narrator's titular prayers.

The song turns out to be a beautiful ode to love and friendship, in a way I feel resonates with our era. Some of our friendships may exist in a primarily digital realm, or maybe we only see each other once or twice a year, so it's easy to second-guess how close we actually are to the people we consider friends. Lekman grapples with this idea in the song's chorus, as he wonders if he's "close enough to be allowed to care, or just be there to include you in his evening prayer." The song concludes with the narrator's apparently cancer-free friend acknowledging the impact of his thoughts and prayers, as they happily embark on another round at the bar. It's about as life-affirming a sentiment as you'll find in any song in this "long, hard year."

Resources


Jens Lekman, Life Will See You Now - official site


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