Jens Lekman: An Argument With Myself
In the symbology of Lekman's songbook, motion is a means to stave off insanity or succumb to it and the songs on "An Argument With Myself" EP deal with many types of movement, both big and small, from why he moved to Melbourne to the societal change/movement in his old hometown of Gothenburg to simple map directions.
The opening song and title track begins with this excellent Jens archetype, recounting an inner battle while walking home through the central business district of Melbourne, Australia. While on its face, “Waiting For Kirsten” seems to trace an ultimately futile odyssey to track down Kirsten Dunst while she films in Gothenburg, its really an attempt to work out the complex relationship one has with one's hometown. The comfort and disappoint of what's changed, and what seems to never change. Alternately, the horn driven “New Directions” brings a slightly manic roadmap of directions to any place but here and any time but now. The songs are witty, literal, and impeccably location-specific, and they’re all heading somewhere as a means to either go crazy or keep from doing so.
With more fractured textures that combine horns, flutes, string swells and arpeggiated guitars, the opening of the EP finds Jens in constant state of transition, musically, as well. However, as “An Argument With Myself” comes to a close the arrangements get looser, more reggae-tinged and relaxed, like a music box winding down. For a moment, the motion almost stops. For now.