09. Lykke Li
Whether you’ll like Youth Novels or not depends greatly on your reaction to what I’m about to write; ‘coochy coo’. That phrase perhaps best describes Lykke Li’s vocal style and if the thought of that makes you want to repeatedly bash your own face in then this album probably isn’t for you. Produced by Bjorn Yttling (from Peter, Bjorn and John), Youth Novels sidesteps the electropop sheen of Li’s Swedish contemporaries for a simpler, more organic feel. The economy of the songs are their main strengths, with the bare bones of vocals and bass fleshed out beautifully with lashings of piano, percussion, muted electronic beats and on highlight ‘Little Bit’, what sounds like steel drums. Elsewhere, ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’ ditches any arty pretence and goes directly for the pop jugular, whilst the delicate ‘Time Flies’ sounds like it might break at any time. She might be a bit too knowingly cute for some, but as an album Youth Novels works wonders.
Key track: 'Little Bit'