Thursday, May 08, 2008

Covers, B-Sides, and Rarities: Jens Lekman's “Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death”

In this cover of Scout Niblett’s ‘Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death’, Jens Lekman completely rendered the tune into his own, erasing any traces of it ever being Niblett’s originally. This is a really clever and wonderful version of the song, conjured by Lekman; from the arrangement to the backup choral singers, everything perfectly falls into place and coincides with Lekman’s own collection of works.

Sweet, shimmering, sparkly intro kicks off the track, leading no one to expect that the next continuation of the song, would start off with words like these: We’re all gonna die / we don’t know how / we don’t know when. It’s an odd pairing, clearly; cheery melodies with somber, grave lyrics, in addition to Lekman’s nonchalant style of singing, which also makes you nonchalantly taking in the lyrical content, “We’re gonna die? Oh, that’s fine – wait, what?”. Only towards the end, when Lekman applies his own personal touches to the tune by inserting a whistling section, during which he casually utters, “Whisper along if you’re not immortal…”, is when I really start to crack up, because try as I might I can’t whistle, and Lekman uttering the line almost sounds like he’s mocking me-- as though he’s well aware of my whistling disability.

|mp3| Jens Lekman – Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death