Earlier this year, Stockholm’s Shout Out Louds came roaring back with what may be their best album to date, the shimmering Optica. With its electronic textures, it felt like the dance party that lasts till purple dawn. Now their countryman, Jens Lekman, has had a stab at pulling the infectious “14th of July” further into the light.
Lekman, before becoming an accomplished tunesmith in his own right, was often focused on building songs from elements of other people’s material—so while the term “remix” suggests a DJ, he’s busy subverting that expectation, stripping the track of its club-land gloss and assembling a toy music box from its remaining parts.
Like a vine growing seamlessly and symbiotically around the trunk of a tree, Lekman finds the strings, piano and—is that a glockenspiel?—that feel as though they could have been there all along, but weren’t. They wrap the core of the song and transform it from an evening drive into a noontime bike ride. Choose whichever version suits you.