Lykke Li Releases Home-Footage ‘Utopia’ Music Video


Lykke Li has released the music video for her new song “utopia,” featuring home footage of her as a child with her mother, and of her with her current toddler son.

“MOTHER TO MOTHER TO MOTHER,” li writes in the description of the video. “Utopia is all my mother ever wanted for me and all I ever want for him.”

“utopia” comes off of Lykke Li’s forthcoming new album so sad so sexy, due out June 8 via RCA. The follow-up to 2014’s I Never Learn has already seen the release of the singles “deep end” and “hard rain.”

Take a look at “utopia” below.


Lykke Li Makes Us Really Want Gucci’s New Lady Web Bag

Photo courtesy of Gucci

Lykke Li stars in a video for Gucci’s gorgeous new Lady Web bag. The video itself is an exploration of the singer’s songwriting inspirations and plays like a dream sequence of everywhere we’d rather be right now (we’re over you, NY winter and snow in March). The singer’s sepia-toned adventures take her from a very chic, orchid-adorned apartment where she composes at the piano, to a record shop, to a mountain with a gorgeous view of the sunset.

Mapei and Lykke Li Announce Joint Tour

Courtesy. Mapei and Lykke Li

Stockholm natives Lykke Li and Mapei are teaming up for one of this fall’s most exciting tours. Consisting of fourteen dates around the U.S. (kicking off in Seattle on September 17th), this is a show not to miss.

Check out the official music video for Mapei’s breakthrough hit, “Don’t Wait”:

Also, watch Lykke Li’s “No Rest for the Wicked”:

Get Even More Excited for David Lynch’s ‘The Big Dream’ With New Details

Last week, we found ourselves in love and mesmerized with David Lynch’s new single “I’m Waiting Here.” Featuring Swedish songstress Lykke Li, the blue-lit and swooning track is the first off Lynch’s new album, The Big Dream, due out this summer. As his second foray into the world as a proper recording artist, Lynch carving out his own place as a musician, with a sound that’s a bit of an evolution from his first record Crazy Clown Time.

And with The Big Dream, the Lynch said, “Most of the songs start out as a type of blues jam and then we go sideways from there. What comes out is a hybrid, modernized form of low-down blues.” And that low-down sound is something we’ve come to love from the bizarre and wonderful artist, whose music sounds hits the senses much differently than his films but still exists in that same world of the psyche. And thanks to the exclusive photo (featured below) from The Hollywood Reporter, we learn that Lynch’s Parker Fly Electric guitar is what features most prominently on the record, which is set to debut in less than a month on July 16th. “Sometimes the lyrics come first but mostly the music is talking to you about how it wants to be,” says Lynch, “and then the lyrics are born out of that. It’s a strange phenomenon, but I love doing it.”
So while you count down the moments until the album arrives, take a listen to the full album preview, watch his desert serenade video, and pre-order the album now. That or just start watching Wild at Heart, the ultimate summer movie, every night for the next month.

Drive Through the Desert With David Lynch & Lykke Li’s Video for ‘I’m Waiting Here’

Well, in case you were wondering what the inside of my eternal daydream looked like, here it is, folks. Yes, after announcing his upcoming second album The Big Dream last week, the always mysterious and brilliant David Lynch premiered a new song "I’m Waiting Here" with delicate Swedish songstress Lykke Li. It’s a blue-lit dreamy track that feels like floating into a haze of sedation and pleasure that you wouldn’t mind keeping on loop for nights on end.

And now, they’ve premiered a video for the track—and although it’s not a foggy Twin Peaks-esque prom like I had initially envisioned, the result is quite possibly even better. Harkening back to Lynch’s affinity for the road and the vast possibility of spaces that transcend forever, the video (imagined by Lykke Li) is beautiful in its simplicity—just a straight drive down a lost highway in the desert. The song spans from day to night as we see the graceful singularity of the road stay the same as the sun sets and night falls around it in all its velvety color and texture. It’s the perfect, tranquil, seductive, and meditative accompaniment for the song and I’ll probably be projecting this on my wall from now til forever. Enjoy.

New Pornographers, Best Coast, The Kills on Fleetwood Mac Covers Album

Fleetwood Mac, everyone’s favorite incestuous pop band from the ’70s, have several albums in their multi-line-up career, although it’s probably their albums from the Me Decade that featured the band’s most recognizable tunes, from the oft-covered "Landslide" to the witchy "Rhiannon". And that’s why the band is long-due for a cool indie-rock tribute album, right? 

Featuring Marianne Faithfull, The Kills, Antony, recent Fleetwood Mac coverer Best Coast, and Lykke Li, among others, the album has a pretty stellar tracklisting. It’s going to be hard to wait until August 14, which is when the record drops. I mean, look at this heavy list of wannabe Stevies and Lindseys!

  1. “Albatross” – Lee Ranaldo Band Featuring J Mascis
  2. “Landslide” – Antony
  3. “Before The Beginning” – Trixie Whitley
  4. “Oh Well” – Billy Gibbons & Co.
  5. “Rhiannon” – Best Coast
  6. "Think About Me” – The New Pornographers
  7. “Angel” – Marianne Faithfull
  8. “Silver Springs” – Lykke Li
  9. “Gold Dust Woman” – Karen Elson
  10. “Storms” – Matt Sweeney And Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
  11. “Straight Back” – Washed Out
  12. “That’s All For Everyone” – Tame Impala
  13. “Sisters Of The Moon” – Craig Wedren with St. Vincent
  14. “Dreams” – The Kills
  15. “Gypsy” – Gardens & Villa
  16. “Tusk” – The Crystal Ark
  17. “Future Games” – MGMT 

Jeeeez, who tapped into my brain and created the tribute album of my dreams? Christopher Nolan, is this your handiwork? 

If you are also salivating at the idea of very Fleetwood Mac-y band New Pornagraphers (well, without the fucking, I guess) covering the song from the fantastic Tusk, you’re in luck! Pitchfork posted a recording of the song today, which I will now proceed to listen to on a loop for the rest of the day. Join me, won’t you?

Five Questions For Smile

Smile is a spot-on name for the new electronic project from Bjorn Yttling (Peter, Bjorn and John) and music video director and Teddybears member Joakim Åhlund, mostly because you can’t help but do just then while listening. The band, which does mostly instrumental electronica, has just dropped the debut album, A Flash In The Night, a collection of a dozen charming, sweeping songs just waiting to score whatever adventures you’re going to have this summer that was released on Ingrid, a label started earlier this year by Swedish musicians including Lykke Li and members of Miike Snow. We caught up with Yttling and Åhlund to find out more about the band.

How did Smile form?

This could be true: Smile was formed by Bjorn and Joakim because someone needed to record a classic kraut-folk-disco-cosmic-pop album again. (They thought anyway). Yes! There are just too few records like that out there. We invited some real good friends and pay them a lot of money to come and play music and drink for two days.

Your record is coming out on a new label, Ingrid. What’s the story with the label and how did you decide to release your record with them?
Ingrid is more like an artist collective. There’s no one telling us what to do on Ingrid and we try to help each other out. It’s a Scandinavian socialist thing a lot of people would vomit on if they knew the whole story. So please don’t tell anyone.

How do you think fans of your other bands might take to the new project?
They will recognize some sounds and then they can brag and say they like Smile even more than our other bands.

This is a mostly instrumental record, why is that?
We thought: What would Joe Meek, Chopin, Sun Ra and Link Wray do? And then we did just that. Instrumental records live longer.

What was the last thing that made each of you smile?
Bjorn: It isn’t the leaking ceiling in my living room anyway.
Joakim: When I watched the swedish TV program Blåsningen on YouTube. So funny.

Jim Hanft Breaks Free From the Singer-Songwriter Mold

The last thing the crowd expects when they squeeze in to The Hotel Café for singer-songwriter Jim Hanft’s show in April is to be laughing throughout. His songs are the rhythmic, brooding and introspective kind, a mold many singer-songwriters tend to follow, and one that has endangered their species through saccharine similarity over the past decade. Hanft, pronounced as it reads, pretty much calls this out from the start by cracking a few self-deprecating jokes to warm everyone up in-between songs, saying things like “…and on that note, here’s another incredibly emotional song…” before launching into the next excellent, homemade ballad.

“Music started for me as a means to being funny,” Hanft explains. “I was always trying to be the class clown.”

“You still are,” fellow vocalist Samantha Yonack confirms. She is his editor, of sorts, and sings back-up on a number of his tracks, her sweet voice seeming to rise at just the right time, smoothing out Hanft’s subtle, twanged gruffness.

The duo has met me at a west-side diner and they are as charming in person as they are onstage. Hanft clowns around a bit, jokes about how he “hates himself as most comedians do,” while Yonack giggles and gazes at him lovingly and then keeps the conversation moving—they are who they are, onstage and off. Even more revealing, a peck from Hanft on Yonack’s shoulder during their performance was their first public admission to becoming an item in recent months, leading up to the release of Hanft’s most recent album Weddings or Funerals. “I don’t know why I did that,” Hanft admits about the kiss. “It just felt right, I guess.”

Acting on what feels right is something that took a lot of practice for Hanft. He was in comedy troupes throughout high school in Philly and college in Boston, coming out to L.A. as directionless as most young talents who don’t know where to begin in the daunting, sprawling entertainment capital. He worked a disappointing internship at Sony / BMG, ran tapes and documents from studio to production company through the clogged surface streets, casually played crappy small stage gigs at clubs on nights when no one who cared ever showed up. The meandering stopped abruptly when Hanft’s father suddenly fell into a coma. For two weeks, he, his family and friends gathered in sadness.

“There were tons of people sitting around, family and friends waiting for it to be over, wondering what was going to happen,” Hanft says, turning as serious as he did when he began a new song onstage. “All I did was write and play music in that time. It played when we took my dad off life support. It played at the funeral. I saw how it effected people in all these different moments and I knew then I had to do this the rest of my life.”

Shortly thereafter, Hanft and Yonack were couch surfing along the East Coast, playing everywhere they could on their own personal tour. After a particularly frustrating gig at an Italian restaurant in New York City—“people kept telling me to turn it down while they ate,” Hanft remembers—they played late at Googie’s, the upstairs stage at the Lower East Side’s The Living Room venue.  Hanft was more off the cuff then usual and the performance caught the attention of Petra Marten, the owner of Sweden’s Veranda Independent Records. She bought a record and offered them a “very kind” record contract a few weeks later. A dreamy month after that, Hanft and Yonack found themselves in Scandinavia recording with producer Lasse Marten, who has made worldwide waves in recent years for the albums he has produced with the likes of Lykke Li and Peter, Bjorn & John.

The result of their work in Mother Svea is Weddings or Funerals, one of the best folk rock albums so far this year, if not last year as well. There are obvious comparisons to the great Ryan Adams and sadly absent Counting Crows in these tracks and if you’re doing folk rock right these days, there should be. However, Hanft’s sound distinguishes itself in it’s focus on the extremes. The opening track “Kerosene” hooks you in deeply and is haunting both tonally and in the fact you will be instantly humming it in some future moment of silence or obsessively playing it over and over again. “Lazy Love,” in which Hanft and Yonack vocally waltz together, is a dark, sing-along that bests even the best male / female singing duos already doing summer tours. The titular track “Weddings or Funerals” is Hanft’s singing and songwriting talents at their purest—simple, beautiful and, most importantly, memorable.

“There’s a certain escapism to both events,” Hanft says when asked about the title of the album. “Let’s laugh or let’s get serious. You don’t remember the mediocre days years later, but you certainly remember the great ones and you certainly remember the shitty ones. The extremes are what life is often all about.”

Listen to ‘A New Name to Go By,’ Lykke Li’s Collaboration With Deportees

Solidarity between countrymen is important, which is why Lykke Li has recorded with her fellow Swedes, Deportees. The new song is called "A New Name to Go By" and it’s a hauntingly pleasant steel drum-driven dirge, something that would’ve fit in perfectly on her album from last year, Youth Novels. Listen to it after the click, via Li’s Twitter.

No word on whether or not the song comes from an extended collaboration, but it’s a pretty nice way to score your Tuesday.