Lykke Li in LA


Photo: Cedar Pasori


Lykke Li‘s sold out show at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles was one of the more magical live music moments I’ve witnessed. Having seen her previously at the Wiltern and at Coachella, I knew the performance of her latest album,Wounded Rhymes, would be nothing short of epic or moving. If the countless people outside the venue claiming to be “personal friends of Lykke” were any indication, she has certainly entered the realm of a crossover artist, perhaps just as much “indie” as she is “mainstream.” The LA crowd welcomed her with open arms, perhaps with or without the knowledge that her latest album was recorded in our very own Echo Park, largely with the help of Bjorn of Peter, Bjorn, & John fame.

The show’s artful setup included black drapes, fog, strobes, and moody blue lights. The array of drums on stage were indicative of her occasional bursts into drumming in between singing. The overall performance reflected the often overlooked, but very inherently sexual nature of her songs, both lyrically and sonically. She straddled her mic stand, danced high and low, and repeatedly took on and off her black leather frock. The small, baby-ish voice of her first record was met with the soulful range of her second, showing that she’s carved out her own spot in pop music, and likely has more to give.

Highlights of the night were hit “Dance, Dance, Dance,” latest single “I Follow Rivers,” “Love out of Lust,” and the Twilightsoundtrack feature, “Possibility.” Despite Lykke’s interjection that she’s “becoming too old,” I beg to differ. I believe that her career, as shown by her live performances, will get better and more exciting in time. Youth Novels showed us a seemingly shy, yet innovative Swedish pop artist, with measured sensuality and great talent. Wounded Rhymes and its live show have proven that she can grow, thrive, and continue on a path all her own.


Cedar Pasori