Music September 10, 2008 By Chandler Levack
lykkeli1 Lykke Li

Photography by Marcus Palmqvist

title4 Lykke Li

In England, they breed their pop ingénues big-haired and boozy, apt to trash their exes with intimate details of drug habits and dodgy new girlfriends. In America, they strap on a Fender Strat and jump around the strip mall. In Sweden, however, they take the high road. Twenty-two-year-old Stockholm singer Lykke Li calls her songs “spaces”. Her full-length debut, Youth Novels, measures the glacial intensity that made her compatriots the Concretes and the Shout Out Louds so fun to eat meatballs to. And it boasts a transcontinental dance flair. Li grew up on the mountaintops of Portugal with two hippie parents before moving to a windowless apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, at the age of nineteen to perform at open mike nights, to no avail. “I was a young skinny white girl without a clue about anything the first time I was in New York, so it was kind of a disaster,” Li admits. “My nickname was Blanquita and my friend got eggs thrown at her because she was white. We had no heat in the apartment even though it was December, so I slept with two jackets on.”

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