Reached by phone backstage at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, in the draggy hours between soundcheck and show time, Jens Lekman is all apologies.
"I'm sorry it took so long," the 31-year-old Swede says of his new full-length album, I Know What Love Isn't, which arrived last month almost five years to the day since his previous LP, Night Falls Over Kortedala. "For some things, you have to go in a circle for a while to get there."
After a grueling year-long world tour behind Kortedala, Lekman decided to live life rather than just write songs about it or perform it, moving to the U.S., then Melbourne--where he DJ'ed and worked odd jobs--and finally back to Sweden again after visa issues sent him packing from Australia. Along the way he endured a brief bout with swine flu and a more lasting ailment--an acutely broken heart. For a long time he fought the impulse to make "yet another breakup album," he laughs. "Of course, it all just led me back to that in the end."
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