Jens Lekman The Opposite of Hallelujah

The songwriting output of Sweden’s Jens Lekman is unprecedented, for in the past year the lonesome troubadour has released 12 records (one album, seven EPs, and four split singles) either by himself or through Service in Scandinavia or Secretly Canadian here in North America. The Opposite of Hallelujah is a four-track EP released on Evil Evil, a Toronto-based indie label owned by Joel Gibb of the Hidden Cameras. Those familiar with Lekman’s work will find this EP to be more of the same, and that’s exactly what people want. The title track is an upbeat little number that features Lekman’s mild-mannered Scott Walker-lite croon singing with three damsels backing him up to a Belle & Sebastian floor-filler. "No Time for Breaking Up,” with its church bells and organ, invokes a ’60s cinematic quality, most likely a forbidden love story with a shamed nun. "I Don’t Wanna Die Alone” has a bit of a skip in its step for something so fearfully titled; Lekman’s voice is so calm and steady you almost wonder if he’s welcoming death with thumbs up. "Love Is Still a Mystery” closes off the record in true crooner style with a guest appearance by his friend and fellow singer-songwriter José González, in what could be one of the dearest cameos of the year. Another winner for the sweet Swede to tide us over until next week. (Evil Evil)