Lykke Li

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About Lykke Li

Using diverse instrumentation, creative approaches to melody, and a smattering of production tricks, Lykke Li dove headfirst into a world of rich emotion and built her own unique take on modern pop. Born Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson in 1986 in the Swedish town of Ystad, Li has a capacity for musical experimentation that might be a reflection of her upbringing—her father Johan Zachrisson plays guitar and sings in punk-reggae group Dag Vag, and she traveled extensively as a child. Her 2007 EP, Little Bit, and its sparse but deeply rhythmic title track gave her wide exposure and a record deal. Only a year later, her debut full-length, Youth Novels skewed classic pop sensibilities with tracks like “I’m Good, I’m Gone,” delving into love and loss with fuller production and retaining a highly percussive sound. She went bigger, bolder, and darker with Wounded Rhymes in 2011, taking more commanding turns with her soprano voice on songs like the restless “I Follow Rivers.” Eventually, she leaned away from straight-ahead pop on 2014’s I Never Learn, crafting booming, dreamy numbers like “No Rest For the Wicked” and “Never Gonna Love Again.” Her fourth album, 2018’s so sad so sexy, is aptly named—the shadowy trap of 21st-century R&B numbers like ”sex money feelings die” provides the kind of melancholy wash listeners are happy to wallow in.

Ystad, Sweden
March 18, 1986
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