“Wounded Rhymes” – Lykke Li

When I set about listening to Lykke Li’s new musical journey Wounded RhymesI thought it may be a faux pas to listen to it at night. I thought that it may contradict the whimsical musings of the understated, pixie warblings of the Swedish indie-pop princess. Instead, and to my great delight I was met with a darker, angstier Miss Li. 
On her first album she sang with the naivety of unexplored youth, of hearts that sang sweet because they’d yet to be broken and of summer nights doing the things that kids don’t regret, because they don’t know any better. Now it seems as though a new Lykke has emerged out of the steam of her last LP; and this one is world weary. This is particularly prevalent in the albums stand out (in my humble opinion) track ‘Love Out of Lust’. Over hazy synth and a steady beat we are commanded to ‘dance while we can’, and it seems as though instead of the childish musings that are expected from her previous recordings that now a more pensive and withdrawn woman is wanting to be heard.  
Don’t get me wrong, these tracks are still bouncy and fun, but not in the way that makes you want to stick glow in the dark stars to your roof and Edward Cullen’s picture in your locker. This is a Lykke who’s been listening to Iggy and The Pixies, this album makes you want to swap out the childhood knick knacks and start afresh. This is a coming of age album and it refreshing to hear something a bit more cynical out of this Swedish starlets lips. Especially on the track ‘Rich Kid Blues’, which goes about explaining that people with money are the only people with the ability to feel sad for themselves, as opposed to those without who are generally happy. And to prove that she is singing with a voice of experience and maturity she has changed her vocal style, almost channelling Stevie Knicks on the tracks epic closer ‘Silent My Song’. 
If her last album was fairy floss and unicorns, then this is coming from a place where those things exist, but only ironically, and only because nostalgia allows for moments of reflection. This album makes you homesick for the parts of growing up that hurt a little, but always felt fantastic.
-Jonty Thompson