Call him precocious or wise beyond his years, but Sondre Lerche is hardly your typical 19-year-old songwriter. While most barely legal bards are likely to bang out three-chord tunes about girls, drugs and the burden of being perennially misunderstood, Lerche has come up with a collection of luxurious, grown-up pop songs. Armed with a velvety tenor that infuses his lyrics with an almost off-putting sense of calm, he stops listeners in their tracks with lines like these (from "Virtue and Wine"): "It's morning when she gets up / She puts on Lionel Richie, I've already had enough / The queues are long, guess I am wrong / This chemical environment is getting out of hand." For all his candor, Lerche plays his cards close to the vest: There's no telling whether he's talking about sexual chemistry or the pharmacological kind. Time and again throughout the record, he veils his confessions behind oblique couplets such as "When there is fear you won't have to cry / Napkins are here, they'll dry your eyes / And blind them, and blind them" (from... More >>>
This teenage Norwegian leaves his competitors in the Lerche with this pop gem.