jens lekmanToday we bring you a Swedish singer-songwriter named Jens Lekman.

On the surface, Lekman’s music is a bit of a throwback: mannered, melodic, occasionally orchestral pop, delivered with a precise baritone. It wouldn’t be out of place alongside Frank Sinatra. But listen a little closer and you hear a deadpan wit, a post-ironic self-effacement that feels quite of-the-moment. Or so it seems to me at least.

By way of reference, Lekman is frequently gets compared to Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.

This song is called “The Opposite of Hallelujah.” It was originally on a 2005 EP of the same name, but it’s popping up again on Night Falls Over Kortedala, the new album Lekman’s releasing Oct. 9 stateside. From what I’ve heard so far it’s a worthy follow-up to the stellar When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog.

Here are the lyrics:

I took my sister down to the ocean
But the ocean made me feel stupid
Those words of wisdom I had prepared
All seemed to vanish into thin air
Into the waves I stared

I picked up a seashell
To illustrate my homelessness
But a crab crawled out of it
Making it useless

And all my metaphors fell flat
Down on the rocks where we sat
She asked me, “where are you at?”

But sister, it’s the opposite of hallelujah
It’s the opposite of being you
You don’t know ’cause it just passes right through you
You don’t know what I’m going through

We made our way home on the bikes we had borrowed
I still never told you about unstoppable sorrow
You still think I’m someone to look up to
I still don’t know anything about you
Is it in you too?

You’ve got so much to live for, little sister
You’ve got so much to live for

But sister, it’s the opposite of hallelujah
It’s the opposite of being you
You don’t know cause it just passes right through you
You don’t know what I’m going through