Some of my favorite things to hear in music outside of the songs are the stories behind them. The whole idea of shows like VH1’s Storytellers where the artists give background attracts me like a magnet, though I’ll only dive into it if the artist featured is someone I like. While I’m sure someone like Pink has plenty to say about the construction of her tracks, inspired by an addiction to pills or something, if I can’t connect to it I simply don’t care. So let’s talk about Jens Lekman for a minute. There’s a track of his featured below called “Olivia and Maddy,” a song that comes with a story that I found compelling. A couple months back, you may recall the tragedy that was Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast pretty hard. New York City became a powerless, flood-soaked nightmare, and many were trapped in their houses and apartments for days without some essential resources. Amid this tragedy, Lekman wasn’t in any affected areas, but his pianist was. The tour was starting in Seattle a couple days after Sandy, and Jonas the pianist was trapped in NYC. So what’s an artist to do? Lekman took to Facebook and asked his fans for a favor: If someone in the NYC area could pick up Jonas and drive him to Boston so he could catch a flight, Lekman would pay for the help, and he’d write a song about that person. So Olivia and Maddy were the two heroes that apparently helped save his tour. The song itself is a little bit silly, and if the lyrics are true Lekman got over a hundred offers from fans wanting to help, but it’s actually quite a nice track all things considered. So check it out below, along with some other great songs from Art Decade, Boys School, Freeze-Tag, Hey Champ, Lower Plenty and Torres. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream tracks from Generationals, Herve, Heyerdahl, Hooray for Earth (covering Bear in Heaven) and Rachel Zeffira.
Unlike Pluto – Run Maggie Run
Dumbo Gets Mad – Tahiti Hungry Jungle
Generationals – Spinoza
Herve – Save Me (ft. Austra)
Heyerdahl – Shadows
Hooray for Earth – Lovesick Teenagers (Bear in Heaven cover)
Rachel Zeffira – Here On In