If you’ve heard Lykke Li’s work, then you know her style is all over the musical spectrum. On one track, the Swedish singer-songwriter can sound ethereal, showcasing the strength of her vocals without much of an instrumental focus in the background. Then she’ll surprise you with funkier, more upbeat tracks that pull you in as a listener and make you want to dance. Lykke Li is channeling that diversity with an upcoming appearance in a Swedish crime thriller film, and a haunting, sullen ballad that’s part of its soundtrack.
“Du är den ende” (“You Are the Only”) is a chilling, sometimes creepy waltz, done entirely in Swedish. It’s also a work of instrumental art, complete with bells and orchestral sounds for the background line. As always, Li’s voice is still the focus; as the accompanying line drops out at the end of the song, Li finishes the track a cappella, using her vocals for finality and emphasis. It’s a track that seems to fit perfectly with its corresponding movie, “Tommy,” which, according to a YouTube description, is about one of the biggest robberies in Swedish history and the woman who has to flee from her home after her husband commits the crime. Without knowing the language, the trailer still conveys the urgency and terror of the film, which stars Li herself.
Li is already having a busy year. “Du är den ende” is her latest project, but she’s putting out a new album, I Never Learn, scheduled for a May 5th release, to follow previous albums Wounded Rhymes (2011) and Youth Novels (2008). So far, she’s released a music video for the track, “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone.” Calling her songs “power ballads for the broken,” Li said in a Rolling Stone interview that she “wants to be [her] generation’s guilty pleasure.” “I want to be the last song that’s played at the disco for the outcasts,” Li said. “I’ve been really inspired by the great classics, the way one simple sentence can transcend generations.”
It’s a tall legacy, but as Lykke Li’s music and acting talents hit the big screen, she may be well on her way to achieving it.