SXSW ’08: Lykke Li
One of the most impressive performances I caught this year at SXSW was by young Swedish singer Lykke Li. She was part of a well represented group of female singers at the festival which included Martha Wainwright, Adele (who unfortunately cancelled), Robyn, Duffy, Kate Nash, Sara Bareilles, Basia Bulat, Laura Marling, Johnette Napolitano, Kimya Dawson, Tift Merritt, and Sia, just to name a few. Shout Out Louds fans may know Lykke Li as the female voice on the band’s latest album. The 21-year-old singer released her debut album, Youth Novels, this year produced by none other than fellow Swede Björn Yttling of Peter Björn and John. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the album, I was a little concerned before the show how her sometimes wispy voice would translate live. On stage though, Lykke’s voice was both forceful and direct, and distinctly different from the recorded version in a good way. Equally surprising were her commanding stage presence and, as Ryan would put it, her “saucy” dancing ability. She’s got a wide range of sounds on the album and her band does a good job of portraying the mood of each song. How impressed was I? I’m changing my ringtone as we speak.