Essentially a teaser for the US release of Lykke Li’s superb debut album Youth Novels, the Little Bit EP is a nice little introduction to the quirky, apple-cheeked Swedish pop sensation. Three of the four tracks are from the album, and offer a good sampling of Lykke Li’s eclectic songwriting style, not to mention the very clever, minimalist approach taken by producer Björn Yttling. Built around a simple, two-note acoustic guitar pattern, the gently playful “Dance Dance Dance” is bolstered by whimsical production and some whimsical calypso-style background singing. The bleak “Time Flies” echoes singer Julie Cruise’s collaborations with Angelo Badalamenti (with a little El Perro del Mar tossed in as well), Lykke Li’s fragile falsetto contrasting with a murky, droning arrangement, while the equally bipolar “Everybody But Me” masks its self-effacing sentiment with a whimsical melody. Single “Little Bit”, a major hit in Scandinavia early this year, remains one of the year’s best tracks, in which her expressions of unbridled passion are made all the more shocking by her demure delivery, while Yttling provides brilliant acoustic instrumentation, simple in approach yet rich in tone. With all four songs appearing on the US release of Youth Novels (“Everybody But Me” has been tacked on as a US bonus track), curious listeners are far better off buying Youth Novels, but as a stand-alone single, it’s nevertheless exceptional.
// Notes from the Road
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