Thursday, May 22, 2014
Listen: Sondre Lerche - "Bad Law"
One of the pitfalls of Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche's pop-fueled oeuvre happens to be his strongest strength: his knack for upbeat pop numbers. It's manages to cloak the occasional foray into darkness and the abundantly negative. So much so that he needed an album like Phantom Punch to really prove his mettle; a declarative statement of maturation, loud and messy, monumental in its fervor. Since then, Lerche's been more subversive - the lyrics to some songs hidden underneath chipper pop melodies and stellar arrangements so that you really have to root around to discover them in Heartbeat Radio and his self-titled record.
Whether that was intentional or not, Sondre Lerche might very well be done with all that. Make no mistake, he's not abandoning his infectious brand of songsmithery but in latest single "Bad Law" and probably on upcoming full length Please, Lerche's letting the kinks in his armor show. "Bad Law" is inarguably catchy but rightfully embraces the chaos - filled with riotous flourishes in its dancey plod. But not even Sondre Lerche's groovy floorfiller can obscure the track's darker taint - the tell of a crime of passion, where love goes off the rails and surges right into unhealthy territory. It's a new arena for Lerche's love songs to duke it out in and it's pretty inspired. Lerche finds the perfect balance between his available choices - funky grooves granting levity to a rather dark tale of passion exploded with musical choices that certainly serve the narrative. The man's still a masterful songwriter if "Bad Law" is any indication, Please will see Lerche plumbing darker depths without wholly abandoning his sweet, tuneful pop. It's going to be a long wait until Fall.