Lykke Li's upcoming third album, I Never Learn, is now available to stream via Spotify. Li considers this to be the last installment of a trilogy, which includes 2008's Youth Novels and 2011's Wounded Rhymes.
The album opening title track begins with the a reverb drenched acoustic guitar over a gorgeous string arrangement, perfectly establishing the album's theme of heartbreak. The second track, "No Rest For the Wicked," features a harrowing piano riff throughout the entire song. By the third song, another haunting ballad entitled "Just Like a Dream," it's clear that Li has established a new sound. While discussing the record with NME, she stated:
It's always about me and the guilt and the shame and the hurt and the pride and the confusion of being a woman. I always feel like I've been slightly misunderstood. As a woman you get judged for appearances or things like that I don't really care about. If anything I want to be seen as a singer-songwriter rather than a pop artist. I really feel like I've found my voice.
This explains the stripped down approach to I Never Learn. Almost every song is a ballad and percussion is kept to a minimum. The album remains quiet until the Pat Benetar-esque "Gunshot." It's a rocker that still retains the record's somberness. The drums pound and an echoed guitar wails as she sings, "I am nobody."
One of the standouts is "Heart of Steel." She sings, "Don't leave me stranded, don't leave me alone," over a guitar that sounds like it belongs in a spaghetti western. A gospel choir then begins to sing on the chorus, keeping Li company. Though it may be difficult for you to dance to, it is perhaps her most gorgeous record yet. Listen to it above.
I Never Learn will be out May 6th on Atlantic. You can pre-order the record through Amazon.