Sound of Summer: Sondre Lerche

The end of the school year fast approaches, begging the question of which songs will make it onto your summer soundtrack will be. Sure, you could listen to the top 100 (and it never hurts), but if you’re looking for something a little less mainstream, Sondre Lerche’s new album Pleasure is my definitive choice for Summer 2017.

Sondre Lerche, born and raised in Norway now lives in Brooklyn New York and has released eight studio albums over the course of his career so far. His albums cover a lot of ground in terms of genre from when he released Faces Down in 2001 to his newest album, Pleasure released in March of this year. His last three albums illustrate the story of his recent divorce, his eponymous album tracing his breakup, Please summarizing the divorce itself, and his newest album presenting have the aftermath.

The opening moments of the first track on the album immediately recall sounds of the eighties with a heavy pop beat and synthesizer that feature throughout the album. Each song carries the vibe of freedom, self-destruction, and obsession in a different way. With the heavy synth and warm vibe, it’s perfect for the feelings of summer, in between semesters when anything seems possible, regardless of what your summer plans might be.

Some highlights from the album include the tracks “I’m Always Watching You,” “Siamese Twin,” and “Reminisce.” Lerche released the first as a single in October 2016. The song feels like the characterization of a cool summer night, and rhymes “voyeurism” with “masochism” in the chorus, revealing a slightly sinister feeling between the pop waves. In “Siamese Twin,” Lerche turns to a more laid back sound, crooning along to a steady beat. Unlike the other two, “Reminisce” turns up the volume and speeds up the beat, and Lerche sings spiteful anthem about dancing “without you.”

While the album isn’t much like Sondre Lerche’s old sound, he recalls his old style on a few tracks, like the seven minute masterpiece “Violent Game.” His foray into heavy indie pop opens his album up to appealing to new fans as well as old. If you haven’t listened to his music yet, now might be the perfect time to start.

The emotions and sentiments driving the album are powerful and within only ten songs, Lerche covers vast territory. Not only does he tell a tremendous amount of stories, he captures one of the feelings of summer, writing an album that begs to be listened to in a convertible with the top down on the way to the beach.

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