Sondre Lerche is, of course, best known for his elegant soundtrack to the Steve Carell film Dan in Real Life. Just kidding, no one saw that. He’s more like Norway’s younger, more palatable Conor Oberst—a wintry pop prodigy obsessed with the Beach Boys and a-ha, who released his first album at age 18 and has remained prolific enough in the eight years since to make Sweden’s Jens Lekman quite nervous and thus continue the ancient intra-Scandinavian rivalry for all eternity. September’s Heartbeat Radio sounds as much a diversion as his past forays into jazz (2006’s Duper Sessions) and straight-arrow rock (2007’s Phantom Punch); Heartbeat Radio‘s title track whips strings aplenty into wide, twangy country-pop, while “Good Luck” hints at a winsome new frankness in his lyrics. Carry on, young Viking.
Tue., Sept. 8, 8 p.m., 2009