Mr Little Jeans is the project name of Norwegian solo artist Monica Birkenes.
She gained international recognition in 2011 for her moody and meditative cover of Arcade Fire’s song The Suburbs, as well as Beyonce’s Single Ladies.
Birkenes was born and raised in the small maritime town of Grimstad in the south of Norway. Like many of her fellow Nordic songstresses she grew up with music, learning to play both piano and guitar and singing in the church choir. Her early influences range from Simon and Garfunkel and PJ Harvey to Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, and Mariah Carey.
Her debut album, Pocketknife, was released a little less than a year ago and has been very well received. According to Monica, a pocketknife is one of the most utilitarian tools one can possess.
“It is small but has a million uses. It can open locks, cut ties and be used as a weapon or even for first aid”.
– Monica Birkenes
Completely unlike the covers Mr Little Jeans gained recognition for, ‘Pocketknife’ is unexpectedly diverse, with nearly every song offering a hook or chorus that feels textured, lively, and complete.
The album falls under the classic sounds that Nordic female artists generally rely on; a mixture of dream pop and indie electronic, recalling artist such as Lykke Li and even Kylie Minogue in the dance-pop songs. Influences from her retired Nordic cousins Röyksopp and The Knife can even be spotted in many songs, giving the album all the versatility of a Swiss pocketknife.
The stunningly beautiful video to ‘Oh Sailor’ from ‘Pocketknife’, featuring ‘The Silverlake Conservatory of Music Youth Chorale’. Even if you are not a fan of children’s choirs the song is definitely worth a listen.
Another song from ‘Pocketknife’, ‘Good Mistake’. One of the more “poppier” songs on the albums, with a super catchy chorus.
The acclaimed Arcade Fire cover of ‘The Suburbs’. ‘Single Ladies’ seems to be a little harder to find but if you are interested it only takes a little “Googling”.
Images taken from Mrlittlejeansmusic and Togetherboston.
Tags: friday fever, music
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