Lykke Li gives advice on love and how to survive heartbreak - Reverb

Lykke Li gives advice on love and how to survive heartbreak

Lykke Li plays Denver's Ogden Theatre on Sept. 25. Photo provided by Press Here Publicity.

Lykke Li plays Denver’s Ogden Theatre on Sept. 25. Photo provided by Press Here Publicity.

Lykke Li’s in a car, it’s sunny in LA, and she isn’t sure she’ll ever love like she’s loved before. “I Never Learn,” her broody and spaciously poetic third album is what we called to talk about, and curled in her Swedish accent is a feisty emotional honesty, which not only enables her to backtrack through relationships and music with strength and clarity, but gives off a rawness that enables her heartbreak to sound pure.

“I was forced to reveal myself and love myself. All those things, accepting yourself, and listening to yourself, and also admitting to not knowing,” she said. “That’s really okay too.”

The lyrics of her latest album, although dark and eccentric, which has always been her style, pop with a sense of hopefulness describing the difficult break-up. It’s as though there’s something trying to crawl from the soil of her ballads and into her listener’s ears.

“You know I think as in anything, darkness is always searching for light and life, so I want it to survive, everybody wants to survive,” said Li who returns to Colorado for a second time this year to headline Denver’s Ogden Theatre on Sept. 25. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel and the only way to get that is to get through it.”

See photos below of Lykke Li’s opening set at Red Rocks in August.

Her biggest lesson while writing this album: Love isn’t an end all be all. Love conquering all, that’s a cliché, she now believes. The most important thing is to love yourself too. But other times, love and life is just about letting yourself go. It’s sometimes, like her musical process, better left in the wind.

“That’s the struggle, because I cannot let go, that’s why it takes so long to finish. I never strive for perfection, but sometimes you do too much and screw up. So I guess, I don’t know…” This is where Li begins to talk fast, her English getting lost in the curvature of an accent. “I take it so far sometimes and think, you know, I am about to die. So I have to let go. The strive to perfection drives me to insanity and ultimately the only way to survive is to let go.”

Although Li didn’t put an album out for three years, she stayed busy recording for the soundtrack, “The Fault in our Stars,” and starting her fashion line with & Other Stories, and somewhere in between that she’s been able to stay true to herself.

“I am just a women trying to figure out everyone and how to live and how to love,” she said. “I am just searching like everyone else. I happen to be really interested in art and music, but that is not who I am.”

The lyrical wisdom in Li’s latest album may come from her heartbreak, and it may also be due to the fact that she’s only 28 and willing to be honest with herself. Li will never be perfect and neither will her music, but that isn’t the point.

“Instead of fighting the world just swim. Just enjoy every moment, and in writing a record you are so eager to get in and hear the end. The art of life, enjoy every moment.”

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Lucas Dean Fiser is a published fiction writer, poet and holds an M.F.A. He writes freelance for The Denver Post, a staff member at the Cannabist and is regular contributor to Reverb.