Depressing lyrics about bad breakups and toxic relationships don't usually make for good dance songs, but Swedish producer Andreas Kleerup has somehow managed to defy this rule on his debut album, Kleerup.
The album -- released last year in Europe but getting a U.S. release July 28 on Astralwerks -- has already struck gold overseas with singles like "With Every Heartbeat," a chart-topping collaboration with Swedish pop diva Robyn, and "Until We Bleed," a sleek, moody piece of electro-pop featuring vocals by Lykke Li.
The latter -- which you can hear below -- is one of Kleerup's standout tracks, mostly due to Li's performance, which is raspy, wounded, and utterly haunting. "I'm naked / I'm numb / I'm stupid / I'm staying / And if Cupid's got a gun, then he's shootin'," she sings against a lush backdrop of synth beats and sweeping string arrangements by composer Mikael Karlsson.
Li wrote the chorus to "Until We Bleed" before meeting Kleerup, and when the two were eventually introduced by a friend, they realized they needed to collaborate, because Li's words of heartache and struggle fit perfectly with the theme of Kleerup's album.
"The whole album is kind of about my ex-girlfriend, who actually lives in New York," Kleerup tells SPIN.com. "It's about relationships gone wrong and being stuck in a relationship that's bad for you but you still can't get away."
Still, in spite of the subject matter, he hopes that listening to his music will make people feel less alone. "'I'm here for you and you're gonna make it through' -- that's what I'm trying to say with this album," he says.
Check out the track below -- maybe it's the pick-me-up your love life's been lacking!
LISTEN: Kleerup feat. Lykke Li, "Until We Bleed"