The cover star of SPIN’s 2011 “Next Big Things” issue just capped the year with yet another reason to fall a little bit in love with her sleek, expansive style of pop, only this time it’s a lot lower-key. Last night, artsy Swedish dynamo Lykke Li posted The Lost Sessions, Vol. 1 as a free download on her blog. Stream or download it below.
The three-song set consists of raw, stripped-down versions of songs from this year’s Wounded Rhymes, Li’s aching yet tremendously compelling sophomore album. Sure, producer Bjorn Yttling’s savvy additions are a huge part of Li’s albums, but she’s dazzled in an unadorned setting plenty of times before — check out her piano-driven“Tonight (Demo),” or, more recently, her acoustic Righteous Brothers cover “Unchained Melody” — and Lost Sessions offers similar revelations.
Lost Sessions version of brash Wounded Rhymes opener “Youth Knows No Pain” could almost be an old field recording of a work song. Which only makes sense: Li might not yet have achieved the superstardom she deserves, but her hustle is tough to deny. And remember, Wounded Rhymes is No. 10 on our 50 Best Albums of 2011.