Swine for a Swede: Jens Lekman Contracts Swine Flu

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Not even the indie stars are safe.

Jens Lekman, the Swedish singer/songwriter known for his quirky pop sensibilities and lyrical playfulness, has contracted the H1N1 virus, better known to the paranoid masses as “swine flu”. Pitchfork reports that Lekman became ill during a trans-Atlantic flight from Chile, where he was wrapping up a tour of South America. Says Lekman on his website, “I grabbed the sleeve of the Air France steward. ‘I’m not feeling well, I should see a doctor’, I said and the reply came as a brilliant mix of death, anxiety, and French rudeness: ‘Uh, yes… Terminal D… go there maybe… when we land’”.

Lekman garnered buzz in the early 2000s recording under the alias Rocky Dennis, and began to receive global attention with 2003’s Maple Leaves EP. He cemented his reputation as a tremendous indie-pop singer with 2007’s acclaimed Night Falls Over Kortedala, which established him as both a humorous and intelligent lyricist with a real knack for song-craft. Lekman has been touring through Australia, North America, and South America since March, a sprawling enough journey to weaken the immune system of any troubadour.

Fans need not worry, as reports of the dangerous affects of swine flu have been largely overblown and Lekman himself has already spoken of recovery on his website, writing to those close to him that “If you did not send me a fruit basket while I was dying last week I can no longer consider you a friend.”

Here’s to hoping that the cough and fever of the H1N1 virus don’t affect Lekman’s smooth, lilting vocals. Let’s all be Jens’ friends and wish him a speedy recovery.

– Will Bryant

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