Spun: Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Quartet

By Hoang-Mai Hong

The latest poppy-jazz diversion from Norwegian wunderkind Sondre Lerche may seem like nothing more than interlude between albums, but it’s still a quality offering.

On The Duper Sessions, Lerche and his usual band are joined by pianist Erik Halvorsen resulting in wonderful, jazz infused pop music about love you too can fall in love with and make babies to, or at least dream about it. Recorded in a few days with very little production, the music captures the enthusiasm and authenticity of a talented bunch jamming on classic sounding, Cole Porter-esque music, all written by Lerche himself save for a few covers. These include, appropriately, the Cole Porter piece “Night and Day,” with an added delightful “Rock Around the Clock” type swing, and Elvis Costello’s “Human Hands.”

Unlike smirking, tie wearing Rico Suaves, like Michael Buble, Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Quartet sound much more real. Lerche is more than a face mothers can love with a mice voice. The proof is in the sweet-as-pudding standout track “(I Wanna) Call It Love,” concentrating all the good stuff spread out over the album in to one exploding, perfect pop song with great lyrics and an ebullient chorus asking, “Can we dance instead of walking?” over dramatic horns, a rich string section and pounding drums.

Put out at just the right time, The Duper Sessions is spring music, to go along with a bit of sun and blue sky to aid those coming out of seasonal affective disorder and the winter slump. With musicianship, vocals, and song-writing this excellent, this album is well worth your time, and at least a listen, if not several.

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