Sondre Lerche (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈsɔndrə ˈlærkə]; born 5 September 1982 in Bergen, Norway) is a Norwegian singer, songwriter and guitarist, now based in Los Angeles, California. He has released eight studio albums.
Sondre Lerche playing at the House of Blues on 10 November 2011
|Birth name||Sondre Lerche Vaular|
|Born||5 September 1982|
Growing up in Bergen suburb, Lerche was heavily influenced by 1980s pop. Lerche was fascinated by bands such as The Beatles, A-ha, The Beach Boys, and Prefab Sprout, and began formal guitar instruction at age eight. Not being satisfied with classical lessons, Lerche's teacher introduced him to Brazilian music (such as Bossa Nova) and thus formed the foundation of Lerche's vast array of complex melodies and chords throughout his music today. At age fourteen, Lerche penned his first song, "Locust Girl." Lerche performed acoustic gigs at the club where his sister worked while he was still under age. Norwegian producer H.P. Gundersen "discovered" Lerche, and began to mentor him, exposing him to diverse music genres, including psychedelia, 1960s pop, and mainstream Brazilian music.
Lerche met with Oslo-based manager Tatiana Penzo, leading up to a deal with Virgin Norway signed in 2000. His popularity in his home country increased steadily, and in 2000 he recorded his debut album, Faces Down.
Faces Down was not released until 2001, after Lerche finished schooling. In the interim, he was named Best New Act at the Norwegian Grammys (Spellemannprisen) and performed locally in support of major acts such as Beth Orton. Faces Down was officially released in Norway in September 2001 and gradually throughout all of Europe. Lerche toured with various acts, including his long-time idols, a-ha, in Oslo. Autumn 2002 saw the release of Faces Down in America and Lerche's first major tour of the United States. Faces Down was a hit in Norway and received critical praise in Norway and the United States — Rolling Stone Magazine placed it in their top 50 albums of 2002. He released the live/studio collection Don't Be Shallow EP the following year. In 2003, he toured with another one of his musical heroes, Elvis Costello (they toured together once again in 2005).
In 2004 his second album was released, Two Way Monologue, also produced by Gundersen. The album displayed more of Lerche's ability to span many different styles—from pop-like and upbeat tracks to more mellow or melodic tunes. It was very well received, with positive reviews in Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Devon Powers of Popmatters praised Sondre's "contagious musical sensibilities, exhilarating vigor and downright stupefying songcraft," and noted that "Lerche manages to both push himself and maintain an allegiance to his ways -- something artists twice his age have trouble doing."
On 27 February 2006, Duper Sessions was released. The jazz album was recorded in the fall of 2005 with his band the Faces Down and pianist Erik Halvorsen at Duper Studios in Bergen. The album reached #21 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.
His February 2007 release, Phantom Punch, is a rock album with a more aggressive sound than his previous work. Lerche and the Faces Down recorded and mixed the album in Los Angeles in April and May 2006, with producer Tony Hoffer.
In September 2009, Lerche released Heartbeat Radio, to critical acclaim. While it maintained the studio polish of his groundbreaking debut, there was also a sense of musical adventure that mixed acoustic guitars with grand gestures of orchestral pop, elements of 1950s Jazz, 1960s and 1970s Brazilian psych-folk, and state-of-the-art 1980s pop masters such as Prefab Sprout, Scritti Politti and Fleetwood Mac. In his review, Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "No matter what genre he’s working in — fuzzy garage rock, breezy vocal jazz, acoustic folk-pop — this young Norwegian singer-songwriter crafts catchier choruses than many musicians who’ve been working twice as long as he has." Allmusic Guide's Tim Sendra called Heartbeat Radio Sondre's "best work to date."
In June 2011, Lerche released the self-titled Sondre Lerche, on his own Mona Records. Praised by Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Stereogum, Filter, Spin, and Entertainment Weekly among others for its experimentation with contrasting musical sounds, this eponymous album contains Lerche's most interesting arrangements and catchy songwriting to date, but also some of his most somber and introspective. In the studio, Lerche wanted to explore his new creative alliances in Williamsburg, the Brooklyn neighborhood where he's lived on and off for the previous six years. The album was recorded – live in the studio – and mixed in a short but intense time period of three weeks. The sessions included fellow musicians – Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith, longtime producer/collaborator Kato Ådland, Dave Heilman (drummer for Regina Spektor), and co-producer, mixer, and owner of Rare Book Room Studio, Nicolas Verhnes (Spoon, Animal Collective).
Lerche celebrated his 30th birthday with the release of his first live album, Bootlegs, in 2012.
Lerche wrote and recorded Please following his divorce from Mona Fastvold. The album, known as his "divorce record", was released on 23 September 2014 on Mona Records. "Bad Law" was released as the main single for the album in June 2014.
On 3 March 2017, Lerche released his eighth studio album, Pleasure, on the PLZ label. On 24 November that year the songs from Pleasure were also released in a stripped down solo version titled Solo Pleasure. Solo Pleasure was released digitally on 14 February 2018.
In July 2005, Lerche married Norwegian model, actress, and director Mona Fastvold. They divorced in 2013. He is currently in a relationship with writer and blogger Linnéa Myhre since 2013.
- Faces Down, September 2001 (October 2002 U.S.)
- Two Way Monologue, March 2004
- Duper Sessions, February 2006
- Phantom Punch, February 2007
- Dan in Real Life, October 2007 (soundtrack)
- Heartbeat Radio, September 2009
- Sondre Lerche, June 2011
- Bootlegs, September 2012 (live album)
- Please, September 2014
- Pleasure, March 2017
- Solo Pleasure, November 2017 (physical) and February 2018 (digital)
- "Dear Laughing Doubters" from the soundtrack for the motion picture Dinner for Schmucks, July 2010
- "Mr. Bassman" on the album Muppets: The Green Album, August 2011
- You Know So Well (2001) (Norway)
- No One's Gonna Come (2001) (Norway)
- Sleep on Needles (2001) (Norway, 2002 France, Spain and the United Kingdom)
- Dead Passengers (2002) (UK)
- Don't Be Shallow (2003) (USA)
- Two Way Monologue (2005) (United Kingdom)
- Daytrotter Session (2007)
- Polaroid Pool Party (2008)
- Polaroid Pumpkin Party (2008)
- Daytrotter Sessions (2011)
- "All Luck Ran Out" (2001)
- "Rosebud/Sleep on Needles" (2001)
- "Sleep on Needles" (2002)
- "Days That Are Over" (2004)
- "Minor Detail" (2006)
- "Say it All" (2006)
- "Phantom Punch" (2006)
- "Phantom Punch"/"Europa & The Pirate Twins" (2007)
- "The Tape"/"Face the Blood" (2007)
- "Heartbeat Radio" (2009)
- "Private Caller" (2011)
- "Domino" (2011)
- "It's Never Meant to Be"/"Countdown" (2012)
- "The Plague" (2013)
- "Public Hi-Fi Sessions 01" (2013)
- "Bad Law" (2014)
- "I'm Always Watching You" (2016)
- "Watch Sondre Lerche Trace His Unusual Path to Pop". Rolling Stone. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Gallo, Phil (7 June 2011). "Sondre Lerche Finds 'Stronger Connection with Reality' on New Album". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Blanford, Roxanne. "Sondre Lerche Biography". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Martin, Erin Lyndal (10 August 2011). "Norwegian Wunderkind". Popmatters. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Blanford, Roxanne. "Sondre Lerche Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
- Sylvester, Nick (26 February 2004). "Two Way Monologue". Pitchfork. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Powers, Devon (26 March 2004). "Sondre Lerche: Two Way Monologue". Popmatters. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- "Sondre Lerche Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Lash, Jolie (24 May 2006). "Sondre Lerche Packs Pop "Punch" on New Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Herrera, Monica (8 July 2009). "Sondre Lerche Plots 'Heartbeat Radio' Tour". Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Wood, Mikael (8 September 2009). "Album review: Sondre Lerche's 'Heartbeat Radio'". Pop & Hiss. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Lovejoy, Heather (18 November 2011). "Norway's Sondre Lerche brings a pop-folk, edgy darkness". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Norris, John (2 September 2014). "Sondre Lerche Is A Punk-Rock Crooner". Refinery29. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Barshad, Nim (22 May 2014). "Hear Sondre Lerche's Dancey, Divorce-Fueled 'Bad Law'". Spin. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Murray, Nick (19 June 2014). "Watch Sondre Lerche Humiliate Himself in 'Bad Law' Video - Premiere". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Interrante, Scott (23 September 2014). "The Legends We Were Meant to Be". Popmatters. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- "Sondre Lerche - Pleasure". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- "Sondre Lerche - Solo Pleasure". EDDA Music. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Aartun, Jorun Sofie F. (6 August 2005). "Trendy å være to". VG (in Norwegian). Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Lerche, Sondre (25 December 2013). "Hey". Sondre Lerche. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Talseth, Thomas (4 May 2012). "Lars Vaular og Sondre Lerche: "Øynene lukket"". VG. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Holen, Øyvind (27 September 2001). "Ansiktsløftning for Spellemannprisen". Ballade (in Norwegian). Retrieved 4 March 2017.