If you’ve engaged with contemporary pop culture, you’ve heard of Mr Little Jeans. To be clear, Mr Little Jeans is one woman — Monica Birkenes — and it’s her dreamy electronic production that has appeared in everything from network TV (Transparent, Grey’s Anatomy) to indie and mainstream cinema (50/50, Iron Man III). Her lush compositions make her music unnervingly original — after all, this is what drew millions to her first hit in 2011, a signature take on Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs.”
Although she now lives in L.A., Birkenes hails from Norway — she grew up in the small seaside town of Grimstad, the daughter of a shipbuilder and secretary. That English wasn’t her first language is actually an advantage in her songwriting: Her breathy lyrics take unexpected turns and leave you reaching at beautiful metaphors you can’t quite grasp. Birkenes admits, “I am a little obscure at times; maybe that’s how I feel I can be honest.” Her songs draw from personal experiences but leave things open-ended enough that you can’t help but lean into them and commiserate.
This balance is what helped inform the magical blend that made up her 2014 debut album Pocketknife, a wandering soundscape of songs both dark and gritty (hard, menacing drums drive the beat of “Good Mistake”) and staggeringly elegant (“Oh Sailor” tugs at heartstrings with help from the Silver Lake children's’ choir).
Birkenes and long-time collaborator Tim Anderson have now come back together for her second release — the F E V E R S EP (Out October 21 via Nettwerk Records). Like on Pocketknife, new songs “Stitches” and title track “Fevers” are pop hymnals, sparkling oases that temper but don’t hide the uncertainty of living. F E V E R S also makes a strong connection between Scandinavian musicality and the Los Angeles point-of-view, bringing together everything that has made Birkenes a part of Mr Little Jeans, and vise-versa.
Description provided by artist representative