Sondre
Lerche

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“Ask me anything you like/I’ll reveal everything,” Sondre Lerche sang on 2002 single “Sleep On Needles,” and the Norwegian musician has spent the last decade proving his lines true. To call him a singer-songwriter might be the technical term, but he’s been a jazz bandleader, a punk howler, a would-be Springsteen, a transatlantic teen idol – not bad for a guy pushing 30. In early fall 2012, he paused and looked back with vinyl reissues of his first four albums, some dozen-plus digital bonus tracks and Bootlegs, his first-ever live document. Lerche’s career famously started young: debut album Faces Down bowed at the tail end of his teenage years, starting a national frenzy that landed him a Best New Artist trophy at the Norwegian Grammys. Breathless magazine profiles credited him with formal music training at age 9, which he now says didn’t take. “To say I’m formally trained is giving me more credit,” he laughs. “I still to this day cannot read music.” But he was drawn to the guitar, intrigued by the colorful bossa nova chords that have filled his albums since. He learned from the sophistication of Burt Bacharach, the enthusiasm of Elvis Costello, the fearless feelings of A-Ha; even from the beginning, his albums have been love letters to the craft of songwriting.