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.
Mr. Little Jeans will be at First Avenue’s Entry on 11/11 with Trace and Sloslylove. Ticket are available HERE