Phantom Punch was released in England in May, well after the rest of the world, and lately reviews have been trickling in. Two recent ones give Lerche 4/5.
In cascades of British-style clever musical lingo Sondre Lerche is hailed and praised, even in real-time! But upon reflection it only makes sense that Lerche’s cleverness and musical wit should strike home with the Brits, whose tradition for educated linguistic dexterity finds a parallel in Lerche’s smooth-intricate melodies.
The Guardian, i.e. Jude Rogers in her real-time review, writes:
"I called you because I loved you so." Now there's a line to start an album! And it comes to us from Scandinavia, spiritual home to the most zesty, uplifting indie (thank you, I'm From Barcelona and Suburban Kids With Biblical Names), heart-pumping dance (hats off, the Knife), and heart-melting melancholy (have a hug, Kings Of Convenience and Husky Rescue). Still, it's a place that's been needing a romantic posterboy for ages. So step into the breach, Norway's Sondre Lerche, a ridiculously talented, outrageously gorgeous 25-year-old who's already released two albums of zingy, part-Elvis Costello, part-Prefab Sprout, classic pop. This song is Sprouty in the extreme, adding string squelches, guitar wiggles, and a fantastic chorus melody to the mix. A promising start!
-This is so blissfully lovely that I'm considering hot-footing it to Bergen and sitting outside the Lerche household with a bunch of garage-forecourt carnations until our boy invites me in for a cup of tea and a hug
-He crafts melodies full of minor falls and major lifts that you don't think will resolve themselves properly, until they gloriously and gorgeously do. As happens here!
Sondre is the latest in Norway’s long line of great explorers, boldly striking out into all kinds of uncharted musical territories. The Bergen boy returns with an album bursting with life and fresh ideas. He draws on anything from the spikey post-punk of Orange Juice to the cool, Latin rhythms of Gilberto Gil, each song bearing a lyrical fleet of foot that echoes his hero Elvis Costello. With his band The Faces Down in tow, there’s a handsome clatter to efforts like The Tape and the title track, both deliciously skewed but still easy enough on the ears.