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Sondre Lerche dishes on his 'Bootlegs'

Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche Credit: handout

It's been 10 years since the stateside release of "Faces Down" heralded the debut of singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche, winning praise for the young Norwegian native's balance of sophistication, wit and charm.

Since then, he's cycled through a host of styles, from lush chamber pop to vocal jazz to new wave, and even penned the soundtrack to the 2007 film "Dan in Real Life," compiling an eclectic catalog that proves his only contentment lies in moving forward.

This fall he is celebrating his past and future by releasing his first four albums on vinyl with bonus material and touring behind a live album, "Bootlegs," that was recorded between his hometown of Bergen, Norway, and current Brooklyn home.

amNY spoke with Lerche.

What prompted the decision to release your early albums on vinyl?
I had wanted to do the vinyl when the albums originally came out, but ... I was on a major label at the time. They had a lot of resources ... but vinyl wasn't a priority. Now that I have my own label, I felt like, if we could cut some sort of deal where I could license those records and put them out in new vinyl editions with all the bonus material, that would be such a cool thing. Cool for me, of course, but also cool for the very dedicated listener.

What about the live recording of "Bootlegs?"
That was sort of random. I'd given up on the idea of a live record because I hadn't ever heard a live recording of myself that I liked. It never captured the moment. This recording was made very roughly and without my knowledge by my sound engineer in Norway. He sent it to me afterward and said "You should really listen to this, it's really fun." And it was. It's very raw, and that was why I called it "Bootlegs." I wanted people to come to it with the right expectations. Live records now sound so manipulated. Nobody has the guts to leave things the way they were. I feel that this record does that.

Would the album have been different if you knew about it?
I think it would have been very different if I knew we were recording. I think that is what had bothered in the past. You start focusing on the wrong things and it takes you out of the moment with the audience.

What is your own favorite live album?
I always loved "Live at the El Mocambo" by Elvis Costello. That was a bootleg originally, and was officially released just a few years ago. I didn't want to wait for that for my recording.

Do you prefer playing live?
When I first started ... and I was allowed to be in the studio space, I thought "I never want to leave." Once I had a record and I realized that there was an audience out there who connected with what I tried to do, the kick of communicating with that audience live is probably an excitement that I haven't quite gotten over. So maybe that is true.

If you go
Sondre Lerche is at Bowery Ballroom Wednesday at 8 p.m., 6 Delancey St., 212-533-2111, $22.
 

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