When Jens Lekman sings a song, it often seems to me like we're friends chatting on the couch, its twists and turns like the stream of a consciousness.

At Babak's school there is a 3D printer,and he prints out a model of the tumor,that was surgically removed from his back this winter,in it's rugged grey plastic it looks lunar.He puts the tumor in his breastpocket,as we head out for a beer.

But, when the conversation is all done and the song is over, it all, somehow, ties itself together. Today on All Songs Considered, a conversation with Swedish songwriter Jens Lekman. We talk about a particular song, "Evening Prayer," from his soon-to-be-released fourth album, Life Will See You Know. (It's been four-and-a-half years since his last album, but that doesn't mean he's been sitting on his hands; his Postcards Project kept him busy recording roughly a song a week throughout 2015.) It's a surprising, quirky song, about a friend who has a 3D model of a tumor removed from his body — counterbalanced, oddly, with a musical backdrop that resembles a jubilant disco track from the mid-'70s.

Life Will See You Now comes out February 17 — his tour of the U.S. begins in Houston on February 23.

On the concept beneath "Evening Prayer":

"The idea of printing out something that's as scary as a tumor into its concrete form was something that spoke to me — there is something very liberating about that idea. I think a lot of my anxieties and fears are things that are very abstract. Of the times that I've been able to overcome a fear, it's been by making it something that I can understand, that I can hold on to — just something that's more tangible."

Writing songs as personal therapy:

"I had a lot of friends going through illnesses and friends going through chemotherapy. It was something that was on my mind a lot around this time. [The song] started with those lines of someone printing out their tumor as a little plastic model — and then it went from there, just by association, into these thoughts I had about friends getting ill and how to deal with that... over the last couple of years, I've had my first experiences with being close to friends getting ill. And I didn't really know what to do in the beginning, you know? It was kind of difficult."

On creating music that works as a striking counterpoint to its lyrics:

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