Premiere: Sondre Lerche Channels Pain & Grief into Musical Beauty on “The Most Savage Joke”

Sondre Lerche © Hilde Solli
Sondre Lerche © Hilde Solli
Sondre Lerche channels raw pain into musical wonderment on “The Most Savage Joke,” a breathtakingly beautiful lover’s lament taken off his new album, ‘Avatars of the Night.’
Stream: “The Most Savage Joke” – Sondre Lerche




All this beauty we parade is not of any use to us until it goes away…

Singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche has the uncanny ability to fill even the most heart-wrenching moments with warmth and wonder.

Whether he’s dwelling in the depths of an existential crisis or grieving lost love, the Norwegian artist turns pain into beauty through song – creating a vessel through which we may comfortably experience, contemplate, and connect with the visceral intensity of life’s hardships and heartaches. His latest single exemplifies this: An enchanting upheaval, “The Most Savage Joke” is a breathtakingly beautiful lover’s lament filled with sweet sound and soul-crushing sorrow.

Avatars of the Night - Sondre Lerche
Avatars of the Night – Sondre Lerche
It’s savage
How we can’t appreciate
each other until we meet our fate
We got carried away
We gave in to the flame
We got to feel invincible
But it’s so brutal to come so close
and suddenly one day
All our love is now the most savage joke
no punchline can betray
All our love became the most savage joke
we’ll never laugh away

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “The Most Savage Joke,” a song that is as grandiose and sweeping as it is intimate and raw. Taken off Sondre Lerche’s new album Avatars of the Night – a collection of remixes, reworks, and demos of the material from his 2022 LP, Avatars of Love – “The Most Savage Joke” sees the acclaimed Norwegian artist at his most nihilistic and defeatist, taking on a bleak, even funereal doom-and-gloom perspective on love. “It’s savage, how we can’t appreciate each other until we meet our fate,” he sings at the song’s opening, looking through the rearview with a bitter taste on his tongue. “It’s so brutal to come so close, and suddenly one day, all our love is now the most savage joke.”

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It would be a truly dismal, albeit powerfully poetic, affair, were it not for the song’s absolutely radiant, lush instrumental arrangement. Lerche, whose melodic sensibilities most closely resemble those of Paul McCartney, injects his mournful writing with bright, buoyant tones, effectively balancing out an inner darkness with outer light. “The Most Savage Joke” still hurts like hell, but pain is more palatable when you dress it up – and as this song progresses, Lerche adds more and more color in the form of orchestral flourishes, expansive synth beds, dramatic percussive hits, and so on. The result is equal parts epic and aching.

We’re savage
We broke the holy grail
It’s savage how we were built to fail
We transcended the pain
Nothing’s ever in vain
We felt lucky and beautiful
and then heartbroken and spoiled and torn
forever and a day
All our love is now the most savage joke
no punchline can betray
All our love became the most savage joke
we dare not even say

“‘The Most Savage Joke’ was the last song written for Avatars of Love,” Lerche tells Atwood Magazine. “It is perhaps a little ironic that it would’ve been the shortest song by far on this album with an average song running time of seven minutes. At less than three minutes, clearly it had to go. I had originally written and recorded 16 songs that year, and I deeply wanted to include all of them. I had never felt that strongly about a body of songs and recordings before. For months I tried sequencing the album as a double vinyl, including ‘The Most Savage Joke’ in the running order. But when I realized that it would have to be a triple LP if I were to fit all 16 songs on it, I grew worried that I would just keep on writing and recording new songs in order to fill out all six vinyl sides, and that I’d simply never finish this album. I was so exhausted towards the end.”

“Eventually I left off the two shortest songs, ‘Sunset Tower In The Rain’ – which played like a summation of the central themes of the album; desire, loss and writing songs about desire and loss – and ‘The Most Savage Joke.’ It was the last one to be finalized, with co-producer Matias Tellez in the summer of 2021. I loved how compact in structure, yet big in projection it grew. But in the end it felt too fatalist and cynical next to the album’s more frequently epic and poetic journeys that were so central to the collective body of work that became Avatars of Love. It was done.”

“I didn’t listen to ‘The Most Savage Joke’ for a year, and I almost forgot it existed, I was so caught up in touring and promoting the album. And then I heard it in an all new, refreshing light, as I was curating Avatars of the Night. It suddenly felt like the closing argument to summarize the paradox of life and love I had needed 86 minutes to capture on Avatars of Love: ‘All this beauty we parade is not of any use to us until it goes away.'”

Sondre Lerche © Hilde Solli
Sondre Lerche © Hilde Solli



All this beauty we parade
is not of any use to us
until it goes away
It’s savage
We can’t appreciate
each other until we meet our fate

A dazzling display of grief and melancholy, “The Most Savage Joke” is the only brand new song featured on Avatars of the Night, set to release March 31 via PLZ / InGrooves. Stream the track ahead of time exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and get swept up in Sondre Lerche’s brutal, beautiful enchantment.

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:: stream/purchase Avatars of the Night here ::
:: connect with Sondre Lerche here ::
Stream: “The Most Savage Joke” – Sondre Lerche



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Avatars of the Night - Sondre Lerche

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