This unassuming Boy Wonder from Bergen, Norway, (whose name is pronounced "Sonder Lerkay") wrote the songs for what would become his first album, Faces Down, when he was just 16. Often compared to the orchestral pop stylings of such masters as Burt Bacharach, Lerche's music manages to bend string orchestrations into a whole new indie realm, especially with the addition of his warm and beguiling Scandinavian-accented vocal chords. After touring with Beth Orton (and appearing onstage with boyhood idols A-ha), he released his debut in the U.S. to much acclaim -- Rolling Stone placed it in their 50 Best Records of 2002. He fulfilled the promise of his debut with 2004's Two Way Monologue, a work of lush baroque pop featuring the High Llamas' Sean O'Hagan, who contributed much of the string and horn section charms. At age 25, Lerche surprised everyone with his third album, Duper Sessions, a collection of straight-ahead jazz standards (and a few originals) backed up by the Faces Down Quartet. Like his previous blend of '60s pop, the record is another innovative example of how a Norwegian indie crooner successfully smooches the hand of a cool classic sound. For 2007's Phantom Punch, Sondre Lerche toughened up with a lean, garage rock sound yet his melodic songs still held centerstage.