Exclusive Premiere & Review: Jacob Faurholt – ‘A Lake Of Distortion’ (Raw Onion Records)
This is Jacob Faurholt’s 9th release under his own name since 2005. And with 5 or so full length releases under his Crystal Shipsss banner – that makes Mr. Faurholt a very productive guy. I’ve personally found it extremely interesting following Jacob’s recording output. He often uses Crystal Shipsss for the more “rock” oriented adventures, and his own name for the possibly “singer-songwriter” output. “A Lake Of Distortion” though, is a mix between both with an overlap between its content, style and subject matter.
Often pegged as “outsider” or “D.I.Y” – Faurholt is a guy that puts out great songs, but on a budget. That’s to say – records both as his band or solo have been getting better sonically, but still obviously home or self-produced. “Lake…” might be his most ‘elaborate’ offering to date. The subject matter here is unrequited love, hope and memories. Not quite new ground for a songwriter – but his own spin is well worth the listen.
“Lake” is a tidy 10 song jaunt into indie-pop brightness. Influences are a lot more broad than past offerings – but you can tell Jacob is definitely painting on the same canvas as 2000s indie greats such as Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips and Guided By Voices – and nodding to more modern one-man-band-bands like Car Seat headrest, Cloud Nothings and David Bazan. Gentle and tender (“The Stars Hang Low), loud and reverent (the title track) and even self-referencing his own appointed genre(s) (“Listening to Devil Town”) – and obvious nod to Daniel Johnston, in the style of early 70s Leonard Cohen.
Critique of “A Lake Of Distortion” however for me is, at times – a bit of Faurholt’s affluent personality is lost in the lack of dynamic in programmed drums and presence of canned stings or synths. Apparently there are several musicians contributing via correspondence, providing tracks – which is novel and probably necessary to do it that way, but it has the feel often of not hanging together like a real band does. His recording technique, or if you will, his ability to use whatever recording gear he’s got in his place has definitely improved – but I’m a huge fan of lo-fi and I’d like to hear a little more dirt or humanity in places – especially the power-pop opener “Sugar”.
Faurholt has been nothing but consistently upping his game though – whether it be a solo record, or a band album. His ability to write a great song is unshaken. He always comes across as likeable – and this new album is no exception. This is required listening if you’re into great indie-song writing and doing it yourself. More like this please people of earth.
A Lake Of Distortion is out on 20.10.17 – you can pre-order a vinyl copy (5 left at time of writing!) from his Bandcamp store – here!
You can also go to an in-store reception 28.10 here in Aarhus at REVERB (nørreallé) and grab a copy as well as hear a bit from the man himself. 14:00 kick-off. Find more information on the facebook event.
Faurholt's 'Lake' is a tidy 10 song jaunt into indie-pop brightness. Influences are a lot more broad than past offerings – but you can tell Jacob is definitely painting on the same canvas as 2000s indie greats. However, at times a bit of Faurholt’s affluent personality is lost in the lack of dynamic in programmed drums and presence of canned stings or synths. Faurholt has been nothing but consistently upping his game, though – whether it be a solo record, or a band album. His ability to write a great song is unshaken. (4/6)