Of Faurholt’s career I know very little except he also fronts a band that plays shows called “Crystal Shipss”, which upon a little sleuthing and pre-production on this review revealed that I liked them and even attended one of their shows last year, however that was during a less esteemed point in my life where my alcohol intake would have warranted scolding even from an Irish backpacker on a rudderless eur-rail holiday. Pushing that aside- let’s just treat this listening session as my first of introductions to the world of Jacob Faurholt.
Corners begins a little less than sure-footed with a mid-tempo title track of the same name, and of course a mission statement: “the corners of my white flag/they’ve gone like my nut-sack” which is a compelling line, however it made me ponder of course what the hell he was on about while missing most of the rest of the track, as my mind begins to wander and unfortunately conjuring up visions of a wrinkled pair of bullocks – an interesting apparition while munching my Denver and taking coffee on the first sunny morning I can remember since October.
Faurholt’s world is one of sincerity and confusion. A world though in it’s own. You don’t have to delve deep into the record to catch his vibe, but a deep listen (and a modicum) of patience is what’s needed to fully “get” where old Jacob is coming from. For me the recording and presentation conjures up memories of legendary D.I.Y outsider East River Pipe (especially on 2nd track “Sweet Life”) and naturally the reigning king of outsider folk – Daniel Johnston, where Faurholt’s track “Rock N Roll” could easily pass for something Johnston would have attempted with a band in the 90’s.
Outsider folk is a tricky business though, it seems you have to come by it honest to be revered and not reviled – meaning – you have to be homeless, manic depressive, mentally handicapped, or just plain loola with no intentions of going further than making CDRs for your friends and doing a few shows where you break down in tears before eating ornamental fruits AND a box of crayons before donning your aluminum foil hat so the audience can no longer steal your thoughts. I have no idea if Jacob is in danger of becoming any of these things, and I’m sorry if he is afflicted so, however a car crash does make quite a spectacle when stuck in traffic.
Instead of stealing Faurholt’s thoughts though, they are readily available for scrutiny and deliberation on Corners. The album is very well put together for it’s genre, which opens up the field possibly to a more inviting listen, often at the peril of it’s presentation though. Jacobs’s stout and honest delivery of quirky text with fractured and easily identifiable voice will ring true and cause much jubilation with fans of the outsider folk/”Key of Z” crowd.
There are some real highlights here-“Sing and Swing” is a gentle and inspiring message well placed in the middle of the record. It’s crescendo into mellotrons and ‘oohs and aahs’ easily could be placed in a Michael Cera kind of quirky and awkward indie-tween romance kind of scene, and other ballad- “Girls” wouldn’t feel out of place on the mainstream hipster soap of the same name. (HBO’s Girls)
In summary though this is a decent example of good auld fashioned indie song writing, full of wit, quirk, humor and a touch of romance and darkness. Where the production and technical proficiency lacks is exactly where “Corners’” charms lie- in its beautiful but not overly abundant flaws. This record definitely deserves a listen if you are into DIY bedroom romance (I don’t mean masturbation) and you could easily impress your friends with this by putting it on because they probably haven’t heard of him YET – which of course is the biggest element of liking underground music in the first place right? I’m very happy for every record made like this, because in the end- it is still a small victorious step in the right direction in a world (and local scene) or incredibly over-baked and overly heralded pop and rock music.
The album is now streaming on all the usual places, and at Bandcamp where you decide the price + numbered CD (there’s only 50 copies).