You may (or may not) know Jacob’s music as Crystal Shipsss – a “band” that has always put out very interesting and genre defying music – ranging from indie, power-pop, lo-fi and even doom on last years I Will See No Moon No Sky. We’re here today though to talk about what is Jacob’s finest piece of musical communication to date- out today – Super Glue – a “solo” album produced in collaboration with Sleep Party People’s Brian Batz.
It’s the best album we’ve heard all year – and that might sound like a joke, but it’s very likely that this album will remain one of the best for the remainder.
With an opening line (“Floating In Space”), “I’m evil, all my father did was help me”, you know it’s going to get a little personal. Faurholt kicks off the record with what has become his signature falsetto singing, however quickly backs off to deliver practically the rest of the record in his “real” voice, something I’m glad he did, as oft times – as cool as it is at giving consistency to Crystal Shipss’s albums, it tended to get a bit…same-y? Picture a world where Brian Wilson is the only Beach Boy.. still a wonderful world, but painting a different picture.
Super Glue as an album holds together really well – It takes practically every genre that Faurholt has dabbled in with Crystal Shipss, or solo, and wrangles the best parts out – both for the listener and the song, which is a good thing. “Super Glue” is an electro-shoegaze number – something in the vein of MGMT or The Radio Dept. about fixing shit with a hook of “make me believe in myself and the power of love”. Inspiring stuff for the lonely.
Another early highlight is “Guided By Voices” – a blatant nod to the world of Robert Pollard, whose music is pretty evidently a big influence – Jacob even references Pollard’s code name – the “Faded Captain” – which is something hardcore GBV fans will identify with. I do.
Many tunes here (“On Top”, “Future Wife” and “Pictures of You”) are under 3 minutes – honestly an accomplishment believe it or not for a songwriter in 2016, but of course Faurholt really knows how to put a song together man – many of his lyrics are up for interpretation on Super Glue too – there are vignettes of isolation, family issues and even on “Pictures Of You” – possibly a stalker kinda scenario – maybe a “I wish you well” to an old friend or lover – up to the listener, but I have a dirty mind.
“Holy Mother” touches back on the doom-metal feeling of the last Crystal Shipss album, however puts it in an epic pop context, layered a bit more with synths and tender vocals – it takes on an elegiac feel.
“Future Wife” is a personal favorite of mine – it brings to mind the sounds of East River Pipe, another group that I think Faurholt might be a big fan of. “Future Wife” is really in my mind, a perfect pop song. Even the title can lead your mind one way – as the lyrics take you another. Is it a song about desperation? Loneliness? Is it actually about someone he wants to marry? Is it obsession? I like these kind of questions in music – much more valuable than “Hey baby I want You, do you want me too, woo hoo”. Y’know?
The album tails off with a trio of great songs (actually all songs on this record are great in their own way), first with “Stars” – a sweet song, maybe a “let’s not ever say goodbye” kind of vibe, big choral background and almost a Tin Pan Alley kind of musical presence. “Sad World” in its ragged upright piano lead misery solves the question I’ve always had – “what would The Smiths ‘last night I dreamt that somebody loved me’ sound like if it was just the piano intro”. “Sad World” could easily be the point in a movie where the hero loses everything – hope, the will to live and…his horse…and wanders the darkened streets drunk on his own melancholy. It’s eerie. The album ends on a slow building song – “One last Goodbye” – a tune that explodes from meager synth lines into 1,000 points of big indie light for the finale, leaving a “punch the air” feeling as a reward for sticking around.
Jacob Faurholt can be very proud of this record. Super Glue holds together very well. He’s taken the art of writing a good song and the whole ‘lo-fi’ buzz to a near perfection level. Quite evidently, he’s writing with an open heart here quite a bit, and that’s real. I think “real” could actually best sum up what this record is. In a world of formula driven indie, over produced shite and pretentious narcissism, this record stands alone so far this year in being real. In that sense, Jacob Faurholt is an outsider, and I hope he always will be.
Super Glue is out today for streaming and mail order. Visit his Bandcamp store for physical copies (vinyl and CD) and if you are in CPH tonight, catch him live at Blågården! He’ll visit Aarhus and TAPE on the 25th of February.
"In a world of formula driven indie, over produced shite and pretentious narcissism, this record stands alone so far this year in being real. In that sense, Jacob Faurholt is an outsider, and I hope he always will be." 4.5/6