Monday, 30 October 2017

Album: Jacob Faurholt - A Lake of Distortion

Jacob Faurholt - A Lake of Distortion

Info: Jacob Faurholt is one of Denmark’s most prolific songwriters. Now based in Copenhagen, Faurholt releases music both solo and under the moniker Crystal Shipsss. His music ranges from lo-fi home recordings, 90's inspired indie-rock to ambient drone metal.

'A Lake of Distortion', Faurholt’s 6th solo album, is a collection of fragile folk songs and fuzzy lo-fi pop carefully sequenced to work as a whole. It consists of 10 twisted love songs filled with joy and anxiety. The album was mainly written, recorded & mixed in Faurholt’s bedroom (in between work and other daily obligations) and the intimacy and urgency from that setting is apparent throughout the album. 

The albums short, melodic and fragile songs draw references to 'Bee Thousand' era Guided By Voices, early Sparklehorse, and Daniel Johnston who is name-dropped on the albums last song "Listening To Devil Town".

At the beginning of last year we reviewed Copenhagen solo act Jacob Faurholt's fifth album, Super Glue, and before that we fell head over heels for both the animated video and single 'Floating In Space'. Last week Faurholt released his latest album, A Lake of Distortion, and we're glad to report that all of the wonderful feelings we got from the last LP have returned once again.

We are indulged with a true guy, his guitar, amp and distortion pedal scenario on first track 'Sugar', lo-fi and flippant fuzzed out guitar-pop, it's a short and entertaining piece of fun, and while Faurholt revisits this abandon later on, A Lake of Distortion has a more serious side. Following the 80's pop sounds of 'Fear Is Also Love', we come to the truly heart-stopping 'Something Strange'. Like a Leonard Cohen dirge delivered by candlelight at an open fire, this song couldn't contrast from the album's opener any more in terms of mood if it tried; "They don't love me, they're like ghosts in a silent film about me...there's something about you, something strange, it hurts me to see you in pain".

The see-saw between distortion-drenched lo-fi rock and gentle folk emerges again on the album's title-track, it's a casual piece of slacker-rock with a subtle amount of attitude. On 'Before It Starts To Rain' we drop right back into a psychedelic folk zone reminiscent of something you might find on Love's Forever Changes, whilst at the same time having a quintessentially British folk feel to it.

Faurholt ups the ante on sixth track 'Go', a bubbling grunge-pop number, and it's the type of joyous Scandi-pop that he excels at, straight up and no frills guitar-driven happiness. 'Empty Room' is spacial and atmospheric with a seamless blend of alternative folk and dream-pop combining to lull the mood  into a sleepy contemplative haze. 

The reaching styles of A Lake of Distortion arise once again on 'The Stars Hang Low', with 80's sounding synths dropping into the middle of a track you could describe as carnival-folk. Final track 'Listening To Devil Town' sees the album finish on a high note, something Jacob Faurholt does well is bring contemplative emotion into his song-writing through the dual use of heartfelt vocals and sombre music. While some might find the at times abrupt shifts between genre styles on A Lake of Distortion that can disrupt the flow of the album occasionally, overall it is a fine collection of contemporary tracks which display an artist with an ever-widening experimental palette.

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