Jacob Faurholt is one of those artists who’ve somehow managed to perfect the art of sounding imperfect. In that sense, one could say he basically embodies the Low-Fi artist and the lo-fi vibe. I would agree.
This August, in KW3’s greenhouse, for a very lucky crowd, the Danish singer-songwriter played a comprehensive selection of songs from both his solo work and the one of his band, Crystal Shipsss. That was some beautiful, uncomfortable music.
If you’ve never listened to Jacob Faurholt, then, first of all, you should play his music like, uhm, right now. Second, let me put you on guard. Jacob’s lyrics are those of somebody who got used to feeling life a bit too strongly. This makes him unapologetically gloomy, but also pretty serene. Just as he sings on “Stars“, “I don’t mind being sad”. At the concert, while introducing his music, he even joked about the media labelling his music as “dark, dark, dark”.
You know roses are red / I might as well be dead
His music is earnest and all-consuming. Some lyrics are so dense, some are so immediate. He explained in several interviews that when he writes and composes, he keeps himself from trying too hard, and just gets out whatever he feels in the moment. Random thoughts never sounded so beautiful.
If this is the method that put in the world the bare and heartrending verse “So please take me, I’m alright”, then by all means, never stop using it. I’m talking to you, Jacob. You repeatedly made me cry like a baby on “Guided by voices“. I rarely cry. I wasn’t drunk.
At KW3, he performed his latest album, “Super Glue“, almost in its entirety. Unlike the record, it was stripped down of the airy reverb he likes to envelop his voice in, but also from Brian Batz’ droney soundscapes, a hallmark of his work for Sleep Party People.
I would single out “Floating in space” as a particularly gripping result of the meeting of their bright, twisted minds.
But back to the concert. In the second set, we got to hear quite a few older songs, of which “We like snow” and “Creatures in the sea” were my highlights. Both tracks were originally recorded together with other musicians – Trine Omøs of Sweetie Pie Wilbur and Icelandic singer Soley, respectively. Adding female vocals seems to be a good recipe for Faurholt, who also got help from another Icelandic artist, Disa, on the new album.
We like snow / it’s pure as a soul / that won’t forget / to call back / to say a word
Anyway. This concert was, for me, pretty consequential, given that Jacob’s music became the soundtrack of my first fully Danish autumn – if you don’t know how a Danish autumn feels like, let’s just say it’s better to keep it that way. But I don’t think I was the only one to be so affected. That evening, there was definitely a considerable amount of gazing at shoes. He filled our hearts with warmth and super glue. We sighed.
Post-concert thoughts turned into questions
Miruna asked Jacob a few things about making music and his inspiration, and this is what she found out.
M Why music?
J From early on I was quite a music geek and at the same time, I had a need to create something, a world of my own. I guess it just came very naturally after I got my first guitar, which I think was around 1997, when I was in 10th grade. From the start, it was songwriting that interested me. So, as soon as I had learned some basic chords, my head was all into that.
M Have you performed home concerts before? If you did, what is the difference between playing in a venue and a living room concert?
J I have played several home concerts while living in Berlin. I love it because of the intimacy and the connection with the audience. When you’re at “real” venues, it can sometimes be hard to obtain that same level of closeness.
M What are you currently working on?
J I am in the midst of writing songs for a new record. I have returned to some of my early inspirations like Sparklehorse, Spain, Songs: Ohia, Sophia, Red House Painters. So, maybe the sound will go in that direction, maybe…
M Do you usually produce your own music?
J Over the years, I have done a lot of my recordings at home and they’re pretty lo-fi. I did my last album “Super Glue” with Brian Batz from Sleep Party People who produced, mixed and played on the songs. It was a great experience. I always think a lot about what kind of album I wanna make and what kind of world I want to create around the songs. To me, an album should be a unique place to go, just like a place of its own.
M What is the album release process nowadays?
J I have released records on several indie labels. I also release music on my own label called Raw Onion Records. I find it very thrilling to release records and I love to be involved in this kind of process, but, of course, it’s a lot of work! One should also be careful with managing their expectations about the commercial side of it, for instance with record sales. For me, it’s part of being a DIY artist.
M Do your friends and/or family take part at all in your music creation process?
J Writing songs and finding out what kind of album I want to make is a very personal thing for me, so no, not on that level. I share ideas and demos with my family and friends, and I am, naturally, interested in their reaction, but I trust my own instinct.
M What’s your favourite place to create music in?
J At home, I guess.
M What’s your favourite place to play music in? How would the best concert set-up look for you?
J It has to be as intimate as possible, but with a decent sound.
M What music did you listen to the last time you were at home? How does that music make you feel?
J The American artist / band South San Gabriel. It makes me feel inspired and I think the best source for making music is, first of all, listening to music.
M What do you enjoy making music about the most?
J I just write about what comes natural and I try to be as honest as possible. I rarely sit down to write about a specific thing. The music and lyrics come hand in hand.
M What are your thoughts on how the music industry works and where it’s going? What do you do to improve it?
J Basically, I think it’s great how easy it is to get your music “out there” today. You just have to have your heart in what you’re doing – and do it for the right reasons.