Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Jacob Faurholt (Denmark) – Sad Sad Tears (sample track from the album Burn Burn Here)

Jacob Faurholt was here back in April, under the moniker of Statisk Støjwhich means Static Noise, and with a tribute song to the band Low. A teacher by profession, that previous recording featured, apart from his own wife, an academic from the University of Toronto and I remarked at the time that there are quite a few Nordic academics moonlighting as musicians and doing it rather well.

I’ll repeat what I wrote at the time. “If you like a repetitive, doom laden mix of noise, drone and ambient music played over an industrial metronome and Kraftwerk-like vocals at 11 on the volume dial then you simply can’t go wrong here.”

The track I selected from his new album, ‘Burn Burn Here’, namely ‘Sad Sad Tears’ (partly because there is a video) could not possibly be any different.

Firstly, a word of explanation from Jacob. He says he prefers music that sounds homemade, personally flawed and not perfect and on the new album the 11 personal and fragile sounding songs, recorded in his eight square metre basement studio (pretty much the same measurements as the room this is being written in), and which involve themes like love, loss and mental health, were made during the late hours there. He did not spend too much time on perfecting his recordings; instead he kept what felt immediate and honest sounding.

It’s all a little surreal, with Jacob dressed as a ghost in the video for ‘Sad Sad Tears’ in the way that children might, with a tablecloth over his head and wearing sunglasses. But I’ve got used by now to the surrealism perpetrated by Jacob and his buddy Fleming (‘Slagger’) Lund, who take the Danish underground scene to new levels.

The tears of a ghost rather than of a clown.

I notice that one of his professed genres is ‘loner folk’, not one that I’ve come across previously. I don’t know exactly what it is that prompts the sad tears and the lyrics are sufficiently vague as to offer no clue. Perhaps it is loneliness. Perhaps it is some or other manifestation of mental illness. Perhaps we are not meant to know.

And perhaps that is the secret to Jacob’s success. He has made 11 English language solo albums since 1998 together with one in Danish (from which the tribute song ‘Det knitrede, det støjede’ emerged), and toured widely supporting such artists as Grizzly Bear, CocoRosie and The Black Heart Procession, including on the US West Coast.

Jacob mostly releases his albums on limited vinyl through his own imprint Raw Onion Records.

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