Jacob Faurholt

Dark Hours

Written by: DR on 14/08/2011 21:20:43

There is a tale of a man who penned an album in his living room during an exceptionally cold winter, and no, it's not Justin Vernon I am talking about, it's Jacob Faurholt. This is no more apparent than in the opener and title-track, "Dark Hours". He utilises tired vocals, bleak guitar-chords, windy effects and the lyrics of a man who is beginning to lose hope to paint the picture of where Jacob Faurholt was at the start of this album.

But that isn't the whole story, it merely serves as an introduction to the man at the helm. Jacob Faurholt isn't the kind of man who would let that state of mind get the better of him, so "Dark Hours" isn't a story of someone trying to make sense of his problems, more someone who is trying to overcome them. Because of this, the album isn't a sordid, one-tone affair; it's an album filled with variations of colour, texture and emotions.

With the help of his friends and fellow musicians, his fourth album, "Dark Hours", ended up being recorded in places such as Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Berlin and 'somewhere in the US'. Make no mistake about it, "Dark Hours" is a dark album, seemingly more so than his previous efforts (based on their titles) "Queen of Hope", "Hurrah Hurrah" and "Are You In The Mood For Love?". It would take a man of particularly dark mind to create songs as depressing as the aforementioned title-track, "Black Lake Lodge" and "So Far Away", but the sign of him being a good song-writer is not in his ability to create those songs, even as "So Far Away" is so masterfully layered and spacious it's actually nothing short of gorgeous, but in how, when he goes to those dark corners, he brings the listener with him.

The sign of him being a really good song-writer is how he intersperses those songs with songs in which he explores the lighter, hopeful corners, and brings the listener with him then, too. Here I am talking about the likes of "Themes of a Troubled Mind", in which the vivid use of sweet vocals optimistic lyrics add hope to the beginning of the album, and also "(untitled)" and "Creatures in the Sea". Even though Jacob doesn't posses an exceptional voice, for the most part it carries more than enough emotional depth to allow the listener to forgive any technical short-comings. He pairs up with a female singer in "The Hoax", with both vocalists singing the same lyrics to represent the fact that they are both on the same wave-length, i.e. they are in love, but it doesn't come together to form a cliche love-ballad; it's not especially original, but it's sincere enough for the listener to buy into it.

If Jacob Faurholt has a comfort-zone, it is not too apparent on "Dark Hours", as there is a diversity and experimentation here, that of a man who doesn't want to be just another singer/song-writer. He's beginning to carve a niche for himself, and while this experimentation can occasionally hinder the momentum of the album (see: the awful "Medicine" and aptly titled "Directionless"), it is generally a pleasing listen; one that is too creative to be boring, but sometimes lacking in focus or enough 'wow' moments to be considered genuinely great. I suspect Marc Kellaway (mixed the album) and John Golden (mastered it) had more than a whisper when it came to overall say and shaping of this album, and, with their help, Jacob's execution is well on the way to catching up with his ambition.


Download: So Far Away, Hoax
For The Fans of: Elliot Smith, singer/songwriter stuff
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 15.08.2011
Raw Onion Records

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