Jacob Faurholt - Wake Me Up

12 songs
33:22 minutes
***** ***
Raw Onion


If there is one artist who music making is not disturbed by the coronavirus lockdowns, it surely must be Danish lo-fi musician Jacob Faurholt. A year after his last solo album and about half a year after his last Crystal Shipsss album, he’s already back with yet another record. Wake Me Up is of course a trademark Jacob Faurholt bedroom recording, although it is not purely a solo endeavour, as some artists like Daniel Crowell and classically trained pianist Sam Gray have recorded parts at their homes during their respective lockdowns.

The first thing that struck me was that Wake Me Up is at a little over half an hour one of Jacob Faurholt’s longer albums. But even more alluring is the fact that repeated listening show underneath the artist’s doom and gloom a few moments of hope, coming from the fact that he has recently become a father of a daughter, for which he then also wrote two songs on the new album.

The album begins with the heart-wrenching All My Heroes Are Dead, a tribute to Daniel Johnston, Mark Linkous and Elliot Smith, three incredibly great musicians that left us too soon. Don’t Go is the album’s first single, and has a catchy chorus that despite all the melancholy you will sing along to in no time and all. Don’t Waste Your Soul is another ballad, performed on acoustic and heavily distorted guitar, adding certain drone textures. Sun Keep On Shining starts quietly enough but soon adds a little more tempo and also electric guitar that add some light into the otherwise often gloomy album. I Love You is a mellow ballad for his daughter. Hi, How Are You? is somewhat dissonant and thus a fitting tribute to Daniel Johnston, considering how the song’s title is a reference to one of the late outside musician’s cassette tapes. The title track Wake Me Up is a song about having a death scare, and who could make this sound more credible than Jacob Faurholt? Pitch-Black is another slightly more up-tempo song with electric guitar that lifts your spirits before the truly dark Don’t You Worry About Me that once again contains those heavily distorted drone guitars. Tiny Unicorn is another song for his daughter, and what a nice track it is, reminding me of a more nave Pixies song. Boys And Girls is a more straightforward song that could also be used as a single, before the record ends on another typical Jacob Faurholt ballad We All Need Someone. Frankly you can’t make music any barer than this. It’s a true form of art.

You could say that Wake Me Up is more of the same that we have come to expect from Jacob Faurholt, and it took me a couple of listening sessions before the album really grew on me. He still mostly plays acoustic guitar, but has also acquired a Microkorg keyboard that adds some spacy textures. Some touches of mellotron and piano here and there also add pleasant atmospheres. Jacob Faurholt considers this a cosmic folk album, a bit in the vein of his dead heroes and The Flaming Lips. So if you like these references, you might want to check out Wake Me Up. Jacob Faurholt’s long time fans also will surely not be disappointed.

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