[guest post] 2011 in Review, Vol. 2 – Jacob Faurholt

It’s been almost two years since Berlin-based songwriter Jacob Faurholt, recording under his Why Write? indie-rock persona, absolutely floored me with the blistering, electric-guitar fueled “Burning Holes”.  This past summer he re-emerged under his given name with an album of slow-burning, brooding folk songs called Dark Hours.  It wasn’t long thereafter that he sent along a link to another project he’d been working on under the new moniker Crystal Shipsss.  That album, sssimply titled Yay, is a batch of weird, lo-fi folk/pop that features Faurholt singing mostly in a delirious falsetto.  It’s been on constant rotation around here for weeks.  Below the very busy Faurholt reveals what he watched/read/listened to during whatever free time he had this year:

2011 has been busy and enjoyable year so far, my second in Berlin. I have spent a lot of my time recording music in my living room, finishing three different albums,but I have (of course) also spent a good deal of my time listening to albums, watching films, reading books and attending shows. So here is my 2011 “best of” list:

Films / TV:

Shotgun Stories: Probably the best film I saw this year. It’s the debut from director Jeff Nichols, starring my favorite American actor Michael Shannon. It’s basically about a feud between to groups of half brothers. It’s slow paced, tense, beautifully filmed and really atmospheric. I like movies that disturb you a little bit, like films by Lars Von Trier and David Lynch.

Boardwalk Empire: Great TV-show with Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, who is the ruler of Atlantic City in the 1920s. A lot of corrupt politicians, gangsters, etc. Love it. 

The Walking Dead: A cool slow paced zombie show. It’s more character driven than action driven, which I appreciate.

Albums:

Liturgy – Aesthethica: I heard a song from this album in a record store in Erfurt, when I was on tour last April, and I immediately fell for the heavy riffs, the energy and the beauty of the music. Fortunately Liturgy played just a couple of weeks later in Berlin. So I went to my first black metal show and bought my first black metal album.

Nadja – Touched: This album inspired me to write the Crystal Shipsss song Burning Kingdom. A friend lent me the album, and I instantly fell in love with the music. I guess it can be described as ambient/doom metal, but I will say that the music is also reminiscent to shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine.

Man Meets Bear – the catalog: This year Soren Brothers, my good friend from Canada, put his Man Meets Bear albums up on Bandcamp for everyone to hear. They are highly recommendable, especially if you are into home recordings and songwriters with an experimental approach to their material. Very inspiring. (www.manmeetsbear.bandcamp.com)

Shows:

Why? – HBC, Berlin (October 29th): This concert was announced as Why? – Accoustic Piano Tour, which I thought sounded very interesting. It was a seated show at the small venue HBC, and the band mostly played new material. It was one of those concerts where feel you have experienced something special. Maybe the best show of 2011. 

Books:

Haruki Murakami – Dance Dance Dance: I think I have read most of Murakamis novels, and this one is one of my favorites. I love his writing, even though his stories are often pretty surreal, you can still relate to them. Reading Murakami feels like stepping into another world, a very unique world than can be both disturbing and beautiful at the same time.

MP3  ::  Creatures in the Sea

(from Dark Hours. Listen/buy here)

MP3  ::  Burning Holes

(from Why Write? EP. Buy here)

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