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Crystal Shipsss – Crystal Shipsss EP review

Jacob Faurholt inhabits a self-created musical universe. Crystal Shipsss, the one-musician vehicle created as the vessel to navigate the cosmos of this universe, is the focal point of Faurholt’s musical output.

The current Crystal Shipsss release is testament to the amount of music running through this man’s head. Though brief in playtime even by e.p. standards, the amount of music that pours forth in 15 minutes or so, is staggering. Though the approach to creation was deliberately casual, the end result is beautifully crafted. There is a natural ebb and flow that exists between each track; the organization of tracks on the album bears testament to what must have been a careful round of planning. The album plays itself.

The overall impression is of a man projecting through the middle of an experience. The voice sounds disembodied, as if it is the mouthpiece of some kind of incorporeal consciousness. In general, the vocals appear in the middle of the mix, a lone voice of reflection, presenting a running commentary on the events that transpire in the course of a normal human existence.

The songwriting style appears to marry very basic, diatonic, major-key melodies colored by a massive dose of clean-tone distortion and a ‘noisy’ production aesthetic. For some reason, Albert Ayler springs to mind, and the way he would craft these very simple heads, so singable, in the manner of a nursery rhyme, and then completely freak out during the solo section. With Crystal Shipsss, there are times when the childlike simplicity of the melody is matched against the aggro-psychedelia of the production. The only way to describe it is folk music on acid.

By Paul Paradis

Paul is a musician, writer, and teacher living in Tacoma. When not engaged in the endless task of raising his six year old whirling dervish James Sparhawk, he spends his time creating music, pursuing a bachelor's, working out, and living. He is originally from the east coast: Worcester, Mass. born, and Providence, RI bred. Having traveled around some, the Pacific Northwest tends to feel more and more like home with each passing day, Very similar to New England in some ways, but different in a way that is refreshing. Rock on.

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