Ones to Watch in 2012: Karin Park
At first listen, Swedish singer/songwriter Karin Park sounds like the quirky lovechild of Björk and Lykke Li. Listen to her dark new electropop masterpiece of a single "Restless," below and I think you'll agree. Following on the heels of her critically acclaimed UK debut EP, Tiger Dreams, "Restless" is the first single to be lifted off her forthcoming album, Highwire Poetry, which is due in the UK on May 28th.
Nominated for two Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannsprisen) awards in 2003 ('Female Pop Solo,' 'Newcomer of the Year') Park's debut album, Superworldunknown also helped win her a coveted Alarm Award for 'Newcomer of the Year,' not to mention a nomination for 'best Norwegian song of all time' for the album's title track from Spirit magazine and P3 (a popular radio station). While she's only released an EP in the UK, Park has released a total of three albums studio albums in Sweden and Norway, the last one being 2009's Ashes to Gold, which saw her working with Fredrik Saroea of the Norwegian electro rock band Datarock and marked Park's switch from traditional pop/rock to darker, moodier alterna-pop/electronica.
Park was signed to Portsmouth label State Of The Eye in 2010, where she partnered up with her brother David Park alongside up and coming English producer, Barry Barnett. "Tiger Dreams," Park's first single taken from her EP was co-produced by Christoffer Berg (The Knife, Fever Ray). Highwire Poetry sees Park joining forces with both Barnett and Berg once again on what promises to be a very introspective new album. According to the press release:
"The album explores Karin’s fascinations with spirituality, sexuality, power, love and hate. Removed from the world as a child living in a remote Swedish town, Karin’s deeply religious upbringing and experiences, including a three year stint in a Japanese missionary school, have provided her with a distance from reality, allowing us to see the world anew through her eyes on this album."Since launching her career in the UK last year, Karin Park earned early support from some of Radio 1's DJ elite, including Zane Low, Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Rob De Bank and Giles Peterson. She also found fans in Azari & III and SBTRKT, who took her on their recent European tour dates. Standing tall at 6'3", Karin Park has been described to look like an "Amazonian electro-gothic warrior," which adds considerable...je ne sais quoi to her 'unique' live experience.
"Karin graces the keys of analogue synths and struts a white 80’s inspired Keytar across the front of the stage while her Viking drummer of a brother David Park kicks out the dark rhythmic beats of the songs. Karin’s live sets are undeniably electrifying, pushing musical boundaries and encapsulating what it is to be a truly modern artist while dodging any approaching pigeon-holes."If anything is clear after reading about and listening to Karin Park, she's undeniably unique, interesting and seemingly quite the anomaly. Check below for videos of some of her singles, including "Fryngies" (the first single from Highwire Poetry), "Tiger Dreams," "Ashes" (the final single from Park's third album, Ashes to Gold) and "Superworldunknown" (a decidedly lighter, more Top 40-friendly affair).