Rainbows in the Dark:  Karin Park — “Private Collection”

Combining crystal clear vehement vocals, expansive synths, and a small assortment of airy instrumentation, Karin Park has created a beautiful album of thoughtful, calculated compositions that is Private Collection.  This album may seem simple upon first listen as there is not a lot of variation in style or a wide range of instruments used, but it is clear that each contribution is with immense purpose and it is finished with a clean production.  The beauty is in Karin Park’s vocals and the personal nature of each arrangement as she shares herself with listeners as a singer-songwriter as well as a wife and a mother.

Karin Park is from rural Sweden and she grew up attending a church in the Swedish woods.  She recently acquired this building and turned it into a studio where she recorded Private Collection.  The acoustics and pure sound of this album reflect an amazing and unique recording space.  The tracks ring out peacefully completely surrounding listeners.  A pump organ can be heard in some of the tracks, bringing the atmosphere fully to life and bringing in sounds of Karin Park’s childhood, making this album a truly personal work of art.

Private Collection consists of nine re-imagined and re-worked tracks from Karin Park’s earlier discography as well as one fully new track.  The re-worked tracks were chosen because they are some of Karin Park’s favorites throughout her 20 years of songwriting.  The tempos have been slowed and the instrumentation changed to fit the overall ethereal feel of the album.  She explains that “many of these versions are how I play them live, alone with my synths, mellotron and organ.”  A true passion project, the album was mostly created and dreamed up by Karin Park, however, she has some guest appearances.  Kjetil Nernes of Årabrot (a band that Karin Park is also involved with as a keyboardist) joins her on guitars, Andrew Liles contributes synths, and Benedetta Simeone brings reverberating sounds by cello.

The album opens with Karin Park’s gorgeous vocals unaccompanied by any instruments until she rests and the pump organ is heard.  The two sounds unite and ring out creating a dreamy and echoing vast space.  This opening track, “Traces of Me,” is the completely new piece on the album.  It is a perfect introduction, showing exactly what can be expected from Private Collection and does not hold back.  Karin Park’s vocals are full of passion and the simple use of instrumentation creates a very intimate setting as she expresses herself and warmly invites listeners in.

Karin Park

Private Collection is hauntingly beautiful, full of emotion and heart, and showcases Karin Park’s talent as a singer and songwriter. Each song tells a story and as the music swells and envelopes listeners, it is clear that the music was not only meant to be heard, but felt.  This album may bring you to tears, it may make you dance, it may make you sing aloud as Karin Park shares a deeply personal look into herself and her past.  

– Angela

Private Collection is available now on Pelagic Records.  For more information on Karin Park, visit her Facebook Page.

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