A Change of Perspective and Sound made Karin Park a cult classic.
Name: Karin Park
Where She’s From: Dalarna, Sweden
When She Started: 2003
Genre: electro pop
Sounds Like: An all-night jam session between Lykke Li and Robyn, with Karin’s voice sounding eerily like Björk 2.0.
Karin Park is not a new artist by any means. Since the early 2000s, she and her partner in crime—her bassist/drummer and brother, David Park, have been cutting up stages and melodic electronica tunes aplenty. And as fate would have it, when the Swedish dimpled bombshell finally dropped her first album Superworldunknown in 2004, there was no stopping her. It’s eponymous lead single, which leaned heavily towards a more pop sound in the vein of an Avril Lavigne ballad, was touted as a classic and won Karin a Norwegian Grammy for “Best Newcomer”.
But something happened to the singer/songwriter and keyboardist who grew up in the backwoods of Djura, Sweden between 2004 and 2009. Karin Park went dark, more electro and industrial. She added more synths to her records, and dropped the cutesy sound. Her voice, which eerily sounds like Björk’s, packed more verve. She meant what she was saying now, and she knew how to carry it.
Perhaps the change came as a result of Karin coming into her own—she was only 25 years old when her first record dropped. Instead of warming up, she got realistic—however dark and melancholic it sounded to the listener. It’s something she’s been quoted as saying may be a reflection of what “living in Scandinavia gives you as a writer….” Something was definitely troubling the artist who cites Fad Gadget as an influence, and Datarock’s Fredrik Saroea knew how to bring it out of her.
Together they created Ashes to Gold, Karin’s third album which changed her trajectory forever. A sabbatical in England followed, where Karin honed her sharp new perspective and sound along with Barry Barnett and Christoffer Berg (The Knife, Little Dragon). Out came the 2009 EP Tiger Dreams and her first album in three years, Highwire Poetry, in 2012. Like a soundtrack for restless hyperactive minds deep in the muddle of life, Karin’s music has become karmic food for the soul. (Remember how Björk’s “Human Behavior” made you question yourself? Like that…) Take this line from her song “Tiger Dream” for instance, it sums it all: “I have Tiger Dreams/ I’m a runner, I’m a hunter/ In the dark/ Always hungry…” ….Dark sure looks good on you, Karin.