“Karin is different. A different kind of sexy, a different kind of magic, a different kind of joy. She is a nightmare, that cannot be defined nor harnessed, a free will as much as a force of nature. A distant star, burning brighter. There is only one Karin Park, and this is only the beginning.” – B. Lustmord.
KARIN PARK‘s 5th full length studio album Church of Imagination is an exploratory musical journey through the territories of magic, religion and the power of imagination. Recorded and produced by herself with co- producers Nick Sheldon (Blackhill) and her husband Kjetil Nernes (Årabrot), Church of Imagination is a seamless continuation of her idiosycratic Apocalypse Pop sound that she defined with her previous album title.
Karin has been referred to as the Scandinavian Nico for her persona, but her talents are considerably more. Having performed with such icons as Lana Del Rey and David Bowie among others, she expresses herself not only through music but also through fashion and perfumery as forms of art, taking inspiration from such designers as Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens and Son Venin. But to get a real sense of who Karin Park is you must know the place she comes from.
A chubby child from a christian family, growing up in a small Swedish village and years spent in a Missionary school in Japan made her desperate to break away from narrow thinking – and she used her only advantages to do so; her unique voice and personality. By the age of 15 she had moved away from home to find her place in music. After studying at Stockholm Music Conservatory, a Norwegian poet took her to Norway where she started her pop career. This was followed by a move to London to write songs, and working as a model for high-profile brands such as Swarovski, Haizhen Wang and DKNY. But Karin’s heart heart always belonged to music.
After five albums, a few Norwegian Grammy’s, a Eurovision entry for Norway and several hits written for other artists, Karin returned to the village of her youth and bought the church where she first sang in front of an audience as a child. She turned the church into a combined studio and home with her husband Kjetil Nernes, front man of the Norwegian rock band Årabrot. And it is here that Imagination now holds sway.
”I got heavily into synths, hugely inspired by Fad Gadget and a lot of the other Daniel Miller signings for Mute in the early 80s. But there wasn’t a female community of musicians in that scene that I could really look to as an example, so it took a while to find my feet“, says Karin. „I love pop music but I always need to dig deeper, evolve and find new territory. I easily move from Throbbing Gristle to Beyonce and back again.”
After a year of sold-out performances at the 1.400 capacity Folketeatere in Oslo as the lead in Les Misérables, touring the world with Årabrot, and becoming a parent; Karin Park released Church Of Imagination, her first new album in five year, in early 2020. We are now reissuing it on vinyl as an introduction to Karin’s dark and beautiful cosmos for the Pelagic crowd, and we promise that the wait for a brand new Karin Park album to follow won’t be long: as of September 2021, the prolific Karin has already finished the recordings of the sequel to Church Of Imagination, to be released some time in 2022.
Like Karin, Church Of Imagination is a playful affair. We sense the influence of Scott Walker, Massive Attack and Nico, it is Karin’s using different elements to tell her stories. What defines Karin the most is her ability to touch people with who she is and what she stands for. And her imagination.