“I don’t write about sunny days because they don’t inspire me”

Electronic musician Karin Park told us all about her new album Apocalypse Pop, the darkness in her songs and how her unconsciousness help shape her lyrics.

She’s worked with people like DJ Maya Jane Cole and The Knife’s producer Christoffer Berg. She’s released four albums prior to her new record, received the Norwegian equivalent to a Grammy and has a big fan base in the UK where she been living – but Karin Park’s focus has never really been on Sweden. Now, having moved back to her home country and with her new album released this week, that seems to have changed. Radar met up with the artist to talk about her newest creation, which is filled with dark electronic pop songs.

How come you moved back to Sweden?
– I bought this big old church in Dalarna where I come from, where I wanted to both live, have a studio and do concerts at. And now me and my boyfriend live there.

Your new album’s called Apocalypse Pop, and both the song titles and the videos have a darkness to them. Does the album have a theme?
– I never view it like that but people tell me that there’s a clear dark vibe to the music. For me it’s more about writing honest lyrics, and really saying what you think and feel. I don’t write about sunny days because that doesn’t inspire me.

So you don’t aim to make dark music?
– No, I’d rather say I try to make it as light as possible. Laughter

Haha ok. But when you compare your old stuff to the new, wouldn’t you agree that your music has gotten darker?
– I made a conscious choice on the third record, not to make darker music exactly, but to start making music that sounded more like the stuff I listen to.

It’s often something in my unconsciousness that comes up and shapes the lyrics. It can almost feel like someone else is writing the songs for me

What do you listen to?
– I like The Cure, Depeche Mode and that whole style. But at the same time I like artists like Kelis and Whitney Houston.

In what way do you think your music changed on that third album?
– It definitely became more electronic. And when it comes to that darkness, I think it’s more about wanting to approach subjects on a deeper level and not just scratch the surface.

So do you write about?
– I never know what the song is gonna be about when I start writing. I have an idea and then after some time I realise that the song is about a bunch of other stuff. It’s often something in my unconsciousness that comes up and shapes the lyrics. It can almost feel like someone else is writing the songs for me.

The new album – even though it’s dark – has a few clear spots where the sound gets much brighter, like in Stick To the Lie and Human Beings.
– Yeah, I really think it’s a nice feeling when those glimpses of light come. Human Beings has probably the most commercial sound of any of my songs. Making songs like that don’t come that easy to me so when I do have a song that’s both a straightforward pop song but still very me, it’s a great feeling.

In what way does this release differ from your older records?
– This album has more focus on the lyrics, which are more open and direct without any sugar-coating. But this also feels like the last album in a sequence, which contains the last three albums. So after this I will start working on something new, I just don’t know now what that might be.

Do you think you’ll explore new music genres?
– I don’t know what it will sound like. That theatrical vibe that I aim for will probably still be there, but I won’t be doing a country record, that’s for sure.