Patrik Tanner
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Patrik Tanner


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos




“Soft” CD
You can hear his love of American pop music pouring from this CD. I sense similarities to BEULAH and other indie acts who focus on melody and hooks. There’s even some Americana here, ironically played by a Swedish ex-patriot. (LD)

"hot buhdge too good to pass up in a world gone mad"

I was thinking about how people are always saying that their kids are good at certain things because they were "born with it." "It's in his genes," they say. "Her father could paint vistas, he was so good, I'm telling you. She got it from him." "I always knew he was going to play the trombone. He has those big cheeks, after all." I was thinking about how parents say that something is in their kids' genes, like a fantastic singing ability, or the ability to take apart a car and then put it back together again, without a single part missing. Or the ability to write great, catchy songs and be proficient at a slew of instruments so they can make a record and earn the devotion of millions of fans.

I'm pretty sure that the old sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll credo is not the collective hook that musicians still hang their hats on, otherwise they wouldn't record in their bedrooms and bathrooms. It's not generally the accepted way to meet men or women, or be otherwise sociable. And, besides, people know that drugs will mess you up, and so will rock 'n' roll, but if the worst thing that happens is you come to look like Keith Richards, then where's the harm?

I'm just in awe of people who can do what Patrik Tanner can, which is write great songs with highly infectious choruses and play the hell out of them on more instruments than I can juggle when there aren't a bunch of hard-boiled eggs lying around. All of my hard-boiled eggs cracked, I'm telling you. I took piano lessons as a kid, from my grandfather, who was a piano teacher, but I either didn't take to his style of lessoning or I didn't have the patience to learn my scales (those of you who have suffered through piano lessons will cry along with me). I played by ear. I could hear a song on the radio once and play it back...maybe not exactly as it was originally written and performed, but close enough. Something like it, at least.

I also played the drums. I took lessons from an embittered, old-style guy who also favored theory over actual talent, which I thought I had an abundance of. I certainly could bang loudly. And I could keep time. I used to practice, not by doing my lessons, but by playing along with my favorite records. This is where I learned the art of annoying my mother with spectacularly loud music. I got very good at it. Then, it all started to fall apart: one of the toms came loose from its connection to the bass drum, and my mother lost patience with what she called my overly loud klupping. She made me sell the drums to a guy from New York City's Chinatown (we put an ad in the paper), who didn't like the price we'd set until we threw in a pair of Buddy Rich's military drumsticks, which he used in his family's old vaudeville act when he was a kid. If only I'd had the sailor suit he wore...but that's another story entirely.

I played the clarinet in public school, but I washed up on shore with zero ability to get more than a squeak out of the instrument, and I used to chew the reeds, which apparently you weren't supposed to do. I played the accordion, a snazzy red pearl number, but it wasn't cool, and before long, I was accordion free, which probably gave the world's music fans cause to celebrate. I still play the piano okay, but I'm no Herbie Hancock. I tried to write songs a long time ago, and I came up with a few good ones, but a few doesn't make a career, and, I figured, better to leave the big jobs to the professionals.

Speaking of which, my mother told me, in all seriousness, when I was a kid, that Paul McCartney couldn't possibly have written "Yesterday," because it was common knowledge that he had a ghost writer do the writing for him and, besides, he had long hair. Ha! Longer than me, maybe, but he was no Gregg Allman!

Patrik Tanner is Patrik Tanner, which seems to suit him just fine. He knows his way around his instruments, and he's certainly come up with the goods on this beauty of an album, on which he demonstrates many things, such as a mastery of the three minute character study, but most importantly that being able to write songs and perform them is something that you're born with. At least you're born with the ability; how you bring that to life is up to you. Tanner has most certainly brought his ability to life.

I mean, I'm the biggest music fan I know, and I don't think I could be the Beatles or the Rolling Stones or even Tiny Tim. Liking something and being able to talk about it articulately is one thing, but doing it is something altogether different. Tanner takes what was his to begin with and creates art. It's pretty amazing, really.

Tanner doesn't just play his instruments, he becomes them. The opener, "Enter," shows just how; arranged with care, he melds pop and rock styles for an engaging romp that shows his mastery of guitar, bass and drums. The other instrument, his voice, is just as good. Drenched in echo, he brings the song home with measured confidence.

Piano enters the mix on the engaging "Hello Tomorrow!" The song is pure power pop, with Byrdsian electric guitars topping the sound field. A chance meeting with a "real live movie star" in a Hollywood record store leads to the clerk helping her out to her car with bags full of the alternative and funk records of the title, which leads to a consideration of the connection between men and women. Tanner's sensitive vocal helps spin the tale, and vibes provide the cool color.

Songwriters that can tell interesting, developed stories in a three-minute song are my heroes; it's hard enough to do that in a review, let alone a song that follows a certain structure. Tanner pulls this off to great effect. For example, take popular musicians. They thrive on fan reaction, but the guy in "To Be Your Fan" may be a little too intrusive for the average fan-hungry music maker. In this song, it's just possible that this fan, however obsessed he is, may be a little too close to his subject for comfort. Set to a classic pop melody, this is a well-realized song done well.

The harmonica-colored, mid-tempo, pure pop "Everything Must Go," as catchy as anything here, with its la-la stacked chorus and tempered Boston-style electric guitar solo, is about as good as Soft gets, which is very, very good, indeed . If this album has a middle name, it's Catchy. Making music is in Tanner's genes, no doubt about it, and any of us would be luckier than lucky to have a tenth of his talent.

Alan Haber
April 17, 2005

- hot buhdge too good to pass up in a world gone mad


Review by: Jason Warburg

Originally published: December 2, 2005

Scruffy, whimsical and stylishly retro, Patrik Tanner is sort of like John Hiatt and John Lennon manning the two ends of a bear suit -- a punchline that makes much more sense after viewing the entire cover art for Soft, which consists of several shots of the rather world-weary Tanner in a big, brown, furry, well, bear suit.

The opening "Enter" promptly announces Tanner's key influences with its sunny melodies and "ba-ba-ba-ba-yeah" background vocals paraphrased right out of "Drive My Car." This disc isn't quite Revolver redux -- too much Americana flavor for that -- but the Fab Four's indelible sonic stamp is there in the classic-rock instrumentation, clever vocal arrangements and warm production.

What's striking is how full and organic the sound is, considering Tanner is pretty much a one-man band. A well-traveled producer (Tina Schlieske, Martin Zellar, Scott Laurent), Tanner puts his studio skills to great use here, playing acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, piano, Hammond, harmonica and whatever else he can get his hands on.

Tanner's penchant for sunny melodies is most apparent on upbeat tracks like the sincere "Halfway There," but he seems equally comfortable with -- and exceptionally competent at -- sarcastic blasts like "Best Ever!" In fact, it is as a Warren Zevon-esque sharp-tongue-firmly-in-cheek songwriter that Tanner seems to hit his stride.

Proving that point, "To Be Your Fan" is a modern classic in the underappreciated subgenre of musical odes to deranged fans (not to mention, surely the only one to employ a sitar). From its cheeky start -- "Your songs are my best friends / I guess that sounds pathetic / Your music's so profound / Your words are so poetic" -- the narrator becomes steadily more obsessive and unhinged in a way that's simultaneously funny, creepy and alarmingly true-to-life.

Just when you want to pass him off as a clown, though, Tanner comes back with a swaying, richly bittersweet ballad of loss like the gorgeous "Little Guy," and follows it with another, just as strong and full of keening little Brian Wilson-isms ("Don't Leave Me Here"). Which, now that you mention it, is exactly the approach Hiatt or Zevon would take. Comedy, tragedy, mortality and good punchline -- it's all here, wrapped up in a singularly appealing musical package.

Soft is a compendium of warm, witty songwriting and masterful studio craftsmanship that is well worth your time and cash. Highly recommended.

[For more information on Patrik Tanner, visit]




'Recently saw an intriguing video clip where Jon Brion performed solo and with the aid of electronic devices (not pre-recorded tapes, mind), gave a performance that gives new meaning to the term one-man band. Which gave me pause to re-listen to the likes of Jason Falkner, Brendan Benson and Colin Macintyre (picked up my first Mull Historical Society disc - in Sydney natch!) and marveled with awe (and bristled with envy) at the sheer dexterity of it all. Add Patrik Tanner to the list. On Soft, the fact that Tanner plays everything is the least amazing thing. That a singer-songwriter with such ability and gifts should remain so far under the radar (even for the pop underground) is short of criminal! Well, yeah, Tanner has produced the likes of Martin Zellar, Sire artists Tina & the B-Side Movement and fronted the Faraway Men, but Soft really came out of the blue for yours truly. Effectively channeling John Lennon, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Neil Finn and Robyn Hitchcock, Soft is a veritable pop-rock tour-de-force which deserves much more attention (are you paying any, my friends?) than it has received. From the raucous Enter to the folky The Kindest Person I Ever Knew, Soft is an album that no self-respecting member of the pop underground can afford to ignore. '
~ Kevin Mathews

"Absolute Powerpop"

Patrik Tanner-Soft.

This is a 2004 release I picked up early last year, and it's a good one. With an album titled "Soft", you're kind of know what you're getting. And Tanner delivers the goods - this is quality singer/songwriter pop. My favorite track is the Beatlesque "Hello Tomorrow", complete with chimes at the end.

The best place to sample is the cdbaby page, and yes, Virginia, he has a myspace page with four streaming tracks.
- Absolute Powerpop

"Losing Today"

Fasten your seat belts, you’re on the road to hell. And by the way, save for the blues platform that’s right where any comparison to Chris Rea ends. ‘Full Auto Shut-off’ is a blues record in essence, but one so dark it’s less a midnight blue and more pitch black. Patrik Tanner leads us through several tiers of a very private hell, in which we hear him wrestle with an inner turmoil while searching for a theological resolution. You won’t catch anything resembling Rory Gallagher or The Stones here; this is a form of Gothic Blues owing more to Nick Cave and the more melancholic moments of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’.

Tanner’s voice acquires several guises throughout, ranging from the Neil Young vocal treatments of ‘The Unseen’, to a despairing Iggy Pop wail for ‘Pale Blue Skies’ by way of the Tom Waits style storytelling of ‘Never Tell’. More than just a voice though, Tanner’s guitar work is ever present and always impressive. At times subtle and understated, there are moments when the playing becomes as incendiary as anything you’re likely to hear, with ‘Was a Dream’ providing the best examples. The track features a guitar duel such as might have been performed had the redneck kids from Deliverance discovered electricity and had another thirty years worth of hard knocks behind them, and ends with a post-rock wah-wahed barrage of ear-splitting intensity.

There are a few brief moments of light relief in the form of a playful glockenspiel dancing across the backdrop to ‘Never Tell’ and a cool-jazz solo during the title track. Besides that though, the album proceeds to drag us deeper and deeper into the pit. But wait! Just as we’re about to really start feeling the heat there’s a twist in the tail as final track, the aptly titled ‘UP’, leads us cheerfully back toward the surface with Tanner, seemingly having found an answer to all his problems, singing ‘I’m going up, up and away’.

Phew! Hold on to your hats though; there’s a secret track that provides a double bluff. Perhaps more fittingly, a ten-minute dark ambient drone (such as you might hear if you stuck your ear next to a hive full of a few thousand bees) finally draws the album to an unsettling close.

‘Full Auto Shut-off’ is a bleak journey but one that reveals Patrik Tanner to be a songwriter of extreme honesty as well as being a guitarist with a rare gift. We can only hope that the recording of this album provided the catharsis it seems he so badly needed. Now it’s our turn.

RICHARD STOKOE - Richard Stokoe


After Ten Years the Faraway Men are Far Out!

Patrik Tanner and the Faraway Men have a new Album titled Full Auto Shut-Off. An intimate release party is planned for 25 May 2007 at Acadia Café in Minneapolis, MN. Special guests that evening will include Sam Keenan, Ali Gray and Rock the Cure.

It is clear from the progress of the group's last three albums that the group has been evolving away from country music.

So where have Patrik and the Men ended up with this latest album? I have no problem calling it either pop or rock. But whatever you want to call it, it's certainly not the pop or rock any of us grew up with.

With Full Auto Shut-Off, Patrik Tanner has taken pop music out of high school and has given it a contemporary intellect with a modern sensibility along with a hard jagged edge.

This music will blast through your facade and tear away your pretensions. One must have a strong heart, and a brilliant mind to withstand the challenge that this music presents. The weak and feeble minded should seek their music elsewhere.

We're lucky in the rock/pop music world that every few years there will be someone who can reinvent the way the whole thing looks, and sounds, and tastes, and vibrates, and makes you think. But in the end, they all make you feel the same way. They all make you feel like there is hope for the human race. For that I thank Patrik, and all the rockers who have gone before him.

Tim Null at - Tim Null


Dark One - Release Date 2009

Dark One - Release Date 2007

SOFT (PT Solo)
Dark One 2005

Oarfin Records 2001

Dark One 1998

Dark One 1997

Hahana Records 1995

Golden Boy Records 1990

Golden Boy Records 1989



Born and raised in Sweden (itself a stronghold of pop perfectionism), Patrik grew up with a unique, outside-looking-in perspective on the expanses of American songwriting, and immersed himself in it early on. By thirteen, he’d already become something of a teen star, releasing bona-fide punk records on both Scandinavian and U.K. labels. At eighteen, Tanner moved to the U.S., and, soon thereafter, released two solo albums with his Los Angeles-based band. Upon relocating to Minneapolis in ’94, he enjoyed collaborative stints as guitarist with Martin Zellar and Sire recording artists Tina & The B-Side Movement, and also began his production career. In ’96, he formed the critically acclaimed Patrik Tanner & The Faraway Men.

"I always liked the image in my mind of the Irish ending up in East Texas and being so damned lonely that country music came out of them,” says Tanner.

Perhaps that sentiment was sown when Tanner was a Swedish transplant in Southern California. In any event … and lest he remain in a continued fit of isolation … shortly after his return to the Twin Cities in 1994, Patrik formed The Faraway Men. They released 1997’s Done Broke Down and 1998’s Sparks Would Fly. The band was a perfect vehicle for Tanner to express his fondness for great songsmith-storytellers like Gram Parsons, George Jones and Elvis Costello while spinning his own unique tales of love-gone-bad with both swagger and soul.

While hailed by some critics as torchbearers of the “alt-country” genre, the band actually sought to take a more reverential approach to classic C&W roots – one that defied expectations of either alt-country’s urban hipster twang or the Nashvillian bubblegum that continues to dominate today’s country scene. As PULSE of the Twin Cities exclaimed, “if this is country, then country just got unbelievably cool.”

On 2001’s Allsorts, The Faraway Men took a sharp stylistic turn, offering up a guitar rock concept album rich with 1970s-style international pop ballad overtones. With the additions of fellow wunderkind guitarist Jon James and Michelle Tanner on bass, Patrik and company continue down a similarly twisted interstate, daring to cross that line separating radio nirvana from fiery auto wreck. Whichever way the wheel may turn, within the glorious confines of their basement rehearsal space, Minnesota’s best-kept rock-n-roll secret remain patiently waiting to spontaneously combust.