Record Review: Choir of Young Believers

Choir of Young Believers
Rhine Gold
Copenhagen, Denmark
(Ghostly International)

“Baroque-pop troubadours weave lush textures”

Much like Fleet Foxes, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses and many other folk troubadours before them, Choir of Young Believers takes baroque pop melodies and layers over impressively crafted lyrics from singer, writer and guitarist Jannis Noya Makrigiannis; but unlike the artists above, these Danish folkies have created a sonic space that is all their own, seamlessly weaving together elements of classic Americana, experimental Krautrock, heartfelt folk and atmospheric rococo sensibilities in their sophomore album, Rhine Gold.

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Rhine Gold begins with the lush expansiveness of “The Third Time,” which “Patricia’s Thirst” trails with a penchant for infectious pop before “Sedated” chimes in with its 1970s-esque psychedelia. “Paralyze” evokes elements of motorik Krautrock tendencies, with an acoustic interlude to bring the cosmic track down to Earth, while “Have I Ever Truly Been Here” serves as the emotional crux of the album, ballad-esque and beautiful.

The twinkling and unrestrained “Nye Nummer Et” follows, while bass and cello anchor the wistful “Paint New Horrors.” Ghostly female voices accentuate the palpable melancholia of “The Wine Is Blowing Needles.” The album closes with Rhine Gold’s namesake track, a tension-building cut that employs strings, piano and striking digital effects to culminate in a hauntingly beautiful ode, fitting for this richly complex release.

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