Orchestral Pop, Danish Style
Denmark’s Choir of Young Believers has had a lot of success in their homeland with their second full-length Rhine Gold expanding on all previous work. As far as making an orchestral pop record goes, singer/songwriter Jannis Noya Makrigiannis & co. know what to do.
The overall album is slow-paced and dream-like. It’s first single, “Patricia’s Thirst,” is a mere two minutes and 41 seconds long, but most songs clock in at over five minutes. “Paralyse” is a 10-minute semi-gentle jam session amongst Makrigiannis’ almost eerie vocals. It’s a lengthy audible journey of experimentation winding through vocal distortions, the simplicity of acoustic guitar, Krautrock, and production tricks.
The acoustic guitar in “Have I Ever Truly Been Here” is a welcoming sound despite its sad tone. Still, the song takes on the rest of the album’s whimsical theme so the track doesn’t seem too out-of-place.
“The Wind Is Blowing Needles” is one of the more subdued tracks on the album and starts off with a twangy sound but soon reverts back to Rhine Gold’s mellow, orchestral tone. “Rhine Gold” follows, is the next to last track on the album, and is even more deliberate than “Blowing Needles.” The drums sound like a beating heart and incorporates sounds from something you might hear while operating a space ship.
Unfortunately Choir of Young Believers will not likely have the success they have had in Denmark here in the good ole U.S. of A. But that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit when credit is due.