Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
The Wind Is Blowing Needles
Review of Choir Of Young Believers’ Rhine Gold and giveaway
Nina MouritzenAs a confirmed musical Scandiphile – I don’t know if that’s a real world but I like it regardless – I like to think each nordic country has a particular strength and style to them: Swedes excel at mating melody to melancholy, the best Icelandic music is evocative of the mystery and otherworldliness of the environment from which it springs, and Norway has given us black metal and a-ha. But Denmark… for a long while, they gave us Aqua. And also Mew and The Raveonettes, sure, but only recently have I began to detect a particular musical thread running through their emerging artists.
Artists like Efterklang and Indians trade in a sort of dense, meticulously crafted, and occasionally proggish pop that prefers measured movements to grand gestures and can prefer to render emotions in infinte greyscale rather than technicolor. And while three acts don’t really constitute a national aesthetic, the aforementioned also applies to Copenhagen’s Choir Of Young Believers, the miniature orchestra led by singer-guitarist Jannis Noya Makrigiannis. Their second full-length Rhine Gold is a sumptuous collection of songs that are stoic and weighty, but still move with grace whether Makrigiannis is working with an elegant croon or lonesome yodel and benefit from arrangements that flirt equally with baroque orchestrations and electronic processing. Certainly, there are points where you wish that the band would crack a smile or let some light in, but it’s hard to argue when the stoicism sounds this good and anyways – it wouldn’t be very Danish, would it?
Choir Of Young Believers are at The Drake Underground on Monday, October 22 in support of Daughter, and courtesy of Big Hassle, I have a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “I want to join the Choir Of Young Believers” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that to me by midnight, October 20.
Speaking of Indians, 4AD have offered details on their forthcoming debut: Somewhere Else is out January 29, and a preview MP3 has been provided for your listening pleasure. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 23, and for anyone in New York right now, they’re also at Brooklyn Bowl tonight for my co-presented Hype Machine showcase.
Stream: Icona Pop / Iconic
Video: The xx – “Chained”
The Quietus has premiered a video from Sylver Tongue’s new Something Big EP and you know, watching her take that guitar solo, I don’t think anyone would have complained if she had simply released it as Charlotte Hatherley…
Chart solicits a list of favourite albums from Matt Taylor of Dry The River, who will be releasing an acoustic version of their debut Shallow Bed digitally on December 17; details on that at Live4Ever.