Choir Of Young Believers – “Serious Lover” (Stereogum Premiere)

At the back end of 2013, Choir Of Young Believers frontman Jannis Noya Makrigiannis was burnt out. Following a year-long tour and the release of previous album Rhine Gold, Makrigiannis grew disillusioned about the future of the Danish orchestral pop band, taking a break from songwriting and instead seeking solace in traveling and distracting himself from the pressures of creating a new record. This newfound musical and personal free will guided him away from the guitar and piano, and towards a small pocket sampler he received for Christmas. The result is new track “Serious Lover” and the raw backbone of Choir Of Young Believers’ new LP Grasque, due next February. Structured around syncopated beats and stuttering synths, “Serious Lover” is an introspective journey into a band reborn into the dimensions of filtered, tinkered-with pop music. It has an ambient, almost choral feel to it — fitting given the band name — with Makrigiannis’ haunting vocals shimmering alongside grandiose, jazzy instrumentation. Listen below.

Says Makrigiannis about the album:

I must admit, one of the things I worried about was ‘What will people think?’ With almost all of these songs, I had been in doubt. Some, I felt, were too poppy, others too experimental — some didn’t even feel like songs, but more like trips, or feelings. Some even had Danish and Greek lyrics. But now, it’s all Choir of Young Believers to me, and it feels great to have pushed the walls around the band, giving it a bit more space. It’s weird for me to think about all that doubt — ‘Could I do this? Could I do that?’ I mean, it’s my f*cking band. I can do what I want with it. Right?

Grasque will be out 2/19/16 on Ghostly.