CHOIR OF YOUNG BELIEVERS
– ANNOUNCES GLASTONBURY SHOW & AUTUMN TOUR
– LONDON VILLAGE UNDERGROUND SHOW IN NOVEMBER
– NEW ALBUM GRASQUE OUT NOW VIA GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL
With new album Grasque out now via Ghostly International, Choir of Young Believers has announced a performance at Glastonbury Festival, along with European festivals including Roskilde and Amsterdam Woods, and a European tour in the autumn.
Choir of Young Believers live dates:
28 May – Chill Out Festival Istanbul, Turkey. Tickets
25 June – Glastonbury Festival
30 June – Roskilde Festival, Denmark. Tickets
2 July – Freedom Festival, Finland. Tickets
17 July – Positivus Festival, Latvia. Tickets
26 August – Amsterdam Woods Festival, Netherlands. Tickets
22 September – 24 September – Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, Germany. Tickets
2 November – Village Underground, London, UK. Tickets
3 November – Tivoli De Helling, Utrecht, Netherlands. Tickets
13 November – Bi Nuu Berlin, Germany. Tickets
Grasque exhibits an array of complex influences and styles ranging from smoky jazz to experimental electronics to smouldering R&B sounds. The album’s title was in fact the name given by frontman Jannis Makrigiannis to the imaginary band he’d conjured up in his head whilst finding inspiration for the album. Though not his original intention, he soon realised that he could bring his new ideas and music together into a new Choir of Young Believers record. The result is confident and expansive, exploring a multitude of musical styles whilst retaining the integral components of Choir of Young Believers‘ sound.
Stream ‘Grasque’ in full here: https://soundcloud.com/ghostly/sets/choir-of-young-believers
It was the end of 2013 and Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, the frontman and principal persona behind Choir of Young Believers, was worn out. He’d been touring the band’s last record, the haunting Rhine Gold, for the better part of a year and felt confused and adrift, and didn’t feel like playing music. He was doubting the future of the band. The way he coped was to detach. He postponed writing in favor of travelling, deciding that instead of diving back into the creation of another record, he would allow himself to move in whatever direction he desired. His impulses guided his decisions; he wasn’t feeling very inspired by the guitar or the piano, so he started to fiddle around with a small pocket sampler his mother got him for Christmas, using it to make small soundscapes, beats and collages.
Those early experiments became the building blocks for Grasque, from the warped, weird choral vocals that open ‘Serious Lover’ to the breezy, breathy R&B of ‘Jeg Ser Dig,’ on which he sounds like a Scandinavian Sade. The record pulls in a host of unlikely influences: smoky jazz on the noirish ‘The Whirlpool Enigma’ , twinkling pop on ‘Gamma Moth’ and sun-bathed soul on ‘Cloud Nine.’ It’s not so much a reinvention as a redirection, maintaining all of the group’s essential elements but setting them within a new context.
The result is an album that is confident and expansive, incorporating an encyclopedia of styles while still maintaining the essential elements of Choir of Young Believers’ DNA. It’s pop music, put through a kaleidoscopic filter. “I must admit, one of the things I worried about was ‘What will people think?”” Makrigiannis says. “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 is available on CD, digitally and as a limited colour double LP, along with a regular black vinyl edition