Choir of Young Believers: Rhine Gold
Style: Avant-garde pop; compare to Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros, Chimes & Bells
Top tracks: "Patricia's Thirst," "Paralyse," "Rhine Gold"
This Denmark collective is led by Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, whose pained vocals fall somewhere between Morrissey and New Order's Bernard Sumner. Combined with the band's idiosyncratic instrumental approach (e.g., feint electronica mixed with minimalist strings, piano, and acoustic guitars), there's sometimes enough melody rising above their avant-garde hearts. Lyrically dark and obtuse, Rhine Gold hints at eternal matters on the stark album opener, "The Third Time" ("before the rooster crows I will deny it for the third time"), as well as standout track "Paralyse," which features deliciously varied rhythms set against word pictures like "we are all buried alive / in our caskets we lie."
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