Teju Ogunlana takes a look at Choir of Young Believers’ latest outing, Grasque.
To describe the Danish group, Choir of Young Believers‘ new album Grasque as volatile would be an understatement. From dizzying heights to dark moments, it’s not an album for the light-hearted looking to comfortably unwind, contrary to its dream- inducing beats and soft, heavenly vocals. Grasque aims to stir.
With songs varying from just over a minute to just under ten, they boldly shrug off the conventional structure of modern song with tracks like Vaserne. The album screams ‘I’m on the path to self-discovery and I’m taking you with me’.
Grasque was the result of group leader Jannis Noya Makrigiannis’ musical rut after touring the band’s previous record as well as from tinkering around with a pocket sampler he received for Christmas. It can be described as a collection of experiments, with some great hits such as the hypnotic instrumental Whirlpool Enigma. Equally there are some bizarre misses, like the aptly named Face Melting, with warped muted vocals and irregular beats which resemble an inharmonious mess. Oddly, many of the tracks featured come to an abrupt end – rudely bringing you out of the zen-like trance they slowly sent you into.
However, highlights of the album for me include the entrancing Gamma Moth and the epic final track on the album Does it Look as if I Care which seems to tie all the emotions of the album together in just under 9 minutes.
Marmite, Coffee, Justin Bieber, Grasque; you either love them or hate them. Either way Makrigiannis has to be commended for diving straight in rather than dipping his toe in the pool when it comes to testing the boundaries on this album. Music is, after all, one of the greatest ways we as humans have to express ourselves, and it’s clear from Grasque, Makrigiannis is expressing his stifling need for stimulation, for inspiration, for change.
Artist: Choir of Young Believers
Label: Ghostly International