Salt Lake City’s indie pop favorites Choir Boy return after four years with the release of their new cosmic album, Gathering Swans. An emotionally powerful record, full of poignant heartbreak and gently steeped in pop nostalgia, Choir Boy push their distinctive sound further, while tenderly romancing the unsuspected.
Since the release of their well-received 2016 debut Passive With Desire, of which Slug Magazine’s Erin Moore declares to be “...packed with songs that are infectious by way of their sound, as well as their emotion...”, and their 2018 single “Sunday Light”, the band evolved from singer Adam Klopp’s project accompanied by a rotating cast of players into a solidified, permanent lineup featuring long-time collaborator and bassist Chaz Costello, saxophonist and keyboardist Jeff Kleinman, and guitarist Michael Paulsen. Following a series of tours with such notable acts as Cold Cave, Snail Mail, and Ceremony, Choir Boy began writing their new album. Proving to be a worthy successor, Gathering Swans builds upon Choir Boy’s infectiousness with unique pop sensibilities and impeccable polish.
The first single, Complainer, demonstrates Klopp’s angelic voice effortlessly floating within the heart-wrenchingly somber melodies, that in a tender state, will surely render tears. Lyrically, the song poses a form of wounded optimism, declaring “Oh my life, what a pitiful thing to hear...But it’s not that bad...I’m just a complainer”. Tracks such as Toxic Eye undoubtedly present the touching “choral-pop” sound that has come to be a hallmark of Choir Boy. Repetitious, layered vocal hooks that fade into the background, allowing the absence between breaths to be filled with the serene melody that embodies the foundation of Choir Boy’s appeal, demonstrating that the ethereal moments between the bright choruses and memorable hooks are as equally crucial and unforgettable as the lyrical content itself. A slightly more solemn ballad, Eat The Frog, skillfully adapts Choir Boy’s taste for nostalgia and translates such desire into a fully mature statement. The propulsive drive behind Eat The Frog possesses the emotional equivalent to sitting atop a hillside, just outside of the city, gazing at the sunset on a warm Summer night.
Creative, sincere, passionate and glaring with intention, Gathering Swans paints a bright, hopeful, and deeply heartfelt image that will most assuredly attract anyone who accompanies Choir Boy upon their journey.
1. It’s Over
2. Toxic Eye
4. Nites Like This
5. St. Angela Merici
1. Sweet Candy
3. Eat The Frog
4. Happy to be Bad
5. Gathering Swans