Review ·

This is orchestral pop with catchy folk grooves that aim to rise to a peak within each song, and does it ever. Choir of Young Belivers, the latest in a growing line of Nordic pop masters (check out the new Benni Hemm Hemm, for example), delivers a debut that is wise beyond its years. This Is for the White in Your Eyes is a dizzying blend of sonic love notes and tonal risks, all delivered without a trace of irony.

Young Dane Jannis Noya Makrigiannis helms this ship, sometimes leading the band on guitar in a duet or by bringing out as many as eight members. His somewhat laconic voice still fits in seamlessly with the waves of emotive heights. Clearly there is some serious romantic angst at work here, but the music is so majestic that you know that the lovers here will survive.

Whether driven by a simple piano or cello and other assorted strings, “Hollow Talk, “She Walks” and “Under the Moon” manage to be gorgeous and hold a groove. This is sincerely ambitious pop that will not be denied. “She Walks” and “Why Must It Always Be This Way?” are two gems of the sort that we wished were hidden in Brian Wilson’s attic somewhere.

“It’s so dramatic when you called,” begins one song, and that should have been the title to this record. Choir of Young Belivers will likely make believers out of listeners who may come to depend on them for the rare kind of fearless, emotionally raw but musically soaring pop. This Is for the White in Your Eyes is a come-out-of-the-gate winner.

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