Choir of Young Believers

This Is for the White in Your Eyes

Even though This Is for the White in Your Eyes, the full-length debut by Danish collective Choir of Young Believers, is teeming with instruments—voices, pianos, synthesizers, banjos, an orchestra’s ransom in strings and French horns—it’s not the arrangements that dominate so much as the images they conjure. Snow-flecked mountaintops, deserted city streets, ghost-filled churches, a final kiss between estranged lovers—this is the emotional terrain trod by Jannis Joya Makrigiannis and his Choir of Young Believers. This Is for the White in Your Eyes is an album of orchestral indie-pop, but its artistic scope extends beyond melody and harmony: Choir of Young Believers paint cinematic tableaux, with Jannis cast as the silvery-voiced narrator.

Jannis produced This Is for the White in Your Eyes with his old friends and collaborators Anders Rhedin and Fridolin, constructing cavernous sound-worlds around his own skeletal guitar and piano compositions. (“I don’t have a computer, so I almost never record demos,” Jannis says.) The song cycle begins on a somber note with the lonely piano atmospherics of “Hollow Talk,” a dirge that builds towards a climax of machine-gun snares and sneering children’s choir. It’s followed by the soaring balladry of “Next Summer” and the anthemic single, “Action/Reaction.” Jannis’ voice is something to behold—a reverb-slicked, bell-like tenor in the Neil Young mold—and his golden pipes haunt the album, floating over “Under the Moon” like a celestial body, riding the thundering piano notes of “Claustrophobia,” and rippling on the horizon of the country-tinged “Why Must It Always Be this Way.” And yet, for all of the record’s orchestral grandeur, there’s an icy Nordic remove running through This Is for the White in Your Eyes that keeps the overflowing emotions in check. In Choir of Young Believers’ hands, even the sweetest melodies carry a hollow, solitary mood that lingers long after the music has stopped.

About Choir of Young Believers

When listening to Denmark’s Choir of Young Believers, it’s hard not to imagine an army of white-clad singers with arms outstretched, their voices raised in holy polyphony—in fact...check out Choir of Young Believers's page and other releases

  • Ghostly International
  • GI-89
  • formats:
  • 2xCD/Digital
  • release date:
  • August 18, 2009
  • Get This Release

Tracklisting

Disc 1

1Hollow Talk
2Next Summer
3These Rituals Of Mine
4Action/Reaction
5Under The Moon
6Wintertime Love
7She Walks
8Why Must It Always Be This Way
9Claustrophobia
10Yamagata
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Disc 2

1Burn The Flag [Taken From Burn The Flag EP]
2Sharpen Your Knife [Taken From Burn The Flag EP]
3We Talk On The Phone [Taken From Burn The Flag EP]
4Riot [Taken From Burn The Flag EP]
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Video

  • Ghostly International Presents: Choir of Young Believers
  • Ghostly International Presents: Choir of Young Believers (Part 2)

Press

  • Sentimentalist
    Interview
    2010
  • Brooklyn Vegan
    Review:This is For the White+Claustrophobia
    2010
  • Uncut
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • MOJO
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • De:Bug
    Feature: Choir of Young Believers
    2009
  • Access
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • Raveline
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • SPIN Magazine
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • Baeble
    A Natural Belief (COYB Interview)
    2009
  • Magnet Magazine
    Mixtape Feature: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • Prefix Magazine
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • Identity Theory
    Choir of Young Believers Interview
    2009
  • Cleveland Scene
    Review: This is for the White in Your Eyes
    2009
  • AV Club
    Review: This is for the White in Your Eyes
    2009
  • Dusted
    Review: This is for the White in Your Eyes
    2009
  • SPIN Magazine (Online)
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • eMusic
    Who Are... Choir of Young Believers
    2009
  • NPR Music
    Exclusive First Listen: Choir Of Young Believers
    2009
  • Culture Bully
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • About.com
    Introducing: Choir of Young Believers
    2009
  • Under The Radar Magazine
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • City Pages
    5 Singles: The Songs We Can't Escape
    2009
  • Visions
    Review: This Is For The White In Your Eyes
    2009
  • Rolling Stone
    Fricke's Picks: Choir Of Young Believers
    2009
  • NPR Music
    All Songs Considered
    2009
  • Magnet
    MP3 At 3PM: Choir Of Young Believers
    2009
  • Pitchfork
    Forkcast: Action/Reaction
    2009
  • Pitchfork
    SXSW Fri: Glasvegas, These Are Powers, Au Revoir Simone, Mi Ami, Choir of Young Believers
    2009
  • MOJO
    MOJO's Indie Riot! (SxSW)
    2009
  • Guardian
    Band of the Day: Choir of Young Believers
    2009
  • more