Monday, April 3, 2017
Choir Boy - Passive With Desire
I have written a ton of "favorite albums" lists, but this is the first ever single album review I've ever written. I'm not a professional critic or anything, but I just had to take a moment to "gush" about this incredibly beautiful album.
First impressions matter, but you can't always trust them with music..the cover to Passive With Desire looks a lot like some kind of weird punk album, or lo fi goth, but it turns out that the music beneath is very professional and the band is credible, they even are on the same label as Indie Darlings Bright Eyes and Conor Oberst's other band iterations. In other words, they're legit.
Musically you could describe it as synth post punk, a little bit synthwave, but also very much just indie pop. I found myself thinking of many different comparisons while listening. There's some Porcelain Raft and that soft synth piano. There's some Anohni (Antony and the Johnsons), specifically in Adam Klopp's voice, which he garnered as an actual choir boy as a kid, and there's some sounds reminiscent of the obscure 90's bands Battered Fish and Poor Old Lu. But at the end of the day Choir Boy is very much their own band and what they really sound like is a quiet melancholy dream and sad walks in the rain, but with a pinch of hope.
Klopp wrote the songs while deconstructing his Mormon faith, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and X Files. He says the imagery of vampires and alien abuctions really fit with the deconstruction of his faith, and gave him new myths to fill out the narrative of his life with. While some of his songs are about loss and mental health and relationships, a lot of it is also about rebirth. He does not see his deconstruction as a death, but a rebirth, perhaps an undeath, like the cover art vampires. And in that way the art, even in its lo-finess takes on a whole new meaning.
I really look forward to more from Choir Boy, I believe in the future they will be just as much of a critical darling as some of their label mates. I know I'll certainly be listening to this album a lot for a while. It has truly enchanted me, bit me in the neck and turned me into a major fan.