A track by track guide...

Second albums are always the toughest.

As the old saying goes, a band have their entire lives to record a debut but only 18 months to finish the follow up. Thankfully, no one appears to have informed Danish collective Choir Of Young Believers.

A beautiful, stirring return 'Rhine Gold' builds on the verve, craft and endeavour present on the band's debut album. Choir Of Young Believers take their cue from greats such as Neil Young, but there's a gentle, pastoral quality on display here which seems to come totally from within.

Tracking down creative focal point Jannis Noya Makrigiannis recently, ClashMusic asked for a Track-by-Track guide to the new album.

Here's what he gave us...

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The Third Time
The third time is the oldest song on the record, which I wrote while I was living in Germany in 2007 and it actually came out of me trying to do a cover of an Evil Death Machine song called ‘Things I Stole’ (which later was released on a 7" split we did together called Choir vs. Evil) it's also one of the songs that we played a lot when we toured with our first album.

Patricias Thirst
It's the fast pop song on the record, and ohhh my, how we discussed the tempo on this one, our good friends Nis Bysted (from Thulebasen and Escho) and Aske Zidore (from Oh No Ono) who produced the record with us wanted the song to be twice as fast as we intended, I was almost crying and felt very much like the misunderstood artist, but Nis and Aske were very persistent and stern and got it like they wanted it. The lyrics are loosely inspired by the very weird story of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army.. and by the way, the tempo suits me just fine now...

It was the first song we recorded for the album and the arrangements were pretty much something we jammed and figured out along the way as we recorded it. Again, Nis and Aske were very stern and demanding, constantly screaming about this and that. For example, they wanted us to transpose the chorus...and so we did!

The jammy little thing on the record..built up around a 30 minute kraut jam we had and then we cut in the acoustic parts. Although it sounds very patchwork-ish, the song is actually written as it has come out finally.. right now its also my personal favourite, I'm especially fond of all the small tape manipulation we did.

Have I Ever Truly Been Here
The heartbreaker on the record. Actually at first it wasn't intended to be on the record. it was recorded half a year previous for a soundtrack, but when the soundtrack never happened, we gave it a quick make over so it fit into the ‘Rhine gold’ universe, just in time for it to make it onto the album, which I am extremely happy about because the record really needed that space to breathe in the middle which ‘Have I ever Truly Been Here’ has.

NYE Nummer Et
The dumbest title on the record (it means "first new song" in Danish). It was (obviously) the first new song I introduced the band to and therefore it had that name as a working title for a long time – too long – because when the time came for us to come up with the "real" name we just couldn't! I tried a lot of different ones, but nothing really seemed to fit.. a little reminder if one is to have kids some day...yikes!

Paint New Horrors
This is the song that I have been teased with the most by the rest of the group, but hey, it's not about sex! It really isn't...! I wrote it while we where recording ‘This is for the White in Your Eyes’ in 10min and then I worked on it on and off for 2-3 years changing tiny small things here and there before I finally thought it was done.

The Wind is Blowing Needles
The escapist slow dance of the record where you can get real close while your mind is far away.

Rhine Gold
The doomy closer of the album and a little nod to Richard Wagner and his opera ‘Das Rheingold’.

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'Rhine Gold' is out now.

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