Denmark’s Choir of Young Believers launched their U.S. tour in KCRW’s studio today, days before heading to Austin for SXSW, and treated us to some gems off their new album as well as an exclusive cover of “Fail Forever” by When Saint Go Machine.
I was excited to have a few moments to talk to frontman Jannis Joya Makrigiannis because I’ve been fascinated by their sophomore album.
Their debut was a haunting, orchestral affair drenched in reverb. Their follow up had some short poppy songs as well as 10-minute pieces. Jannis says that the idea was to take it to the extremes – with catchy pop and experimental work. He said the first album felt like it was “too much of the same thing” and, once they took it on the road, they ended up adding a lot of elements. So they took that expansive idea into the studio with them.
The pop songs on the album seem very ‘80s influenced and he told me that after he wrote the chorus for single “Patricia’s Thirst”, it reminded him of Duran Duran.
Stream “Patricia’s Thirst” – Live on KCRW
Though he was raised in the 80’s, he says the band wasn’t a big influence on him musically (though he does love “Ordinary World”), rather it’s Prince he really loved growing up.
Jannis is half Greek and half Danish and grew up in Denmark. He says his Greek side can be seen in his expressive temperament and when he started talking about “Ask the Dust”, a book his roommate gave him to read on tour, it was clear he’s easily excitable. It’s about a struggling writer trying to make it in Los Angeles. How fitting!
We’ll be debuting more from the session next week during SXSW so stay tuned!