Song of the Moment: “Action/Reaction” by Choir of Young Believers
I stumbled across this track the other day on Pitchfork’s Forkcast (don’t even start with me, haters), and I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since. Now, I know it’s become trendy to trash talk Pitchfork (fighting snark with snark?), but sometimes they get it right, and the hip tastemakers there do have an uncanny ability to suss out great songs from otherwise unremarkable albums. The man behind Choir of Young Believers is a Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter, Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, formerly of Danish band Lake Placid. A quick listen-through of his other solo work reveals that he mostly performs simple acoustic songs, making the pop extravaganza of “Action/Reaction” a bit of an outlier.
The song starts out a little cutesy with chirpy “oh oh” vocals and a lazy melody straight out of a mid-nineties beach ballad, but somewhere around the 54-second mark, when the chorus kicks in, you’re hearing something special. And I especially the love the evil-sounding synth that undercuts the cheerful percussion. The song keeps moving at a nice pace, always reaching bigger and better climaxes, all the way up through the sublime final moments. This album doesn’t come out until August, but I sincerely hope that the rest of it will offer more of this kind of big pop composition (yes, I’m a sucker for drama) as opposed to the usual quiet fare.