There’s a lot to say about Gathering Swans, but there’s even more to feel and experience while listening to the Choir Boy’s second album. I was impressed from the start. The opener “It’s Over” suggests everything but the end of the album. It’s a great introduction which reveals the mood and the direction of the rest of the album. It is undeniably melancholic and nostalgic, yet it’s soothing and comforting at the same time. Great melodies and arrangements, magical soundscapes and impressive vocals are just some of the qualities that make Gathering Swans so appealing and special. Although it’s a pop album, it flirts with the alternative music expression; it combines the best of both worlds. While “Toxic Eye” reminds me of the outstanding “Wishful Thinking” by China Crisis, “Complainer” could easily be one of The Smiths songs, if they still existed in 2020. And then, as if that isn’t enough, add Cocteau Twins to the list. I hope the band can take my references as a compliment, and readers as a guidance. One of my favourite songs on the album is “Shatter”, a very 80s sounding, sublime slow dancer with great guitar lines. While “Eat The Frog” sounds lighter and more vibrant, it’s still overtaken by melancholia that dominates the album.
The songwriter and frontman Adam Klopp brought the strong musical and lyrical ideas forward with thrilling and exquisite vocal interpretations. He glides effortlessly within his vocal range, adapting to the mood of the each song; he is truly a singer of remarkable versatility.
Gathering Swans speaks intimately and sincerely, and while Adam talks about his inner world, we can easily relate. It sounds authentic and original, welcoming and inviting, in summary, EXCITING! If you really want to make a connection instead of just making an artist’s statement, this album is a great example of how it’s done.