de-plumed. Laid bare; exposed; featherless.
Grammy-nominated, indie rock pioneers The Choir waited five years to release Burning Like the Midnight Sun in the summer of 2010, unsure of how it would be received. While the band has a loyal and dedicated following, this 12th project in the band’s catalog felt like a bit of a risk. But with media outlets like the Chicago Sun-Times giving the album 4 out of 4 stars and calling it “a late career triumph,” and a sudden new generation of fans discovering past projects, the band has found new momentum.
Shortly after the release of Burning Like the Midnight Sun, Derri Daughterty, the Choir’s vocalist, asked fans on the band’s Facebook page to give their 15 favorite Choir songs. Not surprising, each person seemed to have a full list of favorites, most that spanned the entire 25-year career of the band. This sparked an idea to create an album of fully stripped down songs, one from each of the band’s 12 albums.
And the project de-plumed was born.
Joined by longtime friend Matt Slocum (Sixpence None The Richer) on the cello, de-plumed covers the iconic history of The Choir. Daugherty, joined with drummer and lyricist Steve Hindalong, set out to find the one song from each project that exemplified the band at that moment. Intimate and vulnerable, the simple beauty of de-plumed proves that when you remove the placards of musical trends from each album, what truly remains are melody lines and songs that stand the test of time.
Like the previous album, the cover image was created by New Orleans-based visual artist R.R. Lyon, known for using salvaged or reclaimed pieces of his own art that he re-contextualizes to give new purpose. Earlier this fall, the band traveled to The Big Easy to be a part of a visual and musical art experience, as the artist created a painting to go along with each of the songs on Burning Like the Midnight Sun.
Always the innovators, the band continues to find new ways to get their music to the masses. Hindalong and Daughterty have been hitting the road with a full tour schedule all fall, playing as an acoustic duo, now in support of both Burning Like the Midnight Sun and de-plumed. These shows kicked off with a special event holding a fan BBQ in Nashville complete with stories from the road, family photos and an acoustic concert in band member Dan Michaels’ backyard. Since then, then shows have taken on a casual feel, where many requests are played, the crowd is involved, and videos of songs are virally available online before the events are even complete.
For those who were unable to attend these acoustic shows, a special live streaming event will be held December 14, when the band will broadcast live from their studio in Franklin, TN. Fans will be able to view the event and interact with members by going to the band’s official website, www.thechoir.net
Burning Like the Midnight Sun continues to garner critical acclaim.
…an exceptional album…a late career triumph. 4 out of 4 Stars – The Chicago Sun Times
On this record, The Choir soars… – QroMag.com
With its timeless sound and excellent songs, Burning Like the Midnight Sun is not only a striking return to form but also a fine entry point to newcomers. – BigTakeover.com
Burning Like The Midnight Sun defies expectation. – PopDose.com
****4 Star Review**** Even with a five year hiatus, the band’s entrancing rhythms, dreamy arrangements, thought provoking lyrics and overall attention to artistic detail hasn’t missed a step, ensuring its current relevance in addition to upholding pioneer status. – CCM Magazine
As always, The Choir’s subtle and layering of effects-laden guitars, pulsating percussion and moody saxophones achieves a gorgeous shimmer. – iTunes official review
This latest release from the Grammy-nominated group masterfully integrates the diverse artistic personalities of all five members. – Rhaposody.com
…if you are looking for a new album that you will thoroughly enjoy, or a new album to fall in love with, this album is an ideal choice. This is easily one of The Choir’s best albums, if not their best to date. Burning Like The Midnight Sun is an unbelievable display of writing, vocals, and musical ability; it only gets better with each listen.
The Choir – de-plumed. Available now at digital outlets, live events and at www.thechoir.net
Dreams (from Voices in Shadows)
15 Doors (from Shades of Gray)
Black Cloud (from Diamonds and Rain)
Clouds (from Chase the Kangaroo)
To Bid Farewell (from Wide Eyed Wonder)
A Sentimental Song (from Circle Slide)
Love Your Mind (from Kissers and Killers)
Spring (from Speckled Bird)
Leprechaun (from Free Flying Soul)
Hey Gene (from Flap Your Wings)
Enough to Love (from O How the Mighty Have Fallen)
Friend So Kind (from Burning Like the Midnight Sun)