The Damn Choir

The Damn Choir, a folk foursome out of Chicago, recently released their first full-length album Faithful Fools. As if the album name doesn’t already imply some fairly depressing music, the guys describe themselves as “sad-bastard” music (hey, we have a good friend who describes himself like that too ;)). Gordon Robertson heads up the bastards on guitar and vocals, with Katy Myers on cello, Chelsea Heck on backup vocals, and Miguel White on drums.

The darker, more melancholic elements of The Damn Choir are complemented by overtones that are at once hostile and then heartfelt, reflecting the contradictory experience that is human emotion.

The nice part about The Damn Choir, which I think several bands fail to take advantage of, is the reliance on every single one of their instruments, and showcasing them appropriately. Tracks with Heck on backing vocals fully round out the cello oriented sound, but the guitars (and drums, when they’re there) are just as prominent. There’s also a hint of keys on these tracks, and well, you know me when it comes to keys and strings…at this point I must sound like a broken record. The careful guitar picking leads into Robertson’s warm, raspy vocals, which are nearly always complemented at the exact time as when the cello comes in.

The Damn Choir could use a little more refinement, though; while it’s nice that the instruments come out on their own, sometimes they have trouble meshing together into a cohesive whole, and Robertson’s vocals remain unvaried. But Faithful Fools is certainly a start in the right direction for these Chicagoans, and I’m excited to see what comes of them in the future.

The Damn Choir – “Black” [MP3]

The Damn Choir – “Change In You” [MP3]

Purchase Faithful Fools | The Damn Choir on MySpace

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