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Exclusive First Listen: Choir Of Young Believers

This has already been a tremendous year for pop music with orchestral ambitions: Regina Spektor, Patrick Watson and Fanfarlo all spring immediately to mind, and they're not the only ones. It's an impressive feat to make pop feel big and personal — to write music that sinks or swims based on the chops of the singer, while still managing a grand instrumental sweep.

Choir of Young Believers is led by 26-year-old Danish singer Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, who works with a rotating cast of supporting players: Sometimes, the band is a duo; at other times, it's an octet, or somewhere in between. Give a listen to This Is for the White in Your Eyes, and you'll hear the inspiration of Radiohead and The Beach Boys, as well as a few surprises along the way. The disc's opening track, "Hollow Talk," is one of my favorite ways to start an album that I've heard all year.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.