It'd be easy to try and compare the new Nightchoir album to Pluto's music. After all, Nightchoir consists of three members of Pluto, so you’d expect there to be some musical similarities and spillover. But to do that would be to ignore the fact that Nightchoir is a different beast all together, and the similarities with Pluto are few and far between.
Nightchoir play on subtleties, using layers of simple melodies to build exquisite textural lullabies and ballads that invite the listener to engage with the music, rather than passively listen. The band seldom strays into rock territory on the album, only touching on their work before Nightchoir on a couple of track, providing interesting interludes in an otherwise laid back set of tunes.
There's a lovely warm tone throughout the album, and it's a tone that suits their music well. There are no rough edges here, and the songs have an organic feel to them that will draw you right in, after a slightly misleading intro to the album, that is. This is an album that's made to be listened to right through, in a single sitting; there's clearly been some thought put into how the album is structured, and the resulting flow works a treat.
All accomplished musicians with long histories in the local music scene, this Auckland trio clearly know how to work well together and give each other space to create and enhance their songs. Mike Hall’s vocals in particular are perfectly placed within each song, never drawing attention away from the accompaniment, yet at the same time never being overwhelmed by what's going on with the instruments.
This is an album that deserves repeated listens; take your time with it, let the music grow on you, and you will be rewarded by what you discover.
All three members of Nightchoir played in the successful NZ band Pluto for over 10 years, supporting international acts such as Muse, Duran Duran, Gomez, Dandy Warhols and playing international festivals – including twice on the main stage at the Big Day Out And two appearances at the SXSW .
On top of a decade playing together in Pluto, Matthias Jordan, Michael Franklin- Browne and Mike Hall have shared their talents with a number of other local musicians and bands including Dimmer, Pajama Club, Gin Wigmore, Stereobus, Julia Deans, Anna Coddington, Head Like a Hole and The Brunettes.
Nightchoir was once considered a side project to Pluto, but after the success of their first album in 2010, ’24 Hours of Night’, received rave reviews proved this is a band to watch: