13 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Still sailing on waves of dreamy guitar feedback after 30 years, The Choir reach a career highpoint with Shadow Weaver. Founding members Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong have matured with exceptional grace over the decades, drawing on their life experiences to create music that embodies a thoughtful brand of Christian faith. Their latest work revels in thick sonic washes and pastel tones that underscore the fine details of Hindalong’s lyrics. Tim Chandler’s propulsive bass and Dan Michaels’ echoing horns add energy and definition to the ambient textures of the tracks. Framed by two variations on the album’s brooding title tune, Shadow Weaver offers glimpses of the sacred with a refreshing lack of preachiness. The ominous insinuations of “What You Think I Am” and “White Knuckles” contrast with the compassionate portraiture of “We All Know” and the inclusive vision of “Everybody’s Got a Guru.” Expansive meditations like “The Soul of Every Creature Cries Out” find balance in small-scale spiritual vignettes like “The Antithesis of Blue.” Dougherty’s angelic lead vocals are at once otherworldly and deeply human. If Shadow Weaver leans toward the melancholic, it’s a beautiful sadness that can melt the hardest heart.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Still sailing on waves of dreamy guitar feedback after 30 years, The Choir reach a career highpoint with Shadow Weaver. Founding members Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong have matured with exceptional grace over the decades, drawing on their life experiences to create music that embodies a thoughtful brand of Christian faith. Their latest work revels in thick sonic washes and pastel tones that underscore the fine details of Hindalong’s lyrics. Tim Chandler’s propulsive bass and Dan Michaels’ echoing horns add energy and definition to the ambient textures of the tracks. Framed by two variations on the album’s brooding title tune, Shadow Weaver offers glimpses of the sacred with a refreshing lack of preachiness. The ominous insinuations of “What You Think I Am” and “White Knuckles” contrast with the compassionate portraiture of “We All Know” and the inclusive vision of “Everybody’s Got a Guru.” Expansive meditations like “The Soul of Every Creature Cries Out” find balance in small-scale spiritual vignettes like “The Antithesis of Blue.” Dougherty’s angelic lead vocals are at once otherworldly and deeply human. If Shadow Weaver leans toward the melancholic, it’s a beautiful sadness that can melt the hardest heart.

TITLE TIME
3:19
4:31
6:59
4:07
4:58
1:43
4:42
4:39
4:19
1:31
5:08
4:47
5:33

About The Choir

With their origins in Orange County, California, and their current incarnation based out of Nashville, Tennessee, atmospheric alt-rock outfit the Choir have undergone their fair share of changes throughout their long career. Formed in 1984 under the moniker Youth Choir, and built around the distinctive playing of guitarist and vocalist Derri Daugherty, the evocative lyrics of drummer Steve Hindalong, and the inventive, ambient post-rock flourishes of guitar player Marc Byrd, rounded out by saxophone and Lyricon player Dan Michael and bass player Tim Chandler, the band spent its early days infusing its signature blend of shoegaze, soaring alt-rock, and melodic psych-pop with a spiritual core. Prolific and critically lauded, but unable to bridge the gap (financially) between CCM and the mainstream -- successful faith-based alt-rockers such as Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, and Sixpence None the Richer cite the Choir as a significant influence -- the band considered closing up shop in 1996, shortly after relocating to Nashville and releasing its ninth studio album, Free Flying Soul. Wisely, they chose to stick it out and landed a Grammy Award nomination for 2000s independently released Flap Your Wings, which led to successful subsequent recordings like O How the Mighty Have Fallen (2005), Burning Like the Midnight Sun (2010), The Loudest Sound Ever Heard (2012), and Shadow Weaver (2014), the latter of which saw the group moving in a more secular direction. ~ James Christopher Monger

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