Painting New Pleasures. Choir of Young Believers, Rhine Gold.

As one may now fully expect of the omnipotent director of the Choir of Young Believers, Jannis Noya Makrigiannis (alongside his rotating cast of several), throughout sophomore full-length Rhine Gold rather feels like a hymnbook compiled over decades in place of a cohesive collection of stuff scribed in a minimal number of sittings. Indeed as indolent as it may be to even utter through affectionately stroked, beardy obfuscation that many moments sound as though penned by Robin Pecknold, it's a comparison that may well hound this otherwise episodically stirring release.

More often than not this inescapable comparison stems from the reality that Makrigiannis' vocals merely sound almost impossibly evocative of those bleated by Sub Pop's bewhiskered beloved. And yet although The Wind Is Blowing Needles could be seamlessly stitched into the aforesaid brigade's eponymous debut, or irregardless of the fact that the woody harmonies of Have I Ever Truly Been Here seem to belong in twilit forestry amidst the insurmountably towering canyons and yawning gorges of Washington state more than they may to the pristine Danish metropolis from which Makrigiannis hails, there's an idiosyncratic wistfulness at play within Rhine Gold that sets it – and consequently its author – apart. Paralyze for instance, a centrepiece to mangle wits and tinker with reality that's all rotund, protruding bass and awash with flickers of streamlined guitar, leans toward a more prog-lilted, ethereal idealism as it sprawls over ten-plus and is salted with a distinctly Sgt. Pepper-ish interlude. It's far and away Makrigiannis' most intrepid sonic exploration committed to tape thus far and certainly sounds as though launched earthwards from some equally far and geographically away realm. Sedated provides hazy stomp smeared in the grittiest of glitter; the ritzy glimmer of the surreal synthpop to sate Patricia's Thirst recalls Duran Duran's Ordinary World in the album's most epigrammatic and moreover unearthly instance; and the curtain is eventually brought down emphatically to the momentous orchestral plod of a show-stopping title-track.

However it's the delightful Scandipop propensities of Paint New Horrors, during which Makrigiannis insistently emphasises his impassioned desire to "give it to you" (the you in question some abstruse "girl" figure), that prompts head to finally tumble quite helplessly over jittering heels. For if he's capable of turning on this form of seductive charm quite so whimsically you'd sense his success rate to be inordinately, perhaps excessively high even when employing such primal lyricism on the ladies and gentlemen he so candidly lures. That it's slathered over throwback disco to wind all brothers Gibb up into something of a feverish fidget of course adds some prerequisite pizzazz to such primordial urge and, although evidently of a gender to render Makrigiannis' quite explicit beckoning futile, consider me hooked, lined, and sunk in this glorious ablution of utter aural splendiferousness. Thus while many may hyperbolically comment on Makrigiannis' chasing of Fleet Foxes' tails, paint us infatuated by one particular epitome of the exemplary.