DEEP THROAT CHOIR - IN ORDER TO KNOW YOU

DEEP THROAT CHOIR - IN ORDER TO KNOW YOU

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Release Date: 07/01/22

“I’m reeling, I’m restless,” sing Deep Throat Choir from the heart of their second album. That restlessness manifests in a set of tremendously abundant, original songs from the east London female and non-binary vocal collective, founded by Landshapes member Luisa Gerstein. Released via Bella Union, ‘In Order to Know You’ is a multi-layered assertion of freshly expansive range, driven by two core virtues: a sense of strength in unity and an open embrace of its singers’ personal experiences, shared through collective, supportive vocal expression.

After 2017’s largely covers-based debut album, ‘Be OK’, the choir recognised the call to evolve. “Having been singing together for five-plus years, and having released an album of mostly covers, it felt like the logical next step to make our own music together,” says Gerstein. “This album is the alchemy of all the specific voices and players that make up the choir, and a collaborative process of writing and sharing music and ideas. Sonically, I wanted to move beyond just voices and percussion, to see what richness could be brought with acoustic instruments and electronics, and to transition from a choir that does covers to a band with loads of vocalists.”

‘In Order to Know You’ heads towards its climax without seeming to touch the ground, from the title track’s devotional exhalation to the stealthy, smoky shimmer of ‘Unstitching’. Its lyrics drawn from a poem by Emma Cleave, the sublime ‘Field of Not Knowing’ closes the album in a vivid tapestry of folkgothic images (moon beams and pipistrelles) and serene-to-soaring arrangements, revelling in possibility: “It’s the place where I begin,” sing the choir. For Deep Throat Choir, the result is both an exquisite culmination of journeys taken so far and a lustrous, exquisite springboard for further adventures. Their travels began in 2013, when the collective took shape from a desire to strip music back to the basic elements of raw female voices and drums, united in a fashion that both honours and transmogrifies personal expression.

A small group of four or five singers steadily expanded, with Zara Toppin’s drums providing a propulsive energy. Cathartic live shows and collaborations followed, ranging from team-ups with Peggy Sue, Stealing Sheep, Horse Meat Disco and Matthew E White, to performances at Green Man, Wilderness, the Southbank Centre’s WOW festival, London’s Scala and beyond. ‘Be OK’ provided a gutsy showcase for the band’s close, collective strengths, bolstered by weekly gatherings at a church in east London to blow the roof off. A fruitful collaboration with techno-pop duo Simian Mobile Disco on the 2018 album ‘Murmurations’ followed: a testament to the choir’s alchemical abilities.