Recorded through 2019 and 2020 between Berlin and Los Angeles, 'Choirs To Heaven' marks real step up in quality for Lea Porcelain. Haunting, atmospheric and heavy, the German duo’s latest effort is a dreamy reflection of ‘every emotion’ they have felt over the last two years. By the way, Julian Casablancas likes it, so you probably should too.
When thinking of Berlin, my mind tends to drift towards a sweaty warehouse club filled with really really good looking people in really really expensive clothes. In this vision the camera hovers above a crowd of would be Zoolander extras, they’re dancing to bleak industrial synth music. Music that sounds as cool as the dancers look. The mind’s eye pans to the right, through the flashing lights and cigarette smoke you glimpse the band that everybody is here to see. Of course this scene is but a vision inside my head, but upon hearing the latest Lea Porcelain album ‘Choirs To Heaven’, it’s impossible to picture anybody else on the stage but the Berlin based duo. Throughout the album the band have clearly worked tirelessly to create a certain atmosphere, one which is influenced by the moody smog which so often descends upon listeners whilst listening to Radiohead’s more Electronic and industrial works. In doing so the band have created a brilliantly immersive album, one which stays with you for days after listening.
Other more subtle influences can be heard slipping through into the all-encompassing atmosphere the album creates, with flashes of new-wave brilliance reminiscent of Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ shining through on ‘Pool Song’. Opening track ‘Consent of Cult’ sounds like the early work of Alex Cameron, with moody vocals delivered over a cold drum machine loop and dark synths. The track keeps building and building into a 6 minute long, pure 1980’s synth pop cocaine psychosis nightmare, a real highlight. The production of ‘Choirs to Heaven’ is lush, songs are doused in layer after layer of synths, guitars and vocals combining fluidly, and making for a sound so thick that it feels like you could chew on it. However, that said, some of the best moments on the album come during the quieter stripped back moment, with album closer ‘Just A Dream’ being a personal favourite of mine. This album sounds like an electronic dream and comes highly recommended.