Although the group has long since relocated to Nashville, The Choir remains one of the most productive bands from the Eighties’ Southern California alternative music scene. Like past Choir releases, the new Deep Cuts mainly features guitarist Derri Daugherty voicing drummer Steve Hindalong’s smart lyrics. It’s the first full-length, however, not powered by Tim Chandler’s distinctive bass playing, as he passed away in 2018. Somewhat surprisingly, though, these twelve songs are relatively upbeat. To a large degree, as Hindalong goes, so goes The Choir and Hindalong sounds like he’s in a good place right now.
This positive emotional space is noticeably represented in “Reckless Ways,” which finds Daugherty announcing, “I said goodbye to all my reckless ways.” It’s a song about coming to grips with one’s own mortality—in a good way. It may be morbid to put it like this, but if a man wants to survive beyond middle age, he can’t do so while still trying to live the lifestyle of a man half his age. The album’s best track, though, is one titled “The Woods.” With a guitar riff sonically referencing the Britpop band Oasis, this one lyrically salutes friendship. In its chorus, Daugherty muses, “I wanna walk in the woods with a friend/And talk about everything and nothing.” And with only these few sparse lines, The Choir poetically summarizes the beauty of true and lasting friendship. When with those we’re closest to, we don’t ever need to think up topics to talk about. We just deeply appreciate each other’s company whenever we’re together.
The Choir feels like this type of good friend to many of us, and we’re so thankful it continues to keep this musical conversation going.