In which I attempt to distill the music of my most formative years down to five artists, and one record per artist that, to me, most personify their music.
The Choir, Circle Slide
Circle Slide is the sixth studio album from Christian alternative rock band The Choir, released in 1990.
Circle Slide starts off with the title track, which starts off with a tight drum roll followed by a strum of the guitar with that glorious Choir guitar tone. There's no record that better represents that guitar tone than this one. The reverb-heavy drums, saxophone, and guitars create a dreamy bed for Derri Daugherty's gentle voice.
Imagine one perfect circle / Above the stratosphere / Where lovers hide away / And children cheer / Because the ground has melted / Where the devil stood / Never mind the carnival in your own neighborhood
Steve Hindalong is a very musical drummer. His parts are intentional, thought out, in service to the song. He was probably the first such drummer I had heard.
That opening track is almost seven and a half minutes long. And it fades out.
Once in high school, I sang the chorus of If I Had a Yard acapella to a girl. She, of course, had never heard the tune. But that might have been the first time I realized I could sing.
The final track bookends the record perfectly. Again with the guitars and reverb-heavy drums and the extended track length. I've wanted to cover this song forever, and despite covering a number of other Choir songs, never have. Some things are too sacred.