Australian psych-guitar masters, The Church is released their epic 26th album on February 24th. The Church has risen to the occasion to expand their highly acclaimed and blended post-punk, and psychedelic music vibes, it is unbelievable. Their expansive music career generated a sequence of hit songs including “Under the Milky Way,” “Reptile,” “The Unguarded Moment” and “Almost With You,” amongst others.
This is one of the best albums I have ever experienced in my lifetime. It will truly leave an impression on your music minds. Steve Kilbey (founder, vocalist) has still got that signature haunting vocals, the sound that transcends your soul into another place, a complete escape. The music created on these tracks came from another place, mind-expanding moments. The song “Hypnogogue” is hypnotizing, it is liquid sound in its purest. The accompanying video was beautifully produced and encapsulates the true essence of the song and its story.
Describing the story behind the album/previously and released singles, Kilbey says: “Invented by Sun Kim Jong, a Korean scientist and occult dabbler, The hypnogogue is a machine and a process that pulls music straight out of dreams. The title track is about Eros Zeta, the biggest rock star of 2054, who has traveled from his home in Antarctica (against his manager’s advice) to use the hypnogogue to help him revive his flagging fortunes. Amid the toxic process, he also falls in love with Sun Kim and it all ends tragically. “C’est La Vie” continues the narrative which serves as a cautionary tale from Zeta’s agent not to mess with the hypnogogue. His manager has heard some bad rumors about it and he doesn’t want his boy all strung out on this unknown.”
Kilby states, “The Hypnogogue is the most progressive rock thing we have ever done. We’ve also never had a concept album before,” he says. “It is the most ‘teamwork record’ we have ever had. Everyone in the band is so justifiably proud of this record and everyone helped to make sure it was as good as it could be. Personally, I think it’s in our top three records.”
The album consists of 13 tracks, all more than intriguing and alluring. The true raw talent is evident through the beauty and mysticism of the Australian group. I was more than honored to have a brief yet interesting Q&A with founder and lead front man Steve Kilbey, long endured and still killing it.
Tell us about the process of your music, and how the success affected your lives.
- Kilbey: Just the usual stuff. We hired a room and started playing. I had a bunch of songs so away we went! Success and failure…sometimes indistinguishable from each other. It never was as much success as we hoped. Now it hardly matters… we just plough our furrow and ignore it all!
You’ve got 22 solo albums on top of your success with the Church.
- You’ve got to be the busiest man in the music industry! Yeah, I just keep on creating regardless. It’s an obsession really.
I understand completely. One if the best songs I have ever listened to is your song “Hypnogogue” it’s completely memorizing! Can you tell us the story behind it ?
- This song is the centerpiece of the album and the music was recontextualized from another piece by Jeffrey Cain. It tells the story of the first time the (anti-) hero uses the hypnogogue and how it all goes wrong.
How did the pandemic effect you guys in the music industry in Australia?
- The pandemic fucked things up in Australia.
I get it, the industry was completely shut down, but now you guys are back at it! What’s your most memorable songs/albums & your favorite ones to perform?
- I would say the Priest Equals Aura and Untitled 23 are in my opinion the best records we ever made.
How have you all changed musically throughout the years as musicians and as a group?
- Yes, we changed and we got better as players but paradoxically try to remain true to our original manifesto. So, everything we’ve ever done has a constant feeling even though the music has changed.
What’s struggles have you faced throughout your music career?
- Unfortunately many of the same struggles as all bands. Drugs, drinking, arguments and dissatisfaction and getting old.
I have seen many go down from this, and you survived! How do you think the music industry has changed since you began?
- Technology, Well with streaming and stuff it’s totally changed!
Yeah I can see that. You guys have overcome the odds and adapted throughout time. And you have always stayed true to your path. You have completely owned this album. Thank you again for sharing a moment with me I am a long-time fan!
- I’m glad you love our music. Please come and see us. It could always be the very last time.
Artist Links: Website | Spotify | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.