Few bands enter their fifth decade of making music with all the fierce creative energy of their early years. Few bands can boast 26 studio albums. Few bands are like The Church.
This month, the ARIA Hall of Fame inductees share their highly anticipated 26th studio album The Hypnogogue. Along with their latest cinematic record release, The Church are celebrating 43 years since formation, embarking on an extensive world tour performing new music and songs from their 26 album career. The Australian leg of the world tour will come off the back of a 21 city, six week US tour and will stop at eight cities across the country, including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle.
A monumental concept album, The Church hone in on their bespoke sound in The Hypnogogue without retreading creative steps. The record features recently released singles “The Hypnogogue”, “C’est La Vie” and “No Other You”, offering a pool of melancholy tones and psychedelic swells, transporting listeners to another realm, guided by its striking science fiction narrative.
The album was recorded at iconic Australian studio Damien Gerard Studios on the Central Coast and mixed by Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Foo Fighters). Bassist, vocalist and founder Steve Kilbey gives his thoughts on the new record; “The Hypnogogue is the most prog rock thing we have ever done, we’ve never created a concept album before. 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.
Steve continues “Personally, I think it’s in our top three records. The complexity, the way the songs relate to each other and the level of collaboration that has gone into the record. For fans of older records, give this one a chance, it will go on rewarding you for years and years. There’s lots of subtle references to other artists, other songs and other times”.
The Church yield an expansive music career with a phenomenal back catalogue of songs including “Reptile,” “The Unguarded Moment”, “Almost With You” and of course “Under the Milky Way”, regarded as one of the most influential and recognisable Australian rock anthems of all time.
Their equally stellar live shows have been deemed “spectacular” by MAGNET Magazine, citing their “dreamy psychedelia that will daub your evening with shades of paisley.” Last year’s performance to a 50,000 strong crowd at USA’s Cruel World Festival alongside Blondie, Bauhaus and Morrissey was heralded as “a subtle delight… that captivated the late afternoon audience”. With The Church gracing Australian stages off the back of their six week US tour, local fans will be treated to an epic and tight set of new and revered songs this May and June.
The renowned five-piece line-up is made up of bassist, vocalist and founder Steve Kilbey along with long-time collaborator, drummer and producer Tim Powles, who’s remained a staple across 17 albums since 1994. Joining them is guitarist Ian Haug, who has been strumming with the band since 2013 and formerly of Australian rock icons Powderfinger. Touring multi-instrumentalist talent Jeffrey Cain is now a full-time member since the departure of Peter Koppes in early 2020. Rounding out the members is the newly recruited Ashley Naylor is one of Australia’s finest guitarists and is a long-time member of Paul Kelly’s touring band. Entering their fourth decade as a band, The Church continue to remain a treasured creative force.
The Hypnogogue is available now wherever you consume good music.