Churchill is supporting Bellowhead and John Butler next week (Chepstow Castle and Shepherds Bush Empire respectively), both indicative of the amount of talent the Aussie singer songwriter has; this album, his second, has really impressed us.
Australian music can be derivative but Churchill has his own sound, a sort of happy pop folk. His live performances seem to be legendary, with Churchill bounding about and playing percussion, harmonica and guitar, as well as singing. It’s as foot stomping as the Mumfords at their best but it’s got the feel of sun and the beach, and dudes in shades doing cool stuff.
Opener Single Spark is ok, a chipper folk rock tune but it’s with track two Window To The Sky that the album takes off. This track was the most played song on the trendy rock station TripleJ in Oz earlier this year, and is somewhere between a kick-drum driven Mumford’s song, Seth Lakeman’s lively rootsy vibe and a beach party on Bondi. Also up there is the reggae based Canopy, a song that demands to be played loud, and probably goes down a treat at the festivals he’s been playing this summer.
As well as all these modern bands, Churchill has something of the 70s about him, his sound reminiscent of a psychedelic folk band from back in the day, songs such as Only Time Can Take You On, while song titles such as Don’t Leave Your Life Too Long hark back to a hippy ethos.
Elsewhere Fear The Fire has an eastern sound, while Rage (which doesn’t) and Backwards Head (the closest he gets to John Butler) show he has gentle side.
We’ve been spoiled this week with Bobby Long and this, two quality albums that should be thrown at anyone who says there’s no good music about.