One of Australia’s most celebrated folk voices, Kim Churchill is an international sensation. He’s back home alongside his new album Weight Falls and it seems the years between this and 2014’s Silence/Win have sparked a newfound breadth of sound and awareness.
On his sophomore effort, Kim Churchill has made a bold and determined step in the right direction, putting a charming twist on his folk roots.
Opening with Whole Entire, Churchill doesn’t stray too far from the hazy and ethereal folk for which we know him best. With deep jungle drums and a complementary whimsical trill throughout, it’s a tight and positive entry into his new sound.
The Border is a dark break in the optimism established by the opener. Sharp and energetic guitar work creates for that cinematic and wild atmosphere that seems to trail Churchill’s music: it’s the sonic landscape of wide night skies and big oceans.
Heart of You introduces choral backing and sombre drums unlike that which we’ve heard from Churchill in the past, the track is bright and bold with unexpected drops and lulls. A jolt to the system after the comfort of the predecessors, the track is brave and exciting.
Breakneck Speed, the recently released single, is very much on-brand for Churchill, however it doesn’t quite have the sparky flare s the opening tracks, unfortunately the light disco elements and horns in the beginning fall flat.
Moving forward we are introduced to a slower and more romantic side to the record in Secondhand Car. Churchill injects his signature narrative build alongside a marching tempo into the chorus. The affected harmonica sound around the halfway point makes Secondhand Car sultry southern perfection.
While it is hard to deny that Kim Churchill darts in and out of pop from time to time, that underlying alt-folk grit is very much a part of his moniker. Introducing GOLDEN. In this song Churchill manages to combine pop goodness with just the right amount of off-kilter charisma. There are interesting ethereal notes echoing Whole Entire and with his folk musicianship, Churchill brings an interesting vocal dimension that sets him apart form the pack.
Rosemary is quietly spoken and clearly an intimate song for the artist. It’s simple and pretty folk with hard emotional breaks – a well placed as a palette cleanser after the enthusiasm of the earlier parts of the album.
Rippled Water is possibly my favourite track on the album. It’s short but poignant and has a cool optimism with that quirky lilt Churchill favours throughout. This track reminds me exactly why this artist is such an exciting transition for folk music, diving into fragments of alt-rock without giving in to trends.
Onto CYGO and what a way to start?! Setting out with courage and fading into something of cathartic release, the track is a showcase of Churchill’s outstanding vocal abilities and the daring permission he allows himself to be wholly consumed by his songwriting.
Maybe What I’m Missing opens with promise with its crashing vocals and drums, each bridge is fresh and exciting. While the repetitive chorus isn’t quite as gripping, there’s energy there and doubtless it showcases Churchill’s undeniable lyrical skill. Unfortunately, Goes Away, slips through the cracks, and is certainly not the most gripping on the album.
The sombre and mournful intimacy of Night Gloom does not disappoint and it’s finality is captured beautifully in Churchill’s sleepy vocals, and as the final notes ring out I recall Dustin Tebbutt and that hazy galactic wall of sound – a wonderful way to wrap up the record.
With Weight Falls, Kim Churchill has delivered a convincing and exciting sophomore effort. A great entry back into the foray after three years between drinks.
The album reminds us why we fell in love with his bright and charming brand of folk music. There is depth and wild expression on the record, one which ought to catapult Kim Churchill to the shelf in folk music, where he very much deserves to be.
Catch Kim Churchill touring in support of Weight Falls at the following dates and grab your tickets here.
THURSDAY 14 SEPTEMBER – CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE
FRIDAY 15 SEPTEMBER – UNIBAR, WOLLONGONG
SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER– STREET THEATRE, CANBERRA
THURSDAY 21 SEPTEMBER – THE JACK, CAIRNS
FRIDAY 22 SEPTEMBER – THE OFFICE, TOWNSVILLE
SATURDAY 23 SEPTEMBER – TIMBERFEST, MACKAY
FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER – CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER – KAROVA LOUNGE, BALLARAT
SUNDAY 1 OCTOBER – SOOKI LOUNGE, BELGRAVE
THURSDAY 5 OCTOBER – FAT CONTROLLER, ADELAIDE
FRIDAY 6 OCTOBER – WARATAH HOTEL, HOBART
SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER – ROYAL OAK, LAUNCESTON
FRIDAY 13 OCTOBER – FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE FRONT LAWN, FREMANTLE
SATURDAY 14 OCTOBER – PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY
SUNDAY 15 OCTOBER – RED ROOM @ CLANCYS FISH PUB, DUNSBOROUGH
FRIDAY 20 OCTOBER – THE FACTORY, SYDNEY
THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER – SOLBAR, SUNSHINE COAST
FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER – SOUNDLOUNGE, GOLD COAST
SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER – THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE
Catch him busking around the country too.
FRIDAY 25 AUGUST – ADELAIDE
SATURDAY 26 AUGUST – HOBART
SUNDAY 27 AUGUST – CANBERRA
SUNDAY 27 AUGUST – MERIMBULA
TUESDAY 29 AUGUST – MANLY
TUESDAY 29 AUGUST – MAITLAND
WEDNESDAY 30 AUGUST – BACCHUS MARSH
WEDNESDAY 30 AUGUST – MELBOURNE
THURSDAY 31 AUGUST – BRISBANE