Australian psych-rock legends the Church emerge with The Hypnogogue, their first new studio album in six years, a record every bit as chiming and charming as their definitive early work.
Often seen as the godfathers of an Australian psychedelic scene generating such internationally successful names as Tame Impala and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, the Church have continued to evolve their sound.
“‘The Hypnogogue’ is set in 2054… a dystopian and broken down future,” explains Steve Kilbey about the title track from the new album. “Invented by Sun Kim Jong, a North Korean scientist and occult dabbler, it is a machine and a process that pulls music straight out of dreams.” The song is a swirling, textural epic that captures the band’s trademark psychedelia-tinged post-punk dreampop with a modern sensibility that’s heightened by a mix from Darrell Thorpe (Radiohead, Air, Beck). “The song 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,” Kilby continues, fleshing out the song’s science fiction storyline. “In the midst of the toxic process, he also falls in love with Sun Kim and it all ends tragically (of course…as these thing often do).”
Entering the fourth decade of making music and playing live shows with all the fierce creative energy of their early years, the Church have continued to expand their highly cinematic and atmospheric blend of indie rock, shimmering post-punk, icy dreampop and psychedelic post-rock without retreading their steps. Their expansive music career yielded a string of hit songs including “Under The Milky Way,” “Reptile,” “The Unguarded Moment,” and “Almost With You”
The current line-up is bassist, vocalist, and founder Steve Kilbey with long-time collaborator Tim Powles, drummer and producer across 17 albums since 1994, guitarist Ian Haug, formerly of Australian rock icons Powderfinger, who joined the band in 2013, and Jeffrey Cain (Remy Zero), touring multi-instrumentalist who is now a full-time member of the Church since the departure of Peter Koppes in early 2020. The band have also recruited Ashley Naylor, long-time member of Paul Kelly’s touring band and one of Australia’s finest and most respected guitarists (Even, The Grapes, The Stems).