Song of the Day: The Church - Another Century

Song of the Day
08/17/2017
Gabe Pollak

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is “Another Century” by The Church from their upcoming self-released album, Man Woman Life Death Infinity. 

The Church - Another Century (MP3)

It’s an oddly good time to be alive for fans of all things '80s. Some of the decade’s most iconic alternative acts, groups who you might have expected to end around the time you traded in fluorescent leggings for office attire, are touring and releasing new music. Shoegaze pioneers Jesus & the Mary Chain released a new album this year, while post-punk masters Echo & the Bunnymen visited Seattle at the beginning of August. And now there’s one more reason to get excited. Australian neo-psych mystics The Church, who formed in Sydney in 1980, are set to release their 26th album, Man Woman Life Death Infinity, later this fall.

Like much of the Church’s best material, “Another Century,” plays like a dream, sounding both familiar and surreal. Just start at the song's chorus, an anguished question repeated by the singer after some unnamed tragedy occurs: “How did this happen to me?” The melody is easy to sing along to and the song -- it seems -- easy to grasp. This doesn't last. As you nod along to the chorus, the guitar chords switch suddenly, the landscape changes, and the singer shifts his perspective, suggesting abstractly that "something good might have come of it." You feel as if you're being pulled into another dimension. Here, an alternate ending to trauma is entirely possible, though, lost in a swirl of atmospheric synths and sighing background vocals, you can't say exactly where "here" is. Through the rest of the song, singer Steve Kilbey remains enigmatic as ever, providing few details -- knights sent, battles fought, and a fading light -- while you feel your way around the rest of the song, like a person in a dark room groping for the light switch. By the end of the song, only one thing is certain: If this is a dream, you don't want to wake up. The gloom is far too glorious.

You can experience The Church live at the Neptune Theatre on Saturday, September 9th, with Portland’s The Helio Sequence opening. Leading up the gig, you can check out the official video for “Another Century” below. Keep up with The Church on their official website and Facebook page. 

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