This is a day of rejoicing for fans of The Church. The prolific and admired Australian band have just announced the surprise release of their 26th studio album Man Woman Life Death Infinity out this Friday, October 6 and an Australian tour hitting Western Australia next month. The ARIA Hall of Fame inductees will play the Rosemount on Friday, November 17 and the Dunsborough Tavern on Saturday, November 18.
This will be the second album to be toured by the group with the rejuvenated line-up featuring Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and former Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug. Their set will feature selections from their new album, which has been eagerly anticipated following the release of singles Another Century, and its imminent follow-up, new single Undersea. The tracks have shown an intriguing new direction for the group with a more psychedelic slant on their classic sound that frontman Kilbey described as “unlike any songs the Church have done in the past.”
The Church’s live show will also be woven with plenty of favourites from a revered catalogue that boasts classics such as Under the Milky Way, Almost With You, The Unguarded Moment and Electric Lash. Those who have seen the act live before will know however not to expect a scripted playlist of radio hits, but a considered selection of songs that honour the depth of the group’s legacy which spans almost 50 years of underground glory.
The release follows several wildly successful and busy years for the group. Steve Kilbey was last in Western Australia in August for the premiere of the film Something Quite Peculiar, which documented his remarkable journey to date. In the X-Press Interview about the film, he discussed what people can expect from the new album, why he has no choice but to keep touring and how he felt about visiting WA. X-Press also caught Kilbey performing live at Mojo’s during the visit, which was our first taste of the group’s emerging new sound performed on stage.
The Church have also been making waves (again) on the international stage in recent years, pulling a 20,000 strong crowd at Primavera Sound, a performance at SXSW, four North American tours and their first European tour in almost a decade. Following sold out Australian shows in 2015, the band return straight from the USA for an eight date National tour throughout November.
Man Woman Life Death Infinity demonstrates the new line-up has revitalised the group bringing a new potency and precision with ten songs, 45 minutes, and a quantum leap into unexplored territory as strange as it is irresistible. The album was written in two separate sessions in March across Ian Haug’s Airlock Studios in Brisbane and Tim Powles’ Space Junk Studios in Sydney and delivers a more succinct release than 2014’s Further/Deeper.
Steve Kilbey has described Man Woman Life Death Infinity as The Church’s ‘water record’. “I guess water is my element,” He said. “I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain. It wasn’t conscious at all but on reflection, it definitely is a preoccupation on this record. What that means, I don’t know,” he says. “This is an album we’re really looking forward to exploring live,” he says. “The way I write lyrics is very stream-of-consciousness. I never question them until we perform live, so I discover them in time as much as the audience.”
The Church will be joined onstage by special guest, former Remy Zero (UK) guitarist Jeffrey Cain on keys, additional guitars and vocals. Part of the early Radiohead scene, Remy Zero first supported the band on The Bends album tour, Jeffrey brings years of live experience and musical influence to complete a consummate lineup for this very special run of shows.
Tickets for The Church’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity Tour go on sale Tuesday, October 10, 6am WST (9am AEDT).