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When you first encounter him, soft-spoken Kim Churchill seems like an archetypal blond, blue-eyed surfer from southern New South Wales. But behind his laidback demeanour and even tone, the 26-year-old singer-songwriter has a secret: he’s an extreme risk-taker.
Churchill spent 18 months working on the follow-up to his breakout LP, 2014’s Silence/Win, and received a stamp of approval from his record label. Album-release plans were drawn up and Churchill began to field offers from festivals and concert promoters around the world. But the new record – polished and accessible – didn’t quite feel right. At the last minute, Churchill decided to throw it out and start again.
“I worked really hard on the follow-up record for a long time,” he explains – “and it sounded good. But some very subtle layer of my consciousness was saying to me, ‘It’s not all that inspiring.’”
So Churchill picked up his guitar. He wrote a second version of the album in one frenetic week, then spent two months piecing together the new recordings with ARIA-winning producer Ian Pritchett in a garage in Western Sydney. The resulting LP, Weight_Falls, is a kaleidoscopic collection that is bound to take both fans and critics by surprise.
Those familiar with Churchill’s radio smash “Window to The Sky”, which reached number 42 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2014, will recognise signature elements in these new recordings: intricate guitar work, intuitive vocal melodies and a wonderful feeling of space and warmth. New single “Second Hand Car” is immediately identifiable as Churchill’s with its retro keys, propulsive guitar line and rousing chant-a-long chorus.
What sets Weight_Falls apart from Churchill’s previous releases is its sense of adventure and unpredictability, characterised by chopped-up drum samples, unusual harmonies and moments of disarming lyrical honesty.