Untitled #23 is the new album by the church. It's a haunting, dark, thrilling, ecstatic, melodic psychedelic journey in ten unforgettable pieces.To put it another way, Untitled #23 is the latest instalment in one of the longest, richest unbroken streams of creative endeavour the rock'n'roll era has ever witnessed.Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper founded the church in Sydney, Australia, in 1980. Their public life as accidental hit makers is on the record: Under the Milky Way galvanised the world 20 years ago, and again in 2001 when it opened the smash cult film, Donnie Darko.
Untitled #23 is the new album by the church. It's a haunting, dark, thrilling, ecstatic, melodic psychedelic journey in ten unforgettable pieces.
To put it another way, Untitled #23 is the latest instalment in one of the longest, richest unbroken streams of creative endeavour the rock'n'roll era has ever witnessed.
Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper founded the church in Sydney, Australia, in 1980. Their public life as accidental hit makers is on the record: Under the Milky Way galvanised the world 20 years ago, and again in 2001 when it opened the smash cult film, Donnie Darko.
Various hits collections attest to a distant era of similarly strange and subversive pop chart victories: The Unguarded Moment, Almost With You, When You Were Mine, It's No Reason, Reptile, Tantalised, Metropolis… all continue to appear, sporadically and often transformed, in the live shows that remain their life blood.
But the church has always been in a parallel orbit to the pop world, a self-generating and utterly engaging art-rock trip that is far easier to experience than to describe – even by their passionate legions of fans around the world.
Since the arrival of drummer Tim Powles some 15 albums ago, the quartet has hit on a peerless creative dynamic of amazingly rich and prolific dimensions, one that seeks no validation beyond the constantly evolving existence that now yields Untitled #23.
"It's almost like the church simply plug in at will and stream this sparkling electric poetry from some guitar-shaped hole in the universe . . . Cobalt Blue begins the trip with disorientation . . . only to be sewn together near the end with an exquisite guitar dialogue. Pangaea, Happenstance and Operetta fall into the more pleasing structures of yore: a 12-stringed flurry here, an airborne choral hook there, an elegant afterthought of wind, brass or keys . . . and tunes lovely enough to hum. On Angel Street and Sunken Sun (are) gossamer weaves of dream narrative and telepathic restraint that scale the peaks of their most elegant work…"
(The Age, Melbourne, April 2009)
Untitled #23 is one of four simultaneous releases streamed from the mystical crossroads of imagination and electricity that the church calls home, each released on their own Unorthodox label:
Shriek: Excerpts From The Soundtrack is a long-playing ambient-literary hybrid in collaboration with American sci-fi writer, Jeff VanderMeer.
The Coffee Hounds EP features three exclusive vocal and instrumental versions of The Coffee Song, as well as an astonishing cover of the Kate Bush classic, Hounds Of Love.
The 4-song Pangaea EP includes the lead track of that title, from Untitled #23, plus 3 exclusive tracks with a song each sung by Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper and the latest tours namesake So Love May Find Us – an otherworldly musical exploration in 18 minutes of bliss.
Throughout every phase of their strange, beautiful, disorienting journey, the four cornerstones of the church continue to greet and defy expectations: Kilbey the receiver of an endless stream of outlandish images, the guitars of Koppes and Willson-Piper spiralling, aquaplaning, morphing and diverging, and Powles the rhythmic conductor of their discrete and limitless creative cosmos…
Michael Dwyer April 2009
Untitled #23 is available as a 6 panel digipak CD from April 3 in Australia and May 12 in North America.
Untitled #23 will be available from mid-June on double gatefold vinyl, incorporating the three exclusive tracks from the Pangaea EP: LLC, Insanity and So Love May Find Us.
Untitled#23 will also be available on iTunes and digital stores.