An interview with singer/songwriter Kim Churchill

Kim ChurchillIt takes a lot of determination for an artist to discard a completed work, yet this is exactly what Australian songwriter Kim Churchill did, before coming up with what became his latest record ‘Weight_Falls’. “I had been working for so long on the other album,” he explains. “Layering coats and coats of paint and reworking this over and over: I was really just trying too hard.”

The singer explains that the more he worked on it, the more the music took on an air of desperation that he grew uncomfortable with. “I was clinging to it being ‘good’ with such ferocity that I think I essentially choked the songs to death,” he admits. Once he decided to put that record down and start all over, Churchill knew he needed not to over think its replacement, and come up with something quickly and spontaneously.

“I set myself one week to have it done,” he recalls. “It really inspired and excited me to do it that way. It helped give the songs something special.“ This renewed energy can be felt in every song on the record, bathing in their light pop-rock aesthetic. “I was constantly shadowed by these doubts and dark thoughts about it,” he says. “I ignored them and pretended everything was fine. When I finally accepted them and was honest with myself, it was really liberating. When you lie to yourself for so long and finally come clean, you get this wonderful unadulterated hit of honesty and understanding. I was high on that for a few weeks, one of which was when I wrote (the album) ‘Weight_Falls’”.

Kim Churchill

I asked the singer if we’ll ever get to hear the rejected album. “Possibly, yeah,” he answers with a smile. “I listen back to it now and know a lot more about who I was at that time and what I was trying to say with that music. I think I could make some changes and it would be quite a great album too.”

Kim Churchill will be in Montreal on Friday March 2nd, at Club Soda as part of the Montreal en Lumière Festival. The singer has been known to spontaneously go busking back in his native Australia, so I wondered if he planned to try it out here despite the Canadian winter. “The huge amounts of snow everywhere do scare me a little,” he says with a smile. Having played in our city many times, he would be keenly aware of the perils of playing on the sidewalks in March. But Churchill explains the attraction of playing incognito. “There’s a special element to the music when playing it on the street,” he says. “It kind of gets beyond your ego in a nice humbling way and the music really benefits. I love how my music sounds when it’s played on the street and I love the way the audience builds up and falls away constantly. It’s really beautiful.”

He’s played many times in Montreal, and Kim Churchill remembers fondly one particular concert recorded in an attic a few years ago. “It was quite magical,” he recalls, “and I released it on an album (‘Montreal Attic recordings’). I’ll never forget that night, it was really beautiful.”

What can fans expect from this week’s concert? “Well it’s a new show!” he says excitedly. “I still have my ‘one man band’ set up but now I have two drummers onstage who sing harmonies with me too. It’s very high energy and so much fun for me to have others onstage! “

This article was originally published on Montreal Rampage

Jean-Frederic Vachon
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