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Churchill “The War Within” –EP Review

A&M/Octone Records (2013)

Here’s a band I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from in days to come. Indie-folk act Churchill (interviewed here on MIMO a few months ago) has been on my playlist for months now, particularly their catchy single “Change.” Things have gone very well for this up-and-coming act since they signed to A&M Octone last summer, including a chance to appear on Jimmy Kimmel (after Morrissey ditched the show in protest of Duck Dynasty) and a tour with Phillip Phillips. They’re currently touring Europe with none other than P!nk, and will be touring this summer with OneRepublic, as well.

But of course, what the growing number of Churchill fans want (including me) is new music. And while a full-length is slated for release this summer, a few weeks ago the band gave us a foretaste with a new EP, The War Within.

Granted, this four-song EP really only has three new songs (“Change” is the opener—video below), but if the full-length is anything like these three new tunes, we’re in for a treat. The title track offers encouragement in hard times, while the last two tunes, “Lock Your Heart Down” and “Gone Too Long” offer a creative spin on love and relationships. Vocalists Tim Bruns and Bethany Kelly are awesome together, both in the lead and in harmony, and Bruns (who does most of the songwriting for the band) has a real knack for writing hooks. And the tasteful insertion of mandolin (via Mike Morter) has helped Churchill craft a pop/rock vibe with folk elements resulting in a sound unlike anything else I’m hearing out there.

There’s a reason Churchill has been generating a large following over the past several months, and it’s more than just dumb luck. They’ve got a great vibe, a great sound and a great attitude. The War Within is four songs with great energy; I can’t wait to hear what comes next.



4.5 / 5 stars     

About the Author


Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Kim Phelps found her inspiration and love for music listening to local bands play in the coffeehouses around town. She soon found her own voice as a singer-songwriter, and eventually began playing her own gigs in the coffee shops. Her personal influences include Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Ingrid Michaelson and Cat Power, but as an indie musician herself, she has an affinity for any band or artist who pursues creative freedom on the outskirts of the music industry. As our Indie correspondent, Kim makes a point of highlighting up-and-coming independent acts who are creating a buzz and building an audience. When she's not blogging for us or playing in the coffee shops, Kim works as a barista herself to help pay the bills. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Featured, Indie/Alternative Music