The Haunt, provides “a glimmer of hope amidst nihilism,” says Church Girls bandleader Mariel Beaumont. The record tackles themes of addiction and despondency in a poetic will to move forward towards healing and developing healthier habits. The band has spent a lot of time on the road, touring, and will continue to do so, in support of their new album The Haunt produced by Scott Solter (Spoon, St. Vincent, The Mountain Goats), now available via Anchor Eight.
“These songs are personal, but also occasionally from the perspective of close friends or family members. Similar to prior themes, we’re trying to understand those close to us, who might be going through a rough time, whether it’s with addiction or divorce; it’s also a daily balance of—okay, how much am I supposed to be helping myself and how much am I supposed to be helping others?” Beaumont asks.
Parquet Courts, Can, Daughters, IDLES, Protomartyr, PUP, Interpol and Dinosaur Jr. are all staples in Church Girls’ repertoire of rock and post-punk influences. The Haunt contains some of these edgier, fuzzier, bristly moments that espouse physicality and give way to a more captivating live performance. “We’ve been going after something more tribal, a transcendent quality where you can feel it in your chest. That’s how I feel like we connect with our audience the best,” says Beaumont. “We play a little harder and faster now. I scream a little bit more. We’ve also been enjoying the regularity of mosh pits at our shows.”
“I’ve been running this band for 5 years, and a lot of my friends have grown up and moved away from Philly. Sometimes I’m in Ohio, in the middle of nowhere, wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life or if I’m heading down the right path. I’m traveling across the country, which is great, but I’m wondering: “What do my friends think about this? Am I doing the right thing?” “Unwound” feels anthemic in the same manner that Broken Social Scene explode with a sense of urgency on glorious numbers like “Almost Crimes” or “Cause = Time.”
Similar, thematically, to the rest of the album, “Dissipate” glorifies moments of hope against drudgery, dread and anxiety. “I write a list of memories when I sit down to work on lyrics for the next project. I was coming up with all these positive moments—times where life can be really meaningful and beautiful—but also fleeting, and maybe that’s OK,” Beaumont ruminates. “That’s what this song’s about—laying awake over things that are painful—but, I have these stretches of bliss that sort of make it all worthwhile,” she says. “It goes away, but it might come back, ya know?”