Church Of Roswell - Here Comes Church Of Roswell
Anyone who was captured by Church Of Roswell's debut single "The Witcher" will be glad to see there is now a whole EP's worth of material to devour and with titles like "Werewolf" and "Love Is A Killer" you know that they are not going to let you down. Church Of Roswell are a Nashville based conceptual collective formed by singers, songwriters and musicians, Candi Carpenter and Josh Doyle who seem destined for big things.
The EP opens with "Werewolf" to some lovely acoustic guitar playing over an organ, it is only when Candi sings her opening lines that we know that we are entering "Roswell" country!!!
"I didn't wake up with blood on my hands
But I've got a sick feeling I killed something
Woke up in the yard - threw up in the sink"
At this point you may be wondering where on earth this song is going, however with the next line things turn more in the direction of Chris Stapleton than Hammer Horror and you realise that you are in the presence of greatness.
" I drink to forget what I do when I drink"
Josh then joins in and we have a charming duet.
"What did you do last night?
Are you shamed to live are afraid to die" followed by some truly harmonious howling over an accordion.
Josh takes the second verse and again the striking similarities between awakening from a lycanthropic change and a heavy night on the tiles become all too apparent
"17 missed calls - 7 lost hours - I crouched down and cried on the floor in the shower
I tell myself - I'm better than this"
With a steady drum sound and an ever growing choir of backing vocals the overall sound successfully layers up until we get the full power of them singing together
"Put that moonshine in my veins - feel my body start to change
I drink to pretend all my problems away"
Both lyrically and musically clever, this is fine way to open things.
"Rocketeer" was the second single, and is simply a delicious swathe of harmonies and strings that is a sheer delight to listen to, spiritually uplifting it's hard not to echo the key line on hearing it "Nothing is going to bring me down today"
"Love Is A Killer" is a sideways look at the strongest of emotions. Set to a stirring tune love is personified in a number of different ways, so it "lies in wait like a snake in the creek, or "it's a poison you breathe it through your skin".
Once again a wonderful combination of harmonies with a superb accordion and organ sound meld to make a great sound.
Five months on "The Witcher" remains as striking as it was the day when we first heard it in the autumn of 2020, it simply takes no prisoners, the sound is fearsome as each instrument is playing to its maximum capacity, while the vocals from Candi and Josh match that urgency to make something truly outstanding, like nothing else you'll hear all year!!!
The EP closes with "Canary", and immediately we are thrust into a dramatic situation.
Some questions have no answers but still I am asking "Why
when I say I love you, am I ruining your life?"
There is both a beauty and a sadness attached to lines like
I wanted to keep you safe inside your cage
So you wouldn't leave me so you couldn't fly away"
Candi's vocal perfectly captures the mood of the song, which sways from line to line, reminiscing in the past and then being forced to confront the present.
"We'd sit and scheme and plan our dreams on starry summer nights
When did we start fantasising about separate lives"
and when she approximates her own bird song it is simply heavenly.
The Church Of Roswell are certainly a broad church, they may come at things from different angles but their core beliefs are good old fashioned harmonies and quality songwriting - we'll happily sit in their congregation