Upon first encounter, the soft-spoken Kim Churchill seems like an archetypal blond, blue-eyed surfer from southern New South Wales.
But behind his laidback demeanour and even tone, the 26-year-old singer-songwriter has a secret: he’s an extreme risk-taker.
The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents Churchill at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Churchill is the first performer in the Society’s 2018/2019 SPOTLIGHT On Stage Series presentation. With the audience seated cabaret style on stage, the SPOTLIGHT On Stage Concert Series aims for audiences to relax and enjoy an up-close and personal concert in this intimate venue.
Churchill spent 18 months working on the follow-up to his breakout LP, 2014’s Silence/Win, and received a stamp of approval from his record label. Album-release plans were drawn up and Churchill began to field offers from festivals and concert promoters around the world. But the new record — polished and accessible — didn’t quite feel right. At the last minute, Churchill decided to throw it out and start again.
“It sounded good,” he explains, “but some very subtle layer of my consciousness was saying to me, ‘It’s not all that inspiring.’”
So Churchill picked up his guitar. He wrote a second version of the album in one frenetic week, then spent two months piecing together the new recordings with ARIA-winning producer Ian Pritchett in a garage in Western Sydney. The resulting LP, Weight_Falls, is a kaleidoscopic collection that is bound to take both fans and critics by surprise. Churchill’s radio smash Window to The Sky, which reached number 42 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2014.
What sets Weight_Falls apart from Churchill’s previous releases is its sense of adventure and unpredictability, characterized by chopped-up drum samples, unusual harmonies and moments of disarming lyrical honesty. Churchill credits two years spent “growing up” for much of the shift in sound. After touring Silence//Win around Australia in 2014 and 2015, he embarked on a series of high-adrenaline overseas trips that included performances at the Glastonbury and Telluride Blues Festivals and adventures in the Peruvian Andes and along the coast of Sri Lanka.
“The travel was all about honing in on the person that I was,” he says. “And those experiences really do shape you. But when you spend a year experiencing things for the first time, it takes a while for everything to sink in. By the time I scrapped the first version of the album, I finally felt ready.”
Tickets for Churchill are $30 and the event is 19+ only. Call the Ticket Seller Box Office at 250-549-7469 or visit www.ticketseller.ca for tickets or more information.