PREMIERE: Church Girls “Black Seas”

Church Girls by Marissa Carroll

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Church Girls by Marissa Carroll
Photo by Marissa Carroll

Mariel Beaumont has a few tricks up her sleeve this year. Her band Church Girls has a new EP Home, set to release in September, with more music coming down the pipeline later this year. Beaumont has described her band as “straightforward punk / 90’s indie rock”, and it is refreshingly so. In the era of EDM, anything resembling rock stands out in the crowd.

Beaumont’s voice rings clear and sweet over cascading guitar riffs on their new single “Black Seas”. “Black Seas is about wanting to help someone you care about while uncertain of the boundaries — does this person want my help? Are my motivations purely benevolent? Am I even in a position to offer help, given my own problems?”, Mariel says, describing the mood behind the music.

We talked with Mariel about the music scene in Philadelphia and what the rest of 2018 looks like for Church Girls.

Listen to “Black Seas” below:

AF: You’re based in Philadelphia. What’s the music scene there like? When I think of that city I just picture Tom Hanks and that’s about it (Philadelphia novice that I am).

MB: Haha. Philly is a great music town – I think the secret is out now. The city has gotten a lot nicer in the eight years I’ve lived there, with a ton of new venues. We have some seriously amazing local bands – Palm, Queen of Jeans, Cayetana. It’s still pretty cheap to live in Philly too. Hopefully that doesn’t change anytime soon.

AF: What kind of music did you grow up listening to? Were your roots always fairly rock n’ roll?

MB: I was really into punk growing up, and I lived and breathed by the band Against Me! There were a few DIY all ages venues that I was able to go to throughout high school that instilled a love for shows. But I also really loved classic singer songwriters like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Jackson Browne.

AF: The band’s bio reads “Church Girls is an indie / post-punk group on a quest to tap into listeners’ emotional marrow and explore the ways we work to become better humans a little at a time”. That is quite an artist’s statement. Can you tell us a bit about how the band formed and how that became your vision?

MB: Haha, well I should first say that my friend Kathleen (who has done most of our artwork) wrote our bio. I think it’s pretty accurate, though. I think most of my songs are my way of confronting my own shortcomings, whether it’s a failure to communicate in a relationship, or how my own bad habits get in the way of the person I want to be. Even when the song is told from someone else’s perspective, they all revolve around the same theme of trying to become a better person in spite of our insufficiencies.

AF: The artwork is beautiful. It has a cool, mystical feel to it. Did it take a while to get to that or did the artist come in with the style in mind?

MB: The artwork for Home was done by Marissa Carroll, who also did an amazing job conceptually. She came up with the idea of having an individual illustration for each song on the EP based on the lyrics, so we sent a few ideas back and forth until landing on the final version. We all really love it.

AF: “Brother, the bodies are falling again / the days drag and the sunlight is no one’s friend / I write my life hour to hour, unsorted as ever / but I can’t help but pick you up.” Can you give us the backstory behind “Black Sea”? The lyrics conjured up a lot of imagery for me, especially with your line “the bodies are falling again”.

MB: It’s about watching a close friend go through a tough time, partly by their own doing, and wanting to help them even if you’re not in the best state to give help. I know the language is pretty dramatic, but I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that consequences really can be dire. Things that could pass as cute when we were young aren’t very cute anymore.

AF: Scott Solter (Spoon, Superchunk) worked with you on this EP. What was it like collaborating with him?

MB: Scott is great. We talked beforehand about the sound we were going for and it was clear right away that he really listened.  He’s very present in the studio and gives his full attention, and he gives great suggestions without being too overbearing. Plus, he’s hilarious and a great hang. We’re looking forward to going back to record with him in August.

AF: You’re planning on releasing new music later this year. What can we look forward to in terms of themes / soundscapes?

MB: There was even more collaboration on the new stuff – Joey and I were constantly sending each other tracks that we’d rework and send back and forth. We were also listening to the same stuff – Parquet Courts, Interpol, and Television. The themes are similar, but more of an introspective look than an examining of external relationships. We’re really psyched to go back to Scott since we feel our collaborative vision will be even tighter.

AF: Is a tour in the works?

MB: Yep, we have a short tour in August, and a longer one in the fall to support the release. For the fall tour, we’re focusing mostly on DIY venues. 

Church Girls’ forthcoming EP Home, recorded with Scott Solter (Spoon, Superchunk), is due out September 7th via Chatterbot Records. Preorder HERE! Want to see Church Girls Live? Check out their August tour dates below!

August Tour:

Tues, Aug 7 – Cambridge, MA @ Lilypad Inman w/ Jacksonville Kid & Stains of a Sunflower

Wed, Aug 8 – Burlington, VT @ Radio Bean

Thurs, Aug 9 – Brattleboro, VT @ The Stone Church w/ Belle Machine

Fri, Aug 10 – Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest (Steelstacks)

Sat, Aug 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Pine Box Rock Shop w/ Dalton Deschain & the Traveling Show & Cat Tatt[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

NEWS ROUNDUP: RIP Fats Domino, Alice Glass Alleges Abuse & More

  • Fats Domino Dies At Age 89

    The singer and pianist from New Orleans penned a number of hits, like “I’m Walkin'” and “Ain’t That a Shame,” that defined 1950s rock ’n’ roll by blending occasionally the sounds of his hometown with R&B. His part in the genre was highly influential; Elvis referred to him as the real king of rock ’n’ roll, and he was one of the first to make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After news of his death on Wednesday, New Orleans honored him by throwing a street party. In Texas, artists such as Elvis Costello, Dr. John and Trombone Shorty covered his songs at the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction. Watch below:

  • Alice Glass Alleges Abuse Against Bandmate

    In a harrowing post on her website, Alice Glass revealed why she actually left Crystal Castles in  2014. She details a history of both emotional and physical abuse by bandmate Ethan Kath, starting when she was just 15, before the band became successful. Kath has denied the allegations, but the new iteration of Crystal Castles (which includes Edith Frances in place of Glass) was dropped from upcoming show and festival dates. An old article from 2008 appears to back up many details of her statement. Read the full thing here.

  • Other Highlights

    Julia Holter also speaks out about Matt Mondanile, Eminem donates lawsuit money to hurricane victims, Franz Ferdinand announce new song/album, listen to Gord Downie’s final albumSam Smith opens up about gender, watch new videos from Morrissey, Spoon, Angel Olsen and War On Drugs, Billy Corgan covers Miley Cyrus, an all-women music festival, let Beyonce tell your future with Beyonséance, and a Buffy The Vampire Slayer inspired video from Charly Bliss.

NEWS ROUNDUP: Madonna, Solange & More


  • Madonna Wins Billboard’s Woman Of The Year

    After cracking a few jokes at the beginning of her acceptance speech, the singer got serious, stating, “Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant misogyny, sexism, constant bullying and relentless abuse. When I started, there was no internet, so people had to say it to my face.” She talks about the hardships of her early days in New York and the double standard she faced expressing sexuality through her music. Watch the whole thing below:   

  • Watch This: Solange’s Jimmy Kimmel Performance

    A Seat At The Table was one of 2016’s surprise releases, and one of the best (it’s earned the #1 spot on Pitchfork’s AOTY list). Watch Solange perform a medley of two of its songs, “Rise” and “Weary” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She performs with two other singers, all draped in, and connected to each other by red fabric.

  • Spoon Hint At New Album, Debut New Song

    After changing their social media profile pictures and featuring a new song in a Shameless montage, it appears a new album is in the works. The studio version of “I Ain’t The One” seems to have been taken off of YouTube, but you can check out a live version below: 

  • Piers Morgan Is A Jerk, But May Still Get To Interview Lady Gaga

    After revealing she suffered from PTSD after a sexual assault, Piers Morgan took to Twitter to complain about it, tweeting “It angers me when celebrities start claiming ‘PTSD’ about everything to promote themselves.” He went on to imply that only soldiers can suffer from the disorder, but after some back and forth between the two, they agreed to do an interview to debate the topic. If they do debate I’m pretty sure we know who will win (hint: you can watch their latest video below).

PREVIEW: Who to Catch at Governor’s Ball


Governor’s Ball is New York’s rain or shine music festival that is the official kick off of the summer. We all love to hate it, and hate to love it. There’s twelve dollar Foster beers, long-ass ferry lines, and kids on weird drugs. Most importantly though, there is always an awesome bill . I think the thing I enjoy most about the Governor’s Ball lineups, is how perfectly curated they are to hit every type listener. Here’s AF’s picks on who to make sure NOT to miss this year. It’s two weeks away, who are you excited to see?

Diarrhea Planet

These Nashville boys are playing the festival on Saturday. Diarrhea Planet definitely fits in the mold of what’s happening in Brooklyn right now. The grungy catchy punk-rock sound that is both serious (in the sound department) yet fun party music at the same time. This set is bound to get rowdy. Here’s a track called “Hot Spit” from their new EP Tama-Uba.


Deafheaven is black metal band based in San Francisco. Most people wouldn’t place theatrical and metal in the same sentence, but that’s exactly what they encapsualte. If you like hard hitting music, as well as fast-paced and engaging sets, you’re going to kick yourself if you miss their set on Saturday. Below is their most popular track  “Dream House.”


The femmes are most definitely fans of local boys, SKATERS. Their new album, MANHATTAN, has been on repeat on my Spotify since it’s release in February. Below is their video “Miss Teen Massachusetts,” where the boys are basically trapped in, working at, and patients of a mental institution. Their set on Sunday will definitely be a dance party.

The Strokes

What new and sassy thing can I possibly say about the Strokes that hasn’t already been written on a music blog? I’m not sure. But I love them, a lot. They’re one of the headliners for Saturday. Find me in the crowd during their set, we can dance to Last Nite together. This is my favorite track off their first record.


I first discovered Spoon in my Freshman year of High School from one of The O.C. Mixes. Yup, the truth comes out 8 years later, but I’m not ashamed. Formed in 1993, with 7 albums and 11 years under their belt, Spoon cannot be tamed. They’re one of the main Saturday acts, and I definitely think you’re going to want to be up close for this one, folks.


Similar to Spoon, Interpol has been around for a long ass time as well. Adding to the Sunday bill a long list of gut punching sing a longs. Out Love To Admire from 2007 is definitely on the list of albums I have completely overplayed. Here’s my favorite song off of it:


NYC based heartthrobs with a sprinkling of Brits, yeah yeah yeah we get it. Their lyrics are emotional (wannabe Morissey in the best way possible), and your songs are catchy and pop goodness. Playing around the boroughs often in little venues and bars, I am extremely curious to see how The Drowner’s sound will translate on Friday. My guess, is smashingly. Their video for Luv, Hold Me Down is perfect representation of what I’m talking about. Enjoy.

Washed Out

This band never fails to make me feel ALL of the feels. Their songs all mesh into one long performance of swaying with your eyes closed. Although all possess a different type of sound, when heard, each album screams “this is a Washed Out album.” Their set will be one filled with every type of music listener. Below is my favorite video of theirs, but I am warning you not to watch it if you are emotionally unstable. Seriously.


Although their set at Coachella didn’t receive the best reviews, I honestly do not care. I really just want to sing a long every word of Roses, ok? I also strongly believe that seeing Outkast live is one of those things you’re supposed to write on your bucket list. This video is still golden 11 years later.