How Often Do You Need to Read About Aly & AJ Before You Just Listen to Their New Music?

They do “church” in a whole new way.

Aly & AJ

This week: “Church” by Aly & AJ (Aly & AJ Music)

Why we’re into it: While Aly & AJ may have already made their Friday Find debut, their newest track requires another appearance for its exploration of the girls’ religious path in a song packed with meaning and reconciliation.

To get a fuller grasp of what they have created, it’s important to understand that the girls have a deep and extensive personal history with religion and Christianity. While they’ve often been outspoken about their faith, it’s incredibly important to note their candor and transparency about some of today’s most pressing political issues. It’s this duality of religion and awareness that intersect so creatively in their newest single “Church.”

There’s no shortage of religious devotion in this track—the chorus is literally “I need a little church/I need a little church.” And yet, it’s in those references to church and religion where the duo poses a central question: How do we define “church”? For many, it’s the physical place we attend to worship and to atone for our sins every Sunday morning. For others it’s a brunch with best friends, or not a place or people, but a spiritual refuge only they can define. Aly & AJ depict their sense of “church” with the sound of soft electric keys under the verses that suggests traditional worship.  With their vocal reverb and slow bridges that build into a boisterous chorus, they capture a singular sense of belonging—one that may only be achieved in a personal place of worship. 

Ultimately this track is about forgiveness—asking for it and receiving it. It’s about all the challenges involved in compassion, understanding, and grace. By the admission of their wrongdoings—”I do bad things for the sake of good times”—and their acknowledgement of their need for a real church, they reshape the ideas and themes that have often been weaponized by the Church with a capital “C.” Their ability to include these ideas in a production that feels as if it’s lifting you into heaven, is an experience that can appeal to the secular and the sacred—and makes this one of their best tracks to date.

THE BIG QUESTION...

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THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

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