There are some songs that just have that spark. The songs that flare up in short, sharp bursts of explosive energy. New single, "Young Planes", from Philadelphia's Church Girls is definitely one of those songs. It's a song in a hurry. A restless, urgent piece that fuses the fire and burning punk zeal of early Sleater-Kinney with the post-millennial anxieties and indie melodies of Angel Olsen.
The bands first new material since last year's debut album Hidalgo, "Young Planes" actually predates the album as Church Girls' Mariel Beaumont explains. "It's one of the first songs we ever released, recorded live and a bit haphazardly right after it was written. Years of playing it at every show has made it evolve in a way we all love." For the band, it was important to record a version of the song that was representative of where the band finds themselves now with someone who fully appreciates the band's dynamic. "We wanted to capture its new form with Brian McTear, one of our favorite people to work with, because he always finds a great balance between grit and texture."
On this updated version, the band steadily moves through the gears as a classic garage bass riff and layers of distorted guitar trade blows before cruising into a melodic, breezy chorus. McTear highlights the dynamics of the band perfectly giving the guitars room to rip when they need to and pulling them back to become part of the grain in the chorus. Before the song is through, the band throw sand on the fire as it transforms into a plaintive, country-tinged piano ballad as the embers of glowing guitar notes float by.
Lyrically, "Young Planes" concerns the alienation of finding yourself in the no mans land of adulthood with lines like "I don't know nothing about getting old/cause I'm a long way from young." It's an instantly relatable message to anyone with experience of trying to navigate the harsh realities of their twenties.
Church Girls have artfully captured the grit, spirit and passion of their early years but with a clearer understanding of songcraft. "Young Planes" is a song that'll leave scorch marks long after it's burnt itself out.