Music

End Christian - 'Energy & Strength' (album stream) (premiere)

Photo: End Christian

Experimental Philadelphia collective End Christian explores darkness with the hope of radiating light into the world.

Energy & Strength is the brand new release by Philadelphia’s End Christian and is out today via Translation Loss. Although heavy, the music draws from a diverse range of sounds, including the darker reaches of shoegaze and dream pop with dark doses of electronic sounds that float above and beneath ethereal vocals, creating soundscapes that run the gamut from meditative to jarring.

The pieces range from the slender, half-minute hallucination of “Hour Job” to the truly cinematic reaches of “Oscillate Forms", a piece that will appeal to fans of Steven Wilson’s stranger works as well as those who’ve come to appreciate post-OK Computer Radiohead. “A Relaxing Time", meanwhile, calls to mind the audio cinema of classic progressive bands such as Gong and Hawkwind while remaining firmly in tune with the contemporary.

The collective brings together a who’s who of the strange and experimental with Gillian Dreadful (Fad Nauseam), Vincent Rosa (Starkweather), Christian McKenna (Hex Interverter) and Richard Hoak (Brutal Truth) adding their individual and unmistakable sensibilities to a remarkable and bravely new combo.

Although heavy or experimental music is often seen as radiating darkness, Hoak takes a different approach in describing the collective’s artistic vision. “Though we all come to End Christian from different musical places, our common goal is to make music that speaks positivity to this world,” he says. “The music does have a dark side, an ethereal extremity, but out message is of energy and strength.”

The group tracked the album in Harlem in early 2017 under the watchful ears of Alap Momin (Dälek), who recorded, engineered and produced the album. Hoak adds that Momin’s work was indispensable to the LP’s artistic success. “With Alap’s help, we are using the recording studio itself as our collective instrument, to filter and process our hive mind into songs,” he says.

The album also features guest appearances from Chris Connolly (Sun Kil Moon), Andrew Southard (Giant Squid), Jim Winters (Starkweather) and various other friends and family.

End Christian’s Energy & Strength is out now via Translation Loss and may be ordered here.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.