Chris Church – Darling Please (Q&A)

Darling Please didn’t seem good enough when Chris Church recorded the songs over a decade ago. Fortunately, last year he took the time to polish and refine the ten songs, and the new result, recently released by Big Stir records, is great. GREAT!

You recorded ‘DARLING PLEASE’ over ten years ago. What happened?

I was unhappy with how it sounded at the time. I shelved it after printing up a few copies with Darling Please on the cover and not my name. There were personal factors that weighed in, including the recent passing of my brother, and the disappointment with the sonic quality may have influenced my decision to leave it alone. I decided to revisit the possibility of saving it in 2021, which turned out to be a rewarding experience for me.

You said before about this record: “It was and is dedicated with love to my late great brother Mike Church, who’d passed not long prior to my decision to start this project.”. I guess the recordings at the time and the release now are an emotional roller coaster?

Mike had been the drummer on almost all the music I’d made up to that point; I was, at the time, stubborn enough to play the drums myself as some sort of tribute to him, even though I’m not a good drummer, and fortunate to know several great drumming friends who would have helped me out. I guess there’s some level of catharsis, but mostly I’m just happy, thanks to Big Stir Records, that it’s actually out there.

For me, Bad Summer is the stand-out track. Can you tell us something about the creation of this beautiful song?

A lot of my songs are maybe lyrical amalgams or something, but that one is uncomfortably actual. Maybe that’s it. I always liked it, but I still don’t think it’s properly captured. It will have to do. I’ve considered re-recording several of the Darling Please songs for albums I’ve made since, but it just feels like they’re all part of a standalone thing I didn’t want to mess with.

Were Lindsay Murray’s beautiful backing vocals added later?

Lindsay is a friend and a great artist; everyone should check out her albums. They’re all listed as Gretchen’s Wheel, and I’m honored to get to collaborate with her. Her newly recorded backing vocals and Nick Bertling’s mastering job put some things in a new light and gave me the confidence to put the album out.

And, believe it or not, as I’m writing the question about Lindsay and Bad Summer blaring through the house, my oldest son asks if I’m listening to a song with Phoebe Bridgers singing along. More teenagers should hear your music, Chris. How do we do that?

Tell them I’m Harry Styles.

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