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

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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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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