Church Girls
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Church Girls

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"Tonight’s Concert Picks: Church Girls at MilkBoy, The Shondes at PhilaMOCA, Kaki King at World Cafe Live and more"

Philly indie outfit Church Girls - the rotating-cast lineup led by Mariel Beaumont and Evan Anders – are celebrating the release of their new self-titled EP tonight at MilkBoy. The band writes personal, honest and direct rock songs – a bit singer-songwriter but with a cutting punk edge. Below, listen to “Young Planes” and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. - The Key, XPN

"Church Girls Self-titled EP - Immediacy. Spontaneity. Great Melodies."

Immediacy. Spontaneity. Great Melodies…and some good genuine grit. These are the things I love the most in great indie rock and roll bands, and coincidentally, these are some of the qualities that make Church Girls stand out in my book.

Hailing from Philly, The Church Girls are a driven indie-rock combo whose music bridges the gaps between the quirkiness of British indie rock (Think early Arctic Monkeys, Libertines) and the melodies of alt-pop (think Best Coast, Alvvays…)

The band set out to welcome the new year with a brand new self-titled EP featuring 5 songs. “Hymn” is a short intro track crafted around vocal harmonies and minimal percussive elements and drones. There’s a really interesting gospel / folk flavour to this track - and it gets even more interesting when you consider the contrast with following track “Young Planes”. The clean-ish guitars, warm bass and uptempo drums are a great fit with the melodies, but the verses offer a slightly different atmosphere, with almost “spoken word” vibes that remind me of early Sonic Youth.

"Flat Circle" is probably one of the catchiest track on the EP, with the kick drum and a palm-muted guitar in the intro dictating some positive and uplifting vibes. What I love most about this song is that it is made of relatively simple and sparse elements: some bass, some essential drums, some simple, yet edgy guitar melodies and just enough background vocals to drive the chorus. Less is more!

Powder Keg is probably the song on the album that gives me more of a “Brit” vibe. However, unlike some of their “colleagues” over the ponds, Church Girls do not really try to glamorise the party lifestyle, on the contrary, they highlight its most superficial aspects with their brilliant lyrics.”Three” is a perfect closing number, giving yet one more hint at the vast musical vocabulary of the young band. Listen to their music directly via bandcamp!


"Listen to Church Girls’ new single “Young Planes”"

Local indie rock outfit Church Girls have released a new single called “Young Planes,” following up a pair of tracks that were released last month. The five-piece is lead by primary songwriters Mariel Beaumont and Evan Anders with a mostly rotating cast of complimentary musicians that has included Marc Neibauer, drawing on acoustic folk rock sensibilities for their introspective songs.

“Young Planes” is the darkest of the band’s four releases to date, opening with a smoky bass, sparse guitar and Beaumont talk-singing before building into the chorus. Lyrically, the song deals with getting older and the adjustments that need to made in order to remain comfortable. On the backside is an acoustic cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Was Young When I Left Home,” featuring Beaumont solo. Listen to both songs below and catch Church Girls live when they play at HeadHouse Cafe on October 17th. - The Key, XPN

"New Track: "Young Planes" - Church Girls"

Fledgling indie/folk rock outfit Church Girls takes a turn in an edgier direction in the vein of Courtney Barnett on the band's new track "Young Planes," which we highly encourage the group to push further. Led by Mariel Beaumont and Evan Anders, the five-piece tackle the growing pains that most of us eventually end up going through with age, while Beaumont's speak-singing verses play the standout roll in the song. They'll be performing next in Philly on Monday, November 3 at The Arts Bank Cabaret. - The Deli

"The Deli Philly's Featured Artist Poll Winner: Church Girls"

It’s Sunday. And for you religious folks (Satan is our master - j/k), we thought that it’d be fitting to share our interview with The Deli Philly’s latest Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner, Church Girls, which you can check out below. The group centers around the duo of Mariel Beaumont and Evan Anders, and they currently have plans to release their debut EP in January followed by a full-length this summer.

The Deli: How did you start making music?

Mariel Beaumont: Evan was the sound engineer on an EP I recorded at the studio of our mutual friend Scot Sax. We came up with a lot of cool ideas in those sessions, and I really felt like Evan got my vibe. We became friends, drank a lot of beer in Rittenhouse Park, and started writing music together. Then I moved into his house, and he gets to see my face every day whether he likes it or not. We wrote ten commandments. Now we have Church Girls.

Evan Anders: Now we are Church Girls.

TD: Where did the band name Church Girls come from?

MB: I’m afraid that would break one of our commandments.

EA: Thou shalt not break Church Girls’ ten commandments.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?

MB: Punk rock really changed my life when I was 14-ish. I listened to a lot of Against Me! and Leftover Crack, and claimed I was an anarchist. I loved the sweaty, scary shows. I loved the honesty, energy, and rawness. We try to capture that attitude, even if not stylistically.

EA: These days Bowie, Modest Mouse, Iggy Pop, Dead Kennedys, Talking Heads, Fiona Apple, and Dylan are on pretty heavy rotation at our house.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

MB:I can’t stop listening to PUP, and their show at the Barbary made my head explode. This year I dug the latest Single Mothers, Cloud Nothings, Chelsea Wolfe, Deafheaven, and Ivory Deville - also, lots of our pals KGB who we’re joining on stage at Union Transfer in December.

EA: Father John Misty. Love that man. Shakey Graves album Roll the Bones is wonderful. If you haven’t checked it out, make time for them.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

MB: Backstreet Boys for my 11th birthday because my mom rules. I think my first record was the Violent Femmes cassette our babysitter bought for us, which I loved. We’d listen to it in her Volvo while she ranted about radio censorship.

TD: What do you love about Philly?

EA: Holy hell, throwing out the tough questions already. The food, the beer, R5 shows, cheap rent, XPN, underdogs, cool hangs. Best city ever. Oh and The Deli!

TD: What do you hate about Philly?

MB: I-76. February.

EA: SEPTA. February.

TD: What are your plans for 2015?

MB: We’re releasing our EP in January. Going to play regularly through the northeast, and plan a bigger tour in the spring. Then release a full-length in late summer, and keep having fun.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?

EA: A few months ago someone asked to take a selfie with us after the show. It made my day.

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?

MB:I’m gluten-free when I feel like it. When I don’t feel like it is at 2am and Evan says Ishkabibbles is a good idea.

EA: Ishkabibbles is always a good idea. - The Deli

"The Week's Best Free MP3s"

Local project Church Girls are actually a band with just one girl and a few guys. Their new song “Young Planes” is a dark and smoky number that breaks into an upbeat chorus – totally catchy. Get a free download below, with a bonus cover track of Bob Dylan’s “I Was Young When I Left Home.” - The Key, XPN

"Church Girls EP Release Show at MilkBoy Philly Jan 31"

Local quartet Church Girls celebrate the release of their self-titled debut EP tonight at MilkBoy Philly. Mariel Beaumont’s vocals vary from joy-filled to half-spoken downcast and world-weary. The instrumentation on the album captures a crisp steady fervent feel anchored by a tightly wound backend and electric guitar runs that are ready to spring loose. Multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer Jesse Gimbel, who contributed backing vocals on the release, dishes a rocking take on the singer-songwriter genre, incorporating lively licks into personal tales. Marc Neibauer’s tunnel-traveling, melodically peaceful tunes open this evening. MilkBoy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St., 8:30pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita - The Deli Magazine

"Listen to the new EP by Church Girls, see them Saturday at MilkBoy"

After the latest release of the gritty, adrenalin pumping single “Young Planes,” local four-piece Church Girls has just released their self-titled EP filled with a handful of indie-punk tracks. ”Hymn” proves that Mariel Beaumont can conquer soothing vocals, while “Powder Keg” epitomizes the darker, energetic sound of “Young Planes.”

Although the four-piece (with added help from other Philly musicians for the EP) just formed this past summer, Church Girls will showcase their edgy rawness throughout the northeast through February.

The group’s record release show is slated for this Saturday, Jan. 31 at MilkBoy, alongside Jesse Gimbel and Marc Neibauer. Purchase tickets here. - The Key, XPN

"The top 10 shows around Philly this week"

1 Melanie Martinez Jan. 28 at World Cafe Live.
Girl power! Not even legal yet, and the former The Voice contestant’s already dropped a killer EP—and there’s lots more in store.

2 Riff Raff Jan. 28 at Trocadero Theatre.
This is going to be such a deliciously hot mess. With low-end trap jams like “Dolce & Gabbana,” if the man himself doesn’t delight, the crowd will.

3 Jonny Craig + Owel + Kyle Lucas Jan. 29 at The Barbary.
A triple bill you can’t front on: The soul-steeped Slaves frontman, Jersey’s widely-acclaimed post-emo pack and the clever-quip equipped MC.

4 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah + TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb Jan. 30 at Ardmore Music Hall.
Lo and behold: Two bands that call Philly home and gig all over town, leaving satiated audiences in their wake. Makes for a perfect Friday night.

5 London Grammar Jan. 30 at Electric Factory.
Go just for the chance to hear Hannah Reid sing “Help Me Lose My Mind” live. But 2013’s If You Wait is pretty dope, too.

6 Church Girls + Jesse Gimbel + Marc Neibauer Jan. 31 at MilkBoy Philly.
It’s a record-release set for the headliners, a night away from the studio for the meticulous Gimbel and another chance to enjoy Neibauer’s no-frills melodics.

7 Sophie B. Hawkins Jan. 31 at Tin Angel.
Damn, we wish she was more widely known as a skilled songwriter than for the gritty pop song that put her on the map over two decades ago.

8 Jacky Gosee Jan 31 at Union Transfer.
The Ethiopian-by-way-of-the-Netherlands fuses his homeland’s traditional singing style with Westernized urban soundscapes to great effect.

9 Ladysmith Black Mambazo Feb. 2 at the Kimmel Center.
This multiple-award-winning, world-revered South African a cappella ensemble will soothe, scintillate and educate, all in one sitting.

10 Alex G Feb. 3 at Philamoca.
nother local boy with chops for days is still riding the waves of last June’s DSU, underscored by this already-sold-out ‘Moca gig.

Read more: - Philadelphia Weekly

"Smoke Signals by Church Girls"

“Smoke Signals” is a new track from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Church Girls, sinewy, soaring and impressive. Producer Brian McTear helped to craft its massive sound at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. It’s a stunning song, and we thought we’d let its writer and singer, Mariel Beaumont, tell you about how it was made:

“2015 was a year of change. A relationship fizzled. A friendship was ruined. I moved out of a house of four into a studio apartment. Suddenly, I was spending a lot of time alone in a couchless room, and had a lot of time to write songs.

“Smoke Signals” took me the longest to write, and the longest to share with the band. I think because it made me feel cracked wide open.

It’s about a communication breakdown, and about feeling like a sucker: ‘I’m broken up about this, really? I thought I was stronger than this.’

‘You’ll always be alone’ is me telling myself that fundamentally, I’ll always be alone, and that’s okay. I am enough.

It’s meant to feel triumphant, and I hope that comes across.”

The track is taken from their forthcoming record, and you can stream it and and that album’s “Thousand Lives” along with more on the band’s Soundcloud page. You can also buy their previous releases on their Bandcamp page. - The Autumn Roses

"Listen to two new tracks from Philly four-piece Church Girls and catch them at Johnny Brenda’s in February"

Despite their name, Philly four-piece Church Girls have at best an ambiguous relationship with church. On “Hymn,” the calming acoustic opener from the group’s folk-rock debut EP, lead singer Mariel Beaumount repeats as if she’s in a trance, “Devil take me home.” Not exactly what you’d expect from a self-professed “church girl.”

This week, the group released two new tracks from their forthcoming LP, set to be released in February, and while they’ve come back with a darker sound driven by punching snares and shredding guitars, they haven’t shed their propensity for questioning religion. On “Smoke Signals,” a track whose tired guitar strums appropriately float like tendrils of smoke, Beaumont explores her own faith, concluding ultimately that it has failed her (“Well I am an ocean with the soul of the divine / But it all dries up for me this time”).

Although “Smoke Signals” retains a hint of the melodic folk-rock that characterized Church Girls’ EP, “Thousand Lives” marks a significant departure from the group’s sound of old, instead stepping boldly into the punk world. Beaumount seems to be taking a page from artists like Mitski and Francis Quinlan of Hop Along, delivering a powerfully earnest vocal performance that thrives alongside her bandmates’ guttural punk guitar chords.

Take a listen to the two new tracks below, and catch Church Girls perform at Johnny Brenda’s for their album release show on February 19th. You can grab tickets to the show here. - WXPN The Key

"Listen to the new album from Church Girls, “Thousand Lives”"

Way more than nine: Philly’s own Church Girls released their first record, Thousand Lives, last Friday.

The four piece indie-rock group, fronted by Mariel Beaumont, has been around the area for about two years now, previously releasing their self-titled EP in January of 2014. The album was recorded and produced at Miner Street Recordings.

The record features two previously heard songs, “Smoke Signals” and the title track. Thousand Lives kicks the gates right open from the start with its driving rhythms and Superchunk-y guitars provided by band members Rob Dwyer, Jack Firnero, and Max Beaumont. On the dynamic semi-instrumental “Green”, the band transitions back and forth from a sunny Real Estate morning to a Sonic Youth midnight chase.

Beaumont’s introspective lyrics compliment her pop melodies beautifully. On “Dead”, she sings “All my friends are dead and married, maybe you should bury me.” Themes such as self doubt and the unfair passage of time float through the songs, presenting an air of alluring loneliness.

Church Girls will be at Johnny Brenda’s to perform songs from Thousand Lives on February 19th with Madalean Gauze and Queen Of Jeans. For more information on that show, check out this link.

Listen to the stellar Thousand Lives by Church Girls below. - WXPN The Key

"Church Girls Get Introspective on Debut Album, “Thousand Lives”"

In October of last year, Rock On Philly had the pleasure of featuring Philadelphia band Church Girls as our Artist of the Month amidst an intrepid period of creative output in the form of recording their first full-length album. A journey that began on the back of an EP released at the beginning of last year garnering local attention from WXPN and Radio 104.5, in tandem with the band’s live venue performances had brought Mariel Beaumont, Max Beaumont, Rob Dwyer, Jack Firneno into the studio with Brian McTear at Miner Street Recordings. Local ears to the heartbeat of music in the North East know Brian for his awesome work with Philly artists such as The War On Drugs and Kurt Vile, as well as in his development of the non-profit Weathervane Music project that supports the independent music community.

Fast-forward about a year later from that first EP and the band has unveiled the results of their hard work in the form of the freshly released album, Thousand Lives! Mariel gave Rock On Philly some insight as to what went into her songwriting process, sharing “I wrote most of these songs in summer of 2015. They seek to confront my biggest weaknesses and struggles, the ones that I think (and hope) are relatable: my self-destructive nature, my failure to communicate, my jealous head. The album title Thousand Lives is about the ambition to do something new but never quite mustering up what you need take the plunge, so you’ve imagined a bunch of other realities for yourself that never panned out.”

Enjoying the new album since its release, one of the very first things that jump out at me is the great tempo of the songs on the front end of the record. As the band has a penchant for excellent live shows with an already strong set of music, the prospect of enjoying music such as the albums title track “Thousand Lives” and the albums second song “Avalanche” alongside songs like “Flat Circle”, “Young Planes” and “Powder Keg” set the stage for some great shows for fans to look forward to.

As the song “Dead” kicks in on the third track an exploration begins into various depths of introspect and reflection, starting with musings on far gone figures of the past with whom we may identify in life leaving both their mark of companionship felt as well as their absence felt and known. “Dead” feels like an icebreaker or foot in the door to the gradual vulnerability that begins to take shape on the album’s next song, “Sink”. If “Dead” is indeed a step of faith into openness then “Sink” appropriately enough takes the plunge forward into the deep end of self examination and the internal human condition, wading through and pressing in like a rudder in the water to get to where it is necessary to begin to navigate the deeper matters that bounce around the human mind. It is from that moment, one of reaching that point of vulnerability inside that we are prone to protect and keep guarded, that the listener is taken swiftly into the current of the song (interestingly enough) entitled “Slow”. As this progression on the record is taking place, it becomes more and more visibly clear that the band is embracing a willingness to break down barriers and walls translate in an exploratory and expanded sound that reflects the intrepid and dynamic tensions of life and growth experiences that Church Girls has gone through as a band in only a year’s time.

Suddenly, once guarded and hidden talking points become sharp turns, ins-and-outs, rapids and turns increasingly and daringly touched upon as the outpouring flow of personal and intimately meditated thoughts, memories and feelings pour right into the listeners ears, making there way out into the light. In opening up a bit on her song-selection, Mariel especially noted the next song on the record in particular as a unique stand-out: “‘Green’ was the last song I wrote. I sent it to the band in a bit of an unfinished state, so we all got to work on it together leading into the sessions. It went through a lot of discussion and reworking, and as a result has become the band favorite. I’m really happy with that song.” Continuing to elaborate further on some of the instrumentation and music that made its way into the creative process at Miner Street, she highlights Rob Dwyer’s work saying: “Our guitar player Rob is an amazingly versatile player, and he put down some dark, weird, and awesome guitar tracks, including some slide guitar and lap steel. It helped give the songs the texture and depth they were previously lacking.” As “Green” concludes the final song “Smoke Signals” takes its rightful place at the bookend of the band’s first full-length telling of the stories from a year long journey. The song captures the spirit and process encapsulated in the lyrics of the album up until it’s beginning. An opening up, a sharing, a recollection, an introspective, a resonance and a resolve.

In regards to her studio experience, Beaumont speaks glowingly about the bands time at Miner Street, saying “Recording with Brian McTear was the absolute best. He fully devotes his attention to the vision and quality of the project in a way I’ve never experienced before. And he really helped develop a cohesive sound for the album.” Brian too echoed similar sentiment about the band in recalling some of the background behind how their collaboration came about, saying “I met Mariel through a Weathervane Music Recording Workshop way back in 2013 or so. She came in to learn about the basics so as to make her own demos. Flash forward a few years, and many more workshops, and it was awesome to be working on an actual record with her. Our engineer Matt Poirier and I made some pretty disruptive suggestions – mostly simplifications, and yet everyone was so positive and willing. By the time we were cutting vocals it just felt like we had such a huge creative and collaborative success on our hands. I can’t wait to record again (hopefully later this year).” - Rock on Philly

"Recommended Listening: Church Girls "Thousand Lives""

Philly's Church Girls have just unveiled the first two tracks from their upcoming LP (recorded at Miner Street Recordings and produced by Brian McTear) and they are representative of the group's vibrant indie rock sound. You can hear the gently folky "Smoke Signals" here, and above is "Thousand Lives," a toe-tapper with a Waxahatchee by way of The Runaways vibe. Great stuff. Church Girls will headline a show at Johnny Brenda's on February 19th in which they'll be joined by fellow local acts Madalean Gauze and Philebrity Award nominee Queen of Jeans. With bands like these roaming our streets we are more glad than ever that we hang our hats here. - Philebrity

"New Music Tuesday - Recommended Release"

Pleasantly exciting, indie punk rock that has a heart of gold. Female lead vocals and some subtle, yet catchy and somehow powerful hooks have a calming effect thats super easy to listen to. Add in some folky undertones as well as some soothing rhythms and this release sets it over the top for me. Just when you think music can’t get much better in our scene an album like “Thousand Lives” comes around to surprise you! This is MANDATORY LISTENING! Press play now!

Recommended Track: “Slow” - Radio Static Philly

"New Church Girls EP Available for Streaming & Purchase"

Thousand Lives, the new recording from former Deli Philly Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner, Church Girls, is alive. Take a listen to the smooth sincerity that navigates through moments of folk into straight out rockers and back again. Then, catch the quartet Friday, February 19 alongside Madalean Gauze and Queen of Jeans at Johnny Brenda’s. (Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski) - The Deli, Philadelphia

"Church Girls' "Thousand Lives" Brings Joy to the Melancholy"

In their new album, Thousand Lives, Philly's Church Girls find themselves possessed by the ghosts of the past. "All my idols, they are dead and buried, and I think you should bury me," declares singer Mariel Beaumont on the blistering track "Dead," and the album ends with the cooing declaration that "you'll always be alone" in "Smoke Signals." Ouch. Despite the melancholy and occasional kissoffs, listeners will find nothing but contentment from the group's post-Drop Nineteens songcraft. (Especially on the gloriously poppy "Slow). Church Girls will play Johnny Brenda's on February 19th with Queen of Jeans and Madalean Gauze, which will give you the chance to hear this early contender for year's best LP in a live setting where you most definitely won't be alone, despite what they may say. - Philebrity

"CHURCH GIRLS. Thousand Lives"

Church Girls són de Philadelphia i no és un grup femení. Són quatre components i la cantant si que és una dona, na Mariel Beaumont, amb una veu d'aquelles que et sedueixen a la primera, potent, dolça i vellutada. Tot i que algun tema és dels potents, la majoria són peces tristes com diuen a són temes posseïts pels fantasmes del passat. Personalment m'agraden més els dos primers temes "Thousand lives" i "Avalanche" on exploren terrenys més salvatges però hem de reconèixer que quan es posen malenconiosos també són interessants. - Els mons diminuts

"Church Girls Fill the Musical Void at JB's Feb. 19"

Mariel Beaumont started Church Girls as a side project to “fill the musical void in her life.” The once rebellious teen spent her formative years attending basement shows, drinking forties, and enjoying the best times of her life. So it’s not surprising that the ache and love for music have seeped into her bones, like many of us, who hear its calling to get involved. Church Girls received critical acclaim from the gate for its debut single “Young Planes,” and recently released its latest album Thousand Lives, which will be on display tonight. Now, solidified as four-piece, the band is set to headline Johnny Brenda’s. Also along for support are Queen of Jeans, who have been pleasing ears and making a name for themselves with vibrant, swoon-worthy pop, and Madalean Gauze, who is another feminine force and rising star in the Philly music community. The ladies will be ruling the stage this evening. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill - The Deli Magazine, Philadelphia

"Read a loving ode to the Philly music scene, penned by Church Girls’ Mariel Beaumont"

Philly four-piece Church Girls just released their debut LP Thousand Lives (read The Key’s review here) and are gearing up for a record-release show on Friday at Johnny Brenda’s.

Frontwoman Mariel Beaumont recently wrote for Medium about her experience growing up in Philly and going to shows, and how these long nights spent squished in sweaty basements led her to trash her plans for grad school and instead form Church Girls.

“I started [Church Girls] as a side project to fill the musical void in my life,” Beaumont writes. “In the last year, however, it has fully absorbed me in the best way possible, even causing me to leave my job of six years that I loved to pursue a new path in the music industry.”

Beaumont may have never started Church Girls were it not for Johnny Brenda’s. Seeing acts like White Denim and Perfume Genius at the Fishtown venue had a sort of transformative impact on Beaumont. She recounts fondly, “We drank (local only) beer from pint glasses, I was 5 feet from the band, and the sound was perfect, and the crowd was there to see music.”

On Friday, Beaumont will yet again find herself at Johnny Brenda’s, but she won’t be in the crowd. This time, she’ll be on stage.

Listen to Thousand Lives below. You can grab tickets to the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. - The Key, XPN

"Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: Church Girls"

Hello there, it’s me. Your good friend summer. I’m here to tell you: congratulations on making it through fall through spring. It’s been a tough row, for sure: the pumpkin-flavored everything, the bulky coats and jackets, the “April showers” that last well into May. The good news is: the worst is over. From here on out it’s nothing but music festivals and going down the shore; water ice and jean shorts and cocktails with tiny umbrellas. Isn’t that what this column is all about?

It’s true. This is year THREE of Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds, our seasonal foray into summer drinking and summer vibes, where we kick back with our favorite bands, share a drink, and wax poetic about summers past and present. For our first 2016 edition, I meet up with rising Philly band Church Girls, whose cathartic basement rockers bring back memories of sweating it out at DIY punk shows in Jersey, on summer nights when the only thing holding you back was your imagination and your car (a ’93 Taurus for me) – your ticket out of the suburbs and into something real and raw.

Church Girls formed in 2014 in Philadelphia, around singer/songwriter Mariel Beaumont, a soft-spoken beauty who comes alive when performing. Prior to our interview, I catch Church Girls Saturday night at Boot & Saddle (appropriately, opening for first ever Sips band, Work Drugs)—and am impressed by her passion and talent. Especially striking is a cover of Modest Mouse’s “Custom Concern,” Beaumont closing her eyes as if feeling every lyric.

2016 has been a big year for Church Girls. Their debut full-length, Thousand Lives, dropped this January (listen here on Spotify); post-release they gigged regularly in Philly and NYC, earning the requisite blog buzz along the way. It also saw some changes, such as the departure of original members Jack Firneno and Max Beaumont—the latter Mariel’s twin and confidant (read about it here) —and the addition of new members James Udinsky and Will Schwartz. As for Mariel herself, 2016 has been a year of growth—she tells me she recently quit her job to focus on Church Girls full-time, and has been writing songs with longtime guitarist Robert Dwyer.

For our interview, I meet up with Mariel and Rob at South Philly’s Cantina—in between margaritas and tequila sodas, we talk summer soundtracks and summers spent skating and lounging. Read on to discover what tunes are on their summer soundtrack, their best and worst summer vacations, and why they’ll never be able to re-capture the exuberance of summers past, no matter how hard they try.

The Key: So it’s finally summer! What are you looking forward to doing this summer, in Philly or beyond?

Rob Dwyer: I’m heading down to Florida next week to visit my brother—by which I mean I’m flying down there and then we are going to road trip up the East Coast back to Philly. I’m going to take him to Nashville—he’s never been—then later in August I’m stopping in Myrtle Beach to attend a mandolin school. Other than that, her and I [gestures toward Mariel] will be drinking tequila sodas and writing riffs. [He laughs]. I’m not really a beach guy—I don’t go down the shore every weekend like some people. I’m not a fan of the sand. I’d hang out at a lake over the beach for sure.

Mariel Beaumont: I’m into the ocean. Lakes seems so dirty. [She pauses]. In the summer, I love how light it stays at night in the summer. Plus I enjoy drinks and tacos at Cantina [she laughs].

TK: So let’s talk childhood for a sec—to me, listening to your songs reminds me of being a teenager in NJ and for some reason those feelings of nostalgia seem tied to the summer, when time was endless and I could listen to music all day. Where did you guys grow up? What sorts of music did you listen to then, and how does it affect your writing now?

MB: We actually grew up and went to high school together in Berwyn, about 30 minutes outside of Philly. We weren’t friends though until senior year. [Pauses] I grew up going to the First Unitarian Church and seeing a lot of sweaty basement shows—punk bands like Against Me!, BSOM, Municipal Waste. I loved that feeling of being covered in sweat—it means you had a good time. [NOTE: Read an essay Mariel wrote about it here.] But Rob and I had very different tastes.

RD: It’s funny because I remember not really liking music for a while—when I was in 5th grade I remembering declaring “I don’t like music.” My parents never really played music at home, and everything on the radio was like Britney Spears and stuff. So it wasn’t until Napster came about, when I was in like 7th grade, that I starting really enjoying music. I remember discovering Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and Phish, who I am still really into today—in summer 2009, I saw Phish eight times in 2 months. I didn’t start playing guitar until later—I wasn’t very good at sports so I figured I would take up guitar.

The only music for me that feels nostalgic to summertime is oldies music—I remember going down to my uncle’s house in Ocean City, NJ and that was the first time I heard Billy Joel. So I hear songs like “Piano Man” and “Movin’ Out” and I can smell the funnel cake in the air.

MB: Once Naptser came out I remember my best friend and I would spend hours making mixes and burning CDs. And I feel like the main activity when we first learned to drive was just driving around for hours listening to those mixes. There was such a freedom, come summertime. I had one of those six-CD changers—and I just recently got a new car—but before that, I swear I had the same six CDs from high school—full of Modest Mouse and Against Me! “Custom Concern” was one of my favorite songs—I specifically remember listening to that song late summer nights.

TK: What was your favorite way to spend the summers when you were younger? Anything you wish you could revisit now?

MB: It’s funny—the other day we made a music video for the song “Dead” and we were skateboarding during the middle of the day as part of the video. I recently quit my job to focus on music, so it’s like, suddenly I have these opportunities to do things like go skateboarding in the middle of the day again, which is something I might have done in my youth.

It’s definitely different these days though—when I was younger, I didn’t stress as much. Back then I didn’t have this feeling of constant anxiety like I do now. I used to feel so free in the summers—there was a time when you would wake up and the entire day would be free. These days, I think about time a lot—if I’m spending it the right away; if I’m wasting time.

RD: I agree. Now if I don’t do anything all day, I get anxious. I feel bad when I sleep in, or eat shitty, or don’t work out. When you’re 12, you don’t think twice. All you’re thinking is: What shows are on TV? When can I go skating?

TK: Anything you did when you were a kid that you don’t miss at all now?

RD: When I was 12 through 22 I caddied at a golf course every summer. I definitely don’t miss it. It required you to work the whole weekend, so I would miss going to the beach—I don’t like the beach really, like I explained, but I hated to miss all the parties. Also I hated waking up every morning at like 5:30/6 a.m.—especially because I would always be up until like 1 a.m. the night before drinking. Looking back, I can’t believe I could even physically do it—get 4 hours of sleep, show up smelling like booze, and sweating it all out on the golf course. It definitely wasn’t fun—but then by the end of the day it wouldn’t be so bad because I would be sober, and would make like $160. It was good money.

TK: So how similar was caddy life to the movie Chaddyshack?

RD: We would joke that our caddyshack was better. Our shack was deep in the woods, down this shady path, and, you know—it would be 9 a.m. on a Wednesday or something and there would be drugs happening. I remember the caddy master telling my dad—I was like 12—“your kid’s gonna see some stuff.” I learned some crazy stuff at the caddy shack. There was another caddy that was a squatter—he would spend the night in people’s garages, and sneak out in the mornings. A lot of crazy characters.

TK: Did you ever go on any family vacations in the summer? What was your best or worst trip?

MB: My dad is really outdoorsy, and one trip I remember was he took us all to Alaska for 10 days in August. It was awesome. We stayed at this lodge in the middle of Denali National Park in the middle of nowhere—the closest town was 70 miles away and had a population of like 10. The lodge was owned by a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses and our family of six were the only guests. I remember going hiking and there was just nothing—no powerlines—nothing. I remember we went ice-fishing—it was pretty great. It was probably our best family vacation.

RD: I remember my family flew out to Denver, and then rented a town car and drove to San Diego through Sedona and the Rockies. We took my cousin along too, so it was me, my brother, my sister, my cousin, and my parents, and the car was packed with three in the front and three in the back. I was 13 and a real wise-ass. My mom worked in the AV department at our high school and had this high-tech video camera that cost like $3000 that she borrowed, and filmed the whole thing. It was called “Best of the West” or something. Looking back, there was all this gorgeous scenery but I was not impressed at all. I just wanted to play my Gameboy.
TK: Let’s switch gears and talk about summers today. What’s your favorite thing to listen to on a summer Sunday? A summer Saturday?

MB: It’s weird, but now that neither of us have traditional, Monday through Friday, 9-to-5 type jobs the idea of “Saturday” and “Sunday” don’t have as much meaning—which is a very new concept for me. For example, Rob’s birthday was on Sunday…and I guess we had kinda a bender. And someone said to me “Woah, on a work night?” And I mean, I still work on every day—it’s just not a standard schedule. It’s a weird feeling.

As for music that I listen to now—probably about five years ago I started getting really into Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. It’s funny—my dad was always really into the Beach Boys, and as a result I didn’t really listen to them at all—you know, because they were like my dad’s band. But I finally broke down and listened to it and it just consumed my brain. It was all I could listen to for three weeks straight. So this time of year, at the beginning of the summer, I always get lost in it again for a few days.

RD: I like to listen to jazz or bluegrass most of the time in the summer—I can blast Miles Davis driving home from somewhere and be pumped. If I’m getting ready to go out somewhere, I’ll listen to techno or hip-hop—Biggie, Tupac, Eminem, Marshall Mathers LP. And I listen to Katy Perry when I’m running—I love her. I actually have all of her CDs. A bandmate from a former band used to work at Capitol Records, which is her label. And she thought it would be funny to send me all of her CDs because I was supposedly a music snob or whatever. But the joke was on her because I secretly love her. She lit a firework under me. [everyone laughs]

TK: I never would have expected that! Ok, let’s close out here with some quick hits—what is your favorite summer drink?

MB: Tequila soda

RD: Tanqueray and tonic

TK: Favorite summer movie?

MB: I’d say Wayne’s World—I remember spending one summer watching it over and over.

RD: Fast Times at RIdgemont High.

TK: Favorite place to go swimming?

MB: The ocean

RD: [laughing] the lake.

TK: Thanks for meeting up with me, and hope you guys have a great summer!

This summer, Church Girls will play Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday, July 26th, opening for Cold Fronts. Their new album Thousand Lives is available at Bandcamp. - The Key, XPN

"PREMIERE: Church Girls skate through the summer haze in breezy new video for “Friends & Idols”"

Find me a kid in all of suburbia who wasn’t itching at their desk in anticipation of their school’s final dismissal bell — an unmistakable signifier of the beginning of summer. Once the clock strikes, brown paper bag lunches are swapped for Pop Tarts and skateboarding the day away takes the place of gym class. For many, a carefree summer like that is one rooted in nostalgia and memory, no longer a tangible reality. Yet here comes Philly indie four-piece Church Girls, recreating scenes of youth in their new music video for “Friends & Idols,” and for a short time, in real life as well.

Spending the day skating around town and exploring abandoned buildings (it looks like they stumble upon the same graffitied space featured in The Lawsuits‘ latest video), the band light sparklers and hit a party to capture the boundless energy of the season. It’s an interesting contrast to the song’s lyrics, which are markedly less wistful.

“All my friends are dead and married / maybe you should bury me,” Mariel Beaumont sings, a harrowing reminder of what happens with age to a group that certainly once yearned for the freedom of summer as school kids. Thinking back to those who are no longer with us or our friends who are onto the next chapter of their lives provide an all too familiar feeling of self doubt and question for where you fit into the equation.

“All my idols, they’re dead and buried / I think you should bury me / but I won’t let them bury me,” Beaumont continues, a clash of desperation and empowerment. Not everyone is bound for the same life trajectory, and accepting that is half the battle. - The Key, XPN

"Church Girls and MINKA team up on “Deserve”"

Philebrity shared a new song from Church Girls today that features fellow locals MINKA. The recording took place at Miner Street Recording in January for a Weathervane Music Workshop and the result is a fully-harnessed sparkling pop / rock song about navigating the world post-break-up. There’s no shred of self-pity or wallowing though, as Mariel Beaumont attacks her lyrics with confidence as MINKA absolutely rip through the lush instrumental arrangements.

Church Girls also announced a month long residency at Ortlieb’s, which begins April 13th with MINKA. More information for the 21+ shows can be found here. Listen to “Deserve” below. - The Key, XPN

"Philadelphia SOTW: Church Girls – “Dead”"

It’s Friday, which means we have a very new weekly song segment we are starting because Philadelphia is on FIRE. The very first song and band we’ll start you off with is Church Girls and their somber yet driven song “Dead.”

This post/indie/rock/punk outfit lead by Mariel Deaumont’s crisp, beautifully 90s rock influenced voice, and is a perfect match for the thumping bass drum and soft yet crunchy progressions that support her. It’s like if Best Coast decided to take a turn for the rock of Philadelphia and left California in the dust. Soft, driven and wonderfully nostalgic.

It’s as if they understand the nostalgia they produce. Their idols aren’t coming back, but it’s good they’re here. Listen to more on their Bandcamp Page, it’s fucking awesome. - Next Northwest


Church Girls - Thousand Lives

  1. Thousand Lives
  2. Avalanche
  3. Friends & Idols
  4. Sink
  5. Slow
  6. Green
  7. Smoke Signals

Church Girls - Church Girls EP

  1. Hymn
  2. Young Planes
  3. Flat Circle
  4. Powder Keg
  5. Three



Church Girls is a female-led group from Philadelphia.  The four-piece released their first single “Young Planes” in summer 2014 to local acclaim.  Their 2016 release Thousand Lives, produced by Brian McTear (Dr. Dog, Marissa Nadler), echoes their debut EP’s “personal, honest and direct rock songs” (John Vettese, WXPN), but displays a more mature sound, with a range of folk and punk influences bound together by dark, brooding guitars.

Thousand Lives received praise from local & national blogs:

  • “Early contender for the year’s best LP” - Philebrity

  • “'Smoke Signals' is sinewy, soaring and impressive [...] a stunning song” - The Autumn Roses

  • “A darker sound driven by punching snares and shredding guitars … a powerfully earnest vocal performance” - XPN, The Key

  • “Pleasantly exciting indie punk rock that has a heart of gold” - Radio Static Philly

  • “Smooth sincerity that navigates through moments of folk into straight out rockers” - The Deli, Philadelphia

  • “Powerful, sweet, and velvety” - El Mons Diminuts

Church Girls are currently headed off for their fall 2016 tour across the U.S. and Canada. They are also working on their second LP set for release in late spring 2017.

Band Members