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

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

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.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate