« back to article: Toby Thomas Churchill: Death

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I asked Churchill if the Sublime feel was on purpose or just by chance.

“No, no. "She's My Mum" is beautiful. The following track, "Two Brothers" is sublime,” he said. “That was a philosophy joke for you there. Which, at first, is what I thought you meant. So, that probably tells you how far the music group Sublime was from my mind when I wrote it. But, now that you say that, I can kind of hear it. A couple people mentioned too that the riff is close to a Jose Gonzalez song. I hear that as well. Stupid world, filled with other music.”

“Two Brothers” comes next and has a steady beat held together by clapping. Churchill’s voice feels layered to reflect the depth of his relationship with his brother. In the liner notes he dedicated the album to his wife, mother, son, and his brother.

“Pink Floyd” is amazing as a band and as a song on this CD. Churchill talks about how Pink Floyd was his father’s favorite band and how they can speak with each other through the music. It is another of the more minimal songs, but with lyrics like, “He does appear with “Wish You Were Here”… Oh lord I know that it’s foolish and dumb, but I swear we’re talking in “Comfortably Numb.”

Toby sings about his father much like John Lennon would sing about his mother, as both dealt with the loss of a parent through their music. There is a sensitivity that is shared with the listener through songs containing so much depth.

“You know, it's funny, I never intend to talk about or elude to my father's death,” Churchill said. “But I always look back at my work and see it directly or indirectly touching every bit of it. I was fifteen, so, you know, the pain was exquisite, as they say. But I'm always very cautious when approaching it directly. So a contrivance is necessary. Thus, the Pink Floyd business. What was your question again? Yes, Pink Floyd was his favorite band. Stupid world filled with ska horns and dying people.”

“Illegal” comes next on the CD and sends us back to the 1950s and Buddy Holly mixed with a dash of The Violent Femmes. Churchill sings at light speed about how everything a girl wants to do is illegal. It’s loose and catchy, and was even better live due to a funny bit of improvisation.

“American Pie,” “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” and “Still Come Find You” by Churchill all have something in common; they have great sections of whistling. “Come Find You” again features Amborn on drums. “If Jesus thinks your fine but I get left behind, well I will still come find you.” There is Elvis hidden somewhere in this song singing about being lonesome, but Churchill uses strings and other accents to update the sound. The whistling completes the song and ties it all together.