Exclusive Premiere: Church of Trees’ “Crumbs (There’s Only Now)” Embraces the Moment

Church of Trees © Felicity DeCarle
Church of Trees © Felicity DeCarle

There’s only now.

Your eyes dilate; your heart beats faster. You can feel the heaving of your chest as air flows in and out of it. You’re living – aware, and in the moment.

It takes a trigger – some sort of stimulus – to wake someone from a routine state and inspire them to embrace life. Once awake, the mind is more sensitive to the world around it, feeling, seeing and hearing more clearly. More importantly still, the mind is ready to act. Church of Trees’ “Crumbs (There’s Only Now)” is a call to action, a positively poignant reminder that life is a current experience; we live not in the past or the future, but in the now.

Listen: “Crumbs (There’s Only Now)” – Church of Trees
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Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Crumbs (There’s Only Now),” the debut single from Ottawa-based synth/dream pop duo Church of Trees. The combination of veteran composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist Bernard Frazer and up-and-coming vocalist/lyricist Felicity DeCarle introduces a powerful synth/prog sound on their first offering. Scaling synths and fat bass grooves pulsate from ear to ear, their heavy 80s influence unbroken by DeCarle’s haunting melodies.

Never in a straight line
I walk the trail alone
Suddenly I look back
The crumbs I left are gone

At first, “Crumbs” seems dark and foreboding, its message bleak. We are in this world alone – each of us confined to our singular vessels. The narrator loses her way, looking back to find that her connection to whatever came before is gone, and she fittingly feels the sting of loneliness. We think we will always be able to return to the place we came from – return to the friends we love – but life happens, and you never know what that entails until it’s done.

So scared of the unknown
Don’t know where it come, don’t know where to go
Looking back, what do I see?
All I know is what’s in front of me
There’s only now

It’s okay to be afraid of what’s coming next; the most sensible fear (if fear were ever sensible) is the fear of that which couldn’t possibly be avoided or known. The future is the ultimate unknown, and as the narrator comes to the dark realization that head up and eyes ahead is her only option, the audience comes to find out the same thing: “There’s only now.”

"Crumbs (There's Only Now)" - Church of Trees
“Crumbs (There’s Only Now)” – Church of Trees

“The idea is that ‘the present’ is all we have, make the most of it,” explains producer/co-writer Bernard Frazer of “Crumbs (There’s Only Now).” “When Bowie died, people like Iggy, Laurie Anderson, and Brian Eno were saying that, now more than ever, artists should not compromise. Life is fleeting, so do what you’re most passionate about … and do it now. Don’t wait.”

Church of Trees take the melancholy idea of a fleeting existence and embrace the positives, their thick electronic soundscape providing the perfect spacey base from which listeners can internalize their not-so-spacey message. “I tried to write an upbeat groove that had an inherent sense of whimsy,” says Frazer. “I was really driven by Felicity’s love of Grimes and Purity Ring and her own lyrical sensibility. Like Grimes, Felicity has this playful yet unpredictable nature, she’s equal parts faerie from an enchanted forest and urban feminist. At first glance, her lyrics sound a little fantastical, like out of a C.S. Lewis novel. Dig a little deeper and you find some very edgy comments on a litany of issues.”

“Crumbs” releases to the public on January 10, exactly one year after David Bowie’s death. “It was a very sad day for music, and we want to celebrate his legacy by sending out new music to the world, music with a very positive message,” say Church of Trees. “Crumbs” is a fitting song to do the honor, asserting what matters most through heartfelt, earnest and evocative musicality. Life is for the living: It should be spent with open eyes and open minds, embraced by doers and cherished by all. Take risks! Follow your heart and chase your dreams. Never take a second for granted; be grateful and take advantage of the gifts you are given.

After all, there’s only now.

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cover: Church of Trees © Felicity DeCarle
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