Let’s be clear here: Aly & AJ have never disappointed. Whether it be the pop rock of their 2000s releases to the synthy roots of their 2017 comeback EP Ten Years, the duo have consistently served spectacular bops that resonate with most of the emotional spectrum. “Church,” the first song from the forthcoming, fittingly-titled Sanctuary EP, sounds just as spiritual as its title suggests; ethereal harmonies and intuitive vocoder mesh incredibly with the at once cascading and jittery synth patchwork to deliver a beautiful track about recognizing your faults. It’s the musical equivalent to confession.
The song starts from a simple place, with barely-there synths supporting Aly on the verse before AJ joins in at the chorus, where the sisters admit their need for “redemption for sins [they] can’t mention.” As the production erupts under them, they take to their falsettos to divulge these unmentionable acts: mistreatment of lovers. Though they acknowledge their selfishness, they have no regrets about their actions; they just “need a little church.” In their world, the act of contrition is enough for the duo to be cleansed of their misdeeds — a common belief among Christians. While “Church” may contradict itself in places, Aly & AJ present a fairly accurate portrait of how many people grapple with their guilt against an exalted backdrop of sounds.