30 Mar 2024

Review: Postal by Church & AP

From The Sampler, 2:30 pm on 30 March 2024
Church & AP

Photo: Bandcamp

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I was first introduced to Church & AP maybe around 2017, they were performing on a stacked line up in the lower bar of Galatos. I had never heard of them before, so when the audience erupted, reciting lyrics to all their songs, I knew I was out of the loop. 

Since that day, I vowed to never miss a release, and I’ve kept that promise. 

We’re a long way from their first release Thorough Bread, as we are here with their long awaited third album, Postal.

Church & AP have always been ahead of the game when it comes to their unique brand of creativity and their ability to develop larger themes in their albums. 

This project is clearly a family affair, with the entire zipper whānau contributing to the greater vision. 
Dera Meelan provides a variety of eccentric beats that build emotion over the length of the runtime: he just continues to impress. A standout is the heavenly backing on 'Fly on the Wall', featuring some great acoustics, accompanied by some equally surprising vocals from Church, interrupted only by a disgusting bassline, and AP.

Getting to features; as a long time fan of the south side native son Deadforest, I was excited at the mere sight of the tracklist. Appearing on 5 of the 9 tracks on this record, he doesn’t waste a bar here, nor does he ever really. 

Tony Stamp in his review of Deadforests solo album Plastic noted that forest has a lyrical ability to share exploits with a relatability that goes further than just the Pacific Island community, but to those familiar with the working class experience. 

Forest provides a consistently refreshing listening experience that paints a picture not quite like any other, he oozes confidence and it’s never been more apparent than his verse on 'Same NRG'. 

Church & AP have both had an incredible past year in terms of personal projects. Church with SPRING ‘21, and AP’s Castle On Da Sand. Both are astounding.

This project feels like a follow through of the themes touched on with those solo releases. AP doesn’t disappoint with more punchy delivery that highlights the duo’s growth. I also really enjoyed hearing Church on more of the hooks, DREAMS in particular, he’s a solid vocalist and provides some memorable lines.

If you thought Church & AP just made surface level radio records, you’re dead wrong. 
'Mathematics' is a braggadocious, violent drug rap, but I feel it aims to represent how young Pacific Island men are often viewed or portrayed in society and the media.

Contrast that with the song 'Nightmares', which shares these intimate emotions of fear, anger, and feelings of hopelessness, showcasing the reality of P.I. men, often overlooked or unheard by wider audiences.

Church & AP are not shallow rap analysts, and a more methodical look into their artistry reveals the depth of their poetry. These are masters at play.