Church of Betty

Swirled World art by Pablo Tauler

Swirled World
art by Pablo Tauler

Read the Praise for Church of Betty’s latest release ‘Swirled World’!

Popdose Premieres Church of Betty’s new video “I Remember You” by Joan Grossman. Watch video here!

Pick of the Week! December 11, 2015

“Stew, Eszter Balint, Church of Betty
The Living Room
A drolly charismatic onstage delight, monomonikered Stew (of Passing Strange and the Negro Problem fame) is the sort of performer who makes other singer-songwriters sound painfully drab in comparison. He’ll also be MCing tonight’s lineup of smart, witty, and distinctive acts, including Chris Rael and his longtime Indian-influenced art-rock outfit Church of Betty along with Eszter Balint, the darkness-loving folk-punk singer notable for her unsettling performances as Louie C.K.’s Hungarian-speaking lover during last season’s Louie.” – Richard Gehr/Village Voice

“So simple that it will hypnotize, but that’s always been the case with many of NY-based Chris Rael’s Church of Betty tunes. His new single “Endure” (from Swirled World) channels the raga spirit of George Harrison. …25 years in and Church of Betty can still thrill.” – Dusty Wright, Culture Catch

“Paella, a new video (created by Steve Zehentner) from the album Swirled World by Church of Betty (produced by Kenny Siegal), is a joyous celebration of diversity. Humanity, in its finest form, is not a melting pot where individuals lose their cultural identity, but a paella: a “little of this and a little of that”, mixed together in complementing flavors, where “the secret ingredient is love”, Chris Rael states in his simple but powerful, heartfelt lyrics. The song is a recipe of auditory delights, including strings, bassoon, electric and acoustic guitars, percussion and vocal harmonies. The tone traverses the globe, weaving pop components with Indian and Latin grooves.” Lisa Knight, No Depression

FEATURE ARTICLE/INTERVIEW with Chris Rael: “Church of Betty makes the eclectic accessible. This gang can play, and despite bringing in influences that you didn’t even know existed – Ethiopian pop music from the 60s anyone? – any band that can take a song entitled Paella and make it work is the real deal.” Thomas Gerbasi,

“CLEVER! Church of Betty: Swirled World… Some of the songs have an acoustic guitar groove that is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin III, as Rael sings along on Ever Deeper, Endure and Muse. Some interesting world sound form a raga with sitar leading the way on Wake Up while straightahead boogie on the guitar gets cooking on Swirled World. Central Asian sounds come across as well on I Remember You as the band gallops to the finish line like the run of the bulls on Paella. Clever mix of sounds and countries.” George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

“Church of Betty Swirled World is a perfect example why I think that if one keeps looking / exploring / diggin’ deeper .. some incredible masterpieces of pop-rock-underground are to be found TODAY … the *origins* sure were produced decades ago .. this quality and originality became a landmark .. forever .. but … Church of Betty’s new one proves that one can produce masterpieces based on this history … Brilliant!!” – Radio Host Lord Litter,, KWTF and Radio on Berlin

” a surefire guarantee for captivating listening.” Hans Werksman, Here Comes The Flood

“Swirled World, the rather well-named new album by the long-running project Church of Betty is an interesting and fun stylistic pastiche of rock, pop, retro psychedelia, world music and a general assemblage of different musicians and styles in what reminds me of a hippie “happening” back in the day. To be sure, it’s not a purely retro album, and there are some interesting compositions, but the atmosphere is loose and a lot more freewheeling than some of the recent creative, and more carefully arranged, cross-cultural fusion projects. The music manages to strike a good balance between being appealingly tuneful, and playfully experimental.” George Graham, WVIA, Mixed Bag

“Church of Betty’s latest album, Swirled World is equal parts Power-Pop, World Music and Radiohead detours in adventurous musical endeavors…Like Sufjan Stevens, Rael layers even his straight-ahead songs with sonic details that come in and out like violins, horns and various instruments. Like a good painter, these are just extra colors made with broad strokes that add to the over-all experience.” Matt Satterfield, Leading Us Absurd

Photo of Church of Betty: Jasmine Hirst 

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