CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe
Buy: The Bones Of What You Believe
To the casual listener it may not be apparent exactly why Glasgow trio CHVRCHES are rated so highly. There’s nothing new or fresh about marrying synths with sweet pop melodies after all, but they do it with such lush precision and beguiling ease that it’s hard not to get swept away as you start peeling back the layers of their debut album.
The perfect hooks are courtesy of Glasgow music scene stalwarts Iain Cook and Martin Doherty, and are made all the more impressive by the fact the album was recorded in Cook’s front room. The real star of The Bones Of What You Believe though is singer Lauren Mayberry, who adds soul and warmth to Cook and Doherty’s production.
You will have probably already heard singles ‘The Mother We Share’, ‘Recover’ and ‘Gun’ – which are all in their own way brilliantly individual and affecting electro-pop songs. Dig a little deeper into the album though and you will find plenty more gems. The way ‘Tether’ builds to its euphoric yet restrained conclusion is nothing short of majestic, and the throbbing atmosphere and attitude of ‘Lies’ cements The Bones Of What You Believe as one of the most accomplished and exciting debuts of 2013 before the half-way point.
A common drawback to many a promising electro-pop album is the lack of diversity, which can naturally lead to the excitement and tension fizzling out. The great skill CHVRCHES demonstrate on The Bones Of What You Believe is their ability to maintain the drama and interest beyond a handful of tracks. This is chiefly achieved by successfully incorporating different ideas and influences into their synth-beats-and-vocals formula.
There’s obviously a lot of 80’s inspiration in the mix, especially the very floaty Erasure-esque ‘By The Throat’, but that’s mixed with some icy post-punk atmospherics and, in ‘Science/Vision’, a TRON-meets-Giorgio-Moroder electro hymn that even Daft Punk would be proud of.