Thursday, 10 October 2013
''The Bones Of What You Believe'' Chvrches - A Review
Synthpop isn't something you would typically associate with Glasgow, Scotland. The city has thrived on a series of straightforward, no nonsense indie rock bands in the recent past that somewhat act as a representation of it's rough personality, including but not limited to Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream and The Fratelli's. Yet here we are in the back end of 2013 and the fresh-faced, original sound of Chvrches (that's a Roman v, not a misspelling) is captivating not only their hometown but many others around the world.
Comprised of Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals, synths and samples), Iain Cook (synths, guitar, bass, additional vocals) and Martin Doherty (synths, samples, additional vocals), the band came together in 2011 following years of individual work around their local music scene that failed to gain serious recognition. After 8 months spent working together in basement studio, the trio formed Chvrches, spelled so simply because they ''thought it sounded cool''. It all sounds rather low key, but upon your first listen to The Bones Of What You Believe, you may be taken aback by the sound these three can make with Mayberry's charming vocal over an unholy amount of synthesizers.
Bones kicks off with ''The Mother We Share'', a previously released single prior to the album which was ranked on The Huffington Post's best song list of 2012, and it's easy to see why as the attention grabbing track acts as a mission statement for the remaining 11. It's an early standout, but it's more than backed up with similiarly minded tunes such as ''Tether'', ''Lies'' and ''We Sink''. All full of charm with substance to match, the immediate comparison drawn to mind is Purity Ring, another recent electronic sensation that came to light last year with their debut Shrines. The delicate female vocals combined with a light electronic backing are a perfect match, but there are major differences too, namely the irresistable ball of energy that flows throughout the 48 minute running time of the album. Simply put, Chvrches are fun.
Things get funkier towards the end of the album with ''Night Sky'' and ''Science/Visions'' as the pace is upped, before the album is drawn to a close with another contender for best track in ''You Caught The Light'', an experimental electro beat that winds things down to perfection, recalling another synthpop predecessor in the form of The Postal Service, a band who you get the feeling this record couldn't have been made without.
Ultimately, Chvrches have taken a range of electronic influences and created something entirely accessible and instantly enjoyable to the average pop fan. It's a stunning debut and one that promises much more if the young trio can handle the expectations that come with such a well received record. Come the end of 2013, don't be surprised to find The Bones Of What You Believe featuring heavily in many critics choice cut lists.