In this day and age, it’s definitely not a difficult task to find yourself a new indie electro-pop band to sink your ears into. Finding one that knows what they’re doing, on the other hand, always proves to be a bit of a challenge. Glasgow, Scotland-based band, CHVRCHES seems to be one of those bands who knows their way around a synth. After a pretty successful five-track EP, as well as some opening gigs for Passion Pit and Depeche Mode, CHVRCHES’ debut self-produced LP, The Bones of What You Believe, is here with more than enough electro stimuli to keep you going until your next discovery.
The Scottish trio met while Matt Doherty, a live member of The Twilight Sad, and then TV and film composer, Iain Cook, got Lauren Mayberry to do guest vocals on some demos the pair were in the midst of producing. As the demos grew, so did the band; and CHVRCHES is their name now. After only a few performances around Glasgow and a couple of free online singles, the band was signed to indie label Glassnote Records, releasing their debut EP, Recover.
The Bones of What You Believe is a non-stop synth ride through emotion. The album could easily serve as one tasty, catchy 60-minute track. While Mayberry’s vocals may not be exceptional, she has an ability to glide her voice through the lyrics rather than the lyrics through her, resulting in an almost immaculate sound. Each track, while with its own story and emotion, manages to exude precision and dedication. Even on tracks ‘Under the Tide’ and ‘You Caught the Light’ where Doherty lends his easy vocals, each musical element manages to carry each other, illuminating the overall sound of the album.
Standout tracks include the in-your-face ‘Gun’, with bouncy synths that complement Mayberry’s child-like vocals. The insanely catchy ‘We Sink’ is one of the more lyrically stimulating tracks on the album, an unlikely musical pairing these days. The track has a way of making you fall in love with Mayberry just that much more due to her mouthy language.
‘You Caught the Light’ makes a mark, as Doherty’s vocals and lyrics make it a youthful development near the end of the album. ‘Recover’ draws you in with Mayberry’s almost soaring vocals and infectious hook. The synthesized background vocals and drum machine make for a meticulous performance. My personal favourite ‘Tether’ may be the most refreshing song from the album. One of the few songs that feature a guitar and simpler rhythms, the track is more dependent on melodic arrangements and lyrical emotion: “Trade our places / Take no chances / Bind me ’til my lips are silent.” Not to mention the ascending synth breakdown that you’re never ready for.
CHVRCHES’ The Bones of What You Believe LP is currently available on iTunes.