Friday, September 27, 2013

CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe (2013) – Review

Review: CHVRCHES is synthpop group from Glasgow, Scotland, comprised of three members: Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty. The Bones of What You Believe is their debut album.

Musically, the group falls easily into the current trend of electronically influenced pop music, but CHVRCHES seems to rise above the sameness of many of pop’s current acts. While there are moments in which their music feels like New Order or Daft Punk (among other influences), the trio presents their sound in a very fresh-feeling manner. The songs are all infectious and emotion filled. Sonically, the music is very synth and drum machine driven, but again it somehow feels new and different (even though it really is not) with grand ambition. Lauren Mayberry’s sweet and enchanting voice is in many ways its own instrument, arranged with the drums and synths to create an overall sound that is just bewitching, catchy, and visceral.

There are certainly a number of great pop singles on the album, but there are also wonderful deep cuts (like the brilliantly atmospheric track Tether). And to this, the album is strong throughout, void of throwaway filler tracks (which is a nice change of pace from what listeners can normally expect from pop releases). CHVRCHES very much believes in the concept of an album – the ebb and flow – and thusly meticulously and precisely structured The Bones of What You Believe to musically swell with emotion in moments and just feel fun in others, creating an engrossing and musically sweeping experience for the listener.

Lyrically, the album at first appears to be made up of a series of dark love songs – maybe even a little detached and sinister. However, Mayberry’s voice carries with it such an intimacy (perfectly juxtaposing to the big sonic sound of the synths) that the listener cannot help but fall under her spell. Her voice is delicate and jubilant often in the same moments.

There was a lot of anticipation for CHVRCHES’s album after a string of fantastic singles, and The Bones of What You Believe does not disappoint in the slightest. It is a hip, layered, and fun pop album that grabs the listener and holds them from start to finish. This is not an album to miss. 5/5

Essential Tracks:
1)      Lies – Produced by CHVRCHES
2)      Recover – Produced by CHVRCHES
3)      The Mother We Share – Produced by CHVRCHES

Available on: Digital Download

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