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Album Review: CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

By Jarryd Collazo posted Sep 30, 2013 at 05:51 PM

See what WVUM music staffer Jarryd Collazo has to say about the latest release from Scottish group CHVRCHES!

In a sea of synth-pop, it’s difficult to stand out. But CHVRCHES distinguish themselves from the rest by infusing melodic pop sounds with downright EDM.

CHVRCHES spell their name with a Roman “v” instead of a “u” to differentiate themselves in Google searches, but their not-so-secret weapon, front-woman Lauren Mayberry, is what really sets the band apart. She sings with a nimble demeanor that almost conceals the menacing undertones in the lyrics she’s crafted.  When Mayberry sings “You had better run from me with everything you own, cause I’m gonna come for you with all that I have. I’m gonna break you down to tiny, tiny parts,”the diminutive chanteuse resonates with a conviction that will make you shiver. The heavy synth leads and guitar work of Iain Cook and the EDM inspired rhythms of Martin Doherty blend together to create a pop-infused intensity that never backs down.

When “The Mother We Share”was released online towards the end of 2012, it generated a lot of buzz and rightly so: it’s a great song and it should come as no surprise that CHVRCHES’debut album, The Bones OF What You Believe, begins with that song. But “The Mother We Share”isn’t enough to carry any full-length record. Luckily for us listeners, the following song “We Sink”is another excellent track. And so is the third track, “Gun”. And the fourth... In fact, the quality of hook-laden, synthy tunes never really falters throughout the entire album.

In the year or so it took from that initial release of “The Mother We Share” to the release of The Bones Of What You Believe, CHVRCHES strove to maintain a sense of autonomy from the record contracts offered to them. In an interview with The Guardian, Mayberry states “You see so many bands regress and becomes like children, getting told what to do…Maybe I’m super paranoid about it. But after this is all done, I want to be able to say that we did it in the way we wanted to do it.” The excellent final product is a testament to the DIY ethic the band pushed so hard for.

Unlike other synth-pop records, The Bones OF What You Believe doesn’t lose its vitality with each successive spin -- quite the opposite actually. With each new listen, CHVRCHES first full-length solidifies their position as a buzz band that deserves their buzz.

Check out the video for “Gun” here.









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