It’s rather amazing, actually, the amount of fame that the Scottish trio known as CHVRCHES have garnered in the relatively short time they have been a band. Existing since 2011, oddly, they didn’t release their first single until the end of 2012. After that there was an EP, and in September of this year they finally released their first full-length album, The Bones of What You Believe. Yet, they have been playing numerous large festivals throughout the world and appear to be one of the most sought-after live acts around right now.
Synth-pop seems to be quite a popular music style these days but rarely is it as well done as it is by CHVRCHES. The Bones of What You Believe is packed full of catchy songs like the opener “The Mother We Share” with its segmented beat and soaring chorus, or there is also the popular “Recover” with its haunting sound and heavy hitting chorus.
There are some songs on this album that are a bit darker and aid in keeping it out of full ‘bubblegum pop’ territory. While 25 year old lead singer Lauren Mayberry has a great voice, its higher angelic register does the album a disservice at times because despite darker lyrics like, “I’ll be a thorn in your side till you die / I’ll be a thorn in your side for always” on “We Sink”; musically, it can sound like rainbows and butterflies much of the time. The track “Science/Visions” explores darker territory with its Nine Inch Nails-esque synth driven beat and the ambient effect on Mayberry’s voice.
Fans of angelic vocals coupled ‘80s style synths probably already know about CHVRCHES, but if you love those things and haven’t heard of them then check them out. While The Bones of What You Believe isn’t a perfect album by any means, many will probably consider it one of the best of 2013.