Monday, March 3, 2014

The Bones of What You Believe | Chvrches


★★★☆☆

Fresh out of the European indie scene comes Chvrches, a band that is taking their own route to stardom. They've developed their own niche of sparkly, twinkling synths and sounds and have stretched it out into a full length album called The Bones of What You Believe.

The album was released in September, and then marketed with a single, "The Mother We Share," starting in November. I first heard it on the radio while driving and was fascinated with the twinkly sound and lead singer Lauren Mayberry's cutesy, light voice. (The discovery of this song is another great example why Sirius XM Radio is totally worth the $100 subscription every year; I find such great music on it every day, unlike public radio that replays the same songs over and over again.)

"I'm in misery where you can seem as old as your omens / And the mother we share will never keep your proud head from falling," sings Mayberry as the chorus arrives. The chorus is such a peaceful yet noticeable climax that mellifluously flows the song along and makes for a great listen; perhaps even the best from the album, to be honest.

"We Sink" and "Gun" are other peppy listens from the album. In "We Sink," Mayberry and fellow band member Martin Doherty duet about a committed relationship through any bothersome events: "I'll be a thorn in your side / Till you die / I'll be a thorn in your side / For always / If we sink / We lift our love." Meanwhile, "Gun" points towards a bit more... dangerous conflict in a relationship, as Mayberry sings "You better run, you better run so / Hide, hide I, have burned your bridges / I will be a gun and it's you I’ll come for."

"Tether" opens with a very quiet and somber feeling, but halfway through it, the song expands to a bouquet of sparkly synths while Mayberry sings "I'm feeling capable of saying it's over" repeatedly. From what I've been able to tell, it's a song about a relationship that is unmistakably over but the two just don't want to say that it is because of the tether that has kept them together for so long.

The twinkly synths are ditched to make room for a darker sound in "Science/Visions," instead adding some electric guitars and drums. Some edited vocals and chanting of "I hear you're breathing / I feel you leaving" makes it sound like there's a exorcism happening inside this chvrch if nothing else. (Oh, look at me implementing the Chvrches spelling change.)

Even with the slight changes in sound here and there, I've found this album to be very similar to Haim's Days Are Gone in the sense that a lot of the songs are great on this album, but listening to it all in one sitting gets tiresome. The band has got a cute, unique sound going on but I would like to see them evolve on it a bit. Nevertheless, I found some great gems on this album and I'm glad that Churvches has been able to make the popularity waves they have so far.

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