I was recently sent a Facebook message with a simple motive behind it; “Check these out”. ‘These’ would be the latest offering from Glasgow’s indie-pop music scene; Chvrches. More specifically, their debut LP ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’.
Upon my first listen, I wasn’t immediately impressed. It all seemed a little too whimsical. A lot of flowery notes and softening tones that didn’t really offer much – this was when I decided to actually pay attention to the craft that Chvrches have seemingly perfected.
Chvrches are a band fit for the times, and almost like the missing piece of their audience’s jigsaw. Their musical style is perfectly in style with the current trends in pop, rammed with bouncy riffs and powerful hooks, all amalgamated with a sincere calling towards the dancefloor. It’s mixture of a heavy handed percussion section and charging pace offers itself towards the heavier fans out there, who will have noticed metal and rock take an experimental dip in the electronic pool as of late.
Right from the offset with their almost anarchistic name, presumably being an ironic and individual misspelling of churches, the Scottish trio immediately tap into the mind of the modern youth. We’re a cynical generation, with a staggering amount of ways to get ourselves heard, brought up by the album title ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’.
The downbeat lyrics that are present throughout the album emit a very confined and damaged aura. This album is about pain, distance and detachment. “I’m in Misery” is the first chorus you’ll hear. It’s a bold display of emotions not simply a haphazard song placement decision. I don’t think anything Chvrches do is off the cuff or unsystematic.
They come across as a very clinical band – everything they play comes across as incredibly precise and meaningful. There are no fillers, as such, with this album. Sure there are a few songs with don’t quite hit the mark in comparison to some of the other tracks, but ‘fillers’ would give off a sense of laziness or an arbitrary need to throw a few more songs at the world – this isn’t what Chvrches have done.
With each listen, this trio offer something more. My first time through, I simply picked up on the general tone of the music, whereas it wasn’t until the second or third time through that I developed a certain bond with the lyrical content. A splash of empathy and a slight understanding lead me to connect with it. By the 4th and 5th time though, it was the delicate hidden elements of the tracks that jumped out at me. The powerful synthy driving force that humbly pushes the band forward from the background.
The Bones Of What You Believe feels very much a personal album. It connects with you, as it draws you in. However personal it may get, though, it wouldn’t sound stray in a club or bar. An album of many faces.
Songs to watch out for: The Mother We share, We Sink, Night Sky, Recovery