Release Date: Mar 26, 2013
Record label: Glassnote Entertainment Group
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
By posting two fantastic synthpop songs, "Lies" and then "The Mother We Share," to the Internet last year, Chvrches became blog big shots and Passion Pit's opening act. Their EP lacks those two songs, which are still easily found on the Scottish band's SoundCloud, and introduces one fantastic new synth-pop song, "Recover." Lauren Mayberry and her two beardo bandmates revisit the frosty New Wave of Yaz and early Depeche Mode while adding staccato, percussive glitches that echo but don't mimic the Eighties. And Mayberry sings about deceit, decay and distance in curled, Scots-accented vowels – she can make a single word, "don't," sound as defiant and melancholy as a Byron poem.
A month ago, my friend sent me a link to a YouTube video of a band I’d never heard of. I’m reticent with new groups lately, having been left disenchanted by so much music over the last five years or so. I was shocked by how much I loved it. I couldn’t stop playing it. “My neighbors hate me ….
The “v” in Chvrches might look try-hard, but it’s there for practical reasons: the electro-pop trio don’t want competition on Google from every church in Christendom. Until now, the synth-wielding Glaswegians have only unveiled two finished tracks, ‘Lies’ and ‘The Mother We Share’, but this EP gives us three new reasons to rejoice: the glistening grandeur of ‘Recover’, the dubstep-flecked ‘ZVVL’, and ‘Now Is Not The Time’, on which singer Lauren Mayberry sounds sad and defiant at the same time. A couple of decent remixes round things off.
It was easy to approach Glasgow trio Chvrches' breakthrough single "The Mother We Share" with a degree of skepticism. After all, when you're an up-and-coming European electro-pop band trying to set yourself apart in a sea of soundalikes, titling your second single like a magnetic poetry scramble of one of the Knife's biggest hits doesn't exactly scream originality. But once you hit play, the song itself-- a soaring synth-pop meteorite centered around a sky-high chorus-- had enough transcendent pop power to turn cynics to devotees in three minutes flat.
In their small time together, Glasgow’s CHVRCHES have amassed a loyal following and heaped lots of praise. The trio of Lauren Mayberry, Martin Dohery, and Ian Cooks matriculated in 2011 and since then they’ve managed to rebrand today’s confused synthpop genre without a proper full-length. Such success lies in their formula: Mayberry’s innocent, despondent vocals pulse and yelp through catchy waves, while Doherty and Cooks’ clever soundboards and dancey bass tickle the ears.
“Recover,” the title-track on this Scottish trio’s debut EP, is the “Midnight City” of 2013: a simple electro-pop song that feels anything but simple. There’s almost nothing to it: a blurry, two-note synth lead; a flickering electronic beat; a throbbing synth-bass pulse. But there’s also Lauren Mayberry. Her mousey vocal hook, grooving the upbeats in blissful melancholy, transforms this moody track into an anthem.
Glasgow synthpop trio CHVRCHES sparked fervent interest last year with two tracks that brought out different sides of the band. "Lies" was a staggering, minor-key powerhouse complemented by wily lyrics from singer Lauren Mayberry, while its official debut single, "The Mother We Share," expressed a more solemn sentiment. Both songs had an anthemic quality to them, thanks to Mayberry's soaring vocals, which at times recall Harriet Wheeler or Dolores O'Riordan.
Like Lapland permafrost, the Knife never really left, they just receded far enough into whatever creative north long enough to be regrettably forgotten about. And while spring is right around the corner, winter is coming. Even as the Knife readies their own comeback, the peculiar brand of frigid, steely synthpop they made famous has crept back with a vengeance.
“Lies” is the stormy haze of synth-pop that circulated around the fringes of the Web before it was ultimately picked up by the BBC. The left-of-center offbeat sound of the Knife and the youthfulness of Grimes or Charli XCX are present in the song, but Chvrches’ effortless lightness allows the sound to distinguish itself from other glittery pop. The band briefly remained anonymous with the release of its first single, but that mystery was short lived.
Chvrches Recover. Lauren Mayberry has a few different voices: saccharine and heavily processed, sinewy and direct, proud and triumphant. On “Recover,” the new single from the Glasgow band Chvrches, she uses them all. And yet they’re all masks of a sort. At the core of this song, the title ….