The Bones of What You Believe is the premiere studio album from Scottish synthpop band CHVRCHES which moved into the top 10 of the UK album charts this week to cap a fantastic breakthrough year for the trio.
Comprising of lead singer Lauren Mayberry, back-up vocalist and guitarist Martin Doherty and guitarist Iain Cook, CHVRCHES have had a magnificent year, with highs of their nomination on the BBC’s Sound of 2013, appearances at Reading Festival and T in the Park, supporting bands such as Passion Pit, Two Door Cinema Club and Depeche Mode as well as their own tours across Europe, North America and Japan. With both Cook and Doherty former band members in rock bands Aereogramme and the Twilight Sad respectively, and Mayberry working “in cinemas and cafes to make money because it turns out freelance journalism is quite hard to get into”, the conception of CHVRCHES was a complete change for all three of the band members. You wouldn’t know it, however, as the band’s performance both in person and in the studio is seamless. Indeed, CHVRCHES have been recommended by legends of the electronica scene like Eddy Temple-Morris and have become well known for their effervescent live shows.
Their debut album encapsulates their emergent sound; an eclectic mix of powerful and somewhat industrial bass lines, bouncing synth and the seemingly removed and clinical Mayberry which combine to produce a fantastically energetic maelstrom of electro-pop that for me is a clear frontrunner for the most iconic album of the year. The Bones of What You Believe was released on the 20th of September and was critically acclaimed, having been in production at a basement studio in Glasgow since 2011.
The album has a heartbroken and stubborn feel to it, which is only complemented and improved by Mayberry’s bittersweet and fantastically talented singing. A deep bass line runs throughout the album, which adds to the heavy and somewhat angsty atmosphere, which is somewhat offset by the foot-tapping synth that is one of the key components of CHVRCHES’ sound. Jonny Scott also features on two tracks, Gun (which appeared on our very own Student Union’s intro video for this year) and Night Sky and adds a strong drum beat to both, which really brings out CHVRCHES’ ability to get feet moving. Undoubtedly, The Bones of What You Believe is an album that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and will surely be heard on grungy indie dancefloors across the nation. More than anything, it leaves CHVRCHES tipped to go onto the next level and build on what is a very strong start for the Glaswegians indeed. Their next album will be met with eager anticipation by the fans of their emphatic style.
By Max Saito