Single Review – Chvrches – Miracle

The fourth and final peep into Chvrches forthcoming album comes in the form of Miracle; the Glaswegian trio’s most pop-centric offering to date. The new pop switch-up of sound for their third LP definitely pays off here, with quiet and atmospheric verses preceding mammoth choruses, filled with with epic bass and percussion. Lauren Mayberry’s soft vocal provides great contrast to the thrash of synth, yet matches perfectly to create a beautiful storm of a track. The band’s most radio-ready song might also be there most accomplished yet, and will no doubt bring in a wealth of new and well-deserved Chvrches fans.

Ellie Chivers

Single Review – Chvrches – Never Say Die

Love Is Dead is the title of Chvrches third studio album due for a May 25th release. The Glaswegian SynthPop group have got the in demand Greg Kurstin onboard as producer for this album and some of his influence is noticed on their new single ‘Never Say Die’. Though the gourd have always had the ability to feature a light and shade depth to their work, Greg had led them to the hushed, siren like openings of the song’s opening and enabled their bridge transitions to sound smoother and more gradual. Beyond that, he’s sharpened their sound further with heavier, louder beats leading to the chorus and grinding chords add to the sharper feel. It accentuates their hooks and allows Lauren Mayberry vocals to ride the tide of the music. It is a well worked piece of SynthPop, but it isn’t something that really takes Chvrches out of their comfort zone; more or less adding a charged cinematic element to their work. You do wonder where else they can take this particular sound as easy on the ears it is.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Chvrches -Warning Call

It seems that whenever you need a soundtrack these days, you need to call for the cinematic sound of Chvrches. The free-running game Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst has done just that and the Glaswegian trio duly delivered with ‘Warning Call’. In its sound it is a little removed from their second album Every Open Eye from last year. It features a steady drum machine beat, shimmering synths and plunging drops towards the chorus. Lauren Mayberry’s vocals synchronise with the electronic chords effortlessly and they extend her melodies in a soaring fashion. A simple ode to the sound that has established Chvrches on the musical map before they move on to new challenges.

Owen Riddle

Musicandotherthingz.com Best British Act of 2015

Here is the list of ten nominees for best British Act.

 

3. Chvrches (16%)

The Glaswegian synthpop trio returned from the success of their debut album with a leaner and developed sound in 2015 with Every Open Eye. Their sound was more prominent, powerful and slick, yet the emotive lyrical content remained and this made for some of the best Pop tracks of the year. In 2015 Chvrches demonstrated that they have serious staying power.

 

2. FOALS (20%)

FOALS took on Hard Rock and pure Alternative music with their fourth studio album What Went Down which came out late in August. They widened their appeal and did with Hard Rock what many have failed to do in recent times; make it into a dynamic and significant music. They also provided us with vast soundscapes and some familiar reminders that they’ve still got it in them.

 

  1. Everything  Everything (28%)

Manchester based Everything Everything gave us their best album yet with Get To Heaven back in June. On all fronts the album was bold, uncompromising and aggressive; this was particularly true with their dark lyrical content about the rise of ISIL, their bemusement at British politics and repeated mass shootings. Their view of a World failing itself was encased with varied music on a dramatic and cinematic scale, making the message all the more powerful. The bookmakers making them a shoe-in for a Mercury Prize victory soon after the album’s release demonstrated the wide acclaim and recognition of their third album. Their failure to get a nomination for the Mercury Prize was a glaring and embarrassing omission.

Chvrches – Every Open Eye Review

Glasgow’s premier synth-pop outfit Chvrches have released Every Open Eye today as the follow up to their 2013 debut The Bones of What You Believe and have spoken about taking “a less is more approach” to their sound for what is the infamous second album. Refining their sound is probably a wise choice as opposed to forcing it upon people again or gambling on unknowns. This album is all about the honing and refinement of their initial sound so with that in mind we can be assured of another solid effort with some subtle improvements with a greater emphasis on the emotive element of their sound. With this in mind, it might not be a musical innovation, but it should remain at least as dynamic and infectious as their debut.

The lead single from the album ‘Leave a Trace’ is indicative of this sees the group sounding leaner, cleaner, more tuneful and direct. The instrumentation performs the same function it did on their earlier material, but are noticeably sharper and more melodic. The same can be said for vocalist Lauren Mayberry who now projects her vocal just as confidently ahead of the instrumentation as opposed to sitting amongst it previously. This emphasises the direct musical route taken here and heightens the focus on the candid and passionate content of the lyrics.  ‘Never Ending Circles’ showcases their pop sensibility and melodic capabilities driven by Lauren Mayberry’s soft, yet driven vocals and vocal instrumentation. This is further pushed by airy trickling electronica in the chorus which is offset with grinding and distorted synths to bridge to the verses. You can sense the development in their sound with their juxtaposition of those industrial sounds with the more pop orientated styles and how they have managed to smooth over the transition between the two is further testament to their growing ability. In ‘Clearest Blue’ they demonstrate the gentle shift in their style in a more prominent fashion with this Dance track. As has been the case with their singles so far this year, they have made their sound leaner, cleaner and more direct, but additionally with this track, they have channelled their more industrial electronic sound into at a rapid pace and it resembles a Dance inspired track with those heavier beats. These are met with the wistful vocals of Lauren Mayberry which go a long way towards making the track more engaging as a piece of energetic pop as opposed to a frigid piece of Dance or Light Techno.

‘Keep You On My Side’ delivers heavy driving beats along with chiming overtones in an effective combination of old  European dance tracks with modern synth pop and with Lauren Mayberry’s assured, yet potent delivery makes for a dramatic and powerful track. It is immaculately produced and balances the heavy with the light brilliantly and plays each tone off each other going on to add a richness to their sound. ‘High Enough To Carry Over’ is a more ballad-inspired track with the soft waves of chiming electronica and a more soulful delivery from Martin Doherty who also provides another marked vocal development. ‘Playing Dead’ is another theatrical piece of melodic synth-pop with powerful vocal deliveries as if from a futuristic musical. It is driven by a rumbling bass line and expanded with strokes of electronica. The other tracks are examples of the group’s sharper and more direct pop sound with varying structures and rhythms. The album ends on ‘Afterglow’ for a rare piece of slow and considered music from the group with whirring organs playing the leading role and largely letting Lauren’s vocals showcase themselves. Occasionally the organs rise in volume and peak opportune moments to maximise the impact of the harmonies on offer. This album is one that shows Chvrches are here to stay and in being smart they’ve produced a more mature and powerful body of music and it is developed in every sense which leaves much promise for their third album.

Chvrches – Every Open Eye = 8/10

Owen Riddle  @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Chvrches – Clearest Blue

With their second studio album out on September 25th, Chvrches have released their third single from the album Every Open Eye in ‘Clearest Blue’ and with it they demonstrate the gentle shift in their style in a more prominent fashion with this Dance track. As has been the case with their singles so far this year, they have made their sound leaner, cleaner and more direct, but additionally with this track, they have channelled their more industrial electronic sound into at a rapid pace and it resembles a Dance inspired track with those heavier beats. These are met with the wistful vocals of Lauren Mayberry which go a long way towards making the track more engaging as a piece of energetic pop as opposed to a frigid piece of Dance or Light Techno. It seems to me like Chvrches have played it smart when tackling the infamous second album.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – CHVRCHES – Leave a Trace

Glasgow’s finest synthpop outfit CHVRCHES yesterday announced the eagerly awaited follow-up to their well received debut LP The Bones of What You Believe with Every Open Eye which can be expected in September. They’ve talked of pursuing a “less is more approach” with this upcoming album and a more emotive album. The lead single from the album ‘Leave a Trace’ is indicative of this sees the group sounding leaner, cleaner, more tuneful and direct. The instrumentation performs the same function it did on their earlier material, but are noticeably sharper and more melodic. The same can be said for vocalist Lauren Mayberry who now projects her vocal just as confidently ahead of the instrumentation as opposed to sitting amongst it previously. This emphasises the direct musical route taken here and heightens the focus on the candid and passionate content of the lyrics. This seems to be a very noticeable refinement from the group who look set to move up another level with this matured and enhanced sound.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Chvrches – Dead Air

Despite not having a new album for the foreseeable future, Glasgow’s Chvrches have still been keeping themselves in peoples consciousness with late and reworked releases of tracks from their debut LP The Bones of What You Believe and contributions to film soundtracks such as the BBC Radio 1 reworking of the Drive score by Zane Lowe and now their appearance on the soundtrack for the upcoming Hunger Games film. The track is ‘Dead Air’ and offers up another dose of the crisp, chiming synth-pop that Chvrches have utilised so well over the last couple of years and of which they are veritable kings and queens. This song just boosts that with a song that offers up the chimes and pop melodies along with a sense of scale and depth that gives the song an added dimension as opposed to a standard pop song. Apart from that, they have oiled and kept their style in a pristine condition for projects demanding that sound. Though you hope they make a degree of progress for their next album, for now they are just treating their fans very well indeed with yet more material.

Single Review – Chvrches – Get Away

Chvrches have taken a little time out from their unrelenting showcasing of their debut album The Bones of What You Believe to offer up a contribution to the reworking of the ‘Drive’ soundtrack with the track ‘Get Away’. Foals, SBTRKT and Laura Mvula are just some of the artists taking part in the reworking of the 2011 film’s soundtrack, with Lauren Mayberry highlighting how “the kind of music in the original score fits in with what we are doing” when she was talking on the Zane Lowe show this week on Radio 1. The track has a simple clicking backbeat from which waves of distorted electronica flow outwards to then settle in to a chiming and expansive verse with Mayberry’s distorted and muffled vocal. The track then bursts into clarity and light for the chorus with crisp sounds and vocals with all pop melody and harmony. The song goes on to fade in and out of clarity to really hammer home the chorus in all it’s delicately formed and electronic splendour. A track awash with luscious synthetica.

Single Review – Chvrches – Under The Tide

chvrches

Glasgow’s most current musical experts are still continuing to make an impact with their debut album The Bones of What You Believe with an on-going tour of that album from September last year. Now they have unveiled a polished up version of album track; ‘Under The Tide’ The track opens with a distorted and lightly churning synth as it offers up a sprung rhythm and more low lying, bouncing chords to act as the bass sound and anchor for the song’s rhythm section. It fades out into more stripped back moments with only the shimmering electronica to accompany it, before it begins to rebuild it’s sound around a phased out whirring. Martin Doherty’s vocals are a wise choice against the light of the shimmering and glistening synths and they act as a neat and subtle middle ground. A nice track that didn’t need too much polish anyway.