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


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.

Sunday Suggestion – Chvrches – Lies

One of my biggest regrets from last year was not being able to take a look at Chvrches and their debut album from last year entitled The Bones of What You Believe. They certainly deserved their fifth place on the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll and the performance of their album and singles warranted it. I decided to have a closer look into what they were about recently and their sound and style did strike me; even if it isn’t hugely innovative. Their synthpop style and sharp production instantly springs names like Depeche Mode and Gary Numan to mind, which play a sizeable role in their influence that they project without any qualms. As well as this they have advanced this influence into slick and cool melodies and rhythms that are forged around the delicate and soft quality of Lauren’s vocal. This results in a highly refined piece of synth driven pop music. The song that best depicts these traits is ‘Lies’. It opens with the steady bounce of the synths that’s maintained throughout the song and these solid sounds are contrasted with Lauren’s softer and slightly vulnerable vocals against the repetitive mechanical sounds and acts as the beating heart amongst the synthetic blasts. It’s stepped up in the chorus for a crisp and driven hook from both instrumental and vocal and it closes in the grinding, industrial fashion that was more held back for most of the song. This song showcases all the qualities of Chvrches and the highest refinement of the pop sounds they have forged.

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