CHVRCHES: The Bones of What You Believe (Glassnote) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMTCHVRCHES

The Bones of What You Believe


Sep 20, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT Bookmark and Share

Last year, when the walloping “Lies” and bittersweet “The Mother We Share” introduced listeners to the Glasgow synthpop trio, CHVRCHES, two focal points were vocalist Lauren Mayberry’s stirring soprano and lyrics that exuded Glaswegian bite and gloom. The bandrounded out by Martin Doherty on synths and vocals, and Iain Cook on synths, guitar, and bassprofessed to be fans of Prince, and though there seemed to be little connection musically, Mayberry did sing “I can feed your dirty mind” in “Lies.”

Those two songs, as well as the subsequently released “Recover” and “Gun,” are included on CHVRCHES’ debut LP, The Bones of What You Believe. “Lies,” slightly tweaked here, remains the band’s best track, but this is still a very young act, and the previously unreleased inclusions do justice to their predecessors. Early on, the band was compared favorably to Purity Ring, but by now it’s apparent thatjust as the members of CHVRCHES claimedthese are two very different bands. CHVRCHES’ music is more propulsive, leans far closer to pop, and has a greater affinity with ‘80s synth artists such as New Order. Instrumentally, The Bones of What You Believe is an ecstatic record, while its lyrical themes are grave and deal in corporal motifs. Just glance at the titles: “Gun,” “Under the Tide,” “Lungs,” “By the Throat.” Several songs convey last-gasp efforts to hold onto things that are becoming elusive. In “We Sink,” Mayberry sings, “I’ll be a thorn in your side/Till you die…If we sink/We lift our love,” and fittingly, the track takes flight, as does “Night Sky,” probably the best evidence of a Prince influence on the record. It also has the most effective interplay between Mayberry’s and Doherty’s vocals.

Doherty takes lead on two tracks: “Under the Tide,” a highlight of the band’s live show, and closer “You Caught the Light.” The latter is the slowest and longest song on the album, and not representative of the band’s strengthsa fine but still curious conclusion to an otherwise glorious debut. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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