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chvrches thebonesofwhatyoubelieve
Artist: Chvrches
Title: The Bones Of What You Believe
Genre: Synth Pop
Release Date: 20th September 2013
Label: Vertigo Berlin (Universal)

Album Review

CHVRCHES (pronounced as “Churches”) is a band from Scotland formed in 2011 that most of synth pop fans discovered over the last months as they were supporting DEPECHE MODE this summer across Europe. Receiving a warm welcome and support from devotees represents in itself already a huge achievement! Their debut album was highly anticipated and it doesn't fail to meet our expectations! The opening track, ‘The Mother We Share’, the first single released in May 2012, instantly reminds of M83, but with a typically British pop feeling. Smart synths arrangements, very orchestral and melodic. ‘We Sing’ and ‘Gun’ (the latest single released in July peaking at 55 in UK charts) pursue in the same direction and slowly, the CHVRCHES formula starts to take shape: strong synth basses, syncopated rhythms, very efficient pop choruses... Not a revolution in itself but so efficient.

‘Tether’ is darker, more in style of Polly Scattergood or Omr, and starts on a more minimalistic style, up to an almost a-capella bridge before an explosive end built on big arpeggiated synths and a strong wall of voices. ‘Lies’ was the 2nd single released in September 2012. Big beats, aggressive synth sounds. Not the most obvious choice for a single, which proves CHVRCHES likes taking risks. The rest of the album carries on the same mood with ‘Under The Tide’ that sees Iain take the lead vocal... (which forces the comparison with M83 a bit more), ‘Recover’, which was the first single to enter UK charts at 91 was released earlier in February. No need to detail track by track all of it. By this point you're already fan of it or already moved to something else. The ending track, ‘You caught the light’ concludes the album on a lower tempo, darker mood, guitar driven and sung by Iain.

To sum it up, a very seducing debut album but the “only” moaning I could do is that the ghost of M83 is all over the place. Not a default in itself, far from it, especially for a debut album... but the end result is that, despite a brilliant album, there is not yet a real CHVRCHES identity. But don't get me wrong! CHVRCHES is NOT a clone of the French act. They are not as experimental, guitars and basses are less upfront and the intention is very clear : efficient pop songs, 3”30 to 4”30 max, more direct... Let's a typically British way of approaching things: pop music! Having said that, the band demonstrates some strong songwriting and production skills and there's no doubt that the intensive touring schedule ahead will help the band defining a more personal style.


01. The Mother We Share
02. We Sink
03. Gun
04. Tether
05. Lies
06. Under The Tide
07. Recover
08. Night Sky
09. Science Visions
10. Lungs
11. By The Throat
12. You Caught The Light


Lauren Mayberry - Vocals, Synth
Iain Cook - Synth, Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Martin Doherty - Synth, Samplers, Vocals

Website /

Cover Picture

chvrches thebonesofwhatyoubelieve


Music: 7
Sound: 9
Total: 8 / 10

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