By Erika Firestone
Rising hype surrounding CHVRCHES various single releases and the “Recover” EP throughout the past year has built anticipation and a solid fan base. “The Bones of What You Believe,” set to release on Sept. 23, is an impressive debut, full of catchy, energetic beats from start to finish. This dance-driven electro pop group from Scotland is full of fresh talent that infuses every song with something brand new to the electronic music scene in America. However, their vibrant hooks and kinetically electric vibes are catchy enough to cross over and pull fans out of almost any genre.
Opening the album with the song that started it all, “The Mother We Share,” is perhaps the best song CHVRCHES have written to date. This is a significant opening because it appeases fans that were drawn to CHVRCHES and draws new fans in with a strong first impression. Following this are “We Sink” and another previously released song, “Guns.” Together, the first three songs represent the band as a whole through their lyrics, vocals and the most unique electronic compositions present throughout their work. These songs display CHVRCHES’ musical method for success: heavy and emotional content within upbeat and catchy tunes. They don’t give in to the positive, generic sound that fills much electronic and pop music, but their female vocalist Lauren Mayberry’s high-range vocals make real, insightful lyrics feel better as her voice blends well with positive electronic instrumentals.
Combining old and new songs on the album is a great move. It allows people who have been fans throughout the band’s rising to feel rewarded and like they’re “in on it,” leaving plenty of space for new music that old fans have never heard, while giving new fans a brief historical taste. “Recover,” the single off “Recover,” is a great midpoint in the album, dividing the first half containing most of the older songs made before the EP from the second half, containing entirely new music. The hook “And if I recover, could you be my comfort?/ Or it could be over, and we could just leave it here” has one of the best progression of vocal and instrumental mixes on the album.
Lagging a little bit, “Night Sky” is still a song full of energy and on any other album could come off as a hit, but it lacks some of the power found throughout the rest of the album. It contains guitar riffs, which CHVRCHES never includes, and comes off as a filler song, having been written as an afterthought. Despite a small slip that fans will still love, they get right back into things with another one of the best songs on the album, “Lungs.” The rest of the album progresses through the same format, ending on a lighter note with the song “You Caught the Light.”
In short, CHVRCHES is the band to watch out for. In just one year, they’ve taken American music blog junkies by storm with occasional releases and the promise of an album. “The Bones of What You Believe” is a masterfully crafted piece of musical art. It’s new wave electronic music carrying depth. Their drive and hustle is incredible and they’re infiltrating other genres as well. So get on board now and hold on tight, because CHVRCHES is going places and “The Bones of What You Believe” is going to take them there.