Sunday, October 20, 2013

Best New Album

If you listen to The Knix Mix, you know that I've been playing the self produced debut LP, The Bones of What You Believe, from the Scottish trio CHVRCHES religiously since it arrived in the studio in September.  Pun intended.  It is The Knix Pick for the best new release.  
CHVRCHES has managed to combine the elements that I can't resist in electronic music:  relatable lyrics that stick in your head and make you want to sing along, uptempo but wistful tracks that fuse indie pop and dance, and a synthpop sound with slick hooks.  Guitars are decidedly absent.  The vocals supplied by Lauren Mayberry, who studied to be a lawyer and was an award winning journalist, don't hurt either.  I'm always a fan of distinctive female vocalists, and Lauren's is emotive, raw and occasionally soars in tracks like my current favorite "Lies."  Iain Cook and Martin Doherty, the other two members of the trio, were kicking around Glasgow's indie scene prior to working with Lauren.  Cook and Doherty handle most of the instrumentation and Doherty provides some vocals.  Apparently, the band name CHVRCHES has no particular religious connotation and is styled with a "V" to make Google searches easier.  
There are the inevitable comparisons to Depeche Mode, which I've noted on more than one CHVRCHES review.  Most likely because they opened for Depeche Mode this summer.  It seems like every alternative band with melancholy lyrics, synthesizers, and the potential for mass appeal is compared to Depeche Mode. (Other bands survived the 80's and went on to critical success too, no?)  I'm thinking Garbage myself.  Being that there are charismatic Scottish chicks fronting both.  Remember Shirley Manson?  It seems to me that fans of The Golden Filter, Naked and Famous, M83 and Cut Copy will find something to love about CHVRCHES  .  There really isn't a throwaway track on the disc.  Check them out, and see if you don't find yourselves singing "I can sell you lies!  You can't get enough!" with enthusiasm after a listen or two.

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