If there was a way to simultaneously drink champagne and ride a roller coaster without getting nauseous, it would feel very much like The Bones of What You Believe, debut studio album from Scottish group Chvrches. From the very first track on the album, the impossibly delicious “The Mother We Share,” Bones is awash in bubbly techno riffs, with the angelic voice of lead singer Lauren Mayberry floating effortlessly atop waves of synth-ridden delight.
Described as “synthpop” by Wikipedia, Chvrches has a modern, expansive sound similar to bands such as M83, the French electronic band famous for their powerhouse single “Midnight City.” Chvrches, spelled uniquely in order to differentiate themselves from religious google searches, is relatively new to the musical scene, releasing their first single in the fall of 2012. But the three-member group from Glasgow has exploded in popularity over the past year, earning fifth place on the BBC’s “Sound of 2013” list.
Bones is like a travel-sized European nightclub, infinitely dance-able and addictively enchanting. Highlights from the album include the magnificent array of percussive beats that is “Recover,” the slow and exquisite electronic ballad “You Caught the Light,” and “Gun,” a peppy song featuring Mayberry’s pure, childish voice issuing playfully violent lyrics such as “I will be a gun, and it’s you I’ll come for.” At first listen, Chvrches may seem like just another group of twenty-somethings taking advantage of the electronically-inclined eardrums of today’s youth. But there’s a deep musical sincerity beneath the glitter of reverberating synth. Maybe it’s the way that Mayberry pronounces her vowels in such a delightfully Scottish accent. Perhaps it’s the contrast between beseechingly serious lyrics and unabashedly fun beats. Either way, Bones is worth a listen. Turn off the lights, turn on the strobe light, and be carried away by this musical feast.