The electro-pop zeitgeist is fed up. With back-to-back attempts from ‘up-and-comers’ to latch onto the zippy-tempo, explosive synth formula, the genre has seen tracks melding into a clump of monotony. So when a band like Chvrches lays its first bricks at the vanguard, it’s certain you’ll soon come a-knockin’.

Heralding the stigma of bravado-borne stubbornness that curses Scots, the Glaswegian trio had already commanded global attention prior to the release of their debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, seeing them thrust into a spiral of sold out-shows and soaking up international acclaim.

Framed by the saccharine vocals of Lauren Mayberry, Chvrches have crafted their sound on a mantra of scintillating melodies, sans the compressive glitz that rapidly diminishes the life expectancy of most bands on the circuit.

TBOWYB converges the brief romances already shared, with infectious cuts ‘The Mother We Share’, ‘Lies’, ‘Recover’ and ‘Gun’ all summoned from their inaugural EP to tie together eight new cuts here. Darting through eras and experimenting with ’80s pop soundscapes, Chvrches still prove themselves songwriting artisans with melancholic content lamented over through nimble delivery and resilient, rolling synth layers.

The full expanse of the band’s charm is awakened in greater depth with the vocal baton being handed to Martin Doherty on ‘Under The Tide’, a steady crescendo working a treat and sending the listener’s suspense into overdrive. ‘You Caught The Light’ is an ambient daydream, channelling brooding tones without crossing into condescension.

Altogether, the arpeggios are compelling, the lyrics are equal parts dismissive and enticing, the melodies are savage and the debut is defiant.

Chvrches have claimed ground at the outset that many pop outfits have opted to tiptoe around.

4/5 stars


The Bones Of What You Believeis out now through Liberator Music/Goodbye Records.

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