One of the biggest success stories in Scottish music during 2013, is Chvrches, who will soon release their fifth single Lies, on Virgin Records. This sees Chvrches go full circle to where their career started. After all, Lies was their debut single. It was released in an unusual way, through the blog of the Neon Gold label. People were able to download a free copy of Lies. their debut single. This somewhat unorthodox approach to marketing worked. Soon, word was spreading about Chvrches.
Two years later, Chvrches are one of Scotland’s most successful musical exports. Having released one of the most highly anticipated albums of recent years, The Bones Of What You Believe, it seems Chvrches can do no wrong. The remarkable thing is, everything has happened so quickly for Chvrches.
Chvrches were founded just two years ago in 2011. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind musical adventure for Lauren Mayberry, Ian Cook and Martin Doherty. They’ve spent the last two years touring the world converting people to their unique brand of shimmering electro-pop. Britain, Europe, Canada and America gave been conquered by Chvrches. Somehow, Chvrches have also found the time to release a four singles and a trio of E.Ps. These singles were a tantalizing taste of the main event, Chvrches highly anticipated debut album The Bones Of What You Believe, which was the result of two years work and determination from Chvrches.
The face and voice of Chvrches, lead vocalist and keyboard player, Lauren Mayberry is an accidental pop star. Originally, she studied law and after graduating, studied journalism. With a Masters in journalism on her C.V. Lauren became an award-winning freelance journalist. From there, she almost inadvertently, became a musician.
Like many Scottish children, she learnt to play the piano as a child. It’s almost a rite of passage. Then when she was a teenager, Lauren learnt to play the drums. Drums or piano, it’s no contest. Soon, she was playing drums for various bands. Between the ages of fifteen and twenty-two, Lauren played in two bands. In Boyfriend/Girlfriend she was the drummer. Then when Lauren joined Blue Sky Archives, she played keyboards and drums. It was in Blue Sky Archives, that Lauren met Ian Cook.
Blue Sky Archives were recording an E.P. and the producer was Ian Cook. He’d originally been a member of Aerogramme and The Unwinding Hours. Ian also wrote music for television and film. Production was another thing he enjoyed. Through producing Blue Sky Archives, Ian met Lauren. She proved to be just who he was looking for.
Ian Cook and Martin Doherty, who was a member of The Twilight Sad when they played live, were working on a new project. They needed someone to lay down some vocals. Neither Ian nor Martin saw themselves as lead vocalists. So, Lauren was asked to come along and sing on a demo.
Little did Lauren realize what she’d let herself in for. Ian and Martin it seems, are perfectionists. That proved to be no bad thing. They spent eight months in a basement studio, working on their new project. Eventually, it was finished. It had been such a success, they decided to transform this studio project into a live band, that became Chvrches.
May 2012, saw Chvrches release their first single. They did this in an unusual way. Through the blog of the Neon Gold label, people were able to download a free copy of Lies, their debut single. This somewhat unorthodox release must have worked. Soon, people were talking about Chvrches. By now momentum was building. What helped, was that Chvrches were a great live band. Throughout the summer of 2012, were honing their live act. Quickly, word was spreading about this new Glasgow band. September 2012 it seemed, was the right time to release their sophomore single.
The Mother We Share was released in September 2012. In between touring, Chvrches found two days to write and record their new single. On its release, it was well received by critics. They were falling over themselves to heap praise on Glasgow’s newest band. A classy and classic slice of glistening, ethereal electro-pop, Chvrches had made an impression.
At the end of 2012, when various magazines and radio stations published their best of 2012 polls, Chvrches name loomed large. The NME, BBC and Huffington Post praised Lies and The Mother We Share. This new band had made a big impression. Would 2013 be as big a year for Chvrches?
Looking at Chvrches achievements so far, I’d suggest that they’ve surpassed everything they achieved during 2012. They’ve released two single and two E.P.s.
Chvrches third single Recover, which was released in February 2013, gave them their first hit single in the UK. It reached number ninety-one. After that, Chvrches had to divide their time wisely. They’d an album to record and had a busy touring schedule to fulfil. In between recording their debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, Chvrches continued to tour. There were still parts of the world where Chvrches’ gospel hadn’t been heard. Agnostics had to be transformed into believers. This was working
July 2013 saw Chvrches released their fourth single Gun. Just like Recover, Gun was available as either a single or an E.P. Gun gave Chvrches the biggest single of their nascent career. Not only did it reach number fifty-five in the UK, but number forty-four in Japan. It seemed that with each single, Chvrches were conquering another part of the world. Britain first, then Europe, Canada, America and now Japan are all devotees of Chvrches.
Recently, on a coast to coast tour of America, Churches have been winning friends and influencing American musical lovers. This is perfect timing. After all, Chvrches’ debut album The Bones Of What You Believe, was due for released on the 23rd September 2013 on Virgin. Written by the three members of Chvrches, The Bones Of What You Believe was without doubt, one of the most eagerly awaited and anticipated albums of recent years. Critically acclaimed and commercially successful, Chvrches are enjoying success world-wide So, it’s the perfect time to released their latest single Lies, which I’ll tell you about.
Thunderous drums and beeping, squeaking synths open Lies. They provide the backdrop for Lauren’s sassy, feisty vocal. Behind her, Ian Cook and Martin Doherty unleash banks of keyboards and synths, while drums provide a dramatic, electro heartbeat. Add to this Lauren’s ethereal, multi-tracked backing vocals. They provide a contrast to the dark, dramatic arrangement. It takes on a life of its own. It’s becomes a collosus. As it marches, struts and swaggers along, Lauren’s vocal is full of bravado, feisty and oozes sass.
Lies is a tantalising taste of what Chvrches are capable of. It’s also a tantalising taste of their critically acclaimed debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe. Indeed, Lies like The Bones Of What You Believe, not only lived up to expectations, but surpassed them. An example of innovative, inventive music, it’s pioneering electro-pop, full of drama, sass, shimmering synths and the ethereal beauty of Lauren Mayberry’s vocal. Along with Ian Cook and Martin Doherty, Chvrches fuse electro pop, house, synth pop, hi-NRG, Euro Disco, pop, indie rock and soul. Dance-floor friendly, anthemic, soulful and full of slick poppy hooks, Lies in another example of Chvches style of pop perfection. That’s why Chvrches will be Scotland’s next big musical export. Many have been contenders for the title, now it looks like Chvrches with their unique sound, will claim it as their own.
Chvrches have restored my faith in modern music. I’m pleased that still, there are a group capable of making the perfect pop song. That’s what I’d described Lies and their debut album The Bones Of What You Believe as. It’s a reminder of what a classic pop song sounds like. For everyone who says pop music is dead, play them Lies, then The Bones Of What You Believe. That’ll prove them wrong. Pop music is alive and kicking, and Chvrches’ new single Lies and The Bones Of What You Believe is the future and salvation of pop music.