If you are in a band and you've heard of Chvrches, you probably hate them. After all, within a year of forming, the Scottish trio have become perhaps the most fêted new band on the planet — all on the strength of but a pair of recorded tunes. Their first shows in Britain and on the Continent were packed to the gills. Their upcoming first visit to our Yank shores, to gobble up spring festival hype Stateside after having done likewise in 2012 in Europe, will no doubt bring them far more acclaim than they "deserve." Right?
And yet: a listen to those aforementioned two tracks (May's "Lies" and September's "The Mother We Share") reveals the origin of the hype: an enthralling bounce, a disorienting volley of synth stabs, and the clarion call of Lauren Mayberry's singular vocal style. There is something about Mayberry's delivery — honest, young, and still believing in things worth believing in while avoiding the clichés of the childish imp lost amidst an electroclash. In that way she echoes the innocent virtue of Harriet Wheeler of 120 Minutes heroes the Sundays. But Mayberry's ability to hold her own amidst the waves of crunk attack is closer to Megan James of Purity Ring than to the Sundays' gentle melodicism.
Chvrches assaulted the world in the guise of a band out of nowhere. The truth is more banal: Mayberry began working with Martin Doherty (ex-Twilight Sad) and Iain Cook (ex-Aerogramme) as what at the time was a side gig from her then main project, the more pedestrian-sounding Blue Sky Archives. But the jams the trio concocted couldn't be denied. Whether they continue to blow minds when they release their still-to-be-named debut EP in March remains to be seen (in their US mini-tour, the closest they get to our city are two New York dates post-SXSW). But in the meantime, continue to hate at will, as the earnestness of the band's international charm offensive bludgeons ever on.
: Music Features
, WFNX, 120 Minutes