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The Bones of What You Believe by Chvrches

Glasgow group Chvrches (you pronounce it “Churches”) have their first album out this week.

I was reading my usual Saturday morning tranche of arts in the Times and Chvrches were a mere afterthought compared with the Mazzy Star release that took top billing.

Mazzy were quite pretty sounding, but it is a bit like having your ears under water and the music up above.  After a whole Monday morning of this I decided against buying the album and moved onto Chvrches.

I still wasn’t sure if it was for me though.  I liked it; it’s pop-py, echoey, synthy, with a shiny metallic tang to it (just metallic not Metal in the conventional sense). I was aware that I couldn’t have it on all the time though.  It would give me a headache.  Like living inside a box lined with aluminium foil.

On Wednesday I got to work and found that our internet filters have been changed and Soundcloud is now categorised as Social Networking.  Apart from one random person “follow”ing me (Why?  I’ve got one song on my list, which is only there because I clicked by accident), Soundcloud to me is about as social as a date with an elective mute.

I knew then that I needed my Chvrches fix.  I needed my dose of light as almond biscuit vocals and dark as stirred coffee grounds lyrics.  I bought the album.

My favourite tracks are the high energy ones, which means that the first half of the album is doing it for me at the moment and I am skipping some of the later tracks. The opening three tracks are my favourite: The Mother We Share, We Sink and Gun.

I tried to research what these songs are about, but on Chvrches’ Facebook Q&A session, Lauren explained that she doesn’t like to talk about what the songs mean, because it might ruin listeners’ own interpretations.

A clue would be good though?  Cos I think my interpretations might just be ridiculously far out there. My own interpretations of the first three songs are that they are possibly about: incest; drug abuse; and tragic ends to obsessive abusive relationships. But I might be wrong. Someone else posting on the Net thought that the songs were primarily about love and loss.

Chvrches are a really interesting group, as well as producing interesting music. There’s a profile here:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jun/13/chvrches-music-for-the-masses

where you can see what sort of a band would produce music open to such interpretations, which you can simultaneously imagine dancing until dawn to.

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for introducing me to this band! I really like the echo-y quality! And they are not shallow. Yeah maybe as you said some of the subject matter may be grave, the tone is nice!!!

  2. Lovely, descriptive image: light as almond biscuit vocals and dark as stirred coffee grounds lyrics. Good writing!

    I’ll pass on listening to the band. I’m sure they’re very good, but my ears and my central nervous system are ultra-sensitive. But my sons would like them, I’m sure. I’ll ask if they’ve heard of them…

    • Yeah, you don’t want to listen to this lot if you have a sensitive nervous system. This sort of music does make me feel a bit wired and intense. I suppose that was what made me think of the coffee…

    • I hadn’t heard of them either until last weekend. Apparently they are a big internet phenomenon. I don’t keep with music news, but when I like something it takes me over and then I have to share it.

  3. Denise, what a coincidence! Hubbie and I happened to watch the late Jools Holland show on Saturday night and who do you think was on there….Chvrches of course! Never heard of them up until then and here I am readng your review! I tend not to go on my blog at the weekend so I have massive catching up to do on Monday morning! Anyway, thanks for this. I did enjoy listening to them, need to hear more before I know if I really like them or not!

    • They do tend to stick in your head and put you in a certain kind of mood. Let’s just say it’s not the stuff I put on if I want to get into a restful frame of mind!

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