Only half a year since Glasgow trio Chvrches released its Recovery EP, Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty are out with the the full-length The Bones of What You Believe.
Several of the EP's songs appear on the LP, but it's the strongest ones that made the second cut. Chvrches knows what works. The music works best when it moves from a sugar monotony to songs with interesting, attention-grabbing variety. The darkness of "Lies" is one of the highlights and a palate cleanser after the overdose of sweetness. "Recover" feels slightly off-balance, "Science/Visions" is a high point of dance energy and "Lungs" has a fun swagger in its beat.
Lauren Mayberry's voice is indeed a big part of Chvrches' sweet sounds, but it's not a fault. She brings lightness and fun to some darker production and knows how to slip the tiniest bit of attitude into her delivery when it's needed. When she sings, "I'll be a gun / And it's you I'll come for," it's hard to tell whether this is a threat or declaration of love.
What Chvrches nailed on The Bones of What You Believe is music that will please casual listeners and audiophiles alike. Its easy, ear-worm melodies are backed by thickly layered production that offers plenty to sift through. Once you're done enjoying it on a visceral level, you can go back through, hunting for a twinkly synth line or sporadic drum bursts you hadn't noticed before. There's a lot of electro-pop out there right now, and Chvrches are rising to the top.