Released: September Genre: Synth Pop Metacritic Rating: 81%
The Bones Of What You Believe is one of the most accessible records I’ve heard this year. I know people who like Converge, Deafheaven, Blink 182, The Story So Far, The Gaslight Anthem etcetera who’d say they love it as much as I do. There isn’t necessarily anything overly special about Chvrches’ debut album that gives it this quality, but it’s more a testament to how good the album actually is. Synth-pop can be a tricky and cruel genre, with artist like Fenech Soler producing good music and not getting their just desserts, but Chvrches did everything right on their debut, especially when releasing ‘Gun’ and ‘The Mother We Share’ as the two lead singles. Both are synth-pop perfection, especially the former, making use of sharp production and excellent vocals. The latter is one of my favourite releases this year, and I listened to very little else for the week after first hearing it. Lauren Mayberry’s Scottish accent only adds to the charm the songs possess, whilst Iain Cook and Martin Doherty paint sparkling soundscapes for her to sing over. It all comes together beautifully; reaching a standard that surpasses what’s expected from a debut release. Untraditional darker moments (‘Tether’, ‘Science / Visons’) give the album much more character, and overall every song is expertly crafted. There’s a good mix of the more challenging, mature pop songs and sweeter sing-song moments like on the excellent ‘Recover’ and for that reason among many others The Bones Of What You Believe is absolutely sublime, and the first pop album I’ve really enjoyed enough to rate this highly in a few years. It offers a unique take on synth pop that makes for catchy songs which are exhilarating and catchy.