Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty and Iain Cook pose for
When I pop a CD in for the first time, this is the kind of sound I want to hear. The slow ethereal build coupled with Mayberry's heavily distorted and rhythmic vocals is a great way of grabbing my attention and hooking the listener. In the first verse you get to pay close attention to the exposed synth chords and hear Mayberry's vocals au naturel for the first time. Her voice strikes me as childlike; it's the voice of a performer that doesn't sound good live. It's tinny, and doesn't have a lot of natural power, but it sounds great when distorted, and makes for pensive melodies.
Mayberry's lyrics don't do much for me, but Doherty and Cook's synth work is so catchy that the lyrics don't need to compensate. This is just a really pretty sounding song, even if it doesn't mean anything to me personally. It's good to listen to and is enough to get some people to buy a couple tracks off the album. Just as the hook at the start of the song grips the listener to enjoy the whole song, the track serves as the same hook for the entire album. It's very strategically done, and I think successfully so as well.
Much of the album is nice to listen to as well. If you want to hear Doherty and Cook's pipes, listen to "Under the Tide". For a bigger meal of Mayberry's distorted vocals and layered harmonies, listen to "Lungs". The bonus track, "Strong Hand", on the special edition is somewhere between house music and a Carly Rae Jepsen single, and has a really cool sound. To hear the mellower side of CHVRCHES, listen to the melancholy "Tether". All beautiful tracks on what I hope proves to be a successful album. Kudos to CHVRCHES and their single, "The Mother We Share", which I give...
3.5 out of 5