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Alternative & Indie - Released August 27, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Huge, bombastic synth pop—it's been done right? But Scotland's Chvrches have reached a higher plain, able to find new ways of adding fresh luster to their admittedly heard-it-before grand pop rumbles. Some of their appeal comes from Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry's ability to write actual melodies with hooks as opposed to rhythms and washy synth riffs that might somehow become a cohesive song. As oxymoronic as it sounds, their brand of synth pop conveys real messages in its lyrics and despite all the digital wonders, manages to sound very human. Chvrches' superpower though lies with Mayberry, whose incandescent voice, assertive presence and nimble, intelligent lyrics are what separates the band from its legion of competitors. Mayberry sells these tracks in undeniably convincing ways. She is a star in the most expansive sense of that fraught term, another of the talented women whose brains and hearts are leading popular music today. Along with Mayberry's bright vocals, it's the material that keeps this trio's nose above the sea of synth mediocrity. "Violent Delights" opens with a bad dream—"Had a dream your father died/ I couldn't scream, I couldn't cry/ The second night, I dreamt you drowned/ You couldn't fight, you were not found." Its sound goes lo-fi during the verses which heightens the expansive effects of the music when it comes out of the tunnel into the choruses. The band reached a personal milestone with its collaboration with obvious inspiration, The Cure's Robert Smith who sings a verse of "How Not to Drown," before joining Mayberry on the choruses where she's written succinct lines like "I wasn't scared when he caught me/ Look what it taught me." Produced and mixed by the band and recorded by Gavin Lurssen, the sonics here are digitally compressed and manipulated in service of establishing a leviathan presence from the first note. While obviously not natural, it works for music which after all comes from chips and processors. When appropriate, as in "Final Girl" (which approaches being a standard rock tune, albeit with a disco beat at the end), the sonics are dialed down to a slightly less colossal level. In the album's hookiest number, "Good Girls," Mayberry's voice shines as she sings the last verse with conviction: "Killing your idols is a chore/ And it's such a fucking bore/ Cause I don't need them anymore." Moving beyond the legends they once admired is a tingle Chvrches must be feeling recently. Synth pop with undisguised humanity—what a concept. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 25, 2018 | Virgin Records Ltd

The Glaswegian synth pop group are back with their third record to date, titled Love Is Dead. Landing on the scene back in 2013, with their debut album The Bones Of What You Believe, the band have enjoyed worldwide success thanks to Lauren Mayberry’s powerful vocals and Iain Cook and Martin Doherty’s pop heavy synths and beats. The LP also welcomes a feature from The National’s frontman Matt Berninger, on the track My Enemy, which feels like it could have easily been off a record by the xx. The opening track, Graffiti, is particularly impressive while singles Never Say Die and Miracle are alluring pop numbers with their evolving commanding synths and snappy hooks. Possibly the most meaningful and socially aware track on the LP is Graves, as CHVCHES speak on how the powerful in society often turn a blind eye to “people washing up on the shore”, a cry perhaps to the refugee crisis that cripples millions in our world today. Overall, it’s a welcomed effort from CHVCHES, their first since 2015 (Every Open Eye), as the album is extremely catchy, with a flooding of altered vocals and synth leads that feel repetitive at times, but will no doubt appeal to fans far and wide. © Aidan Nickerson/ Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 7, 2013 | Virgin Records Ltd

Arriving after a year's worth of anticipation that included plenty of blogger appreciation, several EPs, and inclusion in the BBC's Sound of 2013 shortlist, Chvrches' debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, surpassed the significant hype surrounding it. Many of these songs already appeared on those buzz-building EPs, most notably "The Mother We Share," "Gun," and "Recover," all of which exemplify the Glasgow trio's way with frosty synths and poignant melodies. Within the album's context, though, they reveal a band not nearly as arty or aloof as seemingly like-minded contemporaries. With their ready hooks and fondness for grand gestures, Chvrches bring pop with a capital P back to synth pop. As their early EPs hinted, a large part of their appeal comes from Lauren Mayberry's voice. There's something about her bright, slightly raspy soprano that grabs ears and hearts, even though she spends most of the album telling off those near and dear to her. On "Lungs," she sings "All the things you tell yourself offer no resolution" to a melody so sweet that it just sharpens the sting of her words, and the way she delivers the refrain "I'll be a thorn in your side" on "We Sink" sounds more like a promise than a threat. While keyboardist/vocalist Martin Doherty's lead turns on "Under the Tide" and the dreamy album-closer "You Caught the Light" offer pleasant respites from Mayberry's intensity, his tracks take the band in a direction that sounds more like a synth-driven version of Frightened Rabbit or the Twilight Sad (in fact, Doherty was a touring member of the latter band). Like those bands, as well as their '80s influences, Chvrches embrace big sounds and feelings without a trace of irony, whether it's "Tether"'s massive drums or Mayberry's pleas to "make me blind so I don't ever look back" on the slow-building "Night Sky." This combination of disarming emotional directness and huge melodies makes The Bones of What You Believe a fine introduction to one of the bands who helped shape the sound of the 2010s © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2015 | Virgin Records Ltd

Chvrches' impact on the pop landscape made itself known almost immediately after the release of The Bones of What You Believe -- in the years that followed, artists big and small were borrowing the Scottish trio's flair for heart-on-sleeve lyrics wrapped in soaring, synth-laden choruses. Even if the sensitive synth-pop field was more crowded at the time of Every Open Eye's release than it was in 2013, Chvrches distinguish themselves by continuing to do this sound better than just about anyone. Rather than expanding on their debut's combination of hooks and huge soundscapes, they streamline the formula that made songs like "Recover" and "The Mother We Share" so beloved. "Never Ending Circles," with its staccato verses and sweeping choruses, might be the quintessential Chvrches song. This isn't to say that Every Open Eye is predictable. The band makes some subtle adjustments, opting for a bright, punchy approach inspired by Quincy Jones' work with Michael Jackson on Off the Wall and Thriller, where the producer made a handful of elements sound massive. Sometimes the '80s influence is understated, adding a more urgent bounce to songs like "Keep You on My Side" and "Bury It;" sometimes it's more blatant, with the synth tones on "Make Them Gold" evoking the theme song to St. Elmo's Fire, and the giddy arpeggios on "Clearest Blue" echoing Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough." But even if Every Open Eye is cheerier-sounding than The Bones of What You Believe, its emotions are just as complex. As on their debut, it's Lauren Mayberry who brings Chvrches' skyward sounds back down to earth. On songs such as "Empty Threat" and "Playing Dead," she's vulnerable yet clear-eyed, open to letting people into her heart and strong enough to let them go if and when the time comes. Martin Doherty sings one of the album's most disillusioned songs, the Twin Shadow-esque "High Enough to Carry You Over" and shines on "Down Side of Me," a mournful duet with Mayberry that delivers one of the album's stand-out moments and proves the band's dark side is alive and well. It's another example of how Chvrches give fans what they want without rehashing their debut on Every Open Eye, an almost uncannily well-crafted second album. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released May 13, 2016 | EA Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 19, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2015 | Virgin Records Ltd

Chvrches' impact on the pop landscape made itself known almost immediately after the release of The Bones of What You Believe -- in the years that followed, artists big and small were borrowing the Scottish trio's flair for heart-on-sleeve lyrics wrapped in soaring, synth-laden choruses. Even if the sensitive synth-pop field was more crowded at the time of Every Open Eye's release than it was in 2013, Chvrches distinguish themselves by continuing to do this sound better than just about anyone. Rather than expanding on their debut's combination of hooks and huge soundscapes, they streamline the formula that made songs like "Recover" and "The Mother We Share" so beloved. "Never Ending Circles," with its staccato verses and sweeping choruses, might be the quintessential Chvrches song. This isn't to say that Every Open Eye is predictable. The band makes some subtle adjustments, opting for a bright, punchy approach inspired by Quincy Jones' work with Michael Jackson on Off the Wall and Thriller, where the producer made a handful of elements sound massive. Sometimes the '80s influence is understated, adding a more urgent bounce to songs like "Keep You on My Side" and "Bury It;" sometimes it's more blatant, with the synth tones on "Make Them Gold" evoking the theme song to St. Elmo's Fire, and the giddy arpeggios on "Clearest Blue" echoing Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough." But even if Every Open Eye is cheerier-sounding than The Bones of What You Believe, its emotions are just as complex. As on their debut, it's Lauren Mayberry who brings Chvrches' skyward sounds back down to earth. On songs such as "Empty Threat" and "Playing Dead," she's vulnerable yet clear-eyed, open to letting people into her heart and strong enough to let them go if and when the time comes. Martin Doherty sings one of the album's most disillusioned songs, the Twin Shadow-esque "High Enough to Carry You Over" and shines on "Down Side of Me," a mournful duet with Mayberry that delivers one of the album's stand-out moments and proves the band's dark side is alive and well. It's another example of how Chvrches give fans what they want without rehashing their debut on Every Open Eye, an almost uncannily well-crafted second album. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 19, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 16, 2018 | Virgin Records Ltd

For many bands, it's a rite of passage to release acoustic renditions of their songs, and it's one that Chvrches undergoes with the Hansa Session EP. During their tour in support of Love Is Dead, the trio took the opportunity to record unplugged versions of some of the album's songs at Berlin's famed Hansa studio, which has hosted David Bowie, Depeche Mode, and Nick Cave, among others. While many acts bring in the acoustic guitars and strings to add more emotional weight to their songs, the Love Is Dead songs Chvrches chose to remake on Hansa Session were already among the most moving on the album. "Graffiti" remains a wide-eyed highlight, while the hushed original version of "Really Gone" foreshadowed this release and sounds equally poignant here. The band takes the opportunity to experiment on "Heaven/Hell," which features a string arrangement that opens up the song and gives it more movement. However, the EP's most transformed song has to be "Miracle"; without the original version's heavy breakdowns, it feels searching instead of defiant. Though it's missing the magic that happens when Lauren Mayberry's voice combines with Iain Cook and Martin Doherty's synths, Hansa Session is still a nice change of musical scenery for Chvrches and their fans. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 3, 2020 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 27, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

Huge, bombastic synth pop—it's been done right? But Scotland's Chvrches have reached a higher plain, able to find new ways of adding fresh luster to their admittedly heard-it-before grand pop rumbles. Some of their appeal comes from Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry's ability to write actual melodies with hooks as opposed to rhythms and washy synth riffs that might somehow become a cohesive song. As oxymoronic as it sounds, their brand of synth pop conveys real messages in its lyrics and despite all the digital wonders, manages to sound very human. Chvrches' superpower though lies with Mayberry, whose incandescent voice, assertive presence and nimble, intelligent lyrics are what separates the band from its legion of competitors. Mayberry sells these tracks in undeniably convincing ways. She is a star in the most expansive sense of that fraught term, another of the talented women whose brains and hearts are leading popular music today. Along with Mayberry's bright vocals, it's the material that keeps this trio's nose above the sea of synth mediocrity. "Violent Delights" opens with a bad dream—"Had a dream your father died/ I couldn't scream, I couldn't cry/ The second night, I dreamt you drowned/ You couldn't fight, you were not found." Its sound goes lo-fi during the verses which heightens the expansive effects of the music when it comes out of the tunnel into the choruses. The band reached a personal milestone with its collaboration with obvious inspiration, The Cure's Robert Smith who sings a verse of "How Not to Drown," before joining Mayberry on the choruses where she's written succinct lines like "I wasn't scared when he caught me/ Look what it taught me." Produced and mixed by the band and recorded by Gavin Lurssen, the sonics here are digitally compressed and manipulated in service of establishing a leviathan presence from the first note. While obviously not natural, it works for music which after all comes from chips and processors. When appropriate, as in "Final Girl" (which approaches being a standard rock tune, albeit with a disco beat at the end), the sonics are dialed down to a slightly less colossal level. In the album's hookiest number, "Good Girls," Mayberry's voice shines as she sings the last verse with conviction: "Killing your idols is a chore/ And it's such a fucking bore/ Cause I don't need them anymore." Moving beyond the legends they once admired is a tingle Chvrches must be feeling recently. Synth pop with undisguised humanity—what a concept. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 25, 2013 | Goodbye Records - Virgin Records

"The production might have a glassy sheen, but raging waters churn below the surface in the lyrics of love and hope, sung by petite frontwoman Lauren Mayberry..." © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 4, 2014 | Hunger Games 3 - Mockingjay

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 12, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 19, 2017 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 7, 2019 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 6, 2017 | 7-Inches For™, LLC

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