CHVRCHES – Recover EP review

CHVRCHES are here to remind everyone that eighties synth-pop is not dead, it simply renamed itself electro-pop and crawled back out of whatever space it was hiding in.

A three-person band from Glasgow, CHVRCHES spell their name with a v to differentiate themselves in internet searches. Their lead vocalist (Lauren Mayberry) is a young woman with a crystal clear tone and an ethereal style of singing. In photos she appears to be a wispy, waif of a girl who obviously has a powerful set of lungs, given the sheer size of her voice The ‘rhythm section’ is two Glaswegians (Iain Cook and Martin Doherty) who play synthesizers and engage in all sorts of sequencing and digital arranging magic.

The offering in question is a five song EP comprised of three originals and two guest artist remixes of the first track. The end result is approximately twenty minutes long and, if you dig highly danceable electro synth-pop, about as perfect as it gets.

This is a group that was meant to create music together. Mayberry’s vocals are a perfect match for the production skills of of Cook and Doherty. And what skills they are. Shifting textures, clear-yet-integrated sectional changes, beautiful tone colors, and a severely lazy backbeat that imparts so much vitality to the rhythm. Speaking of rhythm, the sixteenth note staggering of the high hat before the second downbeat of each measure on the pre-chorus of ‘Recover’ is an example of the kinds of subtle effects these two get up to. I think I’ll stop typing at this point. If you haven’t done so already, look them up and start reveling in the electrified beauty of it all. Don’t forget about the v.

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