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At the end of 2012, Scottish electro-pop trio Chvrches had little more to its name than a couple songs online and a bit of buzz. The polite yet insistent buzz from the beginning of the year has grown to a roar by fall, making The Bones Of What You Believe one of 2013’s most anticipated albums.
A lot has been made of Chvrches’ similarities to The Knife, but The Bones Of What You Believe owes more to earlier electro-pop and electronic rock bands, such as New Order, OMD, or even Yazoo. (The New Order/OMD comparison feels especially apparent when multi-instrumentalist Martin Doherty—a former touring member of The Twilight Sad—takes lead vocals on “Under The Tide.”) “Science/Visions” veers away from the album’s poppier sound and into straight-up EDM, and moody album closer “You Caught The Light”—led again by Doherty—conjures Disintegration-era Cure.
Chvrches’ bread and butter remains highly melodic, synthesizer-based pop, but with just the right amount of darkness, thanks in part to Mayberry. She has a law degree and a masters in journalism, so she writes like she has something to say, not just to fill the space in the songs. She, Doherty, and multi-instrumentalist Iain Cook have crafted one of the year’s best albums, which means that buzz won’t be dying down any time soon. — The A.V. Club