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Been to Chvrch Lately?

Not your typical indie electro band, Chvrches command respect



    Glasgow’s synth-pop trio Chvrches don’t beg respect-- it just comes to them. In line with the '80s-influenced electro trend that’s been taking over airwaves, Chvrches started selling out shows in the U.K. and U.S. even before releasing a full-length album. Relying on the viral success of “The Mother We Share” and “Lies" - both released online before appearing on September’s album, The Bones of What You Believe - the Scottish trio enticed crowds with singer Lauren Mayberry’s sweet voice carrying ominous lyrics over spacey synths.

    But don’t be fooled by the group’s genre label. Though Chvrches’ music falls within the electronic range, the tracks are both symphonic and addictively youthful, the lyrics threatening in the way that a high school girl’s love is -- but deadly serious and intelligently produced. It’s no wonder, with multi-instrumentalists Iain Cook and Martin Doherty working as a producer and session musician respectively, and Mayberry a journalist and production assistant before going full-time with Chvrches.
    The woman (and her words in particular) is fierce -- at the end of September, she published an op-ed in the Guardian addressing the predatory sexual assaults that female musicians are subjected to - and expected to accept - because that’s just how things are done in the industry. Mayberry had shared a screenshot of one of the tamer messages on the band’s Facebook page, but it was the resulting comments (more than 1,000 of them), ranging from supportive to repulsive, that prompted her public response. It’s a bold, beautifully poignant piece that has helped elevate the group from musically sound to solidly respectable.
    Personalities aside, the real pleasure at a live Chvrches show comes from watching each member succumb to the music: Mayberry’s determined, proper composition crumbles and rebuilds almost expertly, a charming vulnerability blinking through, while Cook and Doherty palpably inhabit the sounds, starting with their bobbing heads and moving down through their entire bodies. This may be a show -- and it’s a damn good one -- but no one’s acting.
    Chvrches play House of Blues on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 8 pm, all ages. Basecamp opens.