I feel like at some point I should get around to covering the rest of the CHVRCHES album lineup aside from Screen Violence. In proper fashion, I’m going to roll it back to their first album, The Bones of What You Believe. It’s appropriate because it’s the 10th anniversary of the album. I actually can’t say accurately when I first listened to CHVRCHES, though I can say I only recently started caring about them. I know that when I started to care, I realized that I already had at least one album I had bought on Amazon. So at some point, they showed up in a $5 album sale, and I decided I liked the sound and impulse bought it.
It’s probably worth mentioning that the album also recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary.
I also know that for a while I was aware somewhere of a band called “Churches” because for some reason I thought maybe they did that song Take Me to Church, which is actually by Hozier. This is based entirely on the whole Church/CHVRCH thing.
Whatever the case, while I probably heard their more popular tracks starting from this album, I didn’t really start listening until much later, though before the Screen Violence era. Anyway, after I started listening, shortly before Screen Violence, probably at the recommendation of folks in the Sigrid Discord, they quickly shot up to the top tier of my favorite artists. They are currently 2nd on my Last.fm scrobbles. I imagine that another influence was my obsession with Forza Horizon 4, which features Never Say Die, from Love is Dead.
I would say it’s hard to pick a favorite song from the album, except the track Gun is on this one, and it’s my favorite CHVRCHES track, so that’s pretty easy to pick. I just really love the metaphor of the hook. You fucked up, and you’re going to pay for it.
Maybe my second favorite track on this album is Tether, though it wasn’t always. It’s sort of grown into that place. I just absolutely love the build from calm and slow to the break at the peak. I also really enjoy the vocal effects and overlapping sounds of this one.
There are plenty of fan favorites and other notable tracks though. Their first big single, Mother We Share is such a good opener to the album with the echoing vocals. I particularly like the up-and-down background rhythms and the slappy fake clap beat that runs throughout. I want to say Lies, was the first track they actually performed during live sets, and while it’s popular, it’s probably one of my least favorite tracks on the album, because it’s very repetitive and flat in it’s overall presentation.
A few more of the more popular tracks are Night Sky, which I believe took 2nd place for most popular in the CHVRCHES Discord tournament (behind Clearest Blue). Science/Visions goes incredibly hard, and is pretty amazing live as well. Recover was the second single from Bones and has some following but it reminds me a lot of lies in that it’s a bit repetitive and it’s lower on my list of songs I enjoy. Another really good one is We Sink, which drives pretty hard and really shows off the CHVRCHES sound well.
Also notable is how many Martin lead songs are on this album. What I understand reading the history of the band, is that Martin was going to be the lead vocals before Lauren came along. There are two tracks from Martin on the base version of this album, Under the Tide and You Caught the Light. The Deluxe version adds the previously released track Zvvl, and the 10th-anniversary release adds in the previously unreleased Manhattan and Talking in My Sleep. That’s quite a few Martin tracks from the early era of CHVRCHES. It certainly would have been a different band without Lauren.
Another that I’ve started enjoying a lot more lately, though it seems contradictory since I dislike the repetition of Lies and Recover is Tightrope, though it’s only on certain bonus versions, and is a cover of Janelle Monáe. I just rather like the “T-t-tightrope” stutter lyrics and the varying vocals in the “high or low” bits.
All in all, like most of CHVRCHES music, it’s pretty much all good. I’ve been listening to this album for a while, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming 10th-anniversary re-release and all it entails.