When new albums are released and garner widespread buzz, I believe that the best thing to do is to ignore that album and instead find something else that the group did at some point in the past. Blogs don't get much more iconoclastic than this, motherfuckers!
Speaking of being a genuine iconoclast, I sure am enjoying listening to this album that plenty of other people had already praised back in 2013. Synthpop is not one of my go-to genres, but between The Bones of What You Believe and Emotion, it's starting to grow on me. This album's layered synth sounds, electronically distorted vocals, and slapping sounds of drum machines have a ton of verve to them.
Many of this album's highlights are bombastic anthems with an uplifting energy that belies the darker lyrical content. Listening to the wonderful "Gun" makes me want to dance, even while lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry claims that she'll come after me in the form of a gun. That sounds pretty weird, now that I've typed it out. Similarly, Mayberry promises to lie to the oblivious listener in "Lungs" through a vocal filter that transforms her into some kind of vengeful robot sprite, but I'm too busy banging my head to the bass to feel too threatened. Heck, if you give "Tether" a listen, I'm sure that you'll forget that the song is about a hopeless quagmire of a relationship that Mayberry finds herself stuck in after the song's powerful climax.
Throughout most of the album's second half, Chvrches mixes things up a bit, branching out into techno, moody ballads and more. There are only two tracks that prominently feature vocals from Martin Doherty, which is a bit of a shame; his voice provides a nice contrast to Mayberry's and I could see the two of them performing some interesting duets.
I hope that you're all looking forward to my post about their new stuff that will likely go up several years from now!