Published Sep 27, 2013On their full-length debut, The Bones of What You Believe, Glasgow trio Chvrches play music that can be defined by its heavy use of synths, drum machines and infectious melodies. Some characterize the band as an electronic act, but whether the group are a straight-up pop act is a matter of contention; lead singer Lauren Mayberry isn't a fan of the "pop" label and almost rejects it.
"It depends on someone's interpretation of pop, but I think that some people use that as an insult and I'm not really down with that," Mayberry tells Exclaim! "For us, we never went into the studio thinking, 'What makes a good pop band?'"
Chvrches' debut album surely boasts pop melodies in the sense that songs are simple to hum along to, but complex in lyrical and instrumental technicality. The elements are definitely there, but Mayberry refuses to be defined by it, for fear of being oversimplified.
Mayberry, who comes from a "more independent and alternative" background, won't deny her ability to write "a really sweet melody" but adds that her and bandmates Iain Cook and Martin Doherty try their best to push those words even further in the music itself.
"We want to bring the songwriting to the foreground and sometimes we'll deliberately fuck things up so that they're not as pleasing to the ears," she explains. "You can push things a bit further with the aggression of the production so that there's juxtaposition between the light and dark that hopefully comes across on the record."
Mayberry cites a song like "Gun" as an example: "It's more immediate, but the production sounds more twisted. What's important to us is that nothing is too fucked up or too sweet; it shouldn't be at either end of the spectrum."
And even though Chvrches have begun to pick up momentum with radio plays, Mayberry explains that they're not exactly a traditionally Top 40 act. She adds, "Even in production, the lack of AutoTune and the content we write about aren't your stereotypical radio-friendly stuff."
The Bones of What You Believe is out now on Glassnote. You can check all their upcoming tour dates here.