I suspect I’m like many others in that too much hype actually makes me so annoyed about a band’s very existence that , before I’ve even listened to them, I’ve already passed some sort of judgment and I try to stay away from sampling their music for a while. Even though I was a fan, when Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot came out, I got to a point where I had read so much about it that I didn’t really feel like I needed to even explore it myself. To this day, I haven’t heard more than a couple of songs from that record.
Chvrches almost fell into the category of overexposed bands that I thought I had heard enough about to not even care to investigate any further. Then I read this from Frank Yang at Chromewaves.net:
The hype around Scottish trio CHVRCHES has probably put some off of them entirely already, some six months from the release of their debut album, and that’s a shame. Because as far as I can tell, they’re not being posited as saviours of anything, just a new band with some really good songs.
I didn’t want to be someone who fell in that foolish group of people who never gave the band a chance simply because they were buzzed about. Or, frankly, because their name seemed a bit pretentious, until it made sense (no one wants to do an internet search for a band called “Churches”). So I started with the song above, “The Mother We Share.” My initial impression was kind of the same one I had to hearing Passion Pit’s1 “Little Secrets” for the first time. It’s a bubbly, joyous, synth-driven anthem that could be blasted at full volume over and over again and not lose any of its infectiousness. In fact, I’ve been delighted by the results of testing that theory over the last few days - the song does indeed hold up after repeated plays.
I’ve read Chvrches newest single, “Recover” described as "the ‘Midnight City’ of 2013.” At first listen, I have to admit, I thought, “this is what American Idol winners will sound like in five years.” The sound is almost that glossy and the hooks are very obvious. Not that you can’t love that kind of thing, but I actually thought “The Mother We Share” came closer to earning the M83 comparison (the backing vocals near the end of the song especially remind me of “Midnight City”). In my book, that’s some of the highest praise you can give. I’m glad I didn’t let the hype machine deter me from checking out a promising new band.
Chvrches recently toured as an opening act for Passion Pit. ↩