Category Archives: CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe first stream

CHVRCHES debut album The Bones Of What You Believe has been anticipated worldwide for the good part of a year and now we can finally rejoice as Faster Louder has begun streaming the album ahead of its supposed release tomorrow.

Exciting stuff. Check it out through the link below.

http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/news/36939/First-listen-CHVRCHES-The-Bones-Of-What-You-Believe

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GIG REVIEW: CHVRCHES @ Oxford Art Factory – 2nd August, 2013

CHVRCHES leading lady and serial heart-stopper Lauren Mayberry

So this is a bit of a late one, but some of you might care to know that I was witness to the brilliance of that Scottish synth-pop powerhouse, CHVRCHES the other week when they stopped by Sydney on their first Australian tour.

First of all, the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney is one of my favourite spots to watch live music. It’s a combination of everything that makes a good venue. Intimate enough to serve the music lovers, gritty and ‘underground’ enough to cater to the hip kids and the drinks menu is godly enough to shoot the most hardened alcoholic straight back to his teenage days.

City Calm Down lead singer, Jack Bourke.

Melbournites City Calm Down were the first and only support act for the night, jumping in head first (to my astonishment) with the single from their Movements EP, Sense Of SelfIt was a gutsy start to say the least. The song shone brilliantly as an opener, but with not a lot of back ups for the crowd to cling to interest waivered for a lot of the set. But this isn’t a review of a crowd, this is a review of a kick-ass band and their kick-ass set. Which it was.

They didn’t lose a single step throughout, stampeding with confidence through tracks like Stay, oldies like You Can Have It Better and the finisher, Dare, letting loose their unique brand of smooth decisive vocal melodies and runaway synth. Darein particular, was a highlight as the closer. It’s a personal favourite from the album and that clangy catch-up guitar riff gets my head bopping every time.

Now, in the big scheme of things, CHVRCHES are pretty lucky to be playing the type of shows they are at the moment. Not to say they’re not worthy of them, but that they sky-rocketed to popularity on the back of a series of singles in a short time that quite visibly has caught them off guard, in the modest interviews they give and the quality of their set. Before they came out, the crowd too seemed unsure about the level of faith they were willing to invest in a band with such a short catalog available to the general public.

Without any bullshit opening stunt, they crept out onto the colourfully lit stage and waved hello. They opened with Lies which to be brutally honest isn’t my favourite track by them, which was also a reason I was stoked they got it out of the way early and loosened their nerves on it. Second up was We Sink which hasn’t been released apart from a live studio performance on YouTube. It was the first time I’d noticed the male synth player sings and I was widely impressed by how much they not only got away with it, but came out with a properly gnarly track considering his voice isn’t the absolute best I’ve ever heard.

One thing was clear from the start; it’s quite obvious that the quality of the music from CHVRCHES does not yet match up to the quality of the performance. Despite delivering what was, to me, an impeccably intense performance musically, they were pretty timid physically, presenting an odd image when paired with the giant pop tunes they’ve put together to make an incredible set.

The new album, The Bones Of What We Believedoesn’t surface until September 23rd, so a lot of the set included top numbers that were new to the crowd, but by that point in the show they were delivered with such confidence and received with so much love. It was great to see the mild mannered synth player shimmy out the front to take over lead duties and throw down what was one of my favourites of the night.

CHVRCHES backup front guy, Martin Doherty

Towards the middle of the set we heard the Triple J favourites that some might consider to have launched the Scottish triplet into the Australian scene Recover and GunBoth were intense to witness live. The anger and desperation encased in both songs screamed out with even more intent when played live, and lead singer (and keeper of my heart) Lauren Mayberry presented such a vulnerability in her performance that Sydney came together to carry her through it.

Reminiscent of the end of a Mortal Kombat fight, they had a crowd taken off guard, stunned and widely impressed at their mercy as they delivered what can be regarded as the “finishing move” of the CHVRCHES repoirte, The Mother We ShareThey pulled at the crowds strings all the way through the set as said crowd jumped to the parts that rocked, swayed to the parts that moved and sang along like obedient choir boys to the whole fucking rest of it. I mean, if you had have compared the first song to the last, it was almost like a whole separate show. I was honestly impressed by the command and mastery that developed before our eyes.

As they simply said “Bye” and packed up shop all that can be said is that CHVRCHES are well worth the visit and well worth the praise they’ve received regardless of the short time they’ve been together. Make sure you follow the release of the debut album and watch them sky-rocket to a polished success. When they come back again in February next year for Laneway Festival 2014, I think we’ll see a completely different band altogether.

Obviously my smartphone wasn’t enough to be able to film anything worthy of posting, so for those of you who can’t paint the picture based on this review, check out a live clip of The Mother We Share by CHVRCHES below, taken from Detour in Scotland.

Issue Twelve

Back for the first Issue of the new year with some pretty unreal stuff. The next few Issues are sure to be crazy exciting with albums coming out all over the place (including Everything Everything’s newbie coming out this month that I forgot to put into the 5 Albums to Look for). It turns out that I’m so keen to chuck out the first top ten of the year that I coincidentally haven’t got much to say about it. I’m sure it speaks for itself.

10. A B & The Sea – In The Sunshine

A B & The Sea. Even just by the name you can tell that these guys could be the poster boys of pop and that they are. In The Sunshine is just your typical catchy pop song that has the possibility of becoming annoying if heard one too many times. That being said, it has had it’s moment in the sun for a long while on my iPod and this spot in the top ten is well deserved, although there is much more pressing matters to attend to. For lovers of HAL (anyone remember them?), or I guess even people that liked fun. before they got terribly repetitive and boring.

9. Twin Shadow – The One

It has taken me a very long time to have any opinion at all on Twin Shadows critically acclaimed album Confess. Eventually I gave it a second listen and got this half decent track out of it. It’s definitely an acquired taste, unless you really enjoy music from 80’s buddy cop movies…then you’ve probably already heard this before. 
8. Foxes – Clarity

I honestly think I could love Foxes forever in an emotional capacity based solely on her voice. It’s encapsulating and transcends anything that Richard Mercer could even dream about. *insert cheesy 80’s late night sex line vocabulary while dressed in a maroon silk robe and a tumbler glass of scotch etc. That’s not even based on looks. But Foxes, whilst having an absolutely amazing voice, actually writes some kick ass music. This being one of the aforementioned songs that has a hand in the kicking of said ass.
7. Matt Pond PA – Specks

I found out about these guys whilst researching Christmas Songs for the last Issue but they’re actually really good. They’re a tad old I believe and I can’t believe I’d never heard of them as apparently they have a weird connection to Bryan Adams. Maybe they used to play in bands together or something of the sort. All I can say is they’re awesome at writing acoustic gems and will easily make your playlist if you also dig artists like Josh Pyke or to a lesser extent City & Colour.

6. Art Of Sleeping – Above The Water

I just heard this song today on Triple J so it well and truly snuck up on me. Can’t say much about Art of Sleeping. They’ve been around for a while I know that but I never really took to them. Have a bit of a feeling this is a one off pick too but it’s quite a good song and deserved a little more respect then a late spot.
5. Tan Vampires – Digital Rot

I found out about Tan Vampires from the good folks at Good Indie Music (@goodindiemusic on instagram) simply because I loved their album art work. Turns out the songs aren’t half bad either. This is the stand out track of the album although I Found A Body rivals it hard. It’s very folksy, but lately I seem to be liking that. Make sure to drop by their facebook page and give them a like if you dig because they have a measly 1,000 fans and deserve way more with beauties like this.
4. CHVRCHES – We Sink

CHVRCHES are back in the top ten! I knew they’d make it as soon as they released something else. I had a feeling about these guys. I actually found this live studio version of one of their other songs and it was so perfect live that I felt it could go right into the top ten even though they haven’t released it properly on iTunes or anything official. Watch out for CHVRCHES in 2013 though, they’re going to cause a big fuss.
3. The Cast Of Cheers – Human Elevator

The Cast Of Cheers, Family. What a classic album. It was super hard to pick this as one of the tracks I would put into this Issue but here we are. I think you can tell I’m hinting at a recommendation to go out and sample the rest of the album. Seriously, do yourself a favour. If you like Foals or Late of the Pier you’ll love these guys after a few listens. I actually found out about them through one of those “If you bought Foals, you’ll like…” on iTunes. Apparently they’re in the top 50 most played songs on Triple J of 2012…good for them.
2. Tigertown – Morning Has Finally Come

This is a massive stretch at number two. I gave it a chance and it came good. Another song that I’ve only heard recently courtesy of Triple J and I decided I liked it well enough to put it here. May feel like in a few weeks time that it was a bit premature but it’s a real quality song and plods through the whole track with that whole racing vibe given off by a very vibrant percussion and symphony of vocal harmonics. Effervescent in it’s delivery. In pretentious speak…that means it fizzes. What I mean by that I have no idea.
1. Everything Everything – Kemosabe

Oh my frigging good lord almighty. This is basically the reason I decided I wanted to do another post tonight. I heard this and went absolutely bonkers. I love Everything Everything. Have been a massive fan ever since I heard their first single in my van in Canada from an English mate. But Kemosabe has to be without a doubt the best song they’ve released to date. I really hope to see them create a stir this year. I love their out on control frenzied sound that always comes off melodically perfect through it all behind the most unique and well used vocals I’ve heard in a very long time. The new album, entitled Arc, comes out in 5 freaking days! Now I’m not sure if that’s UK release date or the Australian release date but it’s sure to be soon and I am more excited than ever. It’s going to be raining epic albums for the next four months!

Issue Six

You know those times when you just play and play a song until it gets tired? For those first couple of days or weeks it’s the most amazing thing ever and you think it’s going to be one of those tunes that follows you into adulthood. Tracks that your kids will grow up with as they tell all their friends that their “cool dad” used to be cool back in the naughties and listen to cool music cause he was cool. But after a week or month you look back and can’t bear to hear it even once more. A year later you don’t know why you liked it in the first place.

 Ok so we’ve made our way through five issues now and so far, looking back, I’m still extremely pleased with the selection of tracks in the top tens. There’s been some wicked stuff released so far this year but none of those previous calls of musical genius compares to this weeks top ten. This week’s top ten is not completely new releases but I guarantee the top five at least is unbelievable.

In the last week there has been (as declared in the previous issue) an abundance of glorious, time-lasting hits released by some of my favourite bands in the past year. This has, without a doubt, been the most exciting week for releases in 2012. So close the blinds, wedge a chair under the door and get ready to be pleasured…musically that is.

10. Strange Talk – Cast Away

I’ve been waiting for this single ever since I bought their debut self-titled EP. I put Strange Talk in at about number 5 or 6 last week for one of those previous tracks and since then realised they’ve released this saucy number. To be honest, I was a bit let down. I know that’s a bad start to the top ten with a personal let down, but they’re a good band who deserves a chance and I can’t deny I haven’t played it a few times. I just can’t get over the really cheesy chorus and lyrics that’s a little step away from their catchy indie-synth pop thing that was really edgy and cool and more towards just bubble gum pop. The song isn’t bubblegum pop…just the lyrics and chorus melody…the rest is…alright this song is just confusing, figure it out yourselves.

 
 
9. Mansions On The Moon – Radio
 
So once again we have a new BIRP! playlist and once again it has matched the poor standards of last months. After an amazing July playlist I’ve been quite dissappointed with the last two and the quality in this one is few and far between. One of the highlights though is Mansions On The Moon. A band I don’t know much about but they have an EP out on bandcamp and that this song is mighty cool. For some reason BIRP loves songs that sound like the singer took a giant breath in and just sung the whole song, whispering whilst breathing out; and this is one of the only times I’ve enjoyed such a technique.
 

 
 
8. CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share
 
Another BIRP! endorsed number. I decided to put them all up the back end just because there’s so much amazing stuff this week that deserves to be number one let alone the top five. This song is a bit girly and sort of poppy/synthy but I like it. It’s a good one to bop along to, kind of edgy in the bits where it goes super digital but the vocals keep it catchy enough to get stuck in your head. Simply put, just a really enjoyable song.
 

 
 
7. Blackbird Blackbird – All
 
I stumbled upon Blackbird Blackbird on YouTube through random recommendations and this song caught me up in the best way. It’s pretty straightforward. One of those digital tracks that finds a good beat and melody and just sticks with it. If you listen to this and get bored or something (not that it would do that to you) I emplore you to stick around till 2:56 when shit gets real!
 

 
 
6. The Griswolds – Mississippi
 
Oh, wow. The Griswolds. What can I say. Here’s where the issue gets wicked awesome. This is hardly one of those new releases I told you about. But I just found out about them, and how bloody unreal are they! This isn’t their single but I think it’s the easiest listening going around. They’re starting a tour this month next week. I got tickets and I highly recommend buying some, I heard they’re awesome live. It’s just fun music at its absolute best.
 

 
 
5. Hungry Kids Of Hungary – Sharp Shooter
 
Ok, now we’re getting into the new releases. This is only just in the recent Triple J Hit List and it’s no wonder why. It’s easy, catchy and of course rocky. Hungry Kids Of Hungary have always had that trademark indie, rocky, “kids hanging out, drinking beer, having fun playing music” aura about them and this song (and video) confirms it. Awesome band, Awesome song. They are also touring Australia in November, tickets are only like $20! Get on it.
 

 
 
4. Everything Everything – Cough Cough
 
Maaaaaan, these guys are wonderfully wierd with their style of british indie rock. It is the most original sound I’ve heard in ages. Takes a bit of getting used to but you can easily appreciate how talented these guys are when you see them recreate it live. I just don’t know how someone would go about writing a song like this. I’m so glad they’re out there doing it for us otherwise I don’t know what kind of hell we’d be living in. I just ask you to give it a chance and you’ll crumble.
 

 
 
3. Northeast Party House – Stand Tall
 
These guys were number one last week but their new single “Stand Tall” was released last Friday and it’s genius. I was at the gig in Newcastle on the night to see them live and they are even better live. Didn’t know what to expect in terms of crowd but it turned out to be a intimate affair with about 20-30 people (most of whom were most probably the other bands and their girlfriends). As much as I personally loved this as I got a chance to just sit there in awe as they just absolutely killed it for an hour, they definitely deserve to be playing to packed houses. Watch out for their debut album coming out soon as well as a performance at the Peats Ridge New Years Festival.
 

 
 
2. Little Comets – Bayonne
 
Why this is not number one in my list I have no idea. No I do actually, because this only just came out last night and I’ve smashed the number one song more times in the past two weeks. I’m just alluding to the ethereal and divine nature of this song and album in general that is well above any release I’ve heard so far this year. I’ve been waiting for Little Comets second release for so long and in a weeks time, my patience pays off. The guys chucked the album in its entirety onto YouTube last night for their loyal fans to perouse. I imagine in a few days this will be obsolete on YouTube so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work after a bit. Enjoy it while you can. On October 15th, I beg you. Get the album off iTunes or risk never being happy as you potentially could be.
 

 
 
1. Gold Fields – Dark Again
 
Here it is. The greatest single to be released this year. For anyone who’s followed these guys since their demo days on bandcamp would’ve had to be chomping at the bits to hear this single last Sunday when it was premiered on Triple J. It did not dissappoint in any way. It’s so new that I can’t even get it off YouTube, so it’s going to have to be SoundCloud. I’d heard the track live a few times and actually used it in another blog of mine as it was my favourite track on the night. It’s their digitally fused, dance-rock portrait at its best although it’s insanely catchier than their last couple of singles. It’s been two weeks and I haven’t let a day go by without listening to this naughty number. It’s downloadable for free at their bandcamp for I’m assuming a limited time.  Get onto it!!
 






So that’s it. I think it’s safe to say that I’m VERY happy with this selection. I’m kinda worried I’ll be listening to the exact same tunes in two weeks time with no Issue Seven. Oh well. The Whamtam Ten has almost hit 300 pageviews in only Six Issues. Pretty stoked about that. Remember to join via Twitter on right hand panel. No notifications, emails or commitments or anything; I’m just trying to eventually build up a really lame cult that has no beliefs and only exists in this blog that will hopefully get me tax exempt status or a spot on the front page of some obscure paper somewhere.