[Audio] Goldroom reMixes’ Chvrches’ ‘Leave A Trace’

 

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Well now. This is a cheeky end to the year. We were actually not going to be writing about anything new now until 2016. Aside from the electronic rumors Awards just before the new year we had cleared our desks and left the office for the holidays. And then this happens.

We actually knew this was coming, but when it didn’t arrive when we expected we just assumed it had been delayed until the new year. Not quite, this one snuck out this last weekend before X-mas pulling us back to the keyboard like we were on call. As much as we wanted to be putting our feet up with a very large drink this was just too special to pass on.

What can make us temporarily put aside seasonal laziness you ask? Two of our most favourite acts of the century on the same release. That’s what. Chvrches have only gone and got Goldroom to reMix Leave A Trace for them!

You know we love Chvrches. You must do. Whether it’s handing their début album, The Bones Of What You Believe, the tops album spot in the 2013 electronic rumors Awards or calling seeing Chvrches live “a religious experience for us” on Instagram or owning every Chvrches vinyl release, including the ones that are worth three figures; you could definitely say we were kinda’ fans of the Glaswegian trio. One of the best things to happen to ElectroPop for some time both in terms of intelligent songwriting that connects with people and makes people dance, and in terms of popularity for the genre. Just type “Chvrches” into the search field on the right, you’ll see post after post praising their new synthetic emotions, you can read our lengthy review of their new album, Every Open Eye, right here..

Similarly, what can we say that we haven’t already said about Goldroom. Josh is a long-time friend of electronic rumors. Coming up with his band NightWaves and his label/collective Binary in parallel to ourselves our relationship with Josh has always been one of mutual support, he’s contributed tracks to our label; and we once ran an entire week in collaboration, devoted to Binary artists. When he changed gears and became Goldroom the man just blew up, and well deserved it was too. There are fewer more talented, and nicer guys on the scene today. Goldroom is living proof that sometimes the cream really does rise to the top.

So Goldroom reMixing Chvrches has us excited even before pressing play. Also apprehensive, a pairing like this has a lot to live up to. Goldroom sweet, comfortable, Disco and House should be a refreshingly euphoric backing for the impassioned vocals of Lauren Mayberry.

And it is! Phew. Crisis averted.  This is right up there with Ikonika’s reMix of Chvrches’ Lies.

The latest Chvrches album tends to veer more toward the 80s in terms of songwriting and arrangement (if not sound) than their première offering, and this plays right into Goldroom’s blissfully nostalgic hands. Josh presents a deceptively complex tapestry of interwoven synth lines and percussion to bring together a little Balearic and a little summery House, and even a little of his own 80s retro past,to Chvrches anthemic SynthPop. One of the things that struck us about this new reMix was that, aside from being one of the hugest floorfillers we’ve heard this year, how this is the most Dreamwave track Joash has releasing in a long time (Josh invented, or at least christened Dreamwave back in the day). It’s kinda like the musical equivalent of a bunch of old friends throwing an awesome surprise party for you,

Josh keeps things immensely deep and groove on this one. The brick-wall solid kick and Californian Moog-y bass providing the foundation for waves of warm synths and intricate instrumentation. From the distorted vocoding and the bright Indie-esque riffs to the majestic and emotive piano hooks; Goldroom delivers a rich and always compelling soundtrack which complements Chvrches’ anthemic opus perfectly. At once rousing and decadent while at the same time being aimed squarely at the dancefloor. Crikey, that’s quite a build too!

♫ Chvrches =- Leave A Trace (Goldroom reMix)

Chvrches’ Leave A Trace is out now

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Every Open Eye’ album

Chvrches

It’s with caution that we approached Glaswegian ElectroPoppers Chvrches sophomore album, Every Open Eye. It cannot be stated enough how much we love their début full length records, The Bones Of What You Believe; it was our album of the year in 2013 and for a long time a whole day didn’t go by without us listening to it at least once. We believe the words “fucking stunning!” were used.

Difficult second album syndrome may be a music industry cliché, but not without cause. A band’s first record is usually made up of tracks they have written along their entire career to date, usually honed my touring and rehearsing with the best of their best making up their premiere collection. The follow up, however, most likely has to be written from scratch. Touring the first album can give new songs some road-testing, but it really does put a band to the test, coming up with the same amount of material as they have in their entire career to date in just a year or so. Some rise to the challenge and prove their talent, some fail miserable.

Thankfully Chvrches fall into the former category.

That said, Every Open Eye is a widely different album to The Bones Of What You Believe. Sure, critics not so in deep with SynthPop are probably saying it’s more of the same, critics with narrow views of synthesizer music are probably saying Every Open Eye is straight-up ElectroPop; but they would both be wrong. It would be far too easy to say that this is Chvrches flexing their tried and tested formula, that it is a return of vintage electronic music (which was always an odd comment, there’s very little vintage in Chvrches crisp electronic sound. There has been SynthPop since the 80s y’know!) but all that would be to miss the real beauty of Every Open Eye, and album teaming with contemporary influences (it’s an incredibly Indie album, there are flairs of R&B too) to be spotted by the electronic music aficionado..

We’ve been living with Every Open Eye for a couple of weeks not, and one of the biggest things that struck us about it is the notion that this is an album written by a band that has been touring pretty heavily over the past couple of years. This is a album written by a band who plays live to play live. Loaded with bombast and big crowd pleasing moments, Every Open Eye revels in anthems and chants in a way the more introverted The Bones Of What You Believe didn’t. If the previous album was singer Lauren Mayberry’s exposed raw nerve, Every Open Eye is a defiant manifesto. Mayberry’s lament replaced with an invitation to join in the anger and euphoria of the eleven track contained within.

Every Open Eye really does hit the ground running. The opening salvo of Never Ending Circles and Leave A Trace is one of the best album launches in recent memory. Never Ending Circles is pure anthem material. A lurching bassline drives forward a symphony of all those elements that make Chvrches Chvrches. Sampled and chopped up backing vocals, thunderous drums, Lauren in optimism lined with bitterness mode, massive chords and sweeping choruses. Never Ending Circles, combining these elements, could have quite easily turned out to be Chvrches-by-numbers but the trio manage to avoid the formulaic trap with stellar songwriting. It’s a superbly spine-tingling opener who’s elevation is continued in the album’s lead single, Leave A Trace. A impassioned, and personal, song that combines Lauren’s proud opus with a soundtrack of emotive electronics that melds atmosphere with a rock solid groove.

Keep You On My Side is the first of many tracks on Every Open Eye that seems to be written with live performance in mind. It’s high BPM and frantic arpeggios complement the chant-a-long vocals will no doubt become a Chvrches live set highlight, but in a listening scenario gave us our first frown of the record. Highlighting a rawer production style that is present through the album. At times the sparse, upfront mixing style of Every Eye Open works well to convey this live energy contained within so many of the tracks, but at times we did miss the more cohesive, more comfortable, production style of The Bones Of What You Believe. This continues into Make Them Gold, and Indie anthem made synth that sees the first appearance of Iain’s chugging bass, here underpinning Every Eye Opens most euphoric and rousing refrain.

Which brings us to Clearest Blue, another of the album’s standout tracks. Revelling in the history of SynthPop (particularly early Depeche Mode), Clearest Blue serves up a high-energy and heartfelt track that seems to be one big build. Again, this is a song crafted for live enjoyment featuring a couple of moments that were surely written for their ‘crowd going mental’ appeal; when the drop comes, it comes hard.

No Chvrches album would be complete without Martin stepping up to the mic. This time High Enough To Carry You Over comes thick with a synth-Funk as Doherty croons, strangely like a Scottish Dave-1 from Chromeo. It seems more relatable, and to our minds slightly better, that his outing on The Bones Of What You Believe but after this quick aside where dropped straight back into the live focused monster tunes with Empty Threat. More of Ian’s powerhouse bass, more of Lauren and the kind of massive vocal performance that has no business coming out of such a small frame. Empty Threat is possibly the best of the crowd-pleasers, it’s resonant lyrics and crisp vocals being something to shout about.

Moody Future R&B infiltrates the record in one of Every Open Eye’s quieter moments, the smokey sweet Down Side Of Me (a personal highlight) as waves of Lauren’s (in this instance) gentle vocals intertwine with pinprick synths and warm keys to provide a little respite amid the juggernaut numbers. The following tune, Playing Dead is the most The Bones Of What You Believe track on Every Open Eye. It’s melancholy optimism, both vocally and musically, would have actually made an excellent album closer with it’s (again, live focused) but stuttered sample breakdown providing a stark contrast to (what we think is) Mayberry’s best performance on the record. Before the sweet and calming exit of Afterglow, Comes Bury It, perhaps the album’s lowest point, a barrage of synths and chants that is exciting in it’s own way but feels slightly like an afterthought.

Is Every Open Eye as good as The Bones Of What You Believe.  Well…no. But just saying “no” without explanation seems unfair. Taken out of context Every Open Eye is a fucking amazing record that we could not recommend enough to everyone. We’ve been listening to it almost non-stop for the past two weeks and loving every second. The Bones Of What You Believe is such a legacy to live up to, I’m not sure anyone could have done it. Every Open Eye just isn’t quite as great as it’s predecessor, but don’t think for a minute that that doesn’t make it one of the best albums of the year. It really is. Top five. It beats the crap out of almost everything released in 2015…it’s just that in 2013 Chvrches released something a tiny bit better.

That’s not a dis though. You need this album in your life right now.

♫ Chvrches – Leave A Trace

♫ Chvrches – Never Ending Circles

Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye is out now.

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Never Ending Circles’

 

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Whoop! It’s the second new tune, following Leave A Trace, from universal ElectroPop overlords Chvrches forthcoming sophomore album Every Eye Open. We’re fast approaching the mid-September release date and so expecting to hear one or two more new tracks int eh coming weeks. this new one, Never Ending Circles, does even more to dispel our fears of a synthesizer abandonment as the Glaswegian trio go stratospheric with three minutes of chirpy SynthPop.

Revolving around a brittle and piercing hook, Never Ending Circles is a resonant, emotional anthem in that particularly spikey Chvrches vein. Robotic tribal percussion rolls over a solid kick to clear the path for those Scottish crisp clean keys and Lauren’s multi layered, modulated backing vocals; on top of which she belts out another spine-tingling lament. Roll on September 25th!

♫ Chvrches – Never Ending Circles

Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye is released 25th September.

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Leave A Trace’

 

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So. Here’s the first single from Glaswegian ElectroPop geniuses Chvrches’ forthcoming sophomore album. Scary, huh? The trio’s début record, The Bones Of What You Believe, is one of our favourite records of the decade, if not of all time. But we’ve been burnt before. How often does some ElectroPop shining star come along with a mind blowing première release only to follow that up, after a little success, with a more ‘authentic’ Indie-Folk second album or whatnot. ElectroPop isn’t a stepping stone people! Every Open Eye is due out in September and Leave A Trace is out first hint of what to expect. And it’s good!

You can all stop holding your breath now. Leave A Trace is pure ElectroPop. Pure Chvrches. And top quality Chvrches too, this track sees them on top of their game and sounding slightly more eclectic while still sitting comfortably within the Chvrches we know and love. Maybe there’s a bit more of a swing in it’s step. Maybe the sing-a-long chorus is a tad more rabble rousing this time. There’s something a little different in Leave A Trace amongst the more-of-the-same. Oh yes, the sparking synths, machine beats and Lauren’s heart well and truly on her sleeve are all present and correct here. In short: phew. Also, excited.

♫ Chvrches – Leave A Trace

Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye is released 25th September.

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Dead Air’

 

Chvrches

So remember that new Chvrches track that they’ve been performing live under the moniker of various American comedians? ‘Gene Wilder’, ‘Eddie Murphy’, ‘Richard Pryor’ etc…? Well it’s actually called Dead Air, and it’s taken from the soundtrack of the new The Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1, which also features the likes of Charli XCX, Haim and Bats For Lashes. Takes a listen to it in it’s full, not-live, glory below.

Alongside their other new, also soundtrack based, track, Get Away, Dead Air is a massive sigh of relief. All too often bands use ElectroPop to get a bit of recognition and then proceed to make a Folk or Indie follow up (naming-no-names, you know who you are). SynthPop’s not just for X-mas! Thankfully Chvrches seem to be living and breathing synths as their new tune shows off the icy keys and skippy beats we have come to love them for. Tempering the sharp sounds Lauren turns-in another heartfelt performance that rises to anthemic euphoria.

♫ Chvrches – Dead Air

Chvrches début full length record, The Bones Of What You Believe, is out now.

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Get Away’

 

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The last week or so has been a bit of a treat in regards to new material from Glaswegian ElectroPoppers Chvrches. This evening Zane Lowe premièred new tune Get Away on his Radio 1 show. Get Away is taken from a Lowe curated new, alternate, soundtrack to 2011 “oh look everybody, there’s this thing called SynthWave!” movie Drive. The new version of the film will be shown on BBC3 on 30th October with the option (fingers on the Red Button!) to switch between soundtracks; which, for all our Drive-themed cynicism, is actually pretty neat.

Get Away puts to bed any fears that Chvrches (like so many before them) will abandon ElectroPop after their first record. It’s a swirling synth epic that nicely nods in the general direction of it’s Dreamwave predecessors. A particularly pounding beat of subby kicks and snappy snares underpins a fog of rich pads and Chvrches now-trademark razor sharp leads while Lauren’s typically heartfelt performance dominates the song. Very nice indeed.

♫ Chvrches – Get Away

While you’re here, check out another new Chvrches tune. As yet formally untitled, the band have been announcing it under the guises of various US comedians. So far it’s been reported to have the titles of ‘Gene Wilder’, ‘Eddie Murphy’; and in this instance (lifted from Austin City Limits Music Festival) ‘Richard Pryor’.

♫ Chvrches – ‘Richard Pryor’ (Live)

Chvrches début full length record, The Bones Of What You Believe, is out now.

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[Audio] Chvrches cover Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’

 

Chvrches

Chvrches seem to love a good cover, and why not. They’ve been given the opportunity for another one in the form of their contribution to the soundtrack of forthcoming movie Vampire Academy; which looks, frankly, fucking awful. Still, any excuse, eh? So Chvrches have covered Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Didn’t see that one coming, makes sense though. Check out Chvrches injecting a rousing Pop sheen into the Batcave classic.

Appearing to upset Goths left, right and centre, Churches blend the instantly recognisable bassline in with growling synths and bubbling arpeggios Lauren’s take on the vocals gives them a new, anthemic, spin and is soon joined by waves of euphoric synths. It’s very soundtrack-y (obviously), you can almost imaging the scene this will accompany. We reckon Chvrches did a pretty good job with this one, even if the black-clad masses appear to disagree.

♫ Chvrches – Bela Lugosi’s Dead (Bauhaus Cover)

Chvrches début full length record, The Bones Of What You Believe, is out now.

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Tether’ reMixed by Junior Sanchez

 

Chvrches

2013’s kings (and queen) of ElectroPop, Glaswegian trio Chvrches, will be kicking off 2014 with the single release of Tether. Taken from their all-comers-destroying début album, The Bones Of What You Believe, the single will come with a full reMix package that will include this slice of dancefloor euphoria from acclaimed New York DJ Junior Sanchez. This should set you up for the weekend.

Sanchez turns in an upbeat mixture of  his driving House and Chvrches sweet SynthPop. The tempo is increased, the kicks are solid, the uplifting keys are in place. This has got everything your expect from a meeting of these two entities. A six minute DJ weapon, complete with rolling snare fills and a Balearic flavour, this one b rings Chvrches straight to the dancefloor.

♫ Chvrches – Tether (Junior Sanchez reMix)

Chvrches début full length record, The Bones Of What You Believe, is out now.

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[Video] Chvrches’ ‘Stay Another Day’

 

Chvrches   Stay Another Day in the Live Lounge   YouTube

It’s a week of X-Mas covers! Here’s the amazing Chvrches on their recent appearance on Radio 1’s Live Lounge covering East 17’s X-Mas hit Stay Another Day.

Turning the sweeping Pop ballad into a melancholy, sombre, pulsating opus, Chvrches deliver a haunting slice of X-Mas…um…cheer?

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Lies’ reMixed by Ikonika

 

Chvrches

OK, stop what you;re dong and listen to this right now, ‘cos it’s bloody brilliant. Glaswegian ElectroPop apparitions Chvrches’ début track, Lies, is re-released with a full reMix package next month. We already posted the not-bad Tourist reMix, which, frankly, pales in comparison from this huge slice of Boogie coming from sometime experimentalist and obvious retro sounds lover Ikonika.

Ikonika delivers her very finest 80s synths and stabs on this one. Frantic B-boy beats  and a pulsating synth bass keep the energy levels so far up, choppy samples of the vocals and massive 80s chord hits just adding to the nostalgic dance party that is this reMix. The song itself is left, wisely, intact, but give a whole new twist with hints of electronic Soul retro Pop. There even a lush string section to instil little emotional connection, on and a phone ringing off the hook, which kinda’ works, lyrically. Anyway, it’s, frankly, amazing, and a definite contender for reMix of the year.

♫ Chvrches – Lies (Ikonika reMix)

Chvrches re-release Lies on 2nd December, their début full length record, The Bones Of What You Believe, is out now.

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