The Bones Of What You Believe
For me, it's the grit of distortion in the synth sound that does it. This isn't the shallow nostalgia for electro-pop peddled by those who didn't have to suffer the 1980s the first time round. Chvrches understand tunes and hooks, for sure, but their music has substance beneath the Vince Clarke-style sheen. Listen closely and you'll hear the rough edge of post-punk, the cavernous bass reverb of grime, the ecstatic heart of rave, the intellectual head of mathrock - all this and more is embedded within the music, then given pure pop credentials as Lauren Mayberry's vocals bring the melodic message home. By The Throat plays that escalating-beats-in-the-bar trick common to Calvin Harris but follows it with a keyboard cascade that's more like Errors; Tether offers the best quiet/loud adrenaline rush outside of Mogwai; You Caught The Light bravely closes the album with male rather than female voice lead and is exactly what My Bloody Valentine filtered through Aereogramme should sound like. A debut that dwarfs almost everything on the Mercury Prize list.