CHVRCHES: Charming, Awkward Synthpop


Hey everybody! Sorry I haven’t been writing lately. From now on, I’ve decided to write a post (in Japanese and then translate it to English) once a week or so. So, my blogs might be shorter than before but I’m gonna write more often!  Side note:  Please forgive me if this post seems a little, well, stilted or off somehow.  I wrote the thing in a language I barely speak and am trying to be faithful to the original text in my translation of it.


Usually, the bands I like aren’t so popular, but lately I’ve begun listening to CHRVCHES, a suddenly popular Scottish synth pop group. They are TOTALLY an internet age kinda band.  For example, they changed the “U” in their name to a “V” so they would show up in search engines.  And even though they have only released a couple of singles and have yet to release their debut full-length, they’ve gotten really popular by being smart about their internet posts.

This “famous through the internet” thing is pretty interesting.  Churches formed in 2011 and quickly began covering popular theme songs and covers and posting them to the interwebs.  In this way, tons of people were able to find them, which of course lead these people to listen to the bands original tunes, which are also way better than the covers. :)

The music CHUVCHES makes is also pretty modern, I think. When I first heard them, I couldn’t quite put my finger on who their influences were or even what era of music they had been most influenced by.  When someone hears a band that favors programming and synthesizers to live instrumentation, one immediately may assume the answer is 80′s new wave, but CHVRCHES lack the robotic coldness those bands usually embody.  The vocalist’s small voice evokes a sense of warmth and tenderness and vulnerability.  The threesome makes simple but very melodic synthpop.

Last month (or so) I saw the band at a sold out show at NYC’s Webster Hall.  Watching them made me think that they were in no way ready for there sudden rise to (indie) fame.  They didn’t seem to know what to do with themselves on such a large stage.  During the whole set they hardly moved from where they stood、only occasionally awkwardly dancing in place.  However, this very same awkwardness made aware of the vulnerability and sincerity that is the heart of the band’s music.

Thanks to that show, I can’t wait to get my hands on their debut record and I definitely consider myself a big fan.  Since they have barely released anything so far, when I saw them live I was unsure if I would like the rest of their set, and skeptical of whether the rest of their songs would be as well crafted as their singles.  But as the show continued, I couldn’t help but like them more and more.  The songs are simple, but even though they certainly don’t reinvent the wheel, there is something fresh and exciting about them, and with each song they release, I feel like their ability to make a great pop song increases.  So watch the videos and let’s all get stoked for the debut album to drop on September 23rd.