Chvrches will grace the Mezzanine in San Francisco with Portugal. The Man on Dec. 5 after having chvrned out its debut LP, “The Bones of What You Believe.” The main angle commentators take to the Scottish electro-pop outfit’s music — aside from the 45 degrees of their name’s v — has been about its development as a band since it formed in late 2011 and garnered a bevy of blogosphere buzz less than a year later. That’s not a dull topic, because the band’s prolific assemblage of material suggests a continuous aim toward the perfection of a sound that is sharp, hook-filled and synth-based.
“The Mother We Share” is a shallow cut that was the band’s official debut single, released last November. Lead singer Lauren Mayberry expresses a soulfulness, humanizing the machinery of a sound that has forgone strings in favor of a bouncy sampler and synths.
“You Caught the Light” has an intro reminiscent of the Cure’s “Plainsong,” then transforms into a moody composition anchored by a grungy bass and Martin Doherty’s echoey vocals.
While “Gun” is uplifting and dancey on the surface, the subject matter of threatening revenge on the listener becomes disarming in its juxtaposition with the childish innocence of Mayberry’s high-pitched voice.
But that isn’t the first time Mayberry’s voice has projected its sweetness onto lurid lyrics. Her previous band, Blue Sky Archives, adapted Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” into a cute, folksy tune.
Don’t let the sweetness of Mayberry’s voice fool you, though. She can do a mean Gollum impression.
Despite the religious connotation of its name, Chvrches clearly won’t send it up like Yeezus. But they will bring you to your knees, and not because you’re praying.
Contact Caitlin Kelley at [email protected].