Last Wednesday Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1 premiered Recover, the new single from Chvrches. Moments later it was released to the internet for streaming. What happened next was a phenomenal speed-rush of writing as bloggers and website authors tripped over themselves to upload the song as fast as their copy and pasting fingers would allow them. The result? 24 hours later the song was number 1 on the Hype Machine chart and had clocked up over 70,000 plays on Soundcloud.
Now before you think that we’re about to launch into some sort of angry tirade about hype, buzz and the bandwagon jumping of the blogosphere, think again. Because it’s when blogs and websites act a collective force like this then their real power unleashes, exposing a song like Recover rapidly to thousands of music fans. In all the time we’ve been writing Breaking Waves (and before that its paper based fanzine little sister Breaking The Waves - the only fanzine to carry a 24 page review of a festival) we’ve never met an artist who hasn’t been grateful for the initial exposure that the professional and d-i-y media bring.
We haven’t rushed to post about Recover. There’s a variety of reasons for this; we’ve been fully occupied with ‘real life’ away from the internet, we didn’t see the point in quickly lobbing two quick sentences out just to say the same as everyone else, we didn’t want to interrupt our series on bands from the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition which was pre-written the weekend before and uploading one post a day during the week and finally because we have been in the lucky position of being able to hear Recover for about a week before its official release to the world wide web and so the need to gush excitedly had been placated a little by time.
However, let’s be clear. WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT CHVRCHES. Probably more excited than we’ve been about a band for some time. It’s why we put them at number 1 in our Ones To Watch for 2013 list.
Maybe it’s because we’re getting close to Valentine’s Day, but right here right now, we’re ready to declare our absolute love for Chvrches. They are our 100% our favourite band in the world right now.
Here are 5 reasons why.
1. Music should never just be a tick box exercise, but if it was, rather like one of those dating websites, Chvrches would be our perfect match. Synths. Cute female vocals. Scottish (we have a big thing for Scotland generally). Pop. 80’s referencing but also very of the moment. Job done.
2. Phrases like ‘intelligent pop’ and ‘credible pop’ never sit comfortably with us, because we believe that the greatest pop isn’t about intelligence or credibility but just about great songs. But Chvrches are very much making credible and intelligent pop music. It’s accessible and hooky, yet it doesn’t fall into the trap of being the generic indistinguishable heap of piss-poor averageness that passes for much of today’s modern day chart pop music.
3. Chvrches make great songs. (This is probably the most obvious, but it’s also the most important)
4. Beyond great songs there needs to be something else to make you fall truly in love with a band. Yes of course the music is the most important thing, but people didn’t fall in love with The Smiths, The Clash, The Manic Street Preachers, The Cure or hell even someone like Take That just because of the music. There are other reasons why you fall in love with a band. Here are some of the other reasons why we're gushing like a teenage fanboy about why we love Chvrches a lot. One: Even although we’ve never met them we imagine (and pop music is about imagination as much as anything else) that they’d be the kind of band that we could happily introduce to the parents but could also go for a massive night out in Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s in Glasgow and have an absolutely mental time with. Two: Chvrches seem like a band. Not two producers with some pretty girl stuck in the front. This is important. It’s hard to love two anonymous producers. It’s easy to love a band. Three: Lead singer Lauren has written a master's dissertation on images of femininity in women's magazines. We’re hoping that as time goes on she’ll be able to subtly use her obvious intelligence to make a difference in pop music. Four: Chvrches seem to be dealing with the hype very well indeed. Scotland has a habit of keeping people grounded in reality and whilst the band are obviously excited about what’s happening with their music, they don’t seem to be getting carried away with things at all.
5. Recover is the perfect track to put out right now. The general first day consensus seemed to be that whilst it was good; it wasn't quite up there with Lies and The Mother We Share. Having lived with the song for a short while we’ve come to a different opinion. It’s what we all call ‘a grower’. A big one. We're not sure where the chorus starts and the verse ends, it all just flows so perfectly. Maybe the "and if I recover will you be my comfort" bit is actually a pre-chorus and the part that starts "I'll give you one more chance," bit is actually the main chorus? But ultimately who cares about structure? We'll leave that to the musos. All we know is that we need to recover from Recover, we're going for a lay down. Phew.
Here it is, just in case you haven't heard it yet. From our favourite new band in the world right now.
Chvrches - Recover
* Footnote : Remember back in September when we suggested that wouldn’t it be rather brilliant if in the interests of dictionaries and angry English teachers everywhere Chvrches got together with Curxes ? Well they have. The south coast blitz-pop duo has produced what is known as the 1996 remix of Recover. It will be on the Chvrches EP due March 25th. We’ve been lucky enough to hear an advance copy of it and all we can say for now is that by putting together two of the finest C-word bad spelling groups the result is nothing short of spectacular. Expect the sound of naked robots raving with lazer throwing ghosts in a gigantic industrial theme park before they all go home together and boff (yes boff - it's a good word, we should use it more often) each others brains out in an all night shagathon. It’s our favourite remix of the year so far.