It’s difficult to know what to make of Chvrches, let alone how to pronounce their Google-friendly name; their music tends towards the more bubblegum aspects of their genre, but rarely trades paint, mostly down to Lauren Mayberry’s strangely haunting vocals that have become very much the keystone of the trio’s sound.
The group’s latest single was rather highly anticipated - they had unloaded a plethora of remixes and covers in the buildup, a trail of breadcrumbs toward Gun. Many awaited news of progress on The Bones of What You Believe, the band’s wordy debut. Perhaps thankfully, a Prince cover doesn’t appear to have been an indication of newfound influence, and indeed Gun continues in the same vein of soaring, beat-driven electropop that drove the group onto the pedestals they currently rest on.
They seem to have somehow crafted a niche for themselves, a must in such a saturated genre. Saccharine vocals float atop a bright, pounding bass line and crisp, snappy snares, competing with a vibrant, yet resonant, lead lick. The chorus sees a second voice joining the mix, contrasting nicely with Mayberry’s childlike innocence. But, despite the major, playful nature of the single, her lyrics remain almost menacing; “I, I, I have burned your bridges / Now I’ll be a gun and it’s you I’ll come for”, she snarls, above a backdrop that may well be hot-pink and painted with chalk.
Suffice to say, Chvrches aren’t ones to take the route well-travelled, instead sticking to what they know best - and in this case, what they know best is crafting unerringly accessible earworms, reviving the electropop scene like a three-piece defibrillator. On this evidence, their album may create more ripples than they may have thought when casting their first stone.
Gun by Chvrches is out on July 15 via Goodbye/Virgin Records.