CHVRCHES Plays The Greek

The laser-drenched synthwave band with just a smidge of witch house darkness recalls giants of Britain’s 1980s synth heyday like David Bowie, the Eurythmics, and New Order.


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Photo by Andy Witchger

In 2003, Glasgow university students Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty joined forces to create CHVRCHES (with a notable spelling just to make sure that Google searches didn’t confuse the band with actual churches), a laser-drenched synthwave band cut with just a smidge of witch house darkness.

CHVRCHES is an exploding maelstrom of electro-pop and glam-synth, pumping out a clean and smooth sound that recalls giants of Britain’s 1980s synth heyday like David Bowie, the Eurythmics, and New Order. The band’s unapologetically retro vibe gives even the moodiest offerings a sharp edge like a neon knife. When CHVRCHES succumbs to angst, the result is much more Depeche Mode darkness than mumblecore mopery. Love Is Dead is the band’s third album, following its top 10 debut The Bones of What You Believe (2013) and its top five critically acclaimed follow-up Every Open Eye (2015).

Critics have lauded The Bones of What You Believe as the album that proves CHVRCHES is more than a nostalgia novelty act; the band comes into its own with a uniquely immaculate sound — spotless but not sterile — that differentiates it from all its influences.

Friday, April 19, 8p.m. $49.50. UC Berkeley Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Road, Berkeley, TheGreekBerkeley.com.

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