Live Review: CHVRCHES, City Calm Down

5 August 2013 | 2:30 pm | Timothy Scarfe

The set showed a band ready for the limelight. Hell, even the lighting worked perfectly.

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Even though slow-burning electronica act, City Calm Down, is yet to release a debut album, each song was so eloquently constructed that it seems as if the guys have been at it for years. Many of the tracks are reminiscent of Cut Copy's take on dance, with the bass and drums providing the meat on the danceable bone, with the understated synth and guitars riffs adding texture on top. Of course Jack Bourke's vocals are also a clear standout, and early radio faves Dare and Burn Slow received the biggest receptions. A great set from the next Australian band to watch.

And finally, coming to the stage to rapturous applause, Glaswegians of the moment CHVRCHES played an amazing set that justified the global hype which has followed them for months. While it's easy to overlook, CHVRCHES are still a young band. You'd expect some growing pains, some missteps. That they are so self-assured speaks to their immediate chemistry as a band, and the strength of the previously unheard album tracks left the crowd in no doubt it could be one of the standout LPs of the year.

As the trio raced through tracks from their debut album, what was striking was the heavier synths on display. Not surprisingly, these work superbly. New single, Gun, is a perfect example of this, with the contrast between the heavier synth and Lauren Mayberry's sweet vocals perfectly highlighting the dark undercurrent of the song. Crowd favourite, Recover, also displayed a slightly heavier edge, which might be a sign of the direction the band is moving.

The set showed a band ready for the limelight. Hell, even the lighting worked perfectly. Seldom do you leave a set where every aspect works so perfectly, or where a band's rise seems so inevitable and well deserved.

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