Like Lapland permafrost, the Knife never really left, they just receded far enough into whatever creative north long enough to be regrettably forgotten about. And while spring is right around the corner, winter is coming. Even as the Knife readies their own comeback, the peculiar brand of frigid, steely synthpop they made famous has crept back with a vengeance. This time, it comes in the form of several young groups flying the otherworldly Swede’s freak flag high, and Glasgow-based trio CHVRCHES are leading the most recent wave. They’ve released a few standalone tracks over the past few months, including the stellar “The Mother We Share”, and “Lies”, and their Recover EP, out March 26 on Glassnote, proves these few tastes are no fluke.
From the first seconds of the eponymous lead off track, it’s clear CHVRCHES aims directly for the pleasure centers their predecessors so often skirted around. Bubbly keyboard rounds surround singer Lauren Mayberry’s starry-eyed vocals, before turning chilly and spiraling skywards. But the metallic rumblings of “ZVVL” and “Now Is Not the Time” suggest that CHVRCHES isn’t all fun and games—Mayberry’s sweet, emotive voice belies sonic muscle, a melodic tug-of-war that ought to serve CHVRCHES well as they work toward a debut full-length later this year. While Recover may not be a religious experience itself, it’s a pretty divine couple of minutes and, hopefully, an omen of things to come from the icy Glaswegians.