Review Summary: If CHVRCHES were a food, they'd be a salted-caramel cupcake with Pop Rocks as the sprinkles on top. Recover EP features the catchy, upbeat, electro-pop that you can't help but tap your toes to.
The Recover EP by CHVRCHES is a compact sampling proving the potential growth for this Scottish trio. Petite and sweet, like vocals/synth Lauren Mayberry, the Recover EP was a much-anticipated teaser before the full-length The Bones of What You Believe later that year.
"Recover" is one of those songs that is tame enough to appeal to those too scared to venture outside the popular music realm on their own, but distinct enough in its 80s/synth influences to hold its own in the alternative world. The clap track melts into a bouncy electronic percussion with a touch of scuzz, and pleasantly complements Mayberry's clean vocals.
"ZVVL" starts off with mellow modulated vox that are reminiscent of (dare it be said) Thrice's Alchemy Index: II (the water tracks). The slow building intro of "ZVVL" picks up with Mayberry joining in around the 0:50 mark, followed by a dirty-beat drop before the next verse comes in. According to an interview, the song indeed refers to Zuul (ala Ghostbusters). The trio has openly acknowledged their influence and love of 80's cinema. "ZVVL" is better than mediocre, but definitely doesn't stand out in progression or mood from CHVRCHES other creations.
The last (non-remix) track on the EP, "Now is Not the Time", could be heard at the local roller rink while holding hands with your crush under the disco ball. Timid vocals confessing, "Nothing now can ever come between us/ As we hide and watch the city burn/ There is much that I still want to tell you/ But now is not the time to speak of love" prove just as catchy as "Recover" or "The Mother We Share". Mayberry's innocent tone begs for empathy in this electro-ballad.
Age is irrelevant, you'll inadvertently be reminded of your fleeting youth after listening to the Recover EP.
The remaining remixes definitely provide alternate versions in musicality, but something feels askew in comparison to the original. The "Recover (Curxes 1996 Remix)" starts with an ambient, inviting intro, but quickly turns into an electronic ambiguous whir. Curxes' "Spectre" (Spectre EP 2012) is multifaceted and it works in their favor, but their remix of "Recover" falls flat in its chaos. The layering compromised the quality and created a dissonant backdrop from the vocals.
The strong production quality, glittery-space beats, and unforgettable melodies of CHVRCHES' Recover EP make it an album worthy of more than one listen. Is it a classic or chart-topping EP of the year? No, but what CHVRCHES currently lacks, they make up for in the potential of what their sound can become. With the right direction, continued high production quality, CHVRCHES could make a name for themselves in the synthpop scene and beyond.