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The lyrics might be cryptic, but the appeal of Chvrches is clear

Published April 22, 2014 10:52 am

Music • The Scottish electronic-rock band will play at The Depot on Tuesday.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In 2013, the creepiest, yet catchiest song about incest, "The Mother We Share," was created by the Scottish electronic-rock trio Chvrches.

For the record, the song is not about familial intimacy, said Iain Cook of the synthpop-inspired band.

"A lot of people think, for obvious reasons, that the song is about a relationship between two siblings," he said. "While we are happy for people to take their own meaning from our lyrics, this wasn't necessarily the perspective we intended. A lot of our lyrics are quite impressionistic and open-ended. This is on purpose as we don't like to be too obvious or prescriptive."

In other words, the lyrics are open to interpretation.

Cook, also a member of the rock band The Unwinding Hours and the former lead guitarist for Aereogramme, is seeing the biggest success of his career with Chvrches and bandmates Lauren Mayberry and Martin Doherty.

The group came in fifth on the BBC's "Sound of 2013" for the most promising new talent and released its debut studio album, "The Bones of What You Believe," in September. The focal point was "The Mother We Share," with its unsettling and cryptic lyrics:

I'm in misery where you can seem as old as your omens

And the mother we share will never keep your proud head from falling

The way is long but you can make it easy on me

And the mother we share will never keep our cold hearts from calling.

Cook answered other questions posed by The Tribune about Scotland, Utah's liquor laws and geeking out:

How did your Scottish upbringing affect you?

I think where you come from has to have some kind of profound effect on your personality and creative output. It's not a very sunny place and it rains a lot, so there's a lot of melancholic music that comes from Scotland. It also means that there isn't a lot of motivation for outdoor activities, so as a teenager I mostly stayed in and learned how to play and write music. 

Is public perception of the band correct?

It's not something that we lose any sleep over, to be honest. This project is something that we are passionate about and we mainly set out to write music that we love. Other people's perceptions and misconceptions are not something we have much control over, as long as we are doing what we want to do in the way that we want to do it. 

What do you geek out about?

It's a strange feeling but pretty cool that some people are geeky about this band. I was like that as a teenager, writing bands letters about how much I loved their music. I am definitely not ashamed to be a geek. These days I am quite nerdy about coffee, film and video games. It keeps me out of trouble, mostly.

Is the United States how you thought it would be?

We have been to the States a number of times, so we know what to expect now when we come here. It is, however, still one of our very favorite places in the world to tour.

Have you ever been to Utah, or if you haven't, do you know anything about us?

We haven't been to Utah yet with this band but I have been several times in the past with other bands. The liquor licensing laws are something that I struggle with, to be honest. But Salt Lake City is really nice and we can't wait to play there.

What is in store for the band for the rest of 2014?

Lots and lots more touring and festivals this summer. Then hopefully we will get some time to write the second album! —

Chvrches with The Range

When • Tuesday, April 22, at 8 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $23 to $28 at SmithsTix