Scottish Electropop Music and Los Angeles’ Subway

Rather than driving in to Hollywood, I made a shorter drive to North Hollywood (other side of the mountains) and took the Metro Red Line. Yes, it’s true…Los Angeles has a subway system. I don’t think it is the first thing that comes to mind, I’m sure because there are so many places to go in LA and no subway system could cover it all. There would literally need to be a subway line every few streets for 500 square miles. So the subway goes in particular directions. I boarded  ($1.50) a ride at the start of the red line, and within 10 minutes, we had stopped at Universal Studios, Hollywood/Highland, and then Hollywood/Vine, where I disembarked. Each stations seems to have its own feel and decoration. And, I actually did have reflections of European subways as I entered the metro station, waited on the platform, rode the train… very impressed!

Metro platform at Hollywood and Vine. It's under the W Hotel and is decorated with movie reels and film strips.

Metro platform at Hollywood and Vine. It’s under the W Hotel and is decorated with movie reels and film strips.

This stop was only a couple minutes away from the concert location, a 1920s theater (formerly: The Music Box Theatre) called the Henry Fonda Theatre.P1110272

And there you see it. The Scottish electropop band I went to see is called Chvrches (pronounced: churches). I first heard them on XMU (unsigned/indie bands), and though this is not the type of music I ever follow and enjoy, I dig this band. Not sure why! OK, part of it is I like the singer’s voice! I can’t even give a reference for who else they sound like, although at one point in last night’s show there was a particular chord or tune that reminding me of the Chemical Brothers’ music in the movie “Hanna.”  Wikipedia is telling me that electropop is experiencing a revival right now, and is similar in a way to dreampop. Many modern bands including The Postal Service and  The Killers have some dreampop synthesizer sounds. Another popular dreampop band is Beach House, who I, coincidentally, first heard about in Glasgow. (for the coincidence, read on!)

Chvrches actually doesn’t even have an album out yet. Lauren (the singer) told the crowd it would be out in September. Also, this band is from Glasgow, Scotland. If you are a long-time follower of my blog, you know Glasgow is a really cool city to visit, if you haven’t been.

During the set, they played a couple songs from the new album, and I believe she said another song was truly “new,” as in, they haven’t played it before. You can find a Youtube video of them performing the “Game of Thrones” theme song, but she told the crowd they couldn’t perform it live. She also said the video on youtube was made with her cellphone camera.

So, here are some photos and video, courtesy of my “not-good-quality- but – allowed, since it is point and shoot” camera: This camera limited the video quality, especially the sound gets distorted once it gets more instrumental and less vocal.  But please watch and enjoy!

Lauren Mayberry, the singer. No, she's not blurry in real life. Blame my camera.

Lauren Mayberry, the singer. No, she’s not blurry in real life. Blame my camera.

By the way, Lauren Mayberry has a law degree, a Masters in Journalism, and is a trained drummer!

This upcoming video is the song “Recover.” You can see how her voice, the lights, and the other band members on guitar/synthesizer contribute to the environment. Watch in fullscreen. 

This next song is one I hadn’t heard before, but it is probably my favorite now. It’s called “Science and Vision.” An awesome backbeat, incredible vocals, plus the lightshow didn’t hurt. It was my favorite 3 minutes of the entire evening. View in fullscreen!

If you’re thinking, “It looked cool, but I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, you can see a professional BBC recording at this link. Does it kind of remind you of Blondie? Is it just me? Their music certainly makes me feel like I’m in an 80’s movie – Labyrinth, or something. If you disagree, make sure you click on the professional link I just posted.

chvrches

Almost silhouette-ish.

Next is a close-up video of “The Mother We Share.” It’s my favorite song of theirs, besides the new one I mentioned earlier. View in fullscreen.

P1110298

Finally, a short video of their encore song: a cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” Poor sound quality on this recording, but you’ll recognize it!  

If you like this music, there’s another band I think is similar, called “Purity Ring.” They have an awesome song called “Obedear,” which is on XMU right now.

As I finish this post, I hope you take with you the important lesson that was on the other side of the Fonda Theatre’s reader board:P1110272m

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2 thoughts on “Scottish Electropop Music and Los Angeles’ Subway

  1. Bobby, did you know that the words on the Other side of the reader board are from the book I just finished reading? It’s from “The Help”– words the maid told a little white girl every day because she didn’t hear it from her own mother. If you haven’t read the book, you should! (the words are a good reminder for anyone though)

    Honestly, if I hadn’t seen some of their youtube videos before reading your post here, I wouldn’t have listened to much of the music. The whole electronic pop genre is just not my thing, but she does have an amazing voice. And I agree– watching the videos made me feel like I was in some eerie 80s movie with someone chasing me. A la Labyrinth. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert! I’m sure you’ll be ready to get their entire album when it comes out this fall.

  2. I have not read The Help, so thank you for the suggestion!

    I don’t like any other electronic except for this new stuff. I don’t like Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Moby, etc. It’s just this type.
    Yeah, someone chasing you – that completes the 80s image 🙂

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