Arts concert review

CHVRCHES and Still Corners

Two UK bands visit Boston as a part of their US tour

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Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty of Chvrches performed at Paradise Rock Club on June 16.
John Yazbek


Opening Act: Still Corners

8:00 p.m., Sunday, June 16, 2013

Paradise Rock Club, Boston

The Scottish synth-pop band Chvrches (usually stylized as CHVRCHES) released their first EP Recover this March to very positive reviews, and just recently embarked on their first U.S. tour. Taking the London-based musical project Still Corners along with them, the band paid Boston a visit last month to play some of their acclaimed songs and present forthcoming album material.

Still Corners, a four-member heavy-beat dream-pop project, opened for the headlining band with a compellingly introverted and mysterious performance. Without much introduction to their songs, the band played a couple of their drowsy tracks, which sounded even more hypnotic than their album counterparts. The entrancing performance was also accompanied by an on-stage video screen, which featured a range of clips: ballet moves, fading faces, and seemingly random movie shots. Tessa Murray, the band’s vocalist, delivered much of their stage magic. With a glittery jacket, lulling vocals, and an endearingly modest attitude, she thanked the audience for coming early to the concert to see the Chvrches’ opening act.

Chvrches took over the stage soon afterwards. The band’s lead vocalist, Lauren Mayberry, managed to keep the concert an entertaining amalgam of synth melodies and charming storytelling. Taking a moment between each song to elicit laughter and cultivate a friendly atmosphere in the audience, Mayberry explained her dance moves and spontaneously threw in funny commentary. She confessed that she had never been to Boston before and that she had only heard about it in the movies and other stories. Just like Tessa from Still Corners, she was miles away from being arrogantly proud of their growing popularity — with a smile, she said that she was surprised there were so many people in the audience who were not related to the band members. Most of the music performed throughout the night was upcoming and unreleased material, but the band also performed some of their earlier-known tracks, including “Recover” and “The Mother We Share.”

Still Corners’ sophomore album Strange Pleasures was released in May, and Chvrches’ first full-length album, The Bones of What You Believe, will be released in the U.S. on Sept. 24. The bands are returning to Europe soon, where Chvrches will perform as an opening act for some of the shows in Depeche Mode’s The Delta Machine Tour. Mayberry said that the band will return to the U.S. very soon, so hopefully we’ll see more of these friendly performers in the near future.