The Bones of What You Believe is the debut studio album by Scottish synthpop band Chvrches. It was released on 20 September 2013 through Virgin Records and Goodbye Records. Recorded between 2011 and 2013 in Glasgow, the album was written, composed, and produced by the band.
According to frontwoman Lauren Mayberry, the album’s title was derived from a lyric in the song “Strong Hand” and refers to the raw “creativity and effort” that served as the skeleton for the album. Musically, the album primarily incorporates synthpop influences, while also being noted for its alternative rock, electropop, and indie pop influences. It has also been described as having “neon-Eighties” influences.
The Bones of What You Believe received critical acclaim from music critics, with many praising it as “accessible”, “catchy”, and “sincere”, as well as praising Mayberry’s vocal performance and Iain Cook and Martin Doherty’s use of synthesizers and vocal loops. The album charted in the top twenty in multiple countries, reaching the top ten in the United Kingdom, number thirteen in Australia and number twelve in the United States.
The album has spawned five singles: “The Mother We Share”, “Recover”, “Gun”, “Lies”, and “We Sink”, with the lead single becoming a moderate commercial success, charting in the top ten in Belgium and Japan, as well as the top forty in the United Kingdom. It also reached number 12 on the Alternative Songs charts in the United States.
The album was made available as both a twelve-track standard edition and eighteen-track special version. The latter includes two extra songs, two remixes and two live videos. The song “We Sink” was featured on the soundtrack to the sports game FIFA 14.