It's spelled with a "v," yet pronounced like "churches."

I bring that to your attention upfront because that's information that you're probably going to need in 2014.

Chvrches, one of this year's biggest buzz bands, is poised to breakthrough into the mainstream very soon. The Scottish synth-pop trio has the look, the sound and most definitely the material to entice the masses.

The band's full-length debut, "The Bones of What You Believe," was released in September and immediately hailed by many as one of 2013's best albums. Yet, the album isn't nearly as strong as the trio's live show.

The Glasgow group, which consists of lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry, multi-instrumentalist Iain Cook and synthesizer-sampler guru Martin Doherty, delighted a capacity crowd of some 2,800 on Sunday at the Fox Theater in Oakland. The sold-out show lived up to the substantial advance hype -- and then some -- as the Chvrches managed to transform their finely tuned studio creations into even more powerful offerings onstage.

It was a relatively short concert, clocking in at just under 75 minutes, but it said volumes about the group's potential. Every single song offered up in the set list was worth hearing again. That's quite unusual for a band with only one album to its credit. Just wait until the group has two or three album's worth of material to skim the cream from.

Opening the show with "We Sink," Chvrches immediately got the dance party started, churning out retro-grooves that had one platform boot in '70s disco and another in '80s new wave. The sounds recalled Erasure, Giorgio Moroder-era Donna Summer, the "Rapture" of Blondie and Yaz (aka, if you're reading this outside the U.S., Yazoo).

Chvrches spiced up the nostalgia by adding bits of '90s electronica, tossing in crunchy big beats worthy of the Prodigy and gambling on "Vegas"-era Crystal Method. There was also a distinct Top 40 pop undercurrent to it all, to the point where some of the songs could almost be played on Radio Disney. That might explain why some tweens have already caught onto the band.

The sound at the Fox was terrific, with the bass-heavy electronic dance music (EDM) coming across crystal clear. Also, the light show was pure eye candy, a swirling, pulsating mix of colors that was perfectly in time with the constantly shifting tempos.

Beyond the lights, the stage show was effectively simple, with Mayberry positioned (for most of the night) between the two mad scientists working in their EDM labs and mixing up the synthetic grooves that power such songs as "Gun" and "Lies."

What most impresses me most about Chvrches, thankfully, is the strong songwriting -- which is an all-too-rare thing that's said about synth-pop/EDM acts. The lyrics aren't secondary at all, even when they come in the midst of a manic dance-floor number. In fact, a tune like "Recover" could work in just about any genre of music.

The band's secret weapon is Doherty, who steps away from his sampler station to handle lead vocals on "Under the Tide." His spin in the spotlight was one of the best moments of the night, as Doherty upped the ante on enthusiasm while roaring through the anthem. Hopefully, he'll get more turns on the microphone down the line.

If that happens, it will be just one more reason to learn how to spell -- and say -- the Chvrches' name.

If you missed Chvrches this time around — or simply want another dose of great synth-pop — you can catch the band at the pre-party for Live 105's Not So Silent Night on Dec. 5 at Mezzanine in San Francisco.

Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.