(Photo Credit - Sebastian Mlynarski & Kevin J Thomson)
Album Review - CHVRCHES: Screen Violence (August 27, 2021)
Glasgow synth-pop superstars CHVRCHES are back with their newest release, Screen Violence, which drops everywhere this Friday. Now a decade and a multitude of successes in, the pressure is certainly on for the Scottish three-piece to deliver on the always high expectations of their devoted following. In short, we think they brought it with Screen Violence all while giving something a little new for fans and newcomers alike.
On the conceptual side of the album, vocalist/multi instrumentalist Lauren Mayberry said: "I think for me it was helpful to go into the process with the idea that I could write something escapist almost...That felt freeing initially, to have concepts and stories to weave your own feelings and experiences through but in the end, all the lyrics were definitely still personal" via a press release. The album notably takes a number of different directions thematically, including voyaging into some darker territory than we've normally seen from CHVRCHES. Interestingly, most of the album came together at a point while the band was apart. However, its composition is seamless and at no point, does it seem disjointed.
Exploration seems to be one of the major themes of the new record, not just lyrically, but musically. That's not to say they're completely disregarding everything that made you love them. Hell, I don't think CHVRCHES could write an un-catchy hook if they tried. However, there something unique with how everything comes together on these songs. For example, we love the collaboration on "How Not to Drown" with The Cure's Robert Smith. The track resembles a CHVRCHES track, but with a darker aesthetic to it.
Some of the standouts for us beyond the singles included: "California", "Violent Delights", "Final Girl", and "Lullabies". Though honestly, this album doesn't have a clunker on it. The band lands the ship with "Better If You Don't", a guitar filled track that I guarantee is unlike any other song from you've heard from Mayberry and co. It's another highlight on an album full of them. In their return, CHVRCHES have again positioned themselves at the top of the synth-pop world with their infectious beats, awesome hooks, and fantastic lyrics. This release again shows why CHVRCHES are among the best in the business and should continue the sort immense success they've seen thus far in their career. All of which is well deserved.
Rating - 5/5