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CHVRCHES - Screen Violence

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Screen Violence

CHVRCHES

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Huge, bombastic synth pop—it's been done right? But Scotland's Chvrches have reached a higher plain, able to find new ways of adding fresh luster to their admittedly heard-it-before grand pop rumbles. Some of their appeal comes from Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry's ability to write actual melodies with hooks as opposed to rhythms and washy synth riffs that might somehow become a cohesive song. As oxymoronic as it sounds, their brand of synth pop conveys real messages in its lyrics and despite all the digital wonders, manages to sound very human. Chvrches' superpower though lies with Mayberry, whose incandescent voice, assertive presence and nimble, intelligent lyrics are what separates the band from its legion of competitors. Mayberry sells these tracks in undeniably convincing ways. She is a star in the most expansive sense of that fraught term, another of the talented women whose brains and hearts are leading popular music today.

Along with Mayberry's bright vocals, it's the material that keeps this trio's nose above the sea of synth mediocrity. "Violent Delights" opens with a bad dream—"Had a dream your father died/ I couldn't scream, I couldn't cry/ The second night, I dreamt you drowned/ You couldn't fight, you were not found." Its sound goes lo-fi during the verses which heightens the expansive effects of the music when it comes out of the tunnel into the choruses. The band reached a personal milestone with its collaboration with obvious inspiration, The Cure's Robert Smith who sings a verse of "How Not to Drown," before joining Mayberry on the choruses where she's written succinct lines like "I wasn't scared when he caught me/ Look what it taught me."

Produced and mixed by the band and recorded by Gavin Lurssen, the sonics here are digitally compressed and manipulated in service of establishing a leviathan presence from the first note. While obviously not natural, it works for music which after all comes from chips and processors. When appropriate, as in "Final Girl" (which approaches being a standard rock tune, albeit with a disco beat at the end), the sonics are dialed down to a slightly less colossal level. In the album's hookiest number, "Good Girls," Mayberry's voice shines as she sings the last verse with conviction: "Killing your idols is a chore/ And it's such a fucking bore/ Cause I don't need them anymore." Moving beyond the legends they once admired is a tingle Chvrches must be feeling recently. Synth pop with undisguised humanity—what a concept. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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Screen Violence

CHVRCHES

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1
Asking for a Friend
00:05:04

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

2
He Said She Said
00:03:09

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

3
California
00:04:08

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

4
Violent Delights
00:05:19

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

5
How Not To Drown
00:05:31

Robert Smith, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

6
Final Girl
00:04:29

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

7
Good Girls
00:03:19

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

8
Lullabies
00:03:44

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

9
Nightmares
00:04:33

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

10
Better If You Don't
00:03:31

CHVRCHES, Producer, MainArtist - Iain Cook, ComposerLyricist - Martin Doherty, ComposerLyricist - Lauren Mayberry, ComposerLyricist

2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL 2021 CHVRCHES Under Exclusive Licence To Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC, distributed by AWAL

Album Description

Huge, bombastic synth pop—it's been done right? But Scotland's Chvrches have reached a higher plain, able to find new ways of adding fresh luster to their admittedly heard-it-before grand pop rumbles. Some of their appeal comes from Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry's ability to write actual melodies with hooks as opposed to rhythms and washy synth riffs that might somehow become a cohesive song. As oxymoronic as it sounds, their brand of synth pop conveys real messages in its lyrics and despite all the digital wonders, manages to sound very human. Chvrches' superpower though lies with Mayberry, whose incandescent voice, assertive presence and nimble, intelligent lyrics are what separates the band from its legion of competitors. Mayberry sells these tracks in undeniably convincing ways. She is a star in the most expansive sense of that fraught term, another of the talented women whose brains and hearts are leading popular music today.

Along with Mayberry's bright vocals, it's the material that keeps this trio's nose above the sea of synth mediocrity. "Violent Delights" opens with a bad dream—"Had a dream your father died/ I couldn't scream, I couldn't cry/ The second night, I dreamt you drowned/ You couldn't fight, you were not found." Its sound goes lo-fi during the verses which heightens the expansive effects of the music when it comes out of the tunnel into the choruses. The band reached a personal milestone with its collaboration with obvious inspiration, The Cure's Robert Smith who sings a verse of "How Not to Drown," before joining Mayberry on the choruses where she's written succinct lines like "I wasn't scared when he caught me/ Look what it taught me."

Produced and mixed by the band and recorded by Gavin Lurssen, the sonics here are digitally compressed and manipulated in service of establishing a leviathan presence from the first note. While obviously not natural, it works for music which after all comes from chips and processors. When appropriate, as in "Final Girl" (which approaches being a standard rock tune, albeit with a disco beat at the end), the sonics are dialed down to a slightly less colossal level. In the album's hookiest number, "Good Girls," Mayberry's voice shines as she sings the last verse with conviction: "Killing your idols is a chore/ And it's such a fucking bore/ Cause I don't need them anymore." Moving beyond the legends they once admired is a tingle Chvrches must be feeling recently. Synth pop with undisguised humanity—what a concept. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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