Posted in Album Reviews

Chvrches – Screen Violence (2021)

Screen Violence

The Scottish trio Chvrches recorded their latest album, Screen Violence, with singer Lauren Mayberry and Martin Doherty in Los Angeles and Iain Cook back home in Glasgow.  Screen Violence was a name that the band had considered before settling on Chvrches. The violence referred to on the screen plays out in movies, TV, computers and phones the world over.

“Asking For a Friend” starts with minimal electronics before the track starts to build as Mayberry shares regrets about someone as she tells them “…you still matter”. Over a less noisy musical bed, the band joins other UK transplants in the Golden State as they sing that “no one ever warns ya/you’ll die in California”.  “Violent Delights” adds more atmosphere in the verses along with creepy lyrics based on nightmares that Mayberry had been having.  Guitars add depth to “Better If You Don’t Change” that also offers one of the album’s best vocal performances.

With a brittle, clattering sound, it is Mayberry’s distinct Scottish accent that often produces a warmth that draws in the listener.  Second single, “How Not to Drown” adds Robert Smith to the proceedings with an outro that drifts out to sea.  The often-personal lyrics are bleak where the reports are that “I’m writing a book on how to stay conscious when you drown”. Four albums in, the emotional scars reveal themselves but Chvrches use that emotion to release on of their best records.  

8/10

Posted in Album Reviews

Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe (2013)

51qW7ZtdJEL._AA160_Through much of 2012, Glasgow synth pop trio Chvrches was making waves with a couple of singles that caught the ear of the blogsphere and saw them named as a band to watch by the BBC. When long-time friends Iain Cooke (Aerogramme) and Martin Doherty started recording in 2011 they asked Lauren Mayberry to sing on a few tracks which lead to the formation of Chvrches. After the release of “Lies” and the equally brilliant “Mother We Share”, the music press were more than ready to embrace third single “Recover” which received high praise upon release in early 2013.

Those three tracks form the backbone of debut, The Bones of What You Believe while fourth single “Gun” could easily be mistaken for an upbeat Young Galaxy. “We Sink” is instantly memorable when Mayberry sweetly declares “I’ll be in a thorn in your side ‘til you die”. Elsewhere tracks such as “Under the Tide” and “Science/Visions” show a darker side to Chvrches sound. A slew of great singles without any filler to be found, The Bones of What You Believe is one of the better debuts of the year.

8/10