Released: 27th August 2021
It’s weird to think of Chvrches about to embark on their second decade. On the one hand, they’ve very quickly become part of the accepted order of things, delivering three albums of innovative, forward-thinking pop music. On the other, they’ve always been a band that feels a step ahead of their own shadow, untethered from the trends and fads around them.
Perhaps, then, their fourth full-length ‘Screen Violence’ is a gateway to something not so much new, but definitely evolved. From opener ‘Asking For A Friend’, it’s a record that could come from nowhere else, and yet wrapped inside those clipped beats and twinkling synths is something altogether darker. After battening down the hatches following a 2019 social media storm, there is both frustration and almost visceral anger – but also, perhaps more importantly, that vital spark of hope too. For every line about “getting out” or finding a way out, there’s that cinematic vista that waits at the other side. What could so easily come across as doom-laden negativity actually becomes the empowerment of sticking the course.
From the fist in the air of ‘Good Girls’ to ‘Final Girl’, and its strength to push through self-doubt to reach the end credits, ‘Screen Violence’ is a record that understands the lows to appreciate the highs. Just like the band that made it, it’s that ability to last the distance that counts in the end.