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Chvrches Live


Mayberry sings in ‘Lullabies’, So televise the great disaster/We’re better off inside of the screen sometimes. Does this lyric refer to the experience I’m struggling to describe, or does it feel to me like it does? To listen to Lauren Mayberry’s powerful directness in these songs is to grasp hold of the power of that abyssal honesty: hearing someone speak their truth makes it that much harder to hide from your own. “Lauren’s coming to the writing of the lyrics was a maturity and a perspective that we’ve never seen before,” Doherty says. “But I actually think that it’s a deliberately kind of immature album musically… I think we threw out all the rules on this one.”

The essence of creating is play,” Iain Cook explains. “It’s taking this one thing in your hand and then another thing that’s different and finding a way to make them work together. It’s like a puzzle. It’s playful and it’s fun. If you’re trying to make [an album] something that it isn’t for whatever fucking reason–whether it’s fear or I dunno–then there’s nothing fun about that.”


This band wouldn’t exist without the internet,” Mayberry reflects, “so it’s been such a huge part of the band in a really positive way. But it’s been the worst, most damaging thing for my emotional well-being… Your personality, the personality of song and the personality of the band, is what will connect with people. But those are the first things that you sacrifice when you’re scared that people won’t like it. It’s a trap.” It’s a trap, but some music makes it easier to run and not look back. In many places, Screen Violence feels propelled by the euphoric adrenaline of a final girl’s sprint toward daylight, and it’s easy to imagine a few reasons why: the essential need to connect with both your art and your fellow artists in a time of pandemic and political upheaval; the radical honesty a time might force you to reach for; and, maybe most elusive of all, the willingness to let go of fans’ opinions.

Well, almost all of them.


To me,” Doherty says, “success is writing a song on your laptop when you’re so depressed you can’t get out of bed, and one day Robert Smith says he likes the song enough to sing on it. Success is not a platinum song to me. Success is that when one of your heroes co-signs your band in that way… And what happens outside of that, you know, you have literally no control over it.”

Sifting further through the wreckage, I think you just have to laugh, Lauren Mayberry sings in ‘Final Girl.’ It’s a song that gets at the wounded heart of life in 2021 by conjuring the aesthetic of faded VHS boxes, and it’s one of the songs that makes SCREEN VIOLENCE feel like the soundtrack to a horror movie you saw once in a dream. I mean it as the highest possible honour when I say it feels like good music to run for your life to.

In the final cut, Mayberry sings, In the final scene/ There’s a final girl/ Does she look like me? In the landscape of screen violence - violence we experience through screens, commit through screens, and hide away behind screens - there is something radical in the idea that a screen can be used for anything else.

This album is proof.

Sarah Marshall, June 2021



Chvrches (stylised CHVRCHΞS and pronounced “Churches”) are a Scottish synth-pop group from Glasgow, formed in September 2011. The band consists of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and, unofficially since 2018, Jonny Scott. Mostly deriving from the synth-pop genre, Chvrches also incorporate indietronica, indie pop, and electronic dance into their sound.

Two years after their formation, Chvrches released Recover EP in March 2013, which included hits ‘The Mother We Share’ and ‘Recover’. Their debut studio album, THE BONES OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE, was released on 20 September 2013, while the band was ranked fifth on the Sound of 2013 list by the BBC. Two years later, on 25 September 2015, the group released their second album, EVERY OPEN EYE. Their third album, LOVE ID DEAD, was released on 25 May 2018. Their fourth album, SCREEN VIOLENCE, was released on 27 August 2021.

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