CHVRCHES

Published on April 19th, 2022

The newest album by the Scottish electro pop trio Chvrches, “Screen Violence” is a bit of a slow burn. It takes a few songs before you fully submerge into its neo-goth soundscape. Right from the top though you can hear ’80s art pop influences clearly. There are hints of the danceable synth grooves of Depeche Mode and singer Lauren Mayberry occasionally delves into a dreamy Cocteau Twins register.

By the time you get to the great fifth track, “How Not to Drown,” you figure at first the male guest vocalist is just singing in a voice that pays tribute to The Cure. But as the song continues, you realize holy moly that really is Robert Smith joining in the duet.

Turns out The Cure front man is now almost an honorary member of Chvrches. Beyond the guest vocals on “How Not to Drown” Smith played guitar on their singles “The Mother We Share” and “Clearest Blue.” He has also randomly shown up on stage at a couple of Chvrches gigs to not only sing his part in “How Not to Drown,” but also to lead them in a rendition of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”

But even if Smith doesn’t make the hop across the pond for their South Florida show, Chvrches are a worthy headliner for a night out. The driving beats in the quartet of albums they’ve put out over the last nine years are great dance floor fuel. Or if you prefer music to hit you more introspectively, Chvrches can also take you on an aural tour through your own headspace with the crisp production by Mayberry and bandmates Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.

Though they already sounded fully formed with their 2013 debut, “The Bones of What You Believe,” there has been an interesting evolution throughout the course of their discography.  As polished as they always sounded, the newest record features a band confident  that listeners will be patient to go along with them on this ride.

Chvrches play 7pm Tuesday May 31 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. chvrch.es ~ David Rolland

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