CHVRCHES – Love Is Dead

Love Is Dead shows the Glasgow indie electro three-piece super-sizing their synth-pop, adding a surprising aggression to boot. Don’t be surprised if Love Is Dead seals their superstardom

Album Review by Chris Ogden | 21 May 2018
  • CHVRCHES Love Is Dead
Album title: Love Is Dead
Artist: CHVRCHES
Label: Virgin Records
Release date: 25 May

Now they’ve made it to New York, CHVRCHES are aiming for the big time. Teaming up with Grammy-winning pop producer Greg Kurstin, CHVRCHES’ third LP Love Is Dead shows the Glasgow indie electro three-piece super-sizing their synth-pop, adding a surprising aggression to boot.

From the neon blue cross through a black heart on the album art and lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry singing of writing names along bathroom walls on colourful opener Graffiti, it’s clear that Love Is Dead is aiming to grow CHVRCHES’ audience. Lead single Get Out epitomises the trio’s more direct approach this time out as its billowing synths give way to an anthemic singalong chorus.

But if you think that means they're dumbing down, you’re dead wrong. Inspired by working with an external producer for the first time, Love Is Dead shows CHVRCHES attaining a greater urgency and darkness in tracks such as the dramatic, M83-esque Deliverance and My Enemy, a stuttering, drugged up duet between Mayberry and The National’s Matt Berninger.

Mayberry’s constantly questioning presence, bulked by Iain Cook and Martin Doherty’s ambitious soundscapes, succeeds in taking CHVRCHES to heights they’ve never reached before. 'I always regret the night I told you I would hate you 'til forever,' Mayberry admits on the gleaming rush of Forever, while Never Say Die builds a gnarly synth riff over a celestial backdrop. Miracle is most stunning of all, as the three start in 90s rock territory before letting loose a stunning EDM drop, thumping to a witchy conclusion. Never before have CHVRCHES been this awe-inspiringly huge.

Even the weaker tracks written without Kurstin, such as the Doherty-led God’s Plan and the quavering ballad Really Gone, show CHVRCHES’ pursuit of pop success while refusing to compromise their vision. Don’t be surprised if Love Is Dead seals their superstardom.

Listen to: Deliverance, Forever, Miracle

https://chvrch.es/