CHVRCHES – Screen Violence

CHVRCHES' new album explores how we live on, by, and through screens in the trio's signature sparkling synth-pop style

Album Review by Dylan Tuck | 23 Aug 2021
  • CHVRCHES - Screen Violence
Album title: Screen Violence
Label: Virgin EMI Records
Release date: 27 Aug

Born in lockdown where one third of the band was 5000 miles away for the writing and recording, Screen Violence's creation existed largely through screens. For vocalist Lauren Mayberry, that digital world has become a burden, a place of fan over-adulation and toxic trolls, and contrastingly, the only means of connection to those important.

As such, Screen Violence explores how we live on screens, by screens, and through screens in their signature sparkling synth-pop style. Mayberry's performance is fierce, snapping at online hyper-criticism of the female existence (He Said She Said) and the double-standards that exist for male artists (Good Girls). The cathartic, big fuck you to misogny lives in defiance, but it’s twinned with a sad realism that the online world we all inhabit often feels like living in a futuristic horror film (Violent Delights, Nightmares). 

For everything ‘digital', Screen Violence is arguably CHVRCHES’ most analog album yet, with The Cure-inspired How Not To Drown (featuring actual Robert Smith!), Final Girl’s snappy 00s goth-pop, and the crunchy, grungy guitar on closer Better If You Don’t feeling significantly like new territory. Despite the daring newness, Screen Violence still feels unmistakably CHVRCHES, and one of their strongest records at that. 

Listen to: Asking for a Friend, Good Girls, How Not To Drown