Stamford Advocate

CHVRCHES slay with album and Robert Smith appearance

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“Screen Violence,” by CHVRCHES (EMI/ Glassnote Records)

The fourth studio album from Scottish

synth-pop group CHVRCHES was already sounding great before they did something to push it into the realm of the spectacula­r.

They reached out to The Cure frontman Robert Smith, whose dark sound has been a touchstone to the younger band. That masterstro­ke produced “How Not to Drown,” bridging a generation­al talent gap and anointing CHVRCHES as worthy successors.

“I don’t want the crown/You can take it now,” Smith sings.

“How Not to Drown” is just one of the highlights of the 10-track “Screen Violence,” which examines anxiety, missed connection­s and misogyny, in real life and on screens. Members Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty and Iain Cook

have a smoother, fuller and more assured sound.

The album kicks off with the terrific “Asking for a Friend” with lyrics that look back fondly at a past broken love. The super “He Said She Said” is a less fond look at a controllin­g partner, and the anthemic “Good Girls” destroys unrealisti­c ideals and isn’t polite: “I cut my teeth on weaker men/I won’t apologize again,” Mayberry sings.

You’ll find yourself returning again and again to the lush and wistful “Lullabies” and the driving, electric “Final Girl,” a song that plays around with cinematic clichés and has a vibe reminiscen­t of The Smiths. And, of course, the blissfully perfect “How Not to Drown.” It takes the crown.

 ?? Glassnote ?? Formed in 2011, CHVRCHES is a Scottish synthpop band from Glasgow made up of, from left, Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.
Glassnote Formed in 2011, CHVRCHES is a Scottish synthpop band from Glasgow made up of, from left, Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.

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