Approaching their tenth year anniversary as a band together, CHVRCHES brings us their latest album Screen Violence. The aesthetic of the album is loosely based on 80’s horror films, as the band references John Carpenter’s Halloween soundtrack and other horror flicks as influences to the creative process.
The lyrics of several songs venture into the territory of self-doubt, anxiety, and coping with other mental health struggles. The lyric on ‘California’, “No one ever warns ya, you’ll die in California” is a metaphor for chasing a dream at the expense of everything neglected along the way. Ambition can compel us to move across the planet (it has for me), so time spent away from family is just one item on a long list of missed opportunities. Questioning the path we take leads to anxiety that can be difficult to find outlets for.
Lauren Mayberry, lead vocalist and lyricist, cares about communicating the experience of women. ‘He Said, She Said’ nails the effect of gaslighting in relationships. ‘Good Girls’ is about defying the expectation that women should live under the radar. ‘Final Girl’ holds the anxiety of escaping a dangerous situation, like the last survivor of a horror movie.
Although the messages are hard to swallow, the production and vocal performances create a juxtaposition that is much more digestible. Relatable writing mixed with CHVRCHES’ characteristic synth-pop flavours takes us to a place of healthy introspection and danceability.
Listen to Screen Violence below.