Yesterday CHVRCHES announced their highly anticipated fourth studio album Screen Violence arriving later this summer, alongside releasing the second single, “How Not To Drown,” featuring one of their musical heroes, Robert Smith. They also announced they are returning to the stage with an extensive North American tour this Fall.
The claustrophobic, film-noir imagery of the official video is a continuation of the aesthetic presented with the album’s debut single “He Said She Said”. Lead singer Lauren Mayberry explains, “We’ve been working with Scott on all the visual aspects of Screen Violence and this video is the second installment in a connected trilogy.” “How Not To Drown” is a dark, piano driven song that is based on the concept of staying conscious when you drown, and the video reflects the anxiety and fear the lyrics invoke. The perfect harmony of Mayberry and Robert Smiths’ vocals amplifies the urgency.
Screen Violence was recorded almost entirely remotely between Los Angeles and Glasgow, members Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty and Iain Cook self-produced and mixed the album via video calls and audio sharing programs to create something that is unique and special, but inherently CHVRCHES. The album will be released August 27, 2021 via EMI Records (UK) and Glassnote Records (US).
Screen Violence was originally conceived as a name for the band. A decade later, and during a pandemic when the reality of screen violence has never been more pertinent, struggling to make the people you love feel more than the characters on a TV show, and experiencing a world of trauma as if it were another, CHVRCHES revived the term for their forthcoming album title. Narrating the theme of screen violence in three main forms – on screen, by screens and through screens – the album touches on feelings of loneliness, disillusionment, fear, heartbreak and regret.
“I think for me it was helpful to go into the process with the idea that I could write something escapist almost,” Mayberry says of the album. “That felt freeing initially, to have concepts and stories to weave your own feelings and experiences through but in the end, all the lyrics were definitely still personal.” While Martin Doherty adds, “To me, the screen aspect was a bit more literal. When we were making the record, it was like half of our lives were lived through screens. What began as a concept was now a lifeline.”
The making of Screen Violence also marked a decade together for the band – a decade whose sound they have helped to create and define from their 2013 breakthrough The Bones of What You Believe and 2015’s Every Open Eye, to their most recent 2018’s Love is Dead.
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:
11/09/21 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
11/10 – 11/12/21 Austin, TX – ACL Live
11/14/21 Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom
11/15/21 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
11/17/21 Minneapolis, MN – Armory
11/18/21 Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater
11/19/21 Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
11/20/21 Columbus, OH – Express Live!
11/22/21 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
11/23/21 Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
11/26/21 New York, NY – Terminal 5
11/27/21 New York, NY – Terminal 5
11/30/21 Washington, DC – Anthem
12/01/21 Boston, MA – House of Blues
12/02/21 New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
12/03/21 Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall
12/05/21 Cincinnati, OH – Ovation
12/06/21 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
12/08/21 Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
12/09/21 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
12/10/21 Salt Lake City, UT – Union
12/11/21 Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
12/13/21 San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park
12/14/21 San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park
12/16/21 San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
“Like everyone, I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect over the past year; to examine experiences I had previously glossed over or deeply buried. I feel like I have spent a lot of my life (personally and professionally) performing the uncomfortable balancing act that is expected of women and it gets more confusing and exhausting the older I get,” explains CHVRCHES’ frontwoman Mayberry of “He Said She Said.”
“Be successful but only in the way we want you to be. Speak up for yourself but not so loudly that you steal men’s thunder. Be attractive but only for the benefit of men, and certainly don’t be vain. Strive to be The Hot Sad Girl but don’t actually be sad in a way that’s inconvenient for anyone. Be smart but not smart enough to ask for more than what you’re being given.”
Mayberry continues: “‘He Said She Said’ is my way of reckoning with things I’ve accepted that I know I shouldn’t have. Things I pretended weren’t damaging to me. It was the first song we wrote when we started back up, and the opening line (“He said, You bore me to death”) was the first lyric that came out. All the verse lines are tongue-in-cheek or paraphrased versions of things that have actually been said to me by men in my life. Being a woman is fucking exhausting and it felt better to scream it into a pop song than scream it into the void. After the past year, I think we can all relate to feeling like we’re losing our minds.”
CHVRCHES are Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty. Since emerging in 2013 with their US and UK top 10 breakthrough album The Bones of What You Believe, the band have always projected an insularity and a left-of-the-middle approach, historically focusing on self-producing their work to find their unique balance between the dark and the light; between alternative and pop.