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December 2019 / January 2020

Chvrches' 'Love Is Dead' shines so bright it practically sparkles

★★★★
Chvrches' 'Love Is Dead' shines so bright it practically sparkles
Published: 4:27 pm, May 22, 2018

Chvrches have found hope, joy and the space to be exactly what they want.

Label: Virgin Records
Released: 18th May 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Chvrches have always existed in the middle. Torn between being a punk band and a pop group, ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ and ‘Every Open Eye’ snarl, shimmer and shake with the best of both. 'Love Is Dead' does away with any hint of compromise though, as Chvrches embrace it all.

Deliberate in every move it makes, their third record is as defining as they come. The spray paint love of ‘Graffiti’ sees them running for the sunset, not worried about permission or the journey back before ‘Get Out’ snarls, snaps and claims this space for its own.

‘Love Is Dead’ doesn’t so much pop, but bang as ‘Forever’, ‘Never Say Die’ and ‘Miracle’ all stand tall, glittering in the spotlight. Shifting shapes and wearing their colours, the band toy with expectations with every purposeful stride and playful dance.

In this twirling freedom though, Chvrches have lost none of their bite. ‘Graves’ is a relentlessly powerful moment, taking aim at those with the power to change the world but instead choose indecision before ‘Heaven/Hell’ sees them wrestling with the shadows and hope surrounding conversations about inequality.

There are plenty of questions as they get vulnerable, defiant and lost in the face of being let down, growing older and struggling to believe. Sure, ‘Love Is Dead’ shines so bright it practically sparkles, but that doesn’t detract from Chvrches sharing their bruised, beating heart at every angled turn.

The band we fell in love with haven’t gone anywhere, they’ve simply let go of the fear. In its place, they’ve found hope, joy and the space to be exactly what they want. There’s no time for the middle anymore, Chvrches are heading for the top. Ali Shutler

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