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Song of the Week: CHVRCHES and Robert Smith Write the Handbook on “How Not To Drown”

IDER, LUMP, Hayley Kiyoko, and Nation of Language also dropped essential tracks this week

Chvrches How Not To Drown
Photo by Sebastian Mlynarski & Kevin J Thomson
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    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Scottish trio CHVRCHES recruit The Cure’s Robert Smith for their latest single.

    CHVRCHES, Robert Smith – “How Not To Drown”

    The concept of “screen violence” might sound abstract, but CHVRCHES mean it quite literally: we are surrounded by constant aggression, on screen, by screens and through screens, more than ever before. This is the thesis of Screen Violence, the upcoming fourth album from the Glasgow-based pop group. The LP, slated for release on August 27th, is preceded by this week’s “How Not To Drown.”

    The track is aching and indulgent, over five minutes long, and pulls in a feature from The Cure’s Robert Smith. The imagery of screens is also heavily present in the accompanying music video, directed by Scott Kiernan, which doesn’t feel like an accident: disillusionment and loneliness linger everywhere as the world has slowly started to rebuild out of the many pieces left in the catastrophic wake of the past year and a half.

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    Despite the promises of better things to come, overwhelming loss is (and should be) hard to ignore — and this is the kind of feeling CHVRCHES conjures and sings towards. Some things shouldn’t be left behind through sheer escapism. How, then, does lead singer Lauren Mayberry instruct the listener to avoid drowning in these all too human emotions? Even she isn’t so sure; “Tell me how/ It’s better when the sun goes down/ We’ll never escape this town” isn’t exactly optimistic. But at least it’s honest.

    — Mary Siroky
    Contributing Writer

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