Scottish electro-pop prodigies Chvrches have released ‘How Not to Drown’, the second single from their upcoming fourth studio album Screen Violence.
The track is a delightfully dark duet between singer Lauren Mayberry and The Cure frontman/rock and roll legend Robert Smith. I have no idea how the two parties got into contact with each other, but I’m glad they did. As a pretty huge fan of both, my music nerd brain is recessing to fits of excitement and fandom that could be considered unprofessional.
Luckily, ‘How Not to Drown’ stands up to the heights of both artist’s discographies. Generating the same pissed-off propulsion that drove earlier Chvrches tracks like ‘Gun’ and ‘Bury It’, ‘How Not to Drown’ finds Mayberry and Smith trading off verses regarding resiliency through some pretty doomy imagery, something neither singer has shied away from. The synthetic arrangements from Iain Cook and Martin Doherty are as buzzy and explosive as any in the Chvrches repertoire, once again proving the band’s unique ability to bring out real human emotions from inanimate technologies.
What’s great about ‘How Not to Drown’ is how seamlessly the unique sonic styles of both acts meld together to bring out the most exciting and enjoyable elements from each. On tracks like ‘A Forest’ and ‘Pictures of You’, Smith was the leading force in a droning, sprawling kind of goth-rock that clearly had an influence on Chvrches. In turn, the band get to put Smith in an electronic setting that the singer doesn’t always get to explore with The Cure. It’s a match that never feels forced or gimmicky.
Also, to anyone who was clowning me on Twitter for not knowing when the song was going to be released even after the release date became public knowledge, feel free to call up the University of Maryland and request to have my journalism degree revoked. How embarrassing!
Check out the audio for ‘How Not to Drown’. Screen Violence is set for an August 27 release.