Chvurches - In Search of Darkness

To warm us all up for their next record, CHVRCHΞS asked fans for their favourite selections of darker songs from the band’s back catalogue and compiled them on this extended play release. The selection is an excellent cross-section of some of the less well-trodden material from their prior releases.

Hi friends. It’s been a while. Looking through the archives and realising how dark some of the CHV deep cuts are… What are your top five sinister CHVRCHES tracks?

CHVRCHΞS From Twitter

‘Science/Visions’ kicks things off. Not only does it set the crepuscular tone for the record, it also demonstrates that there is no need for there to be any lack of energy just because things are moody. Yes, it’s a newsflash-hot-take… a pace is not a mood. The bubbling keyboards are accompanied by a properly atmospheric drum arrangement that dictates a tone that echoes lyrically. ‘A light by day. A shadow resides by night.’ It could be taken from Lovecraft’s Gothic Tales.

More traditional in it’s loss-poem, but with a strange element of hopefulness that pervades the melancholy, ‘Tether’ leads us further into the ‘moj*. This takes us to the throbbing shuffle of ‘Broken Bones’, which has the most directly menacing lyrics set against the positively spartan music soundscape. ‘I will wake up the dark gods until your blood is out’… enough said!

Perhaps an obvious choice, but also a perfect segue lyrically, ‘Bury It’ pumps anthemically from the speakers to take us over the half-way mark. This is a proper classic – beat, keys, and melody soaring to excellent highs in that famous chorus. If this song seems lacking in the doom department, ‘Never Say Die’ more than makes up for this musically positive undertone with it’s aching verses. The chorus though is another anthem. We forgive them this as the song is bittersweet to the point of beauty.

Entirely on brand for the record, ‘Death Stranding’ closes the EP. ‘You can take my heart and hold it together as we fall apart’. Wonderful.

The thing about records like this is that, when done well, they aren’t the depressing ‘what’s the point’ end-of-the-world-fest that you might imagine. The beauty of an emotional record with dark lyrics is the blood-letting emotional effect of letting yourself drown in all that emotion. When the lyrics are sung with heart-breaking melodic splendour, backed by flickering devout music it’s hard to find anything to dislike in this collection of songs. Yes, we can’t wait for the new record – but this EP shines new light onto previous recordings by gathering them together.

* ‘moj – (moh-sh). Emotion. Emotional.

Fenton
Steve Fenton was Editor in Chief for The Mag and also wrote for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues across the country alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.