When Chvrches first emerged in 2012, it was clear the trio were on to something special. Building upon the heady foundations of debut ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’, 2015 follow-up ‘Every Open Eye’ saw them burst into searing life. A second album that catapulted them to massive stages and the top of festival bills worldwide, it saw them transform their brand of eloquent electro-pop into bombastic bangers.
As it so happens, that’s exactly where ‘Love Is Dead’ picks up. Sparkling synths and glorious percussive beats clear the way for ‘Graffiti”s soaring chorus. Chvrches aren’t messing about. They sound rejuvenated once again and, somehow, even more confident: ‘Get Out’ is a propulsive anthem, ‘Graves’ contrasts its sombre imagery with heady hooks, while ‘Deliverance’ slinks in the darkness before bursting into kaleidoscopic life.
‘Love Is Dead’ also sees the trio veer into some less expected territory: Matt Berninger’s moody cameo on ‘My Enemy’ – and the band’s first guest spot on a record - completely changes the pace, altering the high-definition shine of their sound into a contemplative, more shadowy affair. Elsewhere, ‘Never Say Die’ is a sky-reaching opus, heightened by an echoey call-and-response between Lauren Mayberry and Martin Doherty.
Chvrches may have always been capable of reaching dizzying heights with their music – break-out hit ‘The Mother We Share’ is evidence enough of that – but with this third album, they’ve really hit their stride. Celebratory, rich and more confident than ever before, they’re yet again the finest versions of themselves.