Virgin Records – May 25th
Is this Chvrches at their best? No, but almost. Love Is Dead wouldn’t work so successfully as a debut, but it will take Chvrches from Alexandra Palace to The O2. The sound is maximised, the mythology more ambitious and it’s their most cohesive work yet. It takes place in an environment not dissimilar to Stranger Things or even Riverdale – where everything is all neon and artificial, a romanticised re-imagining of the creators’ 1980s childhood. It’s an era that makes sense as a reference point for the band. Not since the 1980s, a decade which gifted the likes of Depeche Mode and Eurythmics (Dave Smith of the latter mentored Chvrches), have we claimed electro-pop as a prestige genre. While Chvrches restore that style, Love Is Dead is also the sound of an unstable, eternal now.