Scottish synthpop champions Chvrches are about to return to us, and we’ve finally reached the point where they’re more pop than synth. Later this spring, the trio will release Love Is Dead, their third album. And while everything we’ve heard so far sound like the same group who made the last two albums, their sound is decidedly bigger and cleaner than it’s ever been before — which is saying something, since Chvrches were already plenty big and clean. That’s definitely the case on “Never Say Die,” the new song that the trio shared this morning.
“Never Say Die” follows “Get Out” and the Matt Berninger collab “My Enemy,” the two singles that the trio already shared. Like those two songs, “Never Say Die” bears the fingerprints of producer Greg Kurstin, a big-time pop veteran who has previously worked with people like Adele and Sia. The music that Chvrches have made with Kurstin isn’t a vast departure from what they were making before, but the vocals are mixed a little higher, and the hooks are a little more obvious. The tweaks are subtle, but their effect isn’t.
“Never Say Die” is a song about a relationship going wrong, with singer Lauren Mayberry calling out a partner: “All you need is to play at playing god / And I’m falling in, I’m falling out.” She hits big notes over a cascade of almost-EDM synth sounds, working hard to sell the emotion of the song. It’s a clear attempt to swing at crossover stardom while still keeping the group’s personality intact, and you can hear it below.
Love Is Dead is out 5/25 on Glassnote.