Since the release of their 2013 debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, CHVRCHES have become experts at pushing the boundaries of their shiny pop-meets-synth-pop sound. Their latest album, Screen Violence, which traversed the depths of gloomier goth-pop, was released during the pandemic and found the Scottish trio tackling somewhat of a concept album that addressed not only violence on screens but how their lives had become consumed by them in isolation. While still separated by continents, the band have toured since it debuted and decided to return to their roots — at least for a one-off track. With their latest single "Over," the band are seemingly beginning a new chapter.

Read more: Every Taylor Swift album ranked

Ahead of its release, AP chatted with the trio about the long process of making “Over,” Mayberry’s experience with sexism, and wanting to work with Taylor Swift.

Tell me about how "Over" came together.

LAUREN MAYBERRY: In my mind, I feel like the last record just came out. But in reality, that's not the case. Screen Violence came out in 2021, so we've been touring it pretty consistently since then. Normally we'll save up songs over months and years until we have enough for a whole album. But we had the song that we had finished, and it was ready to go. We've never really done a standalone release. It's always been as part of a bigger campaign. So we figured, why not? We really freed ourselves of our indie-rock shackles, and we're able to deploy music as and when [we please].

"Over" is a bit of a return to your roots. 

MARTIN DOHERTY: There's times where we've been thinking in a leaner way, the way that this song is. We were just with [producer] Oscar Holter, so there was a collaborator coming into the process and having their perspective on what they think your band is all about. Sonically, it's often interesting for sparking up new ideas. It sounds like an older CHVRCHES song. It sounds like a lot of years of our band that are being brought together and are offering a way forward. I hear the Prince-y thing in there, [and] I hear the guitars that have become a staple, but then I also hear the "No Fear" synthesizer chorus that we've always been partial to. So in a lot of ways, we looked back to go forward, which is interesting to me.

Does "Over" signal the direction you're moving in for your next record?

DOHERTY: One of the fun things about the modern music business is this current paradigm in streaming is you no longer need to think in those terms. It can be as simple as, "We love the songs, so we want to put it out.” Then we'll address and assess later down the line. I definitely wouldn't commit to being part of a longer-form project going forward, but honestly, I have no idea, and that's liberating. Previously, and as was the case for all time, in order to put out a song, it would have to be part of some bigger conversation. Now you can just move as you will, and in a way, that makes you feel most satisfied.

What was the vision behind the music video for "Over"?

MAYBERRY: Our heads lived in the Screen Violence era for so long, and I really enjoyed that time period because it felt like we had so much time to plan it. But planning a whole album on all the imagery for all of that is a lot more involved than going into already knowing that it was just going to be one standalone song. It was fun to feel a little bit more free with it. We made the video on a day off on tour in Australia, so what the concept was, and where it was going to be filmed, was really determined by what was available where we were, which is not a way we've done a video before. Don't be fooled by what it looks like; it was actually very cold and very rainy. I had to change my intended hairstyle very early on in the shooting because it was so wet and humid.I had a lot more going on up there than I had intended. It went full frizz, so we had to do a proper slicked-down, wet look, so that it would be consistent.

Lauren, for years you advocated for yourself and other women against online trolls and sexism in the music industry. Do you still have to weather a lot of the abuse that you did at the beginning of your career now?

MAYBERRY: For me, personally, nothing has changed substantially. I think the only thing that changed was the decision to not discuss it anymore. Because ultimately, it took to catch up so much oxygen in the narrative around the band, and personally, I'm never convinced that journalists actually take it seriously. Most of the discussion around it was incredibly salacious, uninformed and unempathetic. People just ask you a question to tick off a list, and they don't actually care about it. To me, I don't think anything has altered in how I approach it.

On the last record, at least, if people had questions about it, then you can see the evidence of that in the work rather than having to sit and talk about it anymore. I think that 2011-2012 was a very specific time to start a band, and it was a very specific time on the internet. I don't think that anybody knew what this was going to be like. I don't think anybody could have prepared me for it, and I certainly don't think anybody was able to protect me from it. I spent a decade not talking about any of the art that I made — people just wanted to talk about things that are actually quite profoundly traumatic for a 23- or 24-year-old girl. I think that women in the world experience that anyway. I know a lot of female friends my age have gotten to a point where they feel quite drained at best from feeling consumed and perceived by male society. But my experience of that is even more specific. It's not better. I just don't talk about it anymore.

Which artists are you most intrigued by right now?

DOHERTY: I'm looking into the past a lot, but I think there's a new generation of electronic artists coming through, which is exciting to me. I also love Audrey Nuna, the rapper. She's amazing. I know that Lauren will echo us in my love for Bartees Strange. I won't say he's one man saving indie, but he's really offering something new, something really exciting to me when I hear it.

Who do you dream of collaborating with at this point in your career?

MAYBERRY: In a post-Robert Smith collaboration universe, you're like, "Well, how can we only go up from here?” It's hard to top that one. I think the collaborations we've done over the course of the band have varied. They did come about pretty organically for the most part. So I think we'll just wait and see.

IAIN COOK: Thinking realistically, the only way to top Robert Smith or equal it is probably Taylor Swift.