CHVRCHES have enlisted the help of the Cure’s Robert Smith to release their emotional new single, “How Not To Drown.” The deeply vulnerable track is about coming back from a place you thought you’d never return from when the stress and pressure of everything make it impossible to escape and bounce back to your true self.
“How Not To Drown” is the latest single from CHVRCHES since they released, “He Said She Said” last April. Both songs are off the band’s forthcoming full-length, Screen Violence, set to arrive in late August. Meanwhile, the collaborative track features loud beats, insightful lyrics and meticulously well-composed instrumental parts–exactly what you’d expect from two of the UK’s most regarded musical acts.
The collaboration blends elements of CHVRCHES’ electronic dreaminess and Smith’s timeless pained vocals for a reflective, longing lament. The track opens with lead singer Lauren Mayberry singing, “I’m writing a book on how to stay conscious when you drown.” Smith comes in later with “I’m writing a chapter on what to do after they take you up.” The duo takes a literary break on the chorus, where together they sing, “Tell me how/It’s better when the sun goes down/We’ll never escape this town/I was afraid when you caught me/look what you taught me.” A transcendental lone synth adds a haunting cascade to Smith’s already alluring voice for a dramatic and insightful finale.
The song’s accompanying music video is drenched in green hues, featuring trippy graphics and creepy photos of bats and beyond, perfectly capturing the goth aesthetic. Check out the full video below.
The band even livestreamed on YouTube ahead of the video debut, sharing behind-the-scenes details of their songwriting process as fans eagerly awaited for the visual to drop.
CHVRCHES first announced “How Not To Drown” on Twitter, where the band had been teasing a new release for weeks through cryptic messages. However, Smith almost revealed the collaboration early after posting a photo of himself on a large screen with Mayberry. Following the post from his personal account, Smith tweeted, “@CHVRCHES I WILL STOP NOW AS I AM NOT SURE HOW MUCH I AM SUPPOSED TO BE GIVING AWAY….”
— ROBERT SMITH (@RobertSmith) May 31, 2021
In response, Mayberry fired back with the second line from the single. “That’s alright,” the artist posted “If the words float up to the surface, I’ll keep them down…” Since the song hadn’t been released yet, fans were left wondering what the mysterious words could mean.
Previously, a photo posted to CHVRCHES’ Instagram showed a series of cryptic letters over Mayberry’s face with the caption, “BGU+CHV.” Fans immediately deciphered the amalgam and discovered the message read: “‘How Not To Drown’ coming Wednesday June second.”
Despite cryptic release dates, Mayberry has always been direct when addressing fans. “We are incredibly grateful to Robert for his kindness and for creating this thing with us,” she posted on Twitter. “My mind will never stop being blown. I am so lucky to get to make music with my pals (let alone one of our musical heroes), and so grateful that you keep a place for our music in your heart.”
“It’s sort of poetic too, how things work out,” Mayberry added. “These lyrics are about a time when I just wanted to disappear…I felt like I was in over my head at the deep end and not sure how to get back. But I did get back. And if you’ve felt like that, I hope you find your way back too.”
In addition to a follow-up tour in November for the release of Screen Violence, the emo-pop group also announced plans to play Splendour XR, a virtual music festival featuring the likes of the Killers and Grimes, scheduled for July.
Let us know what you think of the new CHVRCHES song “How Not To Drown” featuring the Cure’s Robert Smith below!
CHVRCHES 2021 Tour Dates:
11/09 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
11/10 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live
11/11 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live
11/12 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live
11/14 – Dallas, TX @ Southside Ballroom
11/15 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
11/17 – Minneapolis, MN @ Armory
11/18 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Riverside Theater
11/19 – Chicago, IL @ Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
11/20 – Columbus, OH @ Express [email protected]!
11/22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
11/23 – Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
11/26 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/27 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/30 – Washington, DC @ Anthem
12/01 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
12/02 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
12/03 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall
12/05 – Cincinnati, OH @ Ovation
12/06 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
12/08 – Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom
12/09 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
12/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Union
12/11 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
12/13 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
12/14 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
12/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
12/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium