CHVRCHES Extend the ‘Screen Violence,’ Right in Time for Halloween

“I turned into a killer, I’m insane…”

It’s Hallowe’en weekend, which means it’s time to go out there and make the exact same mistakes you do every other weekend, just while wearing a bad wig.

That also means it’s Halloween playlist season, which means rounding up the smattering of pop songs that are even vaguely related to something spooky: your “Disturbia,” your “Scary,” your “Monster”…you know the drill by now. (Remember BooMuse?)

Tired of the same ol’ terrifying tracks? Have no fear. Well, actually do: CHVRCHES is here with some chilling cuts to add to the collection.

The Scottish trio already showed up early to the eerie party back at the end of August with their exceptional fourth studio album, Screen Violence, a horror-inspired collection of chilly, jagged, urgent synth-pop brilliance full of slasher-friendly imagery, including “He Said She Said,” “Good Girls” (which was also remixed by Halloween score legend John Carpenter) and “How Not to Drown” with The Cure‘s iconic Robert Smith. There’s also my personal favorite, “Violent Delights” – not (yet) a single, but still a standout of the year, as with the entirety of the LP.

Much to our pre-All Hallows’ Eve delight, CHVRCHES revealed they weren’t quite done with the release just yet.

As with many album releases amid The New Normal™ and the Age of Streaming, the band decided to extend the shelf life of their still-fresh-out-the-oven concoction with an additional three songs, as part of the Director’s Cut edition (a most fitting title), released Friday (October 29).

And from the track titles alone, you already know you’re in for an absolute scream of a good time.

“This album was thematically so different to previous CHVRCHES albums that it would have been rude of us to let Halloween come and go without injecting some more Screen Violence into it. ‘Killer’, ‘Bitter End’ and ‘Screaming’ were all started in 2020 and finished just after the album was released. As any good horror fan knows, just because the film ends, it doesn’t mean the story does,” says frontwoman Lauren Mayberry of the additional tunes.

All three tracks provide an excellent expansion of the Screen Violence universe, lyrically touching on all things screen and violent.

“Killer” is the instant knockout, grabbing the killer’s knife and turning it around for a cold-blooded declaration: “I turned into a killer, I’m insane / I’ll cry you a river down the drain / Are you entertained?” Who’s afraid of who now, Mr. Ghostface?

“Screaming,” meanwhile, has some tortured and introspective lyrics that cut deep (“Time’s been stealing all my dreams / And I no longer look the part“), while “Bitter End” provides a crashing, crushing last plea for an escape: “Teach me the sound that can take me away / Play it again and again until I find rapture…

It’s an entirely appropriate new finale for the album – for now, until the inevitable sequel and/or reboot rolls around.

The idea that these songs didn’t make the album the first time around, and nearly went unheard? Now, that’s pretty damn frightening. Happy Halloween!

Screen Violence is out now on vinyl.

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Photo credit: Sebastian Mlynarski & Kevin J Thomson