Bridges were burned, and now it’s your turn to cry.
There’s really never a bad time for “Cry Me A River.” Like Britney’s “Toxic” or Missy’s anything, it’s a millennial pop masterpiece that most of us can instantly recognize and publicly enjoy sans irony. Given its iconic status, I’m actually surprised that there seems to have been relatively few attempts to re-interpret it. Enter CHVRCHES, the delightful Scottish synthpop trio who pretty much embody the phrase “cute as a button,” with a surprisingly intense, unsurprisingly electro-fied take. Sorry Ms. Gomez; step aside, Bugatti Beibs— there’s a new top “Cry Me A River” cover in town! Take a gander:
Now, I’ll level with you. On first listen, I was kinda disappointed that Lauren Mayberry opted to stay in a lower register throughout the song– JT’s falsetto on the chorus was so crucial to the original’s creepy appeal. Upon subsequent listens, however, I’ve come to find that the evenness of Mayberry’s tone really magnifies the song’s power. She has one of the cleaner, clearer voices I can think of, and the steadiness with which she wields it here gives the already cutting lyrics the force of a guillotine. Run, fuckboi, run! Plus her eyeliner game is fierce.
As for CHVRCHES’ other two-thirds, producers Iaian Cook and Martin Doherty, just…damn, lads! I’m no type of gear afficionado, so beyond the MPC on the right and keyboard on the left can’t parse what all they’re up to here, but it looks tricky as hell and the outcome is gorgeous. These three are such a finely tuned machine that it’s an actual pleasure to watch them work.
…So why stop there? Let’s look back fondly on CHVRCHES serenading the bae Janelle Monáe with a wistful cover of “Tightrope” in 2013:
And here’s they are trying Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?” on for size at an Aussie radio station last year:
Takeaways: 1) CHVRCHES have excellent taste in cover selections. 2) They are CUTE. AS. BUTTONS.