The last time CHRVCHES visited Jimmy Fallon, he was still host of Late Night, and the Scottish synth-pop trio had yet to release last fall's sneakily accomplished debut album The Bones of What You Believe. Many concerts and late-night performances later, they've returned to Fallon's new home on The Tonight Show, and they gave a performance worthy of the plusher digs.
CHVRCHES have done so much — covers, calls against online misogyny, and did we mention concerts or late-night performances? — since their first single in late 2012 that it's worth pausing to marvel at how well they do it. Last night on Tonight, they performed their crushing standout "Recover," and it's a master class in balance. The narrator in the song is on the precipe of "should I stay or should I go," giving a lover "one more chance"; "recover" rhymes with "comfort" rhymes with "over." Singer Lauren Mayberry's vocals are wispy yet colored with vibrato as needed, cool like the Knife and deeply felt like Robyn. She doesn't move much, but her eyes glisten before the song ends. Production whizzes Iain Cook and Martin Doherty more than make up for Mayberry's lack of dancing, and as they manipulate their electronics it's easy to imagine them having ended up going unheralded as electronic hip-hop beatmakers rather than finding this perfect equipose with Mayberry. It's a pleasure they did.
Watch the performance above. The band members' also explained how they wrote "Recover" — "Why have one chorus when you can have two?" — in the video below. And they'll be performing at New York's Terminal 5 tonight (May 2) and tomorrow (May 3). If knucklehead in the song's lyrics thinks he doesn't need CHVRCHES, then that's to the rest of our benefit.