New Chvrches and Sons & Daughters side-project Protection share the ravey ‘Still Love You’

"It’s almost like you’re making a mixtape of your favourite music for a friend," the duo told NME of their new music

Iain Cook of Chvrches and fellow Glaswegian musician and producer Scott Paterson formerly of Sons & Daughters have launched new project, Protection. Check out their debut single ‘Still Love You’ exclusively on NME below, along with our interview with the duo.

Released via Saint Luck Records/The Orchard tomorrow (Friday October 21), ‘Still Love You’ calls upon elements of the dance music of the past with a very modern and future-facing edge.

“’Still Love You’ just evolved naturally, but retrospectively I feel like it’s got parallels with early techno and house from the ‘80s,” Paterson told NME. “We weren’t referencing it at the time, but I can hear echoes of it now. We weren’t trying to be retro or pastiche, because I feel like it’s a really modern track.”

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Cook agreed, adding: “I also feel like it has a bit of a flavour of Daft Punk. We also put some stuff from old psychedelic records in there in the background.”

The pair first met “many moons ago” in the mid-2000s when they were both in bands, but came together via a mutual friend, many shared tastes in music and film, and love of wasting time playing Street Fighter.

“It wasn’t until last Spring when we were listening to a lot more new music through being holed up during lockdown and all that when Scott said, ‘Do you fancy doing something together?’ and we asked ourselves why he hadn’t done that yet,” said Iain.

“We set ourselves a few fun rules to play around with in terms of how it would be creatively. That just gave us a framework and a little bit of focus. We would each start with a sketch of an idea with only two or three elements at most, and then swap it over with no comments or direction to see where it would go. We just kept that process going, and it was a really fun and democratic way to start the project.”

Paterson added: “We’ve got more in common than we don’t. There’s maybe some stuff on the outskirts that the hardcore prog and black metal that’s not for me. After 16 years of being friends and never making music together, lockdown seemed like a great opportunity for that. We just did it for fun.”

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Chvrches with The Cure’s Robert Smith at the BandLab NME Awards 2022. Credit: Zoe McConnell

Speaking of the rest of the material they have in the bag, Paterson explained how the duo have “30 songs in various stages of completion” that are “all over the place – in a really exciting way”.

“Everything has been really organic and there has been so much variety in the music that we’ve been making because it was just for fun and made in the moment,” he said. “None of the other music we’ve made sounds like ‘Still Love You’. There’s high-tempo breakbeat stuff, there’s ambient stuff, there’s all sorts. It’s almost like you’re making a mixtape of your favourite music for a friend.”

Cook agreed: “There was a composer who once said that we all make music about the music we love. That feels true to me as an artist. Without being derivative, if I’m listening to a lot of stuff that I’ve not heard before then I get inspired to write.

“When you’re starting a new project, it’s very much like feeling out the boundaries of what we can and want to do. Listening back, we found there weren’t many boundaries but a lot of connective tissue between the songs. If you were to ask me what it was, I don’t think I could tell you.”

For now, the pair are focussing on “having fun”, with plans to release some EPs in the next year, and hopefully an album on the horizon as they’re “figuring out” how to translate the project into the live arena.

“We’re just very keen for this to be our true selves and not trying to obfuscate that or hide behind anything,” said Paterson. “We’re making the music that we love and it’s influenced by all that we love. We’re not going to dress up or anything!”

As for the future of Chvrches, Cook explained that the trio have a show in Jakarta before a tour of Australia and Japan as well as support dates in Brazil with Coldplay. Then, they’ll start to work on the follow-up to 2021’s acclaimed ‘Screen Violence‘.

“I’m pretty certain we’ll get round to album five in time, but there hasn’t really been any debate yet about when we’ll start that, but I’m sure it’s coming,” he said.

Meanwhile Paterson, who has also played with the likes of March Of Dimes and The Kills, said that he’d be putting his all into upcoming material from Protection.

“This is my full-time thing at the moment,” he said. “Over the last 10 or 11 years I’ve been working and touring a lot with my friends’ bands on guitars, bass and keys. I’ve also been producing and co-writing a lot, but at the moment that’s all on hold while we’re doing this.”

Chvrches also recently told NME that they’d been thinking about ways to mark 10 years of their debut album ‘The Bones Of What You Believe‘ in 2023.

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