Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry – aka Chvrches – became known for their clean, electronic sound when they released their debut album The Bones Of What You Believe in 2013. This week, the Scottish trio are back with full electronic force on their new album, Every Open Eye.
Opener ‘Never Ending Circles’ is a superb return to Chvrches form, with bold synths, pounding drums, and Mayberry’s pure vocals. Her voice powers through the sound with defiant lyrics – “I’ll go my way, if I’m going at all”. ‘Keep You On My Side’ is reminiscent of ’80s electronica, with synths and drums bouncing around in organised chaos. This track will go down well on dance floors full of those who “don’t sleep well” and want to repay “every human touch”.
The recent bout of online misogyny surrounding the video for ‘Leave A Trace’ (which features Lauren in a mini dress – that’s literally it) saw Mayberry appear on Channel 5 News. Dominant drum beats and defiant lyrics litter the song, and ‘Leave a Trace’ lives up to its name – clear and defined in its direction and overall sound.
‘Empty Threat’ could also be a reference to misogynist behaviour Mayberry has experienced. If this is the case, it’s refreshing to see this has not knocked her artistic confidence. ‘Bury It’ is equally as ambiguous, and feels like an ode to the band’s resistance as they continuously “Bury it and rise above”.
‘Clearest Blue’ is visceral and bright. Despite the lyrics insisting “it’s not enough” – the track more than delivers, and builds up to a cathartic release of melodic synths and keyboard. Martin Doherty takes over lead vocals on ‘High Enough To Carry You Over’, which is pure, romantic, electro-pop escapism.
‘Down Side Of Me’ brings a welcome change in tempo, the overlapping of vocals works particularly well towards the close of the track as Mayberry tries to ” keep you away from the down side of me”. ‘Playing Dead’ is excessively upbeat and lively sounding; full of empowering, motivational lyrics like “No more distractions and no more standing still”. Closing track ‘Afterglow’ shines with it’s luminous synths and careful vocals, revealing the calmer “bright side” of Chvrches electronic vision.
Their vision embraces moving forward, being aware of the peripheral, and never taking your eyes off the horizon. Through defiant vocals and pure electronic skill; Chvrches have achieved this on Every Open Eye.
Every Open Eye is released on 25th September via Virgin Records Ltd.