October 8, 2015 Chvrches – Every Open Eye (Album Review)
Swedish Synthpop band Chvrches, pronounced churches, started their career in early 2011 with Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals, synthesizers, samplers), Iain Cook (guitar, bass, synthesizer, vocals), and Martin Doherty (synthesizer, samplers, vocals). Since then, they have released the Recover EP and two albums, 2013’s The Bones of What You Believe and their newest output, Every Open Eye released September 2015. They were ranked fifth on the BBC’s Sound of 2013 as the most promising musical talent and have performed at countless festivals as well as toured as openers for several bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Passion Pit. They are quickly becoming a fan favorite with the way they show the darker side of Electronic/Synthpop. Every Open Eye, released via Virgin Records, will only amplify the band’s buzz on the scene as it has already garner a lot of positive attention.
The second single off the album that kicks off said album, “Never Ending Circles,” starts off stating the obvious. Circles are clearly never ending, but moving on. Mayberry’s child-like voice lends well to the overall tone of the album, which is catchy Pop, Synth beats. Following up this song is one of two songs that use a male vocalist, “Follow You.” It is a slow tempo that builds to a stronger chorus while maintaining the mellowness. The first single, “Leave A Trace,” switches back to the usual female vocals and the happier fast cadence. The song revolves around realizing a relationship was bad and finally feeling free from all ties to it.
“Keep You On My Side” contains quick beats, rapid lyricism, and still has a peculiar haunted kind of ’80s sound. “Make Them Gold” starts with the sound of success. What is meant by that is it gives off an empowered vibe and keeps a listener in that feeling throughout the song. “Clearest Blue” presents a great build to the chorus, which sounds like it was spliced right out of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough,” and it is amazing! Those looking for a good song to start a run, this is the cut to go with. “High Enough to Carry You Over” brings back the male vocals and it again slows down the pace of the album. It almost brings one back to John Hughes’ 1984 classic Sixteen Candles slow dances in the gymnasium, and it is remarkable.
Moving on, “Down Side of Me” has to be the most modern sound and use of the synthesizer on this album. It is slow, mellow, and trippy; it sounds like a mix of Flume and Disclosure. With the meditative vibe, it is a good tune to put on if you need to relax. “Bury It” brings back the upbeat ’80s sound with a similar lyricism to “Leave a Trace,” about being strong enough to move on. “Bow Down,” “Empty Threat,” and “Playing Dead” all lend to the telling of the stories within the album of letting go, memories that one wishes they could forget, moving on, and pushing forward.
Every Open Eye concludes with “Afterglow,” which takes a much different vibe in the start from the rest of the album. Mayberry uses her voice in a different capacity, holding notes longer, changing notes during said holds, and it really solidifies the album. Its church-like sound is complemented with the organ styling of the synthesizer and brings everything to completion in stunning fashion.
Music lovers looking for an album to feel like a throwback to the ’80s Pop scene, with an updated lyricism, Every Open Eye is the one to purchase and play constantly. Furthermore, Chvrches uses their own unique blend to create an album of unexpected twists and turns everyone can enjoy. CrypticRock gives Every Open Eye 4.5 out of 5 stars.