While Pope Francis is visiting churches around the United States, pop fans are visiting Chvrches’ new album, “Every Open Eye.” The band’s second release streamed on NPR Music this week and is officially set to drop on Friday, September 25.
Known for its addictive blend of pop and electronic elements, Chvrches, a synth-pop trio from Scotland, is loved by fans across all genres. Since their first album, Chvrches gained attention in the media after vocalist Lauren Mayberry spoke out about the misogyny she’s experienced as a woman in the music industry. She wrote an article for The Guardian about how social media opened the door for sexist comments despite the popularity the Internet brought to the band. Mayberry continues to be open about her identity as a feminist, and while she’s made it clear that online harassment is unacceptable, she hasn’t let it stop her from thriving as a musician.
“Every Open Eye” opens with “Never Ending Circles,” the second single off of the album. Fans will notice movement away from the band’s synth-heavy aspects of their debut album “The Bones of What You Believe.” Still, as with their previous album’s opening track, the band does not wait to bring a loud sound to its listeners. While maintaining catchy choruses and upbeat electronic elements, Chvrches strips down their music on their sophomore album, leaving room to focus on lyrics.
The opening track is followed by the album’s first single, “Leave a Trace.” Released in mid-July, the single was well-received by fans and set up a great deal of expectations for the band’s return. After listening to the remainder of the eleven-track album, the band did not disappoint on expectations made from their early single releases.
“High Enough to Carry You Over” features Chvrches’ Martin Doherty as the main vocalist. His voice is a nice change of pace, but the track feels out of place without Mayberry’s iconic vocals present. It veers into cheesy ’80s territory, but overall, the track sticks to the Chvrches sound that fans are drawn to.
While powerhouse songs appear on each end of the album, some tracks fade into the background. The third track, “Keep You on My Side,” diverts from the tone created from the opening two songs. Its fast paced progression and overuse of synths seems less cohesive than its predecessors.
“Empty Threat,” an early track on the second half of the album, is overshadowed by most of the other songs. The song is not necessarily bad, but it doesn’t produce the same power that many of the others do.
“Every Open Eye” ends with a pleasantly light sound from “Afterglow.” Although “Never Ending Circles” opened the album with an explosive sound, the somber tone of the final track feels like a proper close for those who’ve made their way through the previous 10 songs.
Overall, fans of “The Bones of What You Believe” will be more than satisfied with “Every Open Eye.” The album is a logical progression from Chvrches’ older sound, and the band doesn’t show signs of fading away anytime soon.
Anna’s Top Tracks:
1. Never Ending Circles
2. Clearest Blue
3. Bury It
James’ Top Tracks:
1. Clearest Blue
2. Down Side of Me