Album Review: Every Open Eye – CHVRCHES

Many bands or artists have common names that bring up too many Google results for fans. However, CHVRCHES is one group that doesn’t have that problem. Pronounced “churches”, the band replaced the “u” in the word with a “v” to make their music easier to find in search engines. The electro-pop trio from Glasgow has released two albums to date, and their most recent album, titled Every Open Eye, debuted on September 25, 2015.   

The album cover
The album cover

The opening track, Never Ending Circles, starts off loudly and abruptly, with heavy synth and bass. The vocals provided by Lauren Mayberry are talented, and sound as though they belong in a pop song. Although the style of music is unique and less-than-mainstream, the song itself sounds like it could be a huge hit, if people gave it a chance. The second track, Leave A Trace, starts with fragmented male vocals from the other two members (Iain Cook and Martin Doherty) before adding in Mayberry with the main vocals. This track is just as catchy as the first, and the music makes it clear that CHVRCHES are incredibly individual and talented. Keep You On My Side starts with electronic low vocals before going into a more prominent beat. This track features lower vocals from Mayberry, without much of the high-pitched head voice used in the previous song. While the song is good, it seems to drag on and repeat a lot, especially considering it’s four and a half minutes long. The cutoff is abrupt and interesting. Clearest Blue, the fifth track, starts with echoey, high vocals and a quick beat. The song is pretty fast, but CHVRCHES still manages to make it sound melancholy and sweet. The music is powerful and sounds like a buildup that would be in a movie. It’s a cool feeling to stumble across groups, albums, or songs that can make you feel something like that – Halsey, Bleachers, Mikky Ekko, and Misterwives are some other examples of rare artists like that. Clearest Blue ends with another quick cutoff, and goes into High Enough to Carry You Over. This track has Cook and Doherty as the lead vocalists, rather than Mayberry, and their voices fit well together. Get Away, the third to last track, starts off strangely, with vocal fragments and less synth than the other songs. Follow You, the second to last, starts with lower and softer instrumentals, and a male vocalist again. The lyrics are almost haunting, when sung by the soft, echoing voice that commands this track. Bow Down, the last track on the album, starts off with a gradual lead-in, and Mayberry’s main vocals are complemented by the fragmented male vocals in the back. Upbeat and energetic, Bow Down seems to encompass everything that CHVRCHES is.

(left to right) Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty, and Iain Cook
(left to right) Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty, and Iain Cook

Having toured with Passion Pit in the UK, CHVRCHES are already getting bigger – and if their music stays this unique, they could easily become one of the most influential bands of this decade.

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2 thoughts on “Album Review: Every Open Eye – CHVRCHES

  1. You forgot to mention how aggressive CHVRCES’ brand of pop is. “Leave a Trace” basically tells a person to fuck off – they’ll be lucky to just leave a trace of a man. “High Enough” is more gentle but it still says “I’m the good guy, you were terrible”. I find this aggression unique in Pop music. The fact they play it like it’s cute Electropop makes it all the more powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

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