Scottish electronic trio CHVRCHES received quite a bit of attention from their 2013 debut record The Bones of What You Believe; a highly sporadic record that caught on with ravenous hooks of electronic beats and indie elements, becoming a gamechanger for the alternative scene. With the trio’s sophomore release Every Open Eye, CHVRCHES have created a perfect follow-up: something that flows effortlessly, and is consistently full of wonderful goodness…
The band have toned down their electronic beats in their second effort, expressing intimacy in a very free-flow way. In an interview by NME, Mayberry mentioned that they were “an emo band in disguise” because of the deep and emotional content conveyed in their songwriting, and for that to be addressed has made this record a progression from their last as they execute this detail so strongly.
Musically, CHVRCHES have undoubtedly taken the time to craft these songs with the utmost care. “Leave A Trace” is an incredible number. With its slow-paced, electronic-pop progression, there’s a sense of maturity showing in their honest songwriting. Comparatively, you come across loud songs like “Never Ending Circles” where Mayberry showcases her vocal talent with thoughtfully placed synths, which in return, complement the track so well. As it’s an opening track, there’s an empowering aura that flows beneath it in every way.
“Clearest Blue” shifts to a flowering track which meets the criteria of the perfect consistency from the entire record. The instrumentation to this song is simply amazing as is its use of synths and electronic elements. The music doesn’t overpower the vocals and this in return is a huge improvement from their debut. “Empty Threat” is just as catchy with its simple instrumentation. There’s a lot more attention on the actual subjects of their songs and because the band invested the time to take care of this aspect, this sophomore release proves that the trio are capable of creating tracks with compelling stories attached to them.
“Down Side of Me” and “Afterglow” are both beautiful and gentle tracks which showcase a soft side as well. There’s an emotive presence that is mesmerising and these numbers feel like they are a reflection of a past time. Both are invigorating because of how their electronic elements are arranged while showcasing a vulnerable side to the band which stems from their creativity. Of course, The Bones of What You Believe was an explosive and loud record and this made it an enjoyable listen. However, the change I see in this release is like picking off fresh fruit off a tree. In this sense, CHVRCHES have renewed themselves by the creative fuel that comes from their meaningful songwriting.
Suffice it to say, CHVRCHES have released a record that expresses the crucial details of why they are a band and that is, to never let anybody stand their way. They have matured astoundingly from their debut record. They’ve become transparent when it comes to their emotions, and it has made this record a stellar offering from the trio.
Review Score: 9.0 out of 10
Every Open Eye is available now