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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    CHVRCHES’ new album defies the odds


    Scottish synth pop trio CHVRCHES new album Every Eye Open releases Friday, Sept. 25th.

    For those in search of the auditory equivalent of caffeine, something to clear the haze and wake up your world, CHVRCHES, the Scottish synth pop trio, is a musical triple-shot espresso. Don’t believe me? Check out their newest album Every Eye Open, out today.

     Every Eye Open encapsulates the experience that follows pumping up some CHVRCHES jams. This is music meant to be played loud and proud. 

    The album kicks off with “Never Ending Circles,” which can only be properly described as “thumpin’.” The intro of rhythmic synths thump in a circular sound, firing up the engine and turning the wheels of Every Eye Open. 

    Lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s vocals come across crisper and more vibrant than ever; the vocals in “Never Ending Circles” highlight CHVRCHES’ attempt to resurrect the lost art of an excellent bridge. The opener smoothly transitions into “Leave a Trace” without a slip in quality.
    Every Eye Open nails it as a sophomore LP because it never dips in quality. The sophomore album has long been a difficult beast to conquer. Change the band’s sound too much and people will question why the band tried to fix what wasn’t broken — see: Of Monster and Men’s summer sophomore album Beneath the Skin — Play it too safe and have it comes across as lazy repeat of the debut album — see: Mumford & Sons positively dull second effort Babel.

    Every Eye Open finds just the right balance. A variation in sound, but not a total paradigm shift, like a plant retaining its roots but blossoming higher than ever. 

    Therein lies CHVRCHES’ sophomore strategy: polish, polish, polish.

     Every track off the album shines with a greater polish than previous albums. Every hook is streamlined, every lyric cultivated, every track buoyant and elegant. After the success of debut album The Bones of What You Believe, it appears that CHVRCHES returned to their sonic laboratory to distill their essence down into a purer form, and then proceeded to double that dosage for Every Eye Open. As a result, the album begins with the high of “Never Ending Circle,” and each subsequent track delivers a similar quality.

    CHVRCHES’ sophomore album possesses a small standard deviation for track quality. Its average song would rate as exceptional, the best as wonderful and the worst as satisfactory. Each track retains the characteristics of the album as a whole: catchy beat, high energy and a surprising bit of punk attitude.

    Mayberry’s lyrics have a tint of self-assured nirvana to them. She has no time for regrets and cannot be touched by the negativity or the interference of others. 

    “Make Them Gold” proclaims this attitude: “We will take the best parts of ourselves and make them gold.” “Never Ending Circles” reinforces the idea with Mayberry shouting out, “But I choose to decide that I don’t regret it!” and the track “Bury It” adds a chorus of “bury it, bury it, bury it and rise above.”

    Every Eye Open succeeds as CHVRCHES sophomore album. The quality is consistent throughout, with every facet improved.  Drums, synths and pop hooks leave listeners unable to resist the urge to dance. Perfectly polished track after track deliver the equivalent of musical caffeine straight to the bloodstream. No matter how ridiculous Every Eye Open makes you look as you dance alone in your room, the ride is worth the price of admission.

    Rating: 8/10

    Follow Alex Furrier on Twitter.

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