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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Every Open Eye | Chvrches

Every+Open+Eye+%7C+Chvrches

All intelligent adults agree: Chvrches‘ 2013 full-length debut The Bones of What You Believe was excellent. It accomplished so much with so little. Three Scottish hipsters made the most intimate and catchy album in the saturated synth-pop genre in quite some time. Lead singer Lauren Mayberry crooned over bright keyboards while thumping bass grooves kept the pace up. Layered synthesizers and reverb-soaked guitars set a deliberate tone for each song, even if that tone occasionally repeated itself.[su_pullquote align=”right”]“Despite the additions, the overall sound of Chvrches, the lush production, heartfelt lyrics, and infectious grooves all remain, but are more refined and expressive than ever.”[/su_pullquote]

After years of touring behind TBOWYB, Chvrches went quiet until this summer’s “Leave a Trace,” the lead single for their second album Every Open Eye, brought Chvrches roaring back into the spotlight. Chvrches forced me to dance and fall in love with Mayberry all over again.

Every Open Eye successfully builds off of the honed formula of TBOWYB with improved and diverse production along with the impressive songwriting talents of Chvrches being brought to the forefront. The opening track, “Never Ending Circles“, immediately establishes the lofty lyrical and musical themes that Chvrches aimed for on Every Open Eye. Booming choruses, chopped up vocal samples, and uptempo time patterns take over the smooth chord progressions and synth riffs that TBOWYB offered. Despite the additions, the overall sound of Chvrches, the lush production, heartfelt lyrics, and infectious grooves all remain, but are more refined and expressive than ever. The driving bass line behind “Make Them Gold” turns a somewhat melancholy meditation on persistence into a booming 1980s-esque dance track.[su_pullquote]“Chvrches’ talents lie in their tendency to subvert not only genre traditions, but also their own tried-and-true methods for songwriting.”[/su_pullquote]

Chvrches’ talents lie in their tendency to subvert not only genre traditions, but also their own tried-and-true methods for songwriting. The third and final single, “Clearest Blue“, has a two-minute verse-driven buildup to a “drop”, for lack of a better word, before an actual chorus. They reinvent their song structure with each successive track, making what should be a series of similar sounding songs each sound unique. Even the obligatory Martin Doherty-led song, “High Enough to Carry You Over“, is a highlight using slower and more melancholy synthesizer beats that suit the story of heartbreak the lyrics convey.

The only legitimate criticism that could have been lodged against TBOWYB was a vague sense of repetition from song to song, but that problem was stomped out for Every Open Eye. Along with both dense and expansive production, Chvrches just simply got bolder, brighter, and better.

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