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Album Review
Every Open Eye

Every Open Eye
by Chvrches

Liberator Music / Goodbye Records

Review Date
2nd October 2015
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

It may have been recorded in a basement flat studio in Glasgow over five months, but in actuality, Chvrches new record, Every Open Eye was conceived in the sunburnt fields and sweat fuelled dance tents of the perpetual festival-go-round. Opening with the dizzying, high energy two-punch combo of ‘Never Ending Circles’ and ‘Leave a Trace’, the Scottish synth-pop powerhouse’s follow up to 2013’s The Bones of What You Believe lays out its bigger, louder, more danceable ambitions early.

Pointedly more expansive and ambitious than TBOWYB, most of this record feels tailor made for sun-soaked late afternoon sets in fields (or carparks) around the world. Lauren Mayberry’s melodious vocals soar and dive as impressively as ever, while the two lads flanking her have dialled their keyboards and drum machines up to 11. Single, ‘Clearest Blue’ exemplifies this effect best with a tightly wound beat and urgent vocals exploding into euphoric sing-a-long choruses. Everything feels amplified, happier and portrays more purpose without losing the intimacy of Mayberry’s delivery.

This isn’t to say this synth-pop party doesn’t have its quiet corners. ‘High Enough to Carry You Over’ (featuring keyboardist Martin Doherty’s vocals) and ‘Down Side of Me’ both offer more reflective and slower moments while the album finale ‘Afterglow’ is a gentle, stripped back ballad which sees the record out with a solemn gravitas. In delivering a more expansive, complete and ambitious record, Chvrches have cemented both themselves and this record as worthy inclusions in the canon of great synth-pop.


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