CHVRCHES – ‘Every Open Eye’ Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

In 2013 a great portion of the underground music community stood in amazement at what Scottish trio CHVRCHES brought with their debut full length, The Bones Of What You Believe. The LP was an international success and the band barely ever stopped their life on the road, cycling into recording what would be their next release almost immediately after the final leg of their last tour. The group took on the hard responsibility of creating a follow up that would garner the same stripes of success. Well, here we are with Every Open Eye.

I’ll be damned if people don’t admit at how fulfilling it is to spin this record. The first arpeggios of delicate synth melodies on ‘Never Ending Circles’ are soon aided with the powerful pipes of Mayberry. It’s not really a surprise from there on out at just exactly what we will hear. It’s like looking at Eilean Donan, a castle in Scotland. The castle has been reshaped with a modern delicacy, just like CHVRCHES have built and continued on from their successful sound of before. Every Open Eye takes indie pop to the same stunning view from the top of the castle walls, and it’s soundscape is just as lavish.

Cozy major keyed melodies, bubbly synthesizers and heart warming vocal deliveries all make up the sonic presence of Every Open Eye. At times the same repeated motifs can be overused, softly droning throughout an entire track but their so damned enjoyable it’s hard to find yourself bored or without interest. It’s apparent in a song like ‘Keep You On My Side,’ radiating colorful synths built around a pop beat that is just entirely too infectious. Mayberry’s vocal delivery is seductive against the womping pulses in a way that forces your vocal chords to at least softly hum to her bouncing melody. ‘High Enough To Carry You Over’ features Martin taking role of the microphone, adding a decadent Gorillaz vibe to the song.

It’s not ALL a repertoire of dance grooves. ‘Down Side Of Me’ is one of the slower tunes here, focusing more on big walls of synthesizers with a bell melody hopping in between. Closing track ‘Afterglow’ is a stand still ballad with a near whispered delivery from a rather energetic front woman. It’s a perfect way to close. A track like this shows CHRVCHES in a new light, being able to capture emotions both with their ups and their downs. 

“No more distractions and no more staying still, I am chasing the skyline much more than you ever will” Mayberry cries out in ‘Playing Dead,’ and with this album you can’t help but take notice. This is a band reaching for the hearts of every listener, and they are doing it with a sweeping broom of grace, lifting us off our feet and landing in their arms. Every Open Eye is an album of pure ecstasy, one that settles in our ears and blocks the rest of the troubles of the world around us. Well done CHVRCHES, well done.

Score: 7.9/10