You’d think with the overwhelming success of their debut album that Scottish act CHVRCHES would be on their way to spend tons on a new studio to further expand their sound. You’d also think that there was no way an album as simple yet deep as Every Open Eye was recorded in a flat in Glasgow but you’d be wrong. It’s not like we had gazillions of pounds,” said keyboardist Martin Doherty “but there was money there, and rather than blowing it all on a fancier studio or putting it in the pocket of some famous producer, we decided to invest it.”
There’s something amazing about that but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t strike me as a bit worrying as, in the same interview with NME, Doherty said “the only thing we can do to keep winning is not change a single thing.” Does that mean we’d get the same sound that was refreshing back when the band emerged but now has been copied by countless artists since?
To put a long story short; no. Rather than drastically change their sound into something that’s unidentifiable, CHVRCHES have managed to tweak and arguably improve their sound, making a new sound that’s no doubt going to influence other artists just like 2013’s Bones Of What Make You Believe did to the likes of Taylor Swift.
Not that anyone should be surprised. As soon as Leave A Trace was released as the first single of Every Open Eye, it was clear to all that they were onto something just as remarkable as their debut. A tame Lauren Mayberry keeps her cool while singing about those they’ve met who have “took so much for someone so kind” before breaking into an anger-filled chorus accompanied by pinning synths and relentless drumming. It’s no surprise that they’ve described this as their fight song as it’s a track that definitely gets the adrenaline flowing.
The explosive nature found on this track isn’t just limited to one song. Clearest Blue could easily have been a recently discovered Depeche Mode song with a synth riff taking more than enough from their popular single Just Can’t Get Enough. Accompanied by some great, catchy lyrics such as “holding to a hope you’ll undermine,never to be reversed”, the song stands out as one of the best on the album.
It’s not all loud synths and aggression though. In fact a lot of the album manages to keep quite calm and collected which might disappoint those who were fans of their energetic tracks like Lies and We Sink from their previous release but that doesn’t mean that the tracks that take their place aren’t worthy of filling in their boots.
In fact some of the best tracks on Every Open Eye are the more timid tracks like High Enough To Carry You Over with Doherty taking the helm of singing. With various loops and soft sounding synths scattered around, it’s the closest thing resembling Under The Tide and acts more like a stagnant wave than a barrage of water but this is one of the moments where CHVRCHES feel like, well, CHVRCHES. Every member brings something to the table and it feels like what a proper band are meant to feel like: a collection of vital members rather than just Lauren Mayberry and two blokes making sounds on a keyboard.
It’s not easy to follow up your debut album. Regardless if it was the best thing ever created in the history of music or forgettable rubbish, everyone has their attention solely on you to see what you’ll do to fix or improve what you’ve already created. With every eye open and focused on CHVRCHES, they’ve made it well worth the wait and there’s no doubt that, when mixed with their previous tracks, the band will put on a show like no other.
So what are your thoughts on Every Eye Open? Love it? Hate it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below since I’d love to see what you thought of it. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro for some more fanboying.