Review #114: CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye

Artist – CHVRCHES
Album – Every Open Eye (2015)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/6TEN694l8ifhIRfknsG8DX

Chvrches (pronounced Churches) are an electro group from Scotland. Reminiscent of 80s electronic groups such as A-HA and Depeche Mode, Chvrches bring their haunting lyrics and catchy beats to larger and larger audiences every year. Gaining the fifth place in BBCs Sound of 2013 and having their hit single ‘The Mother We Share’ played during the Commonwealth Games opening, Chvrches are climbing the popularity ladder with ease. Chvrches enjoyed a massive boost in popularity after their fantastic debut album ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’, performing it at numerous festivals, a sold out tour and having the opportunity to cover a song for BBC Radio 1s re-imagining of the ‘Drive’ soundtrack. Chvrches now realise their follow up album ‘Every Open Eye’.

There seems to be a trend with many artists who release a fantastic debut album and then have to follow it up with their second, that being a better produced second album, but possibly missing the amount of “hits” or “catchy” songs which its predecessor had. This boost in polish but lack in hits has happened in ‘Every Open Eye’, but only in a small way, it comes from a band having years to try out songs live and collate their most popular, which are all then put on the debut, leaving not much for a quick second release. The polish in production quality comes from a higher budget given to the artist, after the label sees how well and profitable the band/artist are after their debut. Although I say there is a possible lack of “hits” on this album, it is still fantastically written, with some genuinely emotive songs and an added warmth in the production which the debut lacked. Instrumentally Chvrches have kept to the same general idea, high melodic synths, reverb smothered snares, deep bass and high pitched vocals intertwining with the synth melodies. Generally the songs keep to a steady but upbeat tone/pulse, for instance one of the albums more popular tracks ‘Leave A Trace’ which features quite a memorable chorus. Other songs, such as ‘Down Side of Me’, include slower and more simplistic moments, often keeping to just bass, high-hats and a toned down vocal, creating slightly more emotive moments.

Despite my feeling that their are less catchy songs on this album than the previous it really doesnt matter too much. ‘Every Open Eye’ features a range of dynamically and tonally different songs, offering something to many a mood. Production is great, songwriting is great and there seems to be a similar thread running throughout, keeping the album as a whole, rather than separate songs.

7/10

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