The Scottish electronic trio, CHVRCHES, released their highly anticipated second studio album Every Open Eye on September 25. Much like their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, lead singer Lauren Mayberry delivers killer vocals, singing about the woes of relationships and other struggles faced in the band’s daily lives. Her vocals are layered over upbeat synthesized rhythms and dreamy melodies, and the sound on this album can be described as a modern twist on classic ’80s pop. Mayberry’s vocals and jacked-up rhythm give it an edgy modern twist. The thing I enjoyed most about this album was the lyrics. On The Bones of What You Believe, many of the songs focused on the notion of revenge. Though this album still has tracks that still very much embody hatred, many of the songs are more empowering, and focus on overcoming struggles and the positive instead of the negative. This album’s songs are much more relatable on a different, deeper level.
My favorite song off the album is entitled “Clearest Blue.” Stemming around a battle with anxiety, and the impending onset of an anxiety attack, the song left me in tears—I hadn’t heard a song that hit me so hard in a long time. Maybe I liked it because I could connect with it the most, but it has many other qualities that make it great, other than relatable vocals. This electronic background is different than any other song on the album. It repeats a dance beat that sounds so happy over a topic that really is anything but. It somehow gives the listener empowerment and validation they will be okay which is really amazing because over 3.3 million adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with anxiety each year, with many more cases going undiagnosed.
Another notable track of the album is “High Enough to Carry You Over.” Here, Mayberry steps aside from the lead vocals and lets the guys do the vocalizing. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty discuss an ending relationship from the viewpoint of giving up on each other. There’s still a longing for that person, but the sharp realization it would never work, and the music seems to match this agonizing feeling.
The track “Make Them Gold” reminded me of the song “We Belong” by Pat Benatar. The intros sound almost exactly the same, with the vocals matching the same powerful rock ’n’ roll vibe. This is one of the more down-tempo songs on the album and I absolutely loved it.
The last song to note is “Get Away.” With bongo drums in the rhythm section and soft, sultry, dream-like vocals, it has a chilling chorus that catches the listener slightly off guard. The background vocals are also abstract, adding to the chilling vibe, though still keeping the electronic feel. It’s a hard-hitting track about promising a lover how awesome they are even when they don’t see it.
Overall, I thought this album was completely amazing. I haven’t heard anything like it in a long time. I knew it would be hard for them to top their previous masterpiece, but CHVRCHES knocked it out of the park. They stuck to their electronic empowering sound, but added new twists for the listener to find within. The lyrics are hard-hitting, and stick to their prerogative of discussing tough, yet relatable, issues. You really need to give this album a listen, no matter what kind of music you prefer. It’s refreshing, and unlike anything being consistently played on mainstream radio. Seriously, find it on Spotify and listen to it. It will end up on repeat; I guarantee it.