Building on the success of their first release The Bones of What You Believe, Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye sees the Scottish synthpop band engage in sonic consolidation as they look to further define themselves as the pacesetter in the electro-pop scene.
Like contemporaries Beach House, Chvrches in this LP have recognised the authenticity and inimitability of their sound, Laura Mayberry’s high, clean voice over a pulsing electro-pop beat is a combination that has drawn huge crowds in their exhaustive touring schedule over the last couple of years.
With 80’s synth riffs and ready-made festival hooks, Chvrches pick up where they left off in the first four tracks of Every Open Eye. ‘Keep You On My Side’ is the strongest, with a whirring, relentless synth and a verse, pre-chorus and chorus all competing to be the most memorable element of the song.
The energy built in the first few radio-friendly tracks peaks with the frenetic ‘Clearest Blue’, an album highlight that bubbles its way into an explosion of synth and hook-filled sound. The song is Chvrches at their feverish, electro-pop best and salutes the importance of the sharp, bright colour that can so often characterise the band with Mayberry ending with the refrain of “shaped by the clearest blue”.
The unessential addition of Martin Doherty’s vocals on “High Enough To Carry You Over” unfortunately stifles the momentum of Every Open Eye and feels more like an awkward statement from the band that they are a “band” and not just Laura Mayberry plus band.
That aside, and with the second half of the album supported by the excellent “Empty Threat”, Every Open Eye compliments The Bones of What You Believe and affirms Chvrches’ billing as festival favourite and the most original act to come out of Scotland since Boards of Canada.