Chvrches New Album Delivers
Scotland has given us a gift. Chvrches, pronounced churches, is a synthpop band that hails from that land of kilts and sheep and their second album is this gift. Much appreciated in indie circles, Chvrches produced a fantastic first album, 2013’s “The Bones of What You Believe”. Nearly every song on the album was a hit and they haven’t lost any momentum since. They’ve been touring around the world, releasing singles online, and finally on September 25 released their latest effort, “Every Open Eye”.
This album is a solid sophomore effort. Chvrches challenges themselves by embracing some classic 80s synthesizer beats, but still manages to make them feel fresh and new. This is due in great part to the lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, who I can only describe as a gifted pixie. Her voice is strong and unique in a sea of pop music that grows tiresome in its formulaic pairing of women vocalists with hyper produced soundtracks.
This album’s songs touch on emotional topics, usually showing us a slice of a conversation with people we’d never met, or a conversation we’ve had ourselves. This is a shift from their first album, which was a little more forceful and occasionally lyrically gothic. Standout tracks to give a spin are the first and second singles, “Leave A Trace” and “Never Ending Circles”, but I really like “Make Them Gold”. I keep coming back to it. It will be my anthem as I cling to these last, warm summerish days before autumn takes them from me.
Mayberry is backed up by Iain Cook and Martin Doherty, who trade off on accompanying her with guitars, synthesizers, and with singing themselves. On this album, Doherty sings lead vocals on one track, “High Enough To Carry You Over”, which is so 80s you’ll want go out and buy a red Corvette convertible and go cruising down Michigan Avenue. It’s nice to hear a group who’s willing to play around with their sound.
Chvrches will be in Detroit playing at the Masonic Temple on Thursday, October 8. The challenging thing for bands like this is that performances in live venues tend to impact some of the richness of their sound. It feels hollow when compared to the polished sound of the album. That said, you might listen to the album and fall in love, so don’t miss out on a chance to see them in person. They will be there along with mellow triphop trio, Mansionair.