“You talk far too much, for someone so unkind,” sings Chvrches frontwoman Lauren Mayberry in the band’s new single “Leave a Trace.”
Let’s cut to the chase: “Every Open Eye” is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long, long time. Granted I’ve been waiting for this album for a long, long time, but it blew my expectations out of the water nonetheless.
This band—and this album—is everything I love about music rolled into one. First off, it’s contemporary. The trio’s glossy synthpop tracks, while nostalgic of 80s groups such as Eurhythmics, unapologetically revels in its millennialism. I never want to hear the phrase “There’s no good music anymore.” There is, and “Every Open Eye” is a testament to that.
Secondly, it’s emotional; this music will make you feel something. Don’t think that because two of the three band members are on synthtables that they aren’t communicating something important to us.
Thirdly, Chvrches features kickass female vocals, which almost automatically makes me like a band. Alternative radio stations are no longer exclusively playing male-focused bands. Groups like Chvrches, Florence + the Machine and HAIM are joining “greats” such as Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Artists like Lorde, who in 2013 became the first woman in 17 years to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs, are paving the way for women and female-centered groups to become successful in this male-dominated genre.
I could go on, but that is an as-brief-as-I-could-make-it synopsis as to why I care so much about Chvrches. But this album. Oh man, this album.
The opening track, “Never Ending Circles,” begins with the lines “Throw me no more bones and I will tell you no lies.” This reference to their first album, titled “The Bones of What You Believe” and which features the track “Lies,” is a clear message that they are moving forward. And they are.
Although I loved it, I got the sense that Chvrches was still trying to find its sound in its debut album. The songs, while lyrically and technically solid individually, didn’t mesh well together as a whole.
But in “Every Open Eye,” each song flows into the next seamlessly. All of the emotion in the album, whether it be in the hopefulness of “Clearest Blue” or the unrepentant bitterness of “Playing Dead,” builds and builds upon itself and releases as a dropped beat.
Speaking about this album in specifics is difficult since so much of what they are doing is conceptual. But the best I can describe it is, Chvrches found what it was looking for in “Every Open Eye,” and it is a rich landscape of musical prowess and dexterity. You’re charging through the album, song to song, and you feel as if you are going somewhere. This element was absent, I felt, in their first album.
Tracks I found to be the most emotionally resonant were “Playing Dead,” “Clearest Blue” and “Afterglow.”
Chvrches is our Beatles and our Queen, our Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. They are the sum total of what music is and should be in 2015; it’s beautiful and haunting, electronic and timeless, and you need to listen to it now.