Chvrches Is Seeking Mass Converts With Its Big New Album
When it came time for Chvrches to record the follow-up to its acclaimed 2013 debut, The Bones of What You Believe, conventional wisdom dictated that the Scottish synth-pop group would go big. But while other bands might have sought a legendary producer or studio for their sophomore release, Chvrches returned to the converted Glasgow flat where it had recorded The Bones. Every dollar that would have gone to studio rentals and production fees instead went toward upgrading recording gear—and the result, Every Open Eye, out today, cements the group as today’s heir apparent to Depeche Mode, New Order, and other titans of British electronic music.
While the first album was composed with three keyboards and a microphone, Chvrches more than quadrupled the instrumental arsenal for Every Open Eye. That diversity begot a record that feels current while still acknowledging the band’s diverse influences. (It has covered both Bauhaus and Prince in concert.) From the cascading loops of “Never Ending Circles” to the synth walls of “Clearest Blue,” it’s a maelstrom of pop energy—and at its center is singer Lauren Mayberry, whose ability to fashion her ethereal voice into a soaring brute-force weapon makes her a modern-day Annie Lennox.
But while its sound is bigger, Chvrches kept some things the same. “Martin always jokes that the first record is your footprint in the sand,” Mayberry says about bandmate Martin Doherty, “and your second record has to hold true to those ideals.” The band has recaptured and distilled the insane catchiness of its debut—and this time, even more people are bound to hear its call to worship.