#22. CHVRCHES: Every Open Eye
If the 1980s had a pulse, it would sound like a CHVRCHES drum loop. Their music could easily be plucked from an 80s dance floor, although their sound is much less pixelated than that of their predecessors. In fact, if their sound was any more polished it might start to err on the side of saccharinity.
Luckily, this trio has already fine-tuned their sound past the point of scrutiny. Their fat, industrial synths create a bed of syncopation for frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s pristine voice to skate over. The combination is pretty hard not to dance to. No one can make you fist pump to a song about a bitter breakup quite like CHVRCHES can.
The band has always seemed most comfortable at a very specific volume, although thankfully there is some dynamic contrast throughout Every Open Eye. They showcase their softer side on records like “Afterglow,” “Down Side Of Me,” and “High Enough To Carry You Over” (the latter of which features underrated lead vocals from Martin Doherty). But CHVRCHES can’t stay quiet for too long before bouncing back to their signature wall of synth, as seen with the euphoric crescendo of “Clearest Blue,” a high point of the album.
CHVRCHES don’t take many risks on Every Open Eye, but they don’t need to. They’ve developed a tried and true formula for making great synthpop, and they’ve only further perfected their methods since their last album. One might worry that this could lead to their brand of high-energy exaltation eventually feeling played out. Lucky for them, it’s doubtful that will happen as long as they keep making music that’s so damn catchy.