Arts & CultureMusic

Chvrches overcome an internet persona to release sophomore album “Every Open Eye”



 

Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry claims that the band was “born on the internet.” The group gained much of its fan base from having its songs posted on music blogs like Neon Gold as well as other social networking sites. Chvrches’ online awakening has both helped and hindered the band in multiple ways, but nothing could hold the group back from releasing its sophomore album, Every Open Eye.

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Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches performs at Coachella in 2014.

The Scottish synth-pop band rocked the charts in 2013 with their first LP, The Bones of What You Believe. It is a release that took the “Top Albums of 2013” charts of Pitchfork, NME, Billboard and Rolling Stone by storm, and features hit songs “The Mother We Share” and “Recover.”

Every Open Eye, even when viewed in the daunting shadow of its debut sibling, holds true to what The Bones of What You Believe brought forth: clean, airy and light electronic jams that despite their genre are surprisingly emotional and full of heart. The album begins with “Never Ending Circles,” an anthemic, pounding and electrified opener glued together with the sap of Mayberry’s beautifully sweet and delicate vocals. Her delightfully high vocal range is one of the things that makes Chvrches so recognizable as a group.

Besides musical talent, Mayberry has also been acknowledged for her attractive appearance – something that has gained the band attention for the many misogynistic comments they have received on YouTube music videos and online forums. Despite this, Mayberry has refused to stay silent. She spoke out in an interview with The Guardian saying that she encourages “others to reject an acceptance of the status quo … For us, this has always been – and hopefully will always be – about the music, and that is what we will be getting back to now.”

Focusing on the music is something Chvrches definitely had no problem doing with Every Open Eye. The album is filled with catchy, emotional songs, like the determined second track of the LP, “Leave A Trace” as well as “Afterglow,” the gliding, album-ending ballad. “I’ve given up all I’ve got,” Mayberry repeats solemnly as an end to the release. Chvrches has indeed seemed to give up something with each track: a personal piece of themselves to their listeners. And with that the group does something that many chart-topping artists simply don’t: create successful pop songs without having to leave everything they believe in behind.

“I would rather write something that’s authentic to me than something that’ll be likely to get played on the radio but doesn’t have any substance to it,” Mayberry stated in an interview with NME. “People can see through that really quickly.” And with that, Chvrches serves as more than a hit-making synthpop band, but also as an inspiration for bands who want to make it big without selling their souls.

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Meerah Powell

Meerah Powell

Meerah Powell is the Digital Managing Editor for The Daily Emerald. She is currently studying journalism and philosophy at the University of Oregon. Before her current position, she worked as an Arts and Culture writer for the Emerald. She's also worked with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Eugene Weekly, Ethos Magazine and OR Magazine.