Chvrches returns to tried and true approach to new album

When the Scottish trio of Iain Cook, Martin Doherty, and Lauren Mayberry first came together four years ago, their goal was to form a writing team with no clear idea of what that might entail. Each had previous musical and songwriting backgrounds, but there were no pre-existing ideas of what a record collaboration would or should be like. All the three had to go on was a belief in whatever music came out of the Glasgow basement that served as their rehearsal and recording studio. The resulting debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, appeared in 2013 on Virgin Records and Goodbye Records and launched the trio as Chvrches.

The old adage of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” certainly came into play on how Chvrches approached new album, Every Open Eye. The group returned to the same hometown studio that was used to create the first album, only this time the plan’s vision was clear in getting back to what the trio knows best: writing. The new album via Glassnote Records offers an “alternative approach in a climate of music written by committee … going back to the idea that a band can write, record and produce their work entirely by themselves,” states a label news release.

Musically, Every Open Eye “seeks to do more with less.” Making “big sounds” without racking up endless tracks involved using audio software, and making something “intense and urgent and visceral” relied on the basic tools of melody, rhythm, and arrangement rather than the mentality that “more is more.” The press announcement adds that sonically the album creates Chvrches signature style by “creating their own brand of twisted pop music that uniquely merges the organic with the electronic, molding sounds and ideas … into an electronic-pop record with a heart.”

The band insists that lyrically Every Open Eye isn’t a breakup album. For example, first single, ‘Leave A Trace’ (currently No. 26 on the Mediabase Alternative airplay chart and No. 32 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart) is about “past heartbreaks and getting over them.” The titles ‘Bury It,’ ‘Never Ending Circles,’ and ‘Playing Dead’ are described as being “unapologetic and not being told what to do or who to be,” and tracks such as ‘Down Side Of Me,’ ‘Clearest Blue,’ and ‘Afterglow’ spread messages of “moving on to better things, holding on to the good and letting go of the bad.”

Every Open Eye was mixed by Spike Stent and mastered by Bob Ludwig at the band’s own Alucard Studios. The album is being supported on tour through late November with upcoming North American stops featuring special guest Mansionair at Central Park Summer Stage in New York City (Sept. 29), Philadelphia (Oct. 1), Toronto (Oct. 4-5), Columbus, Ohio (Oct. 7), Detroit (Oct. 8), St Paul, Minn. (Oct. 10), Portland, Ore. (Oct. 13), Seattle (Oct. 14), Los Angeles (Oct. 17), and the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco (Oct. 18). Later dates take the band through the Midwest, Southeast, and Texas. A European leg of the tour kicks off Nov. 10 in Paris, followed by concerts at venues in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and the U.K. (Nov. 12-27).

Watch the official music video for ‘Leave A Trace,’ the first single from the sophomore album Every Open Eye by Glascow’s Chvrches.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Glasgow, Scotland’s “frosty electro-pop trio” Chvrches was formed in 2011 when film and television music composer Iain Cook and keyboardist Martin Doherty asked vocalist Lauren Mayberry—a lawyer with a master's degree in journalism—to sing on some demos they recorded.

* The initial recording sessions went so well that the trio christened itself Chvrches (spelling the name with a “v” instead of a “u” to distinguish online searches about the band), and began writing songs inspired by Prince, Depeche Mode, and Kate Bush.

* The songs ‘The Mother We Share’ and ‘Lies’ generated online buzz and led to Chvrches scoring the opening slot on Passion Pit's 2012 U.K. tour. The band also finished fifth as one of the acts selected for BBC's Sound of 2013.

* Chvrches played a few North American dates in 2013 and recorded debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, later in the year. Widespread critical acclaim pushed album sales (more than 500,000 copies worldwide), while a 2014 tour also helped expand the band’s fan base.

* Chvrches made the rounds on the late night talk show circuit, and over the next two years appeared at major festivals including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Reading & Leeds, and Australasia's Laneway Festival. The trio begins 2016 with a return to the Laneway Festival in Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia (Jan. 30-Feb. 14).

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