Review by Kevin Power
The pressure was definitely on for CHVRCHES sophomore album, with all eyes focused on them after the success of 2013’s The Bones of What You Believe; a debut that came off as unique and effortlessly charming, thanks in part to Lauren Mayberry’s accented bubbly vocals.
Luckily, if there was any doubt, Mayberry and co. are well up to the task, and have quickly turned out an album that has not compromised their sound or suffered in quality.
“Take the best part of ourselves and make them gold” Mayberry sings on Make Them Gold, solid life advice that can also be seen as the intent of the album; the synth hooks are still unashamedly 80’s (you’d be forgiven for thinking of Just Can’t Get Enough during Clearest Blue), Mayberry is still on point, and everything blends perfectly with modern loops and sampling techniques, but there is definitely a step up in polish over their first album. The album opens with the right kind of energy, Never Ending Circles, which perfectly sums this up.
Surprisingly, one of the high points of the album comes from High Enough To Carry You Over, in which Martin Doherty takes the helm for vocals, similarly to Under The Tide off their first album, but this time comes off as much more solid a song, with a vocal flow in the chorus that is sure to bob the head.
CHVRCHES make all the right moves to capitalise on the success of their first album, with all their trademark sounds in place, but an overall development in maturity.
Listen to: Never Ending Circles, Clearest Blue