Chvrches has been on that 1989 tip since way before anyone else thought it was cool. In 2012, to be specific, when Taylor Swift was still considered a country artist, Carly Rae Jepsen was just the "Call Me Maybe" singer, and Ryan Adams was presumably not working on any kind of semi-ironic covers record, Chvrches released their first single. "The Mother We Share" took a little while to pick up listeners, but it's no surprise that it became a hit. Totally electronic with beautiful vocals, "Mother" was an immediately welcoming introduction to the Glasgow trio that created it. It's an '80s-dance throwback that still manages to sound shiny, new and interesting.
Chvrches (yeah, that's a V, but you'll get used to it — also, how else could you google them) felt like one of those just-totally-out-of-nowhere successes. Never surrounded with tons of hype, the band simply dropped a really strong debut album and just kept touring while watching it gain more and more fans. The Bones of What You Believe got them big festival slots and international notice for its track list of danceable grooves and powerful choruses.
Singer Lauren Mayberry gets a lot of well-deserved attention and support for speaking out against sexism and aggressive online misogyny, but the media's focus on Mayberry's feminism can sometimes take the spotlight away from her brilliance as a frontwoman, for which she deserves just as much applause. She's the band's engine, providing fiery personality in front of walls of synthesizers and drum machines. Mayberry is the commanding presence you won't be able to take your eyes off during the show, while her bandmates lay down some of the slickest, funkiest hooks you'll ever hear from a band that still, somehow, gets identified with the indie rock scene. (I suppose it's because even though they eschew guitars, they're a band, and they're just outside the mainstream.)
Just at the end of September we got Chvrches' sophomore effort, Every Open Eye. Filled with radio-ready singles and higher ambition than its predecessor, Every Open Eye is the perfect step up from The Bones of What You Believe. Whatever the code for a catchy melody is, they've cracked it, and Every Open Eye's songs are dense with sugar-sweet highs, saturated with the kind of knowledge that comes when you've spent a few years playing to massive festival crowds, figuring out what works and what doesn't. "Leave a Trace" is the catchy, chanty lead single, but "Clearest Blue" is undoubtedly going to bring down the house every single night — it's too incomprehensibly huge to ever fail.
Thursday, Chvrches bring their show to a Masonic Temple that honestly might be too small to hold all their energy. The band's songs are all unabashed anthems that should keep their crowd standing and dancing all night long. Catch them now before they start playing shows at DTE in a few years and all you'll be able to get is a lawn seat.
Chvrches play Masonic Temple (there's a pun here — I know it) on Thursday, October 8. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30.50 plus fees.
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