It is goddamn impossible to dislike CHVRCHES. When I first heard “Never Ending Circles”—the second single from their forthcoming second record Every Open Eye (September 25)—I simply stopped working and beamed for the duration of the track. This happens a lot when I listen to to the group; but the real reason I love them, in addition to crafting arena-primed synth-pop anthems with poetic lyrics, is that they stand for everything a band in 2015 should.
First is their collective tenacity: all three members served as musicians in other Scottish bands for many years before CHVRCHES received critical acclaim, recording their debut record in the interstices between working day jobs. Consequently, there is a palpable sense of humility about the band—they’ve rightfully, gradually earned their success.
Secondly, and most importantly, lead singer Lauren Mayberry is an outspoken gender equality advocate. Her diminutive appearance has made her the target of much online misogyny, both casual and extreme, and she puts up with absolutely none of that shit, whether combatting it in op-eds about sexism in music and entertainment, or shaming those who send her unwanted messages on social media. To that end, she is an excellent role model in addition to being a fantastic lead singer, and that is invaluable. In a great piece by New York Magazine‘s Lindsay Zoladz, Mayberry succinctly states the mission statement of the band: “The only thing we’re doing is allowing a woman to exist in a space that you don’t think she should exist.” Amen.
But back to the music. “Never Ending Circles” begins with lightening bolts of skittering, frenetic synths, the kind that foreshadow the giant, ineluctable explosion of thunder that is soon to follow. Sure enough, about 43-seconds in we get to another classic CHVRCHES chorus, complete with hurricane visuals to reiterate the magnitude of their sound. I could not be more excited for this new album.