The 30 Best Albums of the Decade: 11-20

You can view part one of our Best Albums of the Decade feature here.

20. Panic! at the Disco – Vices and Virtues

Vices & Virtues is arguably the greatest comeback story in the history of music. After the departure of half the band (including the main songwriter), Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith resurrected Panic! at The Disco to heights that no one could have ever imagined. Urie mastered the art of playing multiple instruments and writing lyrics, while Smith layered each song with hypnotizing percussion. Vices & Virtues reunited the band with the glamorized pop sound that initially made them famous while forging a sound unique to the two albums that came before it. Without Vices & Virtues, it’s hard to see how Panic! At The Disco would have ever found the footing to absolutely dominate the radio in a time when the medium seems almost defunct. – Kyle Schultz

19. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

One can argue the true genesis of the decade’s indie synthpop revival, but there is no denying that The Bones of What You Believe served as the movement’s North Star. While the previous decade was overrun with egrieged boys spewing venom over distorted guitars, vocalist Lauren Mayberry flipped the script for the 2010s, with a buzzsaw of dark, emotive (and catchy) hooks over shimmering synthesizers. The 12 tracks of CHVRCHES’ debut worm their way into your brain from the first listen and set a startlingly high bar for a sound that defined the decade. – Kiel Hauck

18. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface

After two years of silence following their Fueled By Ramen debut, Vessel, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun released 2015’s Blurryface. The album is arguably their most popular, and put them on the front of every major music publication. Their catchy refrains and energetic live shows continue to fill up stadiums worldwide, and their outspokenness about mental health awareness has kept the band on the tip of everyone’s tongue throughout the back half of the 2010s. – Nadia Paiva

17. My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

The greatest sin committed by Danger Days is that it faced the monumental task of meeting unprecedented expectations. Taking a massive swing, My Chemical Romance wrote an epic rock fantasy that firmly planted its own distinct sound in the band’s catalog. It doesn’t always stick the landing, such as truly explaining the story concepts that make such a prominent role in the songs and their titles. However, what does work is ambitious, driving, and as catchy as anything the band has ever written. For a band celebrated for music about depression and vampires, Danger Days took us on the adventure the band had always wanted to explore in the first place. – KS

16. letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful

Punk music needed a voice like Jason Aalon Butler’s in the 2010s, and it may have gotten more than it bargained for. The Blackest Beautiful was one of the most ferocious albums of the decade and solidified letlive.’s place among the post-hardcore elite. Across the album’s 11 tracks, we see the promise of a raw, unbridled band coalesce before our very eyes, harnessing an urgency that had been missing in a genre that demands it. That The Blackest Beautiful pushes all if its chips toward its passionate social and political message only solidifies its place as one of the decade’s only punk classics. In hindsight, letlive. may have flown too close to the sun, but this moment of fire was worth it. – KH

15. Paramore – Paramore

The self-titled album was a big comeback for Paramore. Having gone through a rocky cycle with 2009’s Brand New Eyes, the band regrouped and rebranded themselves as a bonafide pop band in 2013.  “Ain’t It Fun” won Best Rock Song at the 57th Grammys, making it the band’s first Grammy award. The album has all of the great things we loved in Paramore’s previous work, but it also paved the way for their 80s-influenced After Laughter. – NP

14. Hellogoodbye – Would it Kill You?

Would It Kill You? subverted all expectations placed on it at release, seamlessly blending modern pop, pop rock and classic pop into a sound unlike anything else in music. Hellogoodbye singer Forrest Kline sounds completely energized, having turned the focus of the music from electronic rock to folk-pop. The songs pulse with energy and sweet emotion, letting the band take chances and push their own boundaries to great effect. The deftly crafted layers of pop music and the blending of genres make this album sound like a true work of art, breathing new life into a band some had already blown off as a one hit wonder. – KS

13. Frank Ocean – Blonde

Four years after the release of his jaw-dropping debut album, Channel Orange, Frank Ocean fans had begun to resign themselves to the idea that there may never be a follow-up. But Blonde came suddenly, and excitement quickly transitioned to awe. Blonde is complicated, mesmerizing and intense – the work of an introverted artist meandering through the halls of his past, dangling answers before quickly replacing them with more questions. Psychedelic and smooth, Ocean explores sexuality, social constructs, and inner truth in equal measure, crafting one of the most immersive and ambiguously beautiful records of the decade. – KH

12. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

This is definitely more of a personal choice for me, because other than the single “Video Games”, this album was underrated when it was released in 2012. I feel like it has become a gateway for a lot of people (and artists who would later claim the term) to a more self aware, grittier side of music that they might not have been drawn to if it wasn’t for tracks like “Off to the Races” or “Summertime Sadness”. This album is also a prime example of perseverance, because even though it’s not Lana Del Rey’s most critically acclaimed album, it didn’t stop her from releasing incredible music later in the decade. – NP

11. Taylor Swift – Red

Taylor Swift was a phenom before the release of Red, but this album opened her up to an entirely new audience. Combining modern pop songs with country proved to be a bridge between genres that fans could easily grasp onto. While Red prepped Swift for her foray into pop music, it also pulled new fans into the genre of country music even if they would have never been interested before. The album captures the feeling of past loves, with all of the happiness and anger that comes with them, and attempts to find meaning between the two. Hiding between genres, Red harnesses the strengths of country, pop, and rock to unite anyone willing with the same emotions. – KS

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Review: CHVRCHES – Love is Dead

As Memorial Day weekend arrives and temperatures creep into the 90s in the Midwest, I can’t help but be reminded of days past when this setting would be accompanied by the newest summer soundtracks. It’s a nostalgic sort of feeling that leaves me pining for long drives with windows down and late nights with old friends where the music tells our story.

Love is Dead, the third full-length release from Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES, scratches this itch well, in both expected and unexpected ways.

You can buy Love is Dead on Apple Music.

Calling the music of CHVRCHES carefree, or, more specifically, the sort of tunes you’d play in those happy summer moments, might feel peculiar. The band has excelled at digging deep into pain underneath a blanket of shiny synthesizers, leaving just enough uncertainty to let the listener decide the mood. On this latest effort, the music is glossier and poppier than ever, while Lauren Mayberry’s lyrics forgo ambiguity, leaving no room for misinterpretation.

It’s an interesting choice, and one that will likely leave fans of the band feeling slightly off-center upon first listen. In truth, it might be the most impressive thing the band has done – expanding their own existing gap between sound and substance, making the bridge of that divide all the more impressive.

Album opener “Graffiti” is delightfully buzzy as Mayberry examines the vanishing of a youthful love, singing, “I’ve been waiting for my whole life to grow old / And now we never will”. At first glance, it’s the most straightforward track the band has penned, leaving room for reflection instead of targeting a culprit. But Love is Dead is far from one-dimensional, shifting emotions and wrestling with the very idea of what love means and looks like in a time of political and cultural turbulence.

On “Deliverance”, Mayberry takes a candid look at the harmful side of religion, crafting what might be the band’s most ear-pleasing track to date. On “Graves”, she targets sexism in the music industry, a topic she has spoken brilliantly and powerfully about in the past, singing, “You can look away / While they’re dancing on our graves / But I will stop at nothing”. These moments are so direct, it’s impossible to divorce them from their juxtaposed sonic surroundings, making the music of CHVRCHES just as engaging as ever.

In handing over the production reigns for the first time, the band allowed Steve Mac and Greg Kurstin to guide these moments that will likely transition CHVRCHES from indie darlings to full-blown pop stars. Kurstin’s work with Tegan and Sara seeps through so many tracks on Love is Dead, like blissful closer “Wonderland” and “Heaven/Hell”, which finds Mayberry being pushed to new vocal heights.

With any such transition to new territory, you will undoubtedly find missteps, and Love is Dead shows those growing pains at times. Early single “Miracle” strips the band of their distinctive edge, harnessing the type of beat that drives Imagine Dragons into pop purgatory. There are also repetitive moments that provoke disinterest, making the album feel about 10 minutes too long.

But when Love is Dead is at its best, it provokes the kind of feeling that a summer album should, while still providing plenty to dialogue about. In such a short time, CHVRCHES have toed a fine line between pop bliss and gloom, making them one of the most unique bands to blossom from the 2010’s 80s-inspired synth boom. That more people than ever may now feel compelled to join the conversation should be cause for rejoicing, even if you miss the quirkiness of The Bones of What You Believe or the sharp, ambiguous edges of Every Open Eye.

On “Deliverance”, Mayberry questions, “Is it deliverance / If you can never change?” For those rankled by a band growing their much-needed platform while inviting more participants to the party, this might be a good thought to ponder.

4/5

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo credit: Danny Clinch

UPDATED: Chvrches Tease New Single “Get Out”

UPDATE: Chvrches have officially released “Get Out” as the first single from their upcoming album, Love is Dead. Listen now!

It would appear that a new album from Scottish electropop act Chvrches is just around the corner. Today, the band teased a new song (presumed lead single “Get Out”) on Twitter with a short audio clip and video, along with a Facebook messenger link. Check out the band’s tweet below:

Earlier this month, we listed a new album from Chvrches as our fourth most anticipated album of 2018. Recently, vocalist Lauren Mayberry revealed in an interview that the album will be titled Love is Dead. Expect a full single to drop soon.

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Most Anticipated of 2018: #4 Chvrches Turn Up the Pop

As synth-pop continued bleeding back into the mainstream in 2017, it’s almost hard to believe that we didn’t hear from Chvrches. The Glasgow-based trio delivered a sophomore effort for the ages in 2015 with Every Open Eye, capitalizing on every strength the band displayed on their debut.

It appears that we won’t have to wait long to find out what comes next. Near the end of the year, vocalist Lauren Mayberry began sharing details about the third Chvrches album, set to drop sometime this year. The biggest news is that the band decided to work with famed pop producer Greg Kurstin instead of self-producing. The result is the band’s “most pop” work to date, according to Mayberry.

That’s saying a lot, considering the band’s knack for melody. Mayberry has consistently excelled in the juxtaposition of her cheery delivery and her fiery words. If Chvrches’ third album is another step forward in pop progression, go ahead and pencil it in as being one of the top releases of 2018.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Top 10 Albums of 2015

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holidays – it’s time to subjectively rank beautiful works of art so that we can collectively decide what the “best” album of 2015 was!

As obnoxious as the endeavor sounds, it never ceases to please. Indeed, a healthy debate about some of the year’s best music helps us reflect on what we loved about the past twelve months. These albums were not only culturally relevant and intricately constructed works of art, they were the soundtrack to our lives. What you’ll find below is an eclectic mix of artists and genres, each providing a unique voice and perspective.

While the list below reflects our opinions on a year filled with great music, you may find yourself in disagreement. Never fear! We’d love to hear your thoughts – share your favorite albums of 2015 with us in the replies!

10-heavy-loveMan Overboard – Heavy Love

Man Overboard have always been a band you want to love. Heavy Love perfects their sound, creating an album that I think will be their classic. Each of their albums have been enjoyable, but this one flawlessly delivers until the final breakdown fades away in “The First Degree”. “Splinter”, “Cliffhanger” and “A Love That I Can’t Have” are genuine staples that don’t try to reinvent pop punk, but showcase the greatest aspects of the genre with sharp guitar work and frantic drumming. For a band that seemed to have been slipping a bit a few years ago, Man Overboard are at their absolute best and appear ready to conquer the genre. – Kyle Schultz

9-thats-the-spiritBring Me the Horizon – That’s the Spirit

Bring Me the Horizon can’t seem to stop reinventing themselves and smashing our preconceived notions. The English rock outfit has completely shed their metalcore-by-the-numbers past and transformed into something far more interesting. While 2013’s Sempiternal appeared to be the final step in their post-hardcore progression, That’s the Spirit is an unexpected left turn of a record, deeply influenced by post-grunge and alt-rock sounds. Oli Sykes embraces his new smoother role as frontman with a surprisingly delightful delivery, whether he’s getting gritty on “Throne” or using his falsetto to great effect on “Doomed”. Bring Me the Horizon are no longer held captive by the confines of their previous scene – in this new world, the sky is the limit. – Kiel Hauck

8-beauty-behind-madnessThe Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness

Abel Tesfaye has no problem whatsoever presenting himself as a complicated, damaged individual, even as he croons deep into your soul on what may be his most accessible work to date. Beauty Behind the Madness is a debauchery and drug-filled pop extravaganza to the tilt, solidifying The Weeknd as one of the most captivating artists in music today. Whether it’s the horror-laced smash “The Hills” or the dark dance of “I Can’t Feel My Face”, no song is what it seems on the surface. From moment to moment on Beauty, it’s difficult to know whether to celebrate or collapse in tears. Maybe that’s the point. – KH

7-noel-gallagherNoel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday

Chasing Yesterday is a return to form for Noel Gallagher. While his first solo album was a refreshing acoustic based pop album, Chasing Yesterday returns Gallagher to where he reins supreme – the rock world. Each song is a highlight of the album as a whole, which features some of his best guitar solos outside of Oasis. Gallagher sounds like he had fun writing it, and it pays off. What stands out the most about this album is how timeless it feels. These songs sit somewhere between modern rock and classic Brit pop, but a song like “You Know We Can’t Go Back”, with its thundering beat and mountainous bass, feels like you’ve known it forever. – KS

6-american-beautyFall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho

Ever since their comeback a couple of years ago, Fall Out Boy have utterly dominated the industry. American Beauty/American Psycho is a perfect pop record, utilizing hooks and choruses that only FOB could write and pushing Patrick Stump’s incredible vocals to insane new heights at every turn. While Save Rock and Roll brought the band back with a stunning new sound, American Beauty/American Psycho perfected it. “Novocaine” alone features a dark, deep tempo that slowly morphs into a near-disco beat that only builds on Stump’s impossibly high vocals. “American Beauty/American Psycho” is the most chaotic song the band has ever written, drawing the listener in with a rich beat and obnoxious bass flaring over light guitars and Stump’s simple, sharp lyrics. Fans may complain that they miss FOB’s pop punk golden years, but there’s no denying that the territory they’re treading now is what they were made for. – KS

5-every-open-eyeCHVRCHES – Every Open Eye

When Lauren Mayberry sings, “Here’s to taking what you came for / And here’s to running off the pain” in the opening moments of Every Open Eye, it’s a declaration of CHVRCHES’ strongest trait. The sophomore album from the Scottish synthpop trio is an exercise in movement, providing glistening beats to compliment Mayberry’s sweet delivery, which is often rife with acidity, despite her tone. If the Bones of What You Believe was one of the most promising debuts in recent memory, Every Open Eye confirms CHVRCHES as the best band to rise from the electro-pop scene. – KH

4-comptonDr. Dre – Compton: A Soundtrack

It was a long, 16-year wait for Dr. Dre’s follow-up to 2001, but Compton comes just in the nick of time. Serving as a soundtrack of sorts to Dre’s journey since the inauguration of N.W.A., Compton packs a much-needed wallop. Sure, the album serves as who’s who of current and past hip hop royalty, but the voices within speak on behalf of an entire community, reaching even beyond the Compton city limits. Dre’s production once again affirms his legendary status, as each beat tells its own story. From the liquidy grip of “Deep Water” to the dirty grind of “One Shot, One Kill”, Compton is one of the most ambitious and deeply moving hip hop albums of the decade. – KH

3-imbueThe Early November – Imbue

The Early November has never been a band to shy away from bigger things, which made Imbue a welcome surprise. As a long-time fan of the group, hearing them ditch the poppier elements of their style in favour of darker, alternative sounds gave them a glow that hasn’t seemed to be there since 2003’s The Room Is Too Cold. Though emo elements are still prominent lyrically, the band sounds more relevant than they ever have. Ace Enders, a man known for his stellar song writing and incredible vocal range, pushes himself farther than we’ve ever heard him in his fifteen year career in songs like “Better This Way”. The haunting re-recording of “Digital Age” sends the band out on a high note as a rallying cry for music everywhere. – KS

2-no-closer-to-heavenThe Wonder Years – No Closer to Heaven

Once again, The Wonder Years have gone above and beyond what anyone expected of them. At this point in their career, it’s hard to imagine ways for the band to push the boundaries of their style of pop punk, but they have delivered yet another genre defining performance. Writing about worldly issues for the first time, The Wonder Years took savage shots at the pharmaceutical industry, abusive parents, and police violence while maintaining the personalized storytelling that sets the band so far above their peers. From the buzzing shred of guitars on “I Wanted So Badly to Be Brave” to the soft strums and rampaging fury of “Cigarettes & Saints”, No Closer to Heaven finds the extremities of sound and the band’s innate ability to perfectly capture emotion, fear and the optimism needed to fight through. – KS

1-pimp-a-butterflyKendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

How do you follow up good kid, m.A.A.d city, one of the most heralded hip hop albums in recent memory? With an unapologetic funk and jazz infused record that seems to defy classification, of course. It’s hard to tell at times whether To Pimp a Butterfly is a letter penned to Kendrick himself, or the collective outcry of the black community in America. No matter, as the album demands your attention from start to finish, leaving little room for rebuttal. Kendrick spits venom on tracks like “The Blacker the Berry” and “For Free?”, but songs like “King Kunta” and “Alright” border on celebratory. To Pimp a Butterfly refuses to go down easy and requires repeated listens due to density. It’s also the most important album of the year, while still managing to be the best, which is no small feat. – KH

Honorable Mention:

Mayday Parade – Black Lines

Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion

Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

As It Is – Never Happy, Ever After

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

Posted by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

5 Songs to Add to Your Autumn Playlist

chvrches-weeds

The leaves are turning, the days are growing shorter, and the air is carrying a chill. Even though summer drives are in the rear view mirror, it doesn’t mean that the music has to stop! In fact, it’s time to place those summer soundtracks on hold and start building your autumn playlist.

Luckily for you, we’ve done a little work to help get you started. Below are five new tracks that fit the bill for any autumn night and are sure to tickle your eardrums. Take a look and be sure to share your favorite new songs in the replies!

Pentimento – “Sink or Swim”

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Pentimento have been mastering the craft of thoughtful pop punk for several years now, leading up to their recent release, I, No Longer. It’s a powerful record full of crisp guitars and soaring choruses. “Sink or Swim” is the perfect track to sing along to during those late night drives as you reflect on your summer memories.

CHVRCHES – “Leave a Trace”

The latest album from CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye, is a testament to the band’s growth since their debut. Lead single “Leave a Trace” finds vocalist Lauren Mayberry holding her own over the danciest beat you’ve heard this year. It’s prime listening to keep you moving during those pesky household chores like leaf raking.

Deafheaven – “Brought to the Water”

After their heralded 2013 album Sunbather, Deafheaven are back with another black metal expedition in the form of New Bermuda. This time, the band is just as bold as you’ve ever heard them, shifting gears relentlessly on “Brought to the Water”, an eight-and-a-half minute track that builds towards its eerie piano ending.

State Champs – “All You Are is History”

If you’re just not quite ready to admit that summer’s over, State Champs have you covered with their new album Around the World and Back. State Champs defend pop punk with gritty vocals, swirling guitars and sugar-coated choruses. “All You Are is History” is catchy as hell and the perfect track to get you amped up on the way to those early morning classes.

Mayday Parade – “One of Them Will Destroy the Other”

Florida rock act Mayday Parade just released a career defining record in Black Lines, a driving rock album influenced by 90s alt-rock and post grunge. “One of Them Will Destroy the Other” kicks things off to a raging start as vocalist Derek Sanders cries, “I don’t know man, I think I’m starting to feel something peculiar”. It’s just gritty enough to blast through those dark, autumn nights.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

CHVRCHES Debut at #8 on Billboard 200

chvrches-new

Scottish synthpop trio CHVRCHES officially have their first top 10 album. Every Open Eye debuted at #8 this week on the Billboard 200, selling 34,214 copies in its first week. It also debuts at #1 on the alternative and rock charts. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the album yet, read our review and give it a listen. If you like what you hear, you can buy the album on iTunes.

In related news, the band also recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform their single “Leave a Trace”. The video can be viewed here.

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Review: CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye

chvrches-new

On “Make Them Gold”, one of many standout tracks on CHVRCHES’ sophomore album Every Open Eye, Lauren Mayberry declares her desire for renewal, singing, “We are made of our longest days / We are falling but not alone / We will take the best parts of ourselves / And make them gold”. This is not an anomaly. From front to back, Every Open Eye is one of the most splendid declarations of hope and restoration to be released this year.

Looking back on the Scottish synthpop trio’s 2013 debut, The Bones of What You Believe, it’s almost difficult to recall that the album was just that – a debut. The band’s feverish following and rapid rise in the indie scene was more than justified. CHVRCHES managed to pack a weighty and emotive wallop in the most unexpected of packaging. When listening to tracks like “Gun”, it’s still hard to know whether to dance or cry.

You can buy Every Open Eye on iTunes.

You can buy Every Open Eye on iTunes.

The Bones of What You Believe excelled not only because of the band’s musical prowess, but their ability to juxtapose heavy subject matter within their airy, electronic dance beats. To misjudge Mayberry’s small stature and chirpy cadence as meek or unguarded was to miss out on a very human story from a very strong soul. With that album, the band may have captured lightning in a bottle, but they made certain to study the science.

On Every Open Eye, CHVRCHES have carved out another stellar release. The formula remains largely the same, but the experience provides us with new and different joys. Bones felt born from frustration, while Every Open Eye seems fueled by determination. The album possesses the same spark as before, but this time around it feels like a celebration.

Ian Cook and Martin Doherty make each track crackle – the songs flow effortlessly upbeat. The opening pulsing synthesizers on “Never Ending Circles” clash against Mayberry’s vocal samples before her opening lines of, “Throw me no more bones / And I will tell you no lies this time”. Her voice rings out against the music, sounding both jubilant and defiant, especially during the opening lines of the track’s soaring chorus: “Here’s to taking what you came for / And here’s to running off the pain”.

Much of Every Open Eye is driven by instantly catchy hooks and melodies. Songs like lead single “Leave a Trace” and “Make Them Gold” lean heavily on their brilliant choruses while others like “Empty Threat” and “Bury It” sound custom made to force you out of your seat and onto the dance floor. The method works, no matter what mood you find yourself in.

Whatever your situation, Mayberry seems resolute to shift the conversation to a productive one, whether she’s speaking outwardly or inwardly. On “Playing Dead”, she shrugs off detractors when she sings, “No more distractions and no more staying still / I am chasing the skyline much more than you ever will”. On the R&B-inspired “Down Side of Me”, she glows with the lines, “I will show you I believe / And hold you up and know that you’re all I see in the light”.

Each moment holds meaning and is communicated through rich production that seems to always match the mood. Rarely do the songs come off hollow, and with the exception of a few oddly placed samples, like those on the bridge of “High Enough to Carry You Over”, each note lands with the necessary amount of force. It’s a testament to the band that an album that moves this quickly never feels redundant.

It feels weird to call Every Open Eye “better” than The Bones of What You Believe – even though it very well may be. CHVRCHES have chiseled away the spare baggage to craft a more well-rounded and complete record. There may not be any ostensibly transcendent moments like “The Mother We Share” or “Recover”, but that’s not a necessity here, and frankly, those moments need not be replicated.

Every Open Eye is a fully formed and delicately crafted album about hope in the aftermath of disappointment and pain. It’s a call to sing confidently with eyes open. It’s a pop record, but it feels like so much more.

4.5/5

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

CHVRCHES to Release “Every Open Eye” on September 25

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Scottish synthpop group CHVRCHES will return on September 25 with their sophomore album titled Every Open Eye. The release is a follow up to their lauded 2013 debut, The Bones of What You Believe. Take a listen to their new single, “Leave a Trace”:

You can see the album artwork and track listing below:

Track Listing
01. Never Ending Circles
02. Leave a Trace
03. Keep You on My Side
04. Make Them Gold
05. Clearest Blue
06. High Enough to Carry You Over
07. Empty Threat
08. Down Side of Me
09. Playing Dead
10. Bury It
11. Afterglow
12. Get Away
13. Follow You
14. Bow Down

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Excited for Every Open Eye? Share your thoughts in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

CHVRCHES cover Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope”

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In conjunction with Billboard’s recent Women in Music Event, Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES covered Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope”. You can check out the video of the performance below:

CHVRCHES recent debut release The Bones of What You Believe is one of the best albums to be released in 2013. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen. You can but the album on iTunes.

Posted by Kiel Hauck