There's something to be said for using gigs and festival shows as research. Radio plays and downloads are one thing, but seeing how a person physically reacts to your song right in front of your eyes is the best metric you could possibly have. Which gets the biggest cheer? Which gets the crowd dancing? Which get a crowd slowly drifting over to the bar? Cut, tinker, develop; get everything as tight as possible then use what you have and build something new on that.

CHVRCHES appear to have done just that. Since The Bones Of What You Believe rocketed into the mainstream like a glitter bomb loaded with melancholy and, at times, weapons-grade venom, CHVRCHES have been all over the planet. A world tour across some amazing venues off the back of a debut album is no mean feat, but it doesn't by any means mean they're going to start resting on their laurels. They've taken everything they've learned, boiled it down, cemented their chemistry and brought forth Every Open Eye, an album that fizzes with electricity.

Every Open Eye makes for a fine companion record to their debut. Where Bones was filled with more plots of revenge than a Spaghetti Western, all sharp lyrics and killer hooks, Every Open Eye is more life-affirming. It's as if Lauren Mayberry has had enough with revenge and is ready to move on, grab control of the wheel and get back on the road.

'Clearest Blue', undoubtedly the album's highlight, is the perfect example of this. As Mayberry sings of a slowly building panic attack, building like a giant wave ready to crash down, it unleashes a gigantic riot of sugary synths like a warhead crafted from blueprints of Depeche Mode's 'Just Can't Get Enough'. It's a helping hand in the face of adversity - a middle finger to fear.

Similarly, 'Leave a Trace' could easily become the next big break-up anthem; a cathartic, arms-aloft banger that shows Mayberry in the driver's seat and cutting things off before it could get any worse. The 'Fuck You Right Back' of Scottish synth pop, there's something truly cleansing about this track, clearing the floor for you so you can let loose all your problems without interruption.

This more measured, mature approach to life and relationships, of taking control rather than letting it all spin out of control and left picking up the pieces, is a common theme throughout Every Open Eye. 'Make Them Gold''s rallying cry of "We will take the best parts of ourselves/ and make them gold" in amongst synths that shimmer with glamorous affirmation is probably a perfect summation of the album as a whole. 'Bury It', a fist-pumping pop banger, has the simple mantra of "bury it and rise above".

Once again, Mayberry puts so much emotion and drama into every word she sings. Not one breath feels wasted, each one loaded with vulnerability, defiance or sheer relief. She's clear, direct and somehow stays afloat in the dizzying maelstrom of synths around her. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty manage to create captivating soundscapes that feel galaxy wide, while making enough room for Mayberry to break through. They're a trio so in sync with one another, each pulling their weight to create something thrilling.

Every Open Eye is almost an album of empowerment for the internet age, full of razzle-dazzle and campy '90s flare. It's an album that sits on your shoulder whispering "everything is going to be OK", feeling like a blast of cool air. Mostly, it's fun in the face of fear and uncertainty.

Having said that, it's hard to deny that Bones's appeal was its jagged edges. At times it felt like it might swallow you whole, unhinging its jaw to devour everything, or just nut you square on the nose. Take 'Gun' for instance. It was a track full of kaleidoscopic synths and catchy beats but with a chillier undertone as Mayberry sang of getting sweet revenge on an ex who betrayed her trust. Perfectly crafted pop with a razor sharp edge, it was the tip of a musical iceberg that was all about these poisoned barbs. Every Open Eye feels too smooth. Bones had a grit to it, as much as synth pop can, that doesn't quite take root here. But then that's why it works so well as a sister record. It's the light at the end of the tunnel; cool defiance put to music.

It might not have the same explosive nature as Bones but what it does have are some pop juggernauts. The shimmering beacon of 'Clearest Blue' is going to be a long lasting pop smash, stuck to you like glitter from the arts and crafts table. Every Open Eye is a band, so tightly knit, that everything just seems natural to them. They've become a band working in symbiosis and to great effect. Though it might just fall short of the explosive highs of Bones, it's still a record that shows CHVRCHES are a band that are more confident than ever in who they are, ready to bury whatever crap they have and rise above.

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