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Title: Chvrches  
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Subject: Lauren Mayberry, St Jerome's Laneway Festival, Saint Raymond (musician), Amazing Radio, Glastonbury Festival 2014
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Chvrches in 2014. From left to right: Iain Cook, Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty.
Background information
Origin Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Synthpop[1]
Years active 2011–present
Labels Goodbye/Virgin, Glassnote, Hostess
Website .eschvrch
Members Lauren Mayberry
Iain Cook
Martin Doherty

Chvrches (pronounced as "churches[2]" and stylised as CHVRCHΞS) are a Scottish electronic band, formed in 2011. The group consists of Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals, additional synthesisers, and samplers), Iain Cook (synthesisers, guitar, bass, vocals), and Martin Doherty (synthesisers, samplers, vocals).[3]

Chvrches came fifth on the BBC's Sound of 2013 list of the most promising new music talent.[4] In March 2013, they released Recover EP. Their debut studio album The Bones of What You Believe was released on 20 September 2013.

Their song "The Mother We Share" was featured in the opening video for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 23rd July 2014.


Beginnings (2011–2012)

Before Chvrches, Iain Cook was a member of Aereogramme and The Unwinding Hours. He also wrote music for film and TV.[4] Martin Doherty was a live member of The Twilight Sad.[5] According to Mayberry, "Iain and Martin went to university together so they've known each other for quite a long time".[6]

Lauren Mayberry performing live with Chvrches at Melt! Festival (2013)

Mayberry completed a four-year law degree followed by a Masters in Journalism.[7] This led her into a career in freelance journalism for several years prior to music. She has played piano since childhood and drums since she was a teenager.[8] From age 15 until 22, she played drums in various bands.[6] Before Chvrches, Mayberry was member of two local bands, Boyfriend/Girlfriend and Blue Sky Archives.[6] On the latter band she was the vocalist, drummer, and keyboardist.[6]

Cook was producing an EP for Blue Sky Archives on a weekend in September 2011.[6] Cook started a new project with Doherty and asked Mayberry to sing on a couple of demos.[4] They wrote together for seven or eight months in a basement studio in Glasgow.[6] Cook, Mayberry and Doherty decided to form a new band after the sessions proved to be successful.[4] They chose the name Chvrches, using a Roman "v" to avoid confusions with actual churches on internet searches.[4] Chvrches have also stated that the band name "has no religious connotation, [they] just thought it sounded cool".

On 11 May 2012, Chvrches premiered the song "Lies" which was available exclusively as a free download from the blog of the Neon Gold label.[9] On 5 November 2012 the band released their official debut single, "The Mother We Share".

In June 2012 The Guardian featured Chvrches as one of New Bands of the Day.[10] On 5 July 2012 Chvrches performed their debut gig at The Artschool Glasgow, Scotland.[11]

"Lies" ranked at number 28 on NME's Best Tracks of 2012.[12] "The Mother We Share" ranked at number 51 on The Huffington Post Top 52 Songs of 2012.[13] Chvrches ranked fifth on the BBC's Sound of 2013 list of the most promising new music talent.[4]

Recover EP and The Bones of What You Believe (2013–present)

Chvrches - Live at Columbiahalle (2014)

In January 2013 Chvrches signed with the independent label Glassnote Records.[14] Previously, in November 2012, Daniel Glass (the owner of Glassnote) received copies of the songs "Lies" and "Recover".[14] He also headed to the UK and watched Chvrches perform three times (two solo shows, and one opening for Passion Pit).[14]

On 6 February 2013 Chvrches premiered the second single "Recover". It was followed by Recover EP, out on 25 March 2013 in the UK via Goodbye/Virgin and 26 March 2013 in the US via Glassnote.[15] In 13 March 2013 Chvrches performed at SXSW.[16] They also won the Inaugural Grulke Prize (for Developing Non-US Act) at SXSW.[17]

On 19 June 2013 Chvrches made their US TV debut performing "The Mother We Share" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On 15 July 2013 they released the single "Gun".[18] In July 2013 Chvrches supported Depeche Mode on four shows from The Delta Machine Tour 2013. In September 2013 they also performed "The Mother We Share" on Later... with Jools Holland.[19]

On 20 September 2013 the band released their debut studio album The Bones of What You Believe on Virgin Records. At the critical aggregator website Metacritic the album received a score of 80 based on 37 reviews.[20]

The song "We Sink" features on the official soundtrack of FIFA 14.[21]

On 30 September 2013 Mayberry penned an op-ed piece in The Guardian on the sexist remarks directed towards her through the band's social media sites.[22]

The band covered Bauhaus' song Bela Lugosi's Dead for the ending credits of the movie Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.[23]

Musical style

Chvrches's music style is usually tagged as electronic or synthpop. Neon Gold described their sound as "a godless hurricane of kinetic pop energy".[9] Kitty Empire of the Observer wrote they "make accessible electro-pop that's only just short of truly brilliant".[24]

They are influenced by acts such as Prince, Tubeway Army, Robyn, Laurie Anderson, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston and Elliott Smith.[4][5][25] The band writes, records, mixes, and masters their songs in a basement studio in Glasgow.[5]


Lauren Mayberry performing with Chvrches at SPIN Party, SXSW (2013)

When Chvrches plays live, Mayberry performs lead vocals and occasionally plays synthesisers and samplers; Cook plays synthesisers, guitar, bass, and also performs backing vocals; Doherty plays synthesisers and samplers, and also performs backing vocals and sometimes lead vocals.

Chvrches tour in various countries from Europe (including their home country), USA, Canada, Japan. They also performed at various music festivals like Firefly Music Festival, SXSW, Field Day, Canadian Music Fest, Sasquatch! Music Festival, The Great Escape, Pitch Festival, T in the Park, Electric Picnic, Melt! Festival, Summer Sonic, Pukkelpop, Lowlands, Reading and Leeds Festival, Coachella, Osheaga and Bonnaroo.

Chvrches was the opening act for Discopolis, School of Seven Bells, Passion Pit, Two Door Cinema Club. They also supported Depeche Mode during their The Delta Machine Tour 2013 at Nîmes (16 July), Milan (18 July), Prague (23 July) and Warsaw (25 July).

Some of the artists that opened for Chvrches were Dan Croll, , Isaac Delusion, Young Fathers, Arthur Beatrice, Conquering Animal Sound, Still Corners, City Calm Down, XXYYXX, Basecamp, THUMPERS, and The Range.


Awards and nominations

Year Organisation Award Result
2012 BBC Sound of 2013 Sound of 2013[4] Fifth
2013 South by Southwest Inaugural Grulke Prize (for Developing Non-US Act) at South by Southwest[17] Won
2013 Popjustice "Twenty Quid Music Prize" for best British pop single of the year: The Mother We Share[26] Won
2014 Scottish Album of the Year Award Scottish Album of the Year [27] Shortlisted
2014 NME Awards Best New Band [28] Nominated

Media usage

List of Chvrches songs featured on various productions
Song Where Type
"We Sink" FIFA 14[29] Video game
"Under the Tide" Gran Turismo 6 Video game
"Science/Visions" CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Television
"We Sink" Awkward Television
"Gun" Grey's Anatomy Television
"The Mother We Share" Forza Horizon 2 Video game


  1. ^ Phares, Heather. "Chvrches".  
  2. ^ "CHVRCHES - Interview". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "BBC – Music – CHVRCHES". 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "BBC News – BBC Sound of 2013: Chvrches". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "On the Radar – No 207: CHURCHES". 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Chvrches Is the Most Addicting Band of the Summer – Newsweek and The Daily Beast". 
  7. ^ "Dollars to Pounds: Chvrches – The FADER". 
  8. ^ "Chvrches Find Their Place In a Pop World – MTV IGGY". Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Neon Gold Beat Company: SKIN + BONE". 
  10. ^ Lester, Paul (26 June 2012). "New Band of the Day – No 1,295: Churches – Music –". The Guardian (London). 
  12. ^ "50 Best Tracks Of 2012 – The Big Picture – NME.COM – The world's fastest music news service, music videos, interviews, photos and more". 
  13. ^ "John Chattman: A-Sides Music: Top 52 Songs of 2012 (Call Me Maybe...Not)". Huffington Post. 3 December 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c "CHVRCHES' Hype Dreams: Can Blog Buzz Produce A Hit Album? – Billboard". Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chvrches: Recover – Tracks – Pitchfork". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Schedule -". 
  17. ^ a b "Haim, CHVRCHES, and The Flaming Lips are Winners of the Inaugural Grulke Prize at SXSW 2013 – SXSW 2013". Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Chvrches unveil tracklisting for debut album 'The Bones Of What You Believe' - News - NME.COM". 
  19. ^ "BBC Two – Later... with Jools Holland, Series 43, Episode 2". 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  20. ^ "The Bones Of What You Believe". Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "FIFA 14 Soundtrack Reveal | FIFA". Ea Sports. 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  22. ^ Mayberry, Lauren. "'"Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry: 'I will not accept online misogyny. The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ Empire, Kitty (1 March 2013). "Chvrches- review". music (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "26 Things You Should Know About Chvrches, Your New Favorite Electro-Pop Band". 
  26. ^ "CHVRCHES' 'The Mother We Share' has won the 2013 Twenty Quid Music Prize". Popjustice. 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  27. ^ "The Albums". 19 June 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "NME Awards 2014: All the nominees in full". 15 January 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
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