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Lauren Mayberry

On her own and with Chvrches, Lauren Mayberry puts her emotions -- and crystal-clear soprano vocals -- at the fore of her music. As one-third of Chvrches, she pioneered an influential blend of classic synth pop and contemporary electronic sounds on albums including 2013's anthemic U.K. Top Ten hit The Bones of What You Believe and 2021's sharply observed Screen Violence. On her own, she brought the heart-tugging immediacy of her voice to collaborations with Death Cab for Cutie and the National's Aaron Dessner before releasing 2023's "Are You Awake?," a confessional, piano-driven ballad far removed from her band's usual style. Mayberry learned to play piano as a child growing up in Thornhill, Stirling, Scotland, and picked up the drums as a teenager. While she earned an undergraduate law degree at the University of Strathclyde and a master's degree in journalism, she played with Boyfriend/Girlfriend, which released 2007's Kill Music EP and the following year's Optimism EP, and with Blue Sky Archives, which issued a cover of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" and a trio of EPs. While recording 2012's Triple A-Side EP, Mayberry met producer Iain Cook, who invited her to sing on the demos of a project he was working on with his friend, Twilight Sad touring member Martin Doherty. That project became Chvrches, whose 2013 debut album The Bones of What You Believe debuted at number nine on the U.K. albums chart and was later certified gold in the U.K. It also entered the Top 20 on the charts in Canada, Australia, and the United States, while the single "The Mother We Share" also charted in the U.S., Japan, Belgium, and the U.K., where it was a Top 40 hit. Chvrches' success made Mayberry a target for sexist comments, which she responded to in a September 2013 article for The Guardian (her further activism included founding the feminist collective TYCI and work with Rape Crisis Glasgow and Amy Poehler's Smart Girls). Chvrches' next album, 2015's streamlined Every Open Eye, was another Top Ten hit in the U.K., as was its follow-up, 2018's pop-oriented Love Is Dead. That year, Mayberry collaborated with Death Cab for Cutie for the first time, appearing on the Thank You for Today track "Northern Lights." In 2019, she teamed up with the National's Aaron Dessner on a cover of Frightened Rabbit's "Who'd You Kill Now?" for Tiny Changes, an album that paid tribute to the group's late frontman Scott Hutchinson. She returned to Chvrches for 2021's Screen Violence, which cracked the Top Five of the U.K. Charts, and for 2023's single "Over." That August, Mayberry reunited with Death Cab on a remix of their single "An Arrow in the Wall." Just a few weeks later, she returned with her debut solo single, the inward-looking ballad "Are You Awake?" She supported the song with a tour where she performed Madonna's "Like a Prayer" in addition to other solo material that ranged from pop-punk to '80s-inspired pop.
© Heather Phares /TiVo


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