Crafting songs with big synths and bigger hooks, Chvrches combine their roots in Glasgow's indie community -- the band features former members of Aerogramme and the Twilight Sad -- with a love of chart-friendly pop. They made an immediate impact on the music scene with 2013's bittersweet-yet-anthemic debut album The Bones of What You Believe, and later found ways of bringing an extra sheen to their music without sacrificing any of its depth. On 2018's Love Is Dead, their collaborators ranged from pop producer Greg Kurstin to the National's Matt Berninger.
In September 2011, keyboardist/vocalist Iain Cook, a former member of Aerogramme and a film and television music composer, and keyboardist/vocalist Martin Doherty, a touring member of the Twilight Sad, invited vocalist Lauren Mayberry, who previously played with the band Blue Sky Archives and holds a law degree as well as a Master's degree in journalism, to sing on some demos. The sessions went so well that the trio christened itself Chvrches -- spelling it with a "v" instead of a "u" to differentiate themselves in Internet searches -- and began writing songs inspired by Prince, Depeche Mode, and Kate Bush. Two of these songs, "The Mother We Share" and "Lies," earned online buzz, and in November 2012, the band released "The Mother We Share" as their debut single. Late that year, Chvrches were among the acts selected for the BBC's Sound of 2013, ultimately finishing fifth. The trio began 2013 by playing a few North American dates, releasing the Recover EP and recording its debut album in Cook's basement studio. That September, they released The Bones of What You Believe, which 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, among other countries. After covering Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead" for the movie Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, Chvrches began working on new material in January 2015 at their own Alucard Studios. Taking inspiration from Quincy Jones' lean yet massive-sounding production style, their second album, Every Open Eye, appeared in September 2015. The album's singles included a version of "Bury It" that featured Paramore's Hayley Williams. In 2016, the band collaborated with Solar Fields on "Warning Call," which appeared in the video game Mirror's Edge Catalyst. The following year, Chvrches contributed a cover of Tegan and Sara's "Call It Off" to the tenth-anniversary edition of the duo's album The Con, and went into the studio with producers Greg Kurstin and Dave Stewart to work on their third album. Boasting a bigger, more straightforward sound than their previous releases, 2018's Love Is Dead included the singles "Get Out" and "My Enemy," a collaboration with the National's Matt Berninger. Following its release, the album topped Billboard's Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts. Late that year, Chvrches released the Hansa Session EP. Named after the Berlin studio in which it was recorded (and also hosted David Bowie and Nick Cave among other artists), it featured acoustic and string-driven arrangements of several of Love Is Dead songs. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi