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As the boundary between insular indie music and stadium-sized synth-pop began to dissolve in the early 2010s, CHVRCHES were less interested in blurring that line than in catapulting themselves from one side of the divide to the other. Though their collective CV included stints in melancholic indie-rock bands Aerogramme and The Twilight Sad, founding members Iain Cook and Martin Doherty joined forces in Glasgow in 2011 to make bright and buoyant electronic music together. But their private studio project became a proper band when they invited Lauren Mayberry (at the time, the drummer for Cook’s production client Blue Sky Archives) to supplement Doherty’s lead vocals, and realized her radiant voice was too powerful to be relegated to a supporting role. With Mayberry’s gleefully glitchy hook leading the way, the trio’s 2012 single “The Mother We Share” became one of the decade’s most indelible electro-pop earworms, and turned CHVRCHES’ debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, into a staple at summer festivals and student disco nights alike. Since then, the trio have continued to cultivate their reputation as cross-generational festival crowd-pleasers while honoring their indie instincts—upon enlisting Dave Stewart to produce 2018’s Love Is Dead, Mayberry told Apple Music that the Eurythmics maestro reinstilled in them the idea that “you could make pop music but still have it be so creative and so artful.” It’s a goal they’re committed to realizing in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways: Whether accommodating dramatic synth ballads with Matt Berninger (“My Enemy”) or tropical pop bops with EDM all-star Marshmello (“Here With Me”), CHVRCHES’ congregation knows no bounds.

Glasgow, Scotland
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