Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES Makes Solo Debut with Poignant Piano Ballad “Are You Awake?”

Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES Makes Solo Debut with Poignant Piano Ballad "Are You Awake?"

Lauren Mayberry, the frontwoman of CHVRCHES, has ventured into the realm of solo artistry with her debut single, the intimate piano-driven ballad titled “Are You Awake?

Mayberry co-wrote the song in collaboration with Canadian singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr., and it was produced by Matthew Koma, known for his work with Zedd. The release of her first solo track coincided with the announcement of Mayberry’s inaugural solo tour and was preceded by a 30-second teaser. She took to social media to express her feelings, confessing that she was oscillating between excitement and profound anxiety about her solo debut.

According to Mayberry‘s press statement, “Are You Awake?” originated during a writing session with Jesso, during which she was initially consumed by thoughts of loneliness and homesickness.

As soon as Tobias started playing the chords, the lyrics and melody came to me really quickly,” she revealed. “I finished the song with Matthew, who really understood what I was trying to say.

Mayberry acknowledged that embarking on a solo career, especially venturing outside the established framework of CHVRCHES, was something she couldn’t fathom initially. However, this perception evolved as she realized that there were “some things that [she] needed to write [from] purely [her] own point of view.

I never really thought I’d write a piano ballad, or a solo album full stop, so life really is full of surprises,” she shared. “I am really looking forward to this chapter, and can’t wait for people to hear more of the music.

Before the release of “Are You Awake?” Mayberry’s solo contributions were limited. She lent her guest vocals to the Death Cab for Cutie track ‘Northern Lights,’ featured on their 2018 album ‘Thank You For Today.’

Lauren Mayberry
Lauren Mayberry. CREDIT: Scarlett Casciello

Additionally, she collaborated with Aaron Dessner of The National on a cover of Frightened Rabbit’s “Who’d Kill You Now?” for Tiny Changes, a commemorative tribute album dedicated to the late Scott Hutchinson, the frontman of Frightened Rabbit.

While CHVRCHES’ most recent studio album was 2021’s Screen Violence, the Scottish synth-pop trio is currently preparing to release a 10th-anniversary reissue of their debut studio album, 2013’s The Bones Of What You Believe. This reissue will feature four previously unreleased songs and five live recordings from 2013 and is set for release on October 13.