North America and Europe have a strange relationship when it comes to music. We like to exchange bands, but it's almost never at the same time. There is a strange ebb and flow of British and American invasions in the music scene that result in temporary spikes in the exchange of our culture. The current UK spike could be thanks to Glasgow synth-pop band Chvrches. The band's vivacious pop formula has been making waves and its live shows are helping generate even more buzz. In anticipation of the release of its debut album – The Bones of What You Believe, out this September – Xtra chatted with the adorably shy lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, and her boys during a Toronto stopover as this summer’s NXNE music festival.
Xtra: That you have already been to Toronto without even having a debut album out is unbelievable. How does it feel?
Lauren Mayberry: It’s pretty exciting, really. I don’t think any of us expected to be at this stage quite so soon, but I guess you have to roll with the punches when the punches are good things.
Martin Doherty: That it is all happening is a tad overwhelming, but now that we know where we’re at and when our album is going to be released — we just finished it two days ago or something.
I’ve been following you on Twitter @chvrches, and you’ve been documenting the album-recording process as you have been touring North America. That’s a lot to handle at once. Have there been any hiccups?
Doherty: We almost didn’t get there! We lost lots of work in the studio the other day. After being there for about 12 hours or something, we had to stay right through the night. But we got there.
The name Chvrches is stylized with a "V." Can you explain the significance of that?
Iain Cook: We realized that no one could find us online. If you typed in "Churches," all you would get is stuff about actual Churches. So we decided to give it a try and see if we could get away with changing the band name, and so far it seems to be working out!
You’ve been together for two years, releasing this album over the past year. Has your style changed since you began recording? Will your new stuff still sound like the Chvrches that released your debut, Lies, over a year ago?
Mayberry: I think we’re quite lucky insofar as when we put the Lies demo on the internet we had been recording ourselves for six months, so we already had a bulk of material. We haven’t necessarily been releasing the singles in chronological order of when they were written, so I think we’ll have a really solid mix . . . I think it’s important to have a bit of yin and yang on it.
The singles you’ve released so far have been met with phenomenal critical acclaim. Does that put even more pressure on to make the full-length debut showstopping?
Doherty: In a sense, we had already written the album before there was any sort of serious pressure on the band. Every stage along the way we’ve tried to do our absolute best. We’re trying not to feel the pressure and just turn off to that a little bit. Just enjoy playing live and getting good at that.