Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry’s Single ‘Are You Awake?’ is a Hauntingly Beautiful Solo Debut

Most know Lauren Mayberry as the lead singer of the feisty Scottish pop band Chvrches, but she is now making her own mark with a bold step into solo stardom with her new song ‘Are You Awake?’ – a hauntingly beautiful ballad encompassing loneliness, homesickness, and mourning familiarity.

As far as hard-hitting piano ballads go, ‘Are You Awake?’ is definitely a strong one. 

Mayberry’s voice is soft and longing, and the lyrics read out like a letter or a left voicemail to someone in her past, lamenting over not remembering the last time they spoke. 

A particularly beautiful lyric is: “Are you awake? I miss the texture of your voice”, mourning the familiar and soothing elements of someone once close. The lyrics “Please give me a sign / Give me a Hollywood line / Some feelings don’t fade with space and time” bring that message closer, signifying helplessness and a plea for a second chance.

Although the song flows along in a major key, a cacophony of low tones and somber lyrics juxtapose with Mayberry’s breathy falsetto voice. Almost written like a movie OST, the peaks and troughs give the song a fantasy, cinematic feel.

As the song builds up to the rolling choruses, all of the moving parts – sweet violins, an echo of voices, and all – wash right over the listener. A persistent sense of numbing sadness is enough to make the listener breathless by the end of the song, and it’s safe to say that Mayberry’s mystery person is not awake.

With such a profound start to this singer’s solo venture, it will be interesting to see where she goes next. Will some of that iconic Chvrches sound come through in later releases, or will she forge her own new, experimental path? Only time will tell.


Sasha Semjonova
Image: ‘Are You Awake?’ Official Single Cover



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