Behind the Band Name: Chvrches 

The Scottish indie-rock trio Chvrches has always had strong opinions of churches and states, so there was careful consideration in the spelling of the band’s name.

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Online Churches

Pronounced as “Churches,” the Glasgow-formed threesome, made up of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty, opted for the Roman letter “v” instead of a “u” in the spelling of their moniker.

The spelling was intentional, differentiating the band from actual churches for anyone searching for them online.

Chvrches came around because it was crunch time in deciding the name,” said Doherty. “We tried, and tried, and tried. We couldn’t agree on anything, which was unusual, because the music was coming about really well and really easily, we just couldn’t figure out a name. We just chose it because it was big and bold, and just one word. And it wasn’t difficult to pronounce.”

He added, “After we decided on it, we realized it was more or less impossible to Google. It wasn’t until ‘Lies’ came out that we came to this realization. … It kind of felt natural just to go with that. Now, we don’t have to compete with anyone, which is cool. You don’t want to go up against that Jesus guy. He is pretty popular.”

All the Denominations

Prior to forming in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2011, Doherty was a touring musician for the post-punk band The Twilight Sad, while Iain Cook was a member of Aerogramme. Formerly in a high school band called Boyfriend/Girlfriend, Mayberry earned a degree in journalism at the University of Strathclyde.

After spending half a year writing together in a basement studio in Glasgow, Chvrches eventually released their debut Recover EP in 2013. The project included the hits “The Mother We Share” and “Recover,” which was followed by their 2015 album The Bones of What You Believe.

Stretching across the band’s growing catalog, including Every Open Eye (2015), Love is Dead (2018) and Screen Violence (2021) — the latter featuring the track “How Not to Drown,” co-written with The Cure’s Robert Smith — Chvrches continue to cross off their socio-political stances in crisp electro-pop and near-clairvoyant lyrics.

Photo: Sebastian Mlynarski & Kevin J Thomson / Grandstand Media

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