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Women Rock Wednesday: Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches

By Shirley Griffith

October 28, 2015

Any fan of the Scottish synthpop band, Chvrches (pronounced Churches), could most likely list innumerable reasons why lead vocalist/synth player Lauren Mayberry would easily be called a badass. So let me sum up my favorite top few reasons:

Mayberry is an energetic performer and a skilled musician possessing an enrapturing voice so noteworthy that indie kings The National recently called her onto the stage during their set at Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco to sing a song with them. She has an undergraduate law degree and a Masters in journalism under her belt, not to mention being the founder of a feminist collective in Glasgow called TYCI. I could stop right there because the 28-year-old has already proven my Women Who Rock point, but her list of accomplishments, aspirations and pure heart go on and on.

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Mayberry stands firm on doing things the right way and not getting caught up in the manipulating corporate machine. She even made a statement about how important it is to be hands-on in your music and make your own decisions, stating, “But after this is all done, I want to be able to say that we did it in the way we wanted to do it.”

The band personally handles their social media accounts, finding importance in personalizing their interactions with fans. Unfortunately, because of this admirable gesture, Mayberry is constantly bombarded with sexist and harassing messages ranging from the slightly creepy to downright terrifying, simply because she is a woman in the public eye. In an extreme act of bravery (and it’s very unfortunate that I have to call this bravery), she stands up for herself and all women that have to deal with unwarranted male aggression, sexual or otherwise. A few months ago, she wrote a piece in The Guardian bringing light to sexism and misogyny in the music industry, as well as publicly calling out any offending internet trolls. Most recently, she penned an exclusive, powerful essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter reflecting on an abusive relationship she had to admit she found herself in.

At every turn, Mayberry is towering as a confident, supreme female role model, and I could not thank her enough for all the ways she decides to take no shit and show young women that they have the power to admonish this culture’s ‘boys will be boys’ nonsense attitude and gender preferential. My favorite, and quite honestly most true, description of Mayberry is this dedicated tumblr that describes her as ‘a perfect human being.’ 

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Photo by Danny Clinch

Chvrches, influenced by Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper and Cocteau Twins, recently released their second full-length, Every Eye Open, full of supercharged, catchy ‘80s pop magic with the assured air of mic-drop resolution. They will be shattering the chandeliers and glass ceilings in Charlotte Wednesday night at the Fillmore.

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