Mayberry wrote the song in collaboration with Canadian singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr, as well as Zedd collaborator Matthew Koma – who also served as the song’s producer. Prior to its release, Mayberry announced her first-ever solo tour and teased the single with a 30-second preview. At the time, she shared on social media that she was “flip-flopping between excitement and abject terror” when it came to her impending solo debut.
Per a press statement from Mayberry, ‘Are You Awake?’ came together over a writing session between herself and Jesso that saw her initially preoccupied by “thinking a lot about loneliness and homesickness”.
“As soon as Tobias started playing the chords, the lyrics and melody came to me really quickly,” she said. “I finished the song with Matthew, who really understood what I was trying to say.”
Listen to ‘Are You Awake?’ below:
Mayberry goes on to note that a solo career, let alone making any music outside of the immediate framework provided by CHVRCHES, was originally something she “couldn’t imagine doing”. This ultimately changed, however, when she came to the realisation that “some things that [she] needed to write had to be done 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 said. “I am really looking forward to this chapter, and can’t wait for people to hear more of the music.”
Prior to the release of ‘Are You Awake?’ Mayberry’s solo credits were minimal. She contributed guest vocals to the Death Cab for Cutie song ‘Northern Lights’, which featured on their 2018 album ‘Thank You For Today’.
She also collaborated with The National‘s Aaron Dessner on a cover of Frightened Rabbit‘s ‘Who’d Kill You Now?’ for ‘Tiny Changes’, a commemorative tribute album for the band’s late frontman Scott Hutchinson.
CHVRCHES’ most recent studio album was 2021’s ‘Screen Violence’. The Scottish synth-pop trio are currently gearing up to release a 10th anniversary reissue of their debut studio album, 2013’s ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’. The new edition, which includes four previously-unheard songs and five live recordings from 2013, is set for release on October 13.