The Rapture formed in 1998 by keyboardist Chris Relyea, drummer Vito Roccoforte and guitarist/vocalist Luke Jenner. In 1999 the band released its debut 'mini-album', Mirror. Following this release, the band relocated to New York. They were finally joined by Matt Safer having gone through five keyboard players and two bassists in an eighteen-month period. After touring extensively for two years, the band released the six-song EP Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks on the Sub Pop label, with the lead track featuring in the film adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel The Rules Of Attraction. The Rapture were forerunners of the post-punk revival of the early 2000s, as they mixed their early post-punk sound with electronic and dance elements via their collaboration with the celebrated New York production team DFA. Multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Andruzzi joined the band in 2002. Their first full-length record, Echoes, was released to critical acclaim in 2003, including album of the year by pitchforkmedia.com.
In January 2004, the Rapture acted as main support to Funeral for a Friend on the NME Awards Tour, alongside other burgeoning acts Franz Ferdinand and The Von Bondies. Later that year, the band toured on the main stage of the Curiosa Festival alongside Interpol, Scarling., Mogwai, Cursive, Thursday, The Cooper Temple Clause, Head Automatica, and their own idols, The Cure.
Also in 2004, the band released a DVD, Is Live, and Well, in New York City through DFA Records/Mercury Records.
The Rapture released their second full-length album, Pieces of the People We Love, on Universal Motown Records in September 2006. Paul Epworth, Ewan Pearson and Danger Mouse produced the album.
The Rapture supported The Killers on the London leg of their tour at the Carling Academy Brixton from 26 November to 28 November 2006 and Daft Punk on the North American leg of their tour in 2007.
"No Sex for Ben" is featured in The Music of Grand Theft Auto IV a soundtrack that is bundled with the special edition version of Grand Theft Auto IV. This song was number 26 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008. The song was also featured on the third season premiere of Gossip Girl. The song "Echoes" plays in a scene of the film Superbad, and is the opening theme for the E4 television series Misfits. The song "The Devil" plays in a scene during the episode "Rocket Club" in the television series Aliens in America.
In an interview with Dave Owen of Access All Areas and I Can't Breathe Media,  Luke Jenner stated that Justin Timberlake originally sang on the track "No Sex For Ben.": "We were recording with Timbaland, 'cause he beatboxes on the track and Justin was upstairs with Duran Duran and he came down and sang on the track, but when we got it back from the label someone had removed JT's vocals."
Their song, "Whoo! Alright, Yeah…Uh Huh" is the official anthem for Red Bull New York of Major League Soccer. The same song is used on the EA sports game Madden 2007, under the name "W.A.Y.U.H"
On July 14, 2009 on The Rapture's official website they announced that bassist Mattie Safer decided to leave the band and add "We are sad to see him go but it seems it is the best for all of us." The Rapture have been working on new material since Safer's departure in their Brooklyn studio. In the days following Matt's departure Dave Owen  caught up with Luke Jenner who said that the split was amicable.
The band have been working on their 4th full length album in Paris and the band were aiming for a summer 2010 release. The album is now expected to be released at some point in 2011. The band are remaining a trio following the departure of bassist Matthew Safer and for the recording Gabriel Andruzzi has filled in the role of bassist. 
The Rapture have announced on Facebook and Twitter that they will be back in the DFA fold for their new album, In The Grace of Your Love. DFA will release the album on September 6 in the U.S. and September 5 in Europe. Modular will release the album in Australia and New Zealand.
Phoenix producer/Cassius member Philippe Zdar produced the record, which the Rapture recorded in Brooklyn and Paris. (Read an interview with the band about the recording of the album last year here.) This will be the Rapture's first album since 2006's Pieces of the People We Love.