Scottish synthpop trio Chvrches have dropped their first song since 2019, “He Said She Said.”
Of the song, lead singer Lauren Mayberry says, “Like everyone, I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect over the past year; to examine experiences I had previously glossed over or deeply buried. I feel like I have spent a lot of my life (personally and professionally) performing the uncomfortable balancing act that is expected of women and it gets more confusing and exhausting the older I get.
“Be successful but only in the way we want you to be. Speak up for yourself but not so loudly that you steal men’s thunder. Be attractive but only for the benefit of men, and certainly don’t be vain. Strive to be The Hot Sad Girl but don’t actually be sad in a way that’s inconvenient for anyone. Be smart but not smart enough to ask for more than what you’re being given.”
She continues, “‘He Said She Said’ is my way of reckoning with things I’ve accepted that I know I shouldn’t have. Things I pretended weren’t damaging to me. It was the first song we wrote when we started back up, and the opening line (“He said, You bore me to death”) was the first lyric that came out. All the verse lines are tongue-in-cheek or paraphrased versions of things that have actually been said to me by men in my life. Being a woman is fucking exhausting and it felt better to scream it into a pop song than scream it into the void. After the past year, I think we can all relate to feeling like we’re losing our minds.”
While the anger slips into Mayberry’s deliver of the song — as does her Scottish accent, occasionally on lines like “oover and oover” — it’s a new evolution of the group’s trademark synth-heavy sound, with solid hooks and keening keyboards. The group has been working from opposite ends of the world, with Mayberry and keyboardist Martin Doherty in Los Angeles and bandmate Iain Cook in Glasgow, via video calls and audio-sharing programs.
While the announcement only says that “He Said She Said” is the first song from the recent sessions, it seems likely that more is to come.