Chvrches have returned with “He Said She Said,” their first new music since 2018.
The track features lead singer Lauren Mayberry recalling horrific statements made to her by men — “He said, ‘You need to be fed, but keep an eye on your waistline'” — over looming synthesizers. The track was made in quarantine, while Mayberry and Martin Doherty were in Los Angeles and Iain Cook was in Glasgow, Scotland.
“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,” Mayberry said in a statement. “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.”
“‘He Said She Said’ is my way of reckoning with things I’ve accepted that I know I shouldn’t have,” she continued. “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.”