CHVRCHES – “He Said She Said”

Greg Chow

Chvrches "He Said She Said"

Scottish electro-pop titans release first new song since 2019

Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES have released their first new music since 2019, the single “He Said She Said.” While the group members – Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty, and Iain Cook – have been split between Los Angeles and their native Glasgow since early last year, they’ve reportedly completed work on their fourth record and follow-up to 2018’s Love is Dead.

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Photo Credit: Sebastian Mlynarski & Kevin J Thomson

After teasing the new single with a series of cryptic Instagram posts displaying iPhone notifications with messages like “It’s all in your head” above the options “Trust” and “Don’t Trust” and Instagram alerts reading “he said you bore me to death,” the group debuted the song on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show today. The tune is classic CHVRCHES, with Mayberry’s spacey vocals carrying the verses before a chugging chorus kicks in. While the repeated and echoed yelling “I feel like losing my mind” could easily be interpreted as a reference to the past year-plus of pandemic-caused cabin fever from which they recorded this song, it’s the “She Said” reaction to the things “He Said,” like “You need to be fed, but keep an eye on your waistline,” “Look good but don’t be obsessed,” and “Be sad but don’t be depressed, just think it over and over…”

From the “He Said She Said” press release:

“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,” explains CHVRCHES’ frontwoman Mayberry of “He Said She Said.”

“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.”

Mayberry 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.”

Chrvches at Intersect Festival in Las Vegas, December 2019.

In an interview with DIY last fall, Mayberry said of their next record, “We have a pretty specific theme in mind for the whole thing,” so if “He Said She Said” is any indication, we can expect another solid outing from Chvrches on their as-yet untitled CHV4 LP.

Check out “He Said She Said” below:

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