Scottish alt-pop trio Chvrches have returned with new single He Said She Said.
The track marks their first official release since 2018 album Love Is Dead, and salutes the ongoing efforts of all those engaging in the “uncomfortable balancing act” that comes with being a woman in a patriarchal world. In other words, it’s an homage to those facing the struggle of living in a society where male voices are usually louder than the rest.
He Said She Said is the ultimate anti-mansplaining anthem, with lyrics that reference everything from the male gaze to impossible modern beauty standards – including the infinitely relatable line “He said, ‘You need to be fеd, But keep an eye on your waistline’”.
Explaining the narrative behind the song, frontwoman 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.”
Highlighting some of these expectations, Mayberry continues: “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 adds: “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.”
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the track was recorded with each member of the group working remotely, miles apart on each side of the Atlantic. He Said She Said is the first result of the band's new songwriting process, which took place mostly over video calls and audio sharing programmes.
Listen to the track below: