CHVRCHES Reject Double Standards on New Single, “He Said She Said”Photo by Sebastian Mlynarski & Kevin J Thomson Music News CHVRCHES
“He Said She Said,” the band’s latest electronic endeavor, was created with an ocean separating its members. Lauren Mayberry and Martin Doherty have spent the quarantine residing in Los Angeles, but Iain Cook took back to the band’s home base of Glasgow to ride out the pandemic. As a result, the single was created almost entirely remotely. Despite this constraint, the final product sounds as cohesive and summer-ready as the rest of the band’s discography, with Mayberry calling out the never-ending double standards of being a woman in the entertainment sphere and beyond.
Mayberry elaborated on her experiences that inspired the song in a statement:
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.
”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.
Listen to “He Said She Said” below. As of yet, a new album from CHVRCHES hasn’t been announced, but you can revisit the band performing a classic in their 2013 Daytrotter session further down.