“HE SAID SHE SAID”
This past Monday CHVRCHES released their long awaited new single “He Said She Said,” and today you can watch the official video for the track, directed by multi-disciplinary artist Scott Kiernan. Recorded almost entirely remotely on two different sides of the Atlantic, the song arrives three years on from CHVRCHES’ acclaimed third album Love Is Dead. Buy/Stream “He Said / She Said” available now via EMI Records (UK) and Glassnote Records (US).
Of the video, Kiernan says: “The revolving door is metaphorical to the circular nature of a manipulative power dynamic, and the looping thoughts that go along with feeling trapped in it. But this door also represents a film developing tank here: it creates “a picture” through agitation. That agitation can be malevolent, by some controlling, dominating force as in an abusive relationship, or it can be that of a protest – a positive force to reclaim one’s agency.”
CHVRCHES add: “Working with Scott has been really exciting as we share a visual viewpoint. He really understood and elevated our references. We found out about his work through a short film he made for Moog and were just obsessed with his aesthetic and way of telling stories. He has creative directed everything for this new era of the band and we can’t wait for CHVRCHES fans to see the story unfold…”
On the song, CHVRCHES’ frontwoman 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.”
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.”
CHVRCHES are Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty. Since emerging in 2013 with their US and UK top 10 breakthrough album The Bones of What You Believe, the band have always projected an insularity and a left-of-the-middle approach, historically focusing on self-producing their work to find their unique balance between the dark and the light; between alternative and pop.
After self-writing-and-producing their first two albums, The Bones of What You Believe and its 2015 follow-up, Every Open Eye, the band opened up the process on their 2018 offering, Love Is Dead, welcoming outside influence in the form of GRAMMY Producer of the Year Greg Kurstin. The band toured extensively until the end of 2019, returning home with the intent of going back to their insular beginnings to make new music.
A few months later, with the world in the grips of the pandemic, their plans changed – CHVRCHES ended up separated by the Atlantic Ocean, Mayberry and Doherty self-isolating in Los Angeles, Cook in Glasgow. They had to find a way to create almost entirely separately from one another. Through video calls and audio sharing programmes, the band began crafting something unique and special, but inherently CHVRCHES. “He Said She Said” is the first fruits of their labour.