It’s been years since we’ve heard from Chvrches — that is, unless you devoured Elite season three at the beginning of quarantine and got to hear the band’s song “Forever” every time the show flashed back to that big moment. But even that song was off their last album, 2018’s Love Is Dead; the Scottish synth-pop band’s most recent original song came from the soundtrack to the 2019 video game Death Stranding. Now, Chvrches are officially back with “He Said She Said,” a predictably huge song that takes on leader Lauren Mayberry’s experiences of sexism. “Being a woman is fucking exhausting, and it felt better to scream it into a pop song than scream it into the void,” she said in a statement coinciding with the song’s release. It’s the first song Chvrches wrote for the new project — recorded during the pandemic “almost entirely remotely on two different sides of the Atlantic,” per a press release. And the hook is a fitting moment of pandemic catharsis: “I feel like I’m losing my mind!” Mayberry shouts in the song.
Last December, Mayberry told The Guardian that Chvrches’ new album would be inspired by some of the band’s favorite artists, like Depeche Mode and Brian Eno, along with newer pop by the likes of Billie Eilish. “We did two albums that existed in a certain space, and by the third record, it felt like what we were doing had been popularised by other people. How do you run that race next to other people?” Mayberry told the paper, alluding to criticism of the more pop-oriented Love Is Dead. “Well, we’ve realised that we don’t have to run that race. You’re never going to win in a race that is saturated by people who are bigger, better, and more popular, so you might as well pivot and go somewhere else.”