Portland rockers Summer Cannibals are returning this week with Can’t Tell Me No, their fourth album and their first for Tiny Engines. The band recorded the entire album in a mad dash after frontwoman Jessica Boudreaux extricated herself from a close personal and creative relationship and scrapped the album they’d been working on. That liberating, defiant energy was evident on lead single “False Anthem” and the LP’s title track.
Today, Summer Cannibals have shared another new song called “Behave.” “Behave/ Stop telling me to change/ What if I can’t behave/ For you,” Boudreaux sings in the chorus of the wiry fuzzed-out rocker. As she explained to NYLON, where the track premiered:
A lot of the songs on this album are about giving yourself the freedom to leave controlling relationships. My last relationship was so full of lies and manipulation and a completely uneven power dynamic that I found myself constantly trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to upset the balance. They lied, cheated, and controlled. I stayed out of the way and tried to “behave.” That was our relationship. My emotions and needs were a burden.
I wrote this song very early in that relationship, not totally realizing what I was writing about. Coming out of that toxic environment and revisiting this song felt unreal, and it now feels really empowering to hear and perform—a reminder to myself that I will not behave for or bend to another person’s unrealistic expectations of me again