Take me downtown Tonight I want to forget I want lights to blind me I want peace, want to disappear.”
What is it about dance beats paired with a narrative of lost love that makes songs like this so good? I came across Niki & The Dove this weekend and at thought that Fever Ray had released something new. But the farther I got into the song the more I started to hear the distinctions between the two Swedish groups. This song was poppier; it managed to sonically carry a melancholy tale through the air with its beat that doesn’t give up until it reaches the end. You can hear the anguish in Malin Dahlström’s vocals. Her high-alto raspy voice sounds like a howl when she reaches the chorus begging the DJ to just play the damn song so she can forget her lost love for a bit. Dahlström’s delivery had me wanting to hold her and let her go at the same time. I listened to it once and had to listen to it again because I, too, wanted to get as lost as she was.
Songs like this track – dance-y break up songs somehow make the situation seem bearable. Robyn’s, “Dancing On My Own” comes to mind as I sit here racking my memory of other similar tracks. That song (which I happen to believe is one of the most underrated pop songs to exist) captures the unrequited love perfectly, but instead of singing it over some mellow guitar or low-fi electronic production, it’s set to a beat that lets the listener (and artist) shake whatever negative feeling they got brewin’ out. Niki & The Dove do the same thing in this track. Why bother relishing in some longing when music and a little swayin’ with your eyes closed to the beat is the best remedy? A DJ can be your doctor. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced this desire for someone else only to find that they don’t feel the same. When that moment comes and you want to get lost (hell, even if you just want to let go for four minutes) turn this track up and just go. Trust me, by the time you get to the break down half-way in and Dahlström is “oh-oh-ing” you’ll feel as light as the track.
Bonus: Get your good headphones ready, I’m including Jakwob’s excellent remix of this song. It’s darker and more hypnotic than the original. A heavy bass-line and synth melt together to create a lush euphoric track that pulses through your whole body.