Friday, April 24, 2015

Song #522 of 9999 - Habits by Tove Lo

Song #522 of 9999

Title: Habits

Artist: Tove Lo
Year: 2014
Album: Queen of the Clouds

The blog was off on Tuesday so I didn't get to engage my usual TWOsday connecting device and feature two songs. I realized later I missed a chance. After writing yesterday's post about "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX, I remembered my mid-2014 obsession was another downtempo dance number by relative newcomer Tove Lo. This Swedish artist was also brought to me by NPR (probably Ken Tucker) and damn, I could not get enough of this hook for about a month.

The first time I heard "Habits," I was kind of put off by the opening verses, which are a little too graphic in their description of the protagonist's junkie lifestyle (I get home/I got the munchies/Binge on all my Twinkies/Throw up in the tub/Then I go to sleep). The tub! That's where she eats!!

But when that hook arrives, all is forgiven.

You're gone and I gotta stay 
High all the time
To keep you off my mind
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh 

Damn, that's clever. And I would have been fine with that hook plus the little vocal siren at the end, but Lo (is this a last name?—I have no idea) introduces a new melody for the third quarter of the chorus that just ramps it all up a notch.

Spend my days locked in a haze

Trying to forget you babe
I fall back down

I remember talking to my colleague about this song and we both just drooled over the minor mediant (iii) chord in the middle of that passage. But as it turns out, the whole song has the same progression (I-iii-V), so why did we hear something special in that moment? I think it's because Lo sings a Bb (Trying to forget you babe) that rubs against the D minor triad (iii) and that dissonance (coupled with a sweet spot in her voice) increases the sense of longing already inherent in the chorus.

And listen, in case you were worried about Tove, her next single let us know once and for all she's "Not on Drugs." Okay? So stop worrying.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm... Minor iii chord.

    Ooo oo ooo oo! That is also one tasty minor third interval.