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Released: 2023

Features: Ryan Lott

Kimbra, along with sonic craftsman Ryan Lott, lays down some serious introspective vibes on “Foolish Thinking”. This tune delves into the tension between the desire to protect and influence those we care for and the humbling acknowledgment that, in the grand scheme, we all ultimately march to the beat of our own drum. It’s a bittersweet potion of wanting to save someone from pain while facing the reality that some lessons in life must be learned firsthand.

The song opens with a declaration of resilience and love; Kimbra isn’t the type to back down—she’s all about fighting fire with fire for her tribe. She feels like a “broken needle,” hinting at a sense of helplessness despite her strong exterior, unable to make the impact she desires. It’s as if she’s trapped on the outside of a bubble, witnessing but unable to truly reach the inside despite her efforts. Then comes the hook, a reflective series of questions where Kimbra questions her own authority over someone else’s choices. It’s an echo chamber of self-awareness, realizing that even with the best intention, her influence is limited.

As Kimbra continues, she introduces the theme of clear-eyed foresight tinged with helplessness. She’s seen heartbreak looming on the horizon, and yet, despite her best attempts to rewrite the soundtrack of the inevitable, to have this person “play along” with a better story, she’s faced with the reality that her influence is finite. There’s a certain sadness in acknowledging that advice often goes unheeded, no matter how spot-on or heartfelt it may be.

In the track’s bridge, the song becomes even more personal, possibly touching on someone growing up under her watchful eye—someone she hopes will not repeat her past mistakes. It’s poignant and raw because it unveils a universal truth about caring deeply for another’s well-being while struggling with the limitations of being able to protect them. These lines, combined with the repeat of the hook, serve as an emotional crescendo that underscores Kimbra’s internal struggle of desire versus acceptance.

The outro is hauntingly simple, repeating the line “I thought I could remove the pain.” It’s both a lament and a revelation, a mantra of accepting that pain is part of the human experience, and while we may wish to take it away from those we love, it sometimes serves as a necessary teacher for their personal growth.

Through “Foolish Thinking,” Kimbra with Ryan Lott takes us on a journey of heartfelt hope, earnest advice, and the sobering realization of our own limitations in the grand tapestry of life. It’s an emotional confession set to a melody that clings to the soul—the kind of tune that doesn’t just get stuck in your head but also pulls at your heartstrings.

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