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Released: 2016

With a laid-back pop groove that belies a much deeper narrative, “Drunk in the Morning” by Lukas Graham is a late-night confession to a clandestine love interest. It’s a frank exploration of vulnerability, desire and loneliness, all wrapped up in Graham’s signature candid style. This isn’t your everyday teenage love ballad – it’s an adult admission of late-night yearning laced with a hint of regret.

Right off the bat, Lukas Graham is laying it all out there. “Girl, I got one question / Are you still awake?” sets the stage perfectly. It’s late, he’s been out, he’s not entirely sure who he’s reaching out to- but he knows he wants to talk to her. He admits, “You haven’t heard from me in some time”, hinting towards some past relationship or unresolved feelings. Graham isn’t playing coy- he’s unapologetically and messily honest. When he asks, “Is it ok, I stop by,” it’s not a token gesture. He is genuinely looking for her approval. He doesn’t want to overstep, but he desperately needs human connection.

But he’s no saint. He acknowledges his questionable behavior: “Emma I dated, and Sophie I kissed, baby / Sarah I had in my hand”. He’s been around, he’s engaged in fleeting relationships, but at the end of the day, he’s “calling you”. This isn’t about playing the field, it’s about recognising where your true desires lie, even if it’s not in the most sober of circumstances.

Adding another layer, Graham gets real about his flippant lifestyle with his boys. “But not before it’s past two o’clock / Cause I’m balling with my boys, my boys, my boys”. Basking in camaraderie and revelry, Graham is also sharply aware of the toll it takes – namely, the hollow loneliness that descends once the party ends.

As the song progresses, the somber reality begins to set in – Graham knows this woman is happy to hear from him. “I know you’re glad I called, now you can have it all,” he croons, hinting towards a shared affection. There’s a sense of relief in the company when they’re together, but a pang of melancholy when apart. “Maybe we should go, and spend some time alone,” he suggests, hinting towards a possible romantic progression.

All in all, “Drunk in the Morning” is a bittersweet ode to late-night loneliness, a raw and candid confession that eschews the polished veneer of typical pop songs. In between the lines of this late-night tryst, there’s an honest portrayal of human frailty, need for connection, and the heartbreaking transience of casual relationships. Despite the fact that Graham’s confessions are indecorously wrapped in intoxication, it’s hard not to appreciate his beautifully human, frank narrative.