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Released: 2022

Dive headfirst into the liberating anthem of self-preservation and sensual empowerment that is “Free” by Tove Styrke. This banger doesn’t hold back in its portrayal of unapologetic independence and the pursuit of pleasure, chronicling an emotional emancipation with a devil-may-care attitude for the softer sentiments.

Starting strong, the lyrics “I wanna eat that cookie and keep it too” set the stage with a twist on the old adage, ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too.’ Styrke flips the script, outrightly expressing a desire for having it all – indulgence without compromise. “Gimme your best, I will keep that too,” continues this narrative of taking what one wants without the responsibility that typically follows. This isn’t just Styrke wanting her cake and eating it; it’s her having the whole bakery and not gaining an ounce.

The line “I wanna clock somebody and waste their time” speaks to a rebellious streak of engaging with others on her own terms, perhaps in a romantic or flirtatious sense, while unapologetically admitting it’s on a transient, superficial basis. She’s “not yours but you’ll be mine,”— a bold statement of control and temporary possession. It’s about the power dynamics at play, and Styrke isn’t settling for second place.

The catchy refrain “I just wanna be free” is both a battle cry and a mantra, emphasizing the craving for a life unburdened by the emotional baggage of others—”Keep your troubles, keep your secrets / A lo-lo-long way from me.” The repeated “lo-lo-long” drives home the point: the farther, the better. She repeats this need for separation and autonomy with “Keep your problems, keep your feelings” as a reinforcing shield against the complexity of others’ sentiments.

Moving into the seductive “I wanna ride your body and rock your boat,” Styrke weaves in a nautical metaphor to describe a physical relationship that’s passionate yet devoid of deeper emotional entanglement. She promises to “fill you up ’til you overflow,” a line ripe with suggestive meaning, ensuring a pleasurable experience but one that doesn’t dip into the deeper waters of attachment.

In “Every day is your birthday, love / And I’m the cake,” Styrke presents herself as a desirable gift, a treat to be enjoyed with the frivolity and excitement of a special occasion. She tempts with “So delicious / Come and taste,” luring someone into her embrace while maintaining that it’s all in good fun—the implicative “best mistake” is a warning sign dressed up in red velvet.

The bridge, a seemingly nonsensical series of “yeye” sounds, is actually the epitome of being carefree, the vocals mimicking the freedom she seeks, devoid of structured words—because sometimes, feelings are best expressed in pure euphoric sounds that defy the need for language.

Styrke’s “Free” is a pop anthem of autonomy and sensual self-sufficiency. It’s about demanding the best of both worlds—the thrill without the strings, the fire without the burn. Tove Styrke doesn’t just articulate the modern conundrum of wanting connection without consequence; she owns it, serves it, and dances away before you can ask for seconds.

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