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Released: 2011

Alright, pop aficionados, let’s dive into the lyricism and thematic undercurrents of “Settle Down” by Kimbra, an electric, narrative-driven tune about longing, ambition, rivalry and love. This track presents a protagonist’s earnest desire to lay down roots with her lover, but it does so with a level of rawness and vulnerability that’s more complex than your average cut-and-dried love song.

First up, the recurring lyrical motif buoying the track is the line “I wanna settle down”. Here, Kimbra is pretty much wearing her heart on her sleeve, articulating a yearning for stability and commitment. The phrase “Settle down” is a colloquial term which often alludes to starting a family or making a long-term commitment with a partner.

Kimbra sprinkles a fair amount of domesticity throughout her lyrics, from dining together to the desire of having a child, a symbol of permanence. “We’ll call her Nebraska, Nebraska Jones, she’ll have your nose” – these lines insinuate an imagined future, a touch of whimsy, and a longing for their child to resemble her lover. Where Nebraska is conventionally an American state, here, it becomes a chosen name for their fictitious child, giving the song an added layer of personal texture.

The lyrics “Run from Angela Vickers, I saw her with you” dismantle the seemingly rosy picture set thus far. Angela Vickers – an assumed foil to Kimbra, a competitor for the lover’s affection – disrupts the idealised vision of settling down. This transition from a domestic utopia to the complexity of rivalry challanges the narrative, giving the listener a glimpse into her insecurities and fears, with Angela and her “fancy car” presenting a worldy appeal that Kimbra feels she may lack.

The chorus, “Star so light, Star so bright, First star I see tonight”, moves beyond the struggles and back to hope. It’s a modern twist on the old childhood rhyme wishing upon a star, exploring the protagonist’s wish for her love to stay. The repetition of these lines enhances the feeling of yearning, making this song an emotional roller coaster of love’s trials and tribulations.

Last but not least, Kimbra’s lyrics “It’s time to bring you down, On just one knee, for now, Let’s make our vows”, are a clear and powerful call to action i.e. proposal for marriage, again reflecting her desire for commitment and long-term partnership.

In summation, “Settle Down” rings out as an emotive plea for love and commitment, woven through the ordinary and the extraordinary, navigating the waters of rivalry and aspiration. It is honest, earnest, and loaded with a kind of desperation that resonates deeply for anyone who’s ever been in love.

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