About a year ago, two well-known women “had this feeling on a summer day when you were gone” and then they “crashed their car into a bridge” and “watched” and “let it burn.” They “threw your sh*t into a bag and pushed it down the stairs” – Remember them? They didn’t care. They loved it! 155 seconds of pure liberation. A year later, I’d love to ask Icona Pop – Do you still not care? Do you still love it?
I didn’t care, I loved it, too! Heck, I jammed out to it on the plane back from Rio de Janeiro’s MAGIS and WYD, and it’s still on my “songs I play really loud when I want to feel awesome” Spotify playlist (true story – “Follow” me and see).
Appreciate the bassline and the shouting, punchy lyrics, but its hype is its no-holds-barred total liberation, its primal roar sparing no drama, no extravagance, taking no prisoners: FREEDOM. Ever been fed up, have your heart broken? This song: 100% anthem material.
In an interview with CMJ, Icona Pop themselves tell the story how they stumbled on the song, written by Charli XCX, how they instantly connected with it and wanted to make it their own:
“We were going through some love drama, and we could really relate to the lyric….”
So they went to their producer and said,
“This is the feeling that we want on it. We want the punkiness. We want the ‘f**k it’ feeling. We want everything that we felt when we were singing it.”
The break just needed to happen, and we got front-row seats for Aino and Caroline pulling out all the stops. “I Love It” is the long-coming burst of self-assertion, independence and liberation from the universally-unhealthy, heartbreaking, boring or even dangerous relationship – no doubt, the social worker in me *fist pumps* and celebrates this empowering summer day. The social worker in me, though, also wonders about the following autumn, winter, spring, and summer…
Icona Pop, I get the “Why” you did what you did…but the “How”…: Did liberation have to look like that? Burning bridges with crashing cars? Public insult and tossing out on the street? You’ve said that you’re “all or nothing all the time”, but a year later, has such extravagance exacted a price?
Freedom at all costs can look a lot like freedom from all costs. Is freedom always and merely cutting totally free, opening the gate for our insatiably- ‘American’ bucking bull of self-realization? Does it always require crashing, burning, throwing, and collateral damage for someone else to clean up?
I guess what I mean to say is, What’s the difference between ending a relationship and nuking it? Can we still have empowerment and freedom, but without the smoldering hangover?
Hindsight is 20 / 20; Time will tell. The proof is in the Afterword, when the song’s over, when the heart rate drops again, time goes on, accounts are settled, and maybe you meet another special someone. One year later, Icona Pop, do you still Love It?