No one is likely answering any booty calls these days, but when everything gets back to normal and hearts commence crushing, Girl in Red has the track for you: “Midnight Love.” The song, out Tuesday, is a contender for the classiest ode to fuck buddies ever written.
“I know I don’t want to/be the one that you run to/when you got nowhere else to go,” Marie Ulven sings in a hushed, husky voice over finger-plucked strings and sparse guitar. Double-tracked vocals crescendo into the chorus: “I can’t be your midnight love/When your silver is my gold.” The romantic tone of the lyrics is somehow childlike — it sounds like an idealized relationship, even if it is just physical. It also has a touch of the world-weary: “I know I’m the last one/you try to call/but I always give in/to give you it all.”
Girl in Red straddles the line between Billie Eilish’s ferocious malaise and Lorde’s smooth, strange sophisti-pop. As such, “Midnight Love” is the ideal song for marinating in your romantic failures while also rallying: “I’m not your consolation prize,” as Ulven sings.
Still, it’s not as if she learns her lesson by the song’s end. She reaches her peak, wailing, “In this light/I swear I’m blind/In this light/I swear you’re mine,” before adding the echo-soaked intonation: “I can’t be your second-best/close but not your favorite/I keep going back for more/when there’s nothing from before.” The song then peters out, a problem left unsolved.
Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.