Above a house-y beat, Tove Lo repeats “I’m a cool girl” for the chorus, dissecting varying roles and expectations in casual relationships. The title and chorus were inspired, however, from a darker place than the relationship she’s describing.
“I got the first inspiration from the Gone Girl movie,” she tells Rolling Stone. “She’s gone full psycho, and she’s sitting there talking about ‘He wanted a cool girl, so I ate pizza. I drank beer. I made a size two. I didn’t give a fuck that he checked out other women.’ I was thinking about it, and it’s really true. Why do we try to be someone we’re not to make someone love us? Would you want to fake yourself for the rest of your life? That’s fucked up. Even though she’s creepy, I kind of thought it was funny that it’s just very common to see that.”
As for the personal influence, Tove Lo cites the “gray area” from relationships; the point where both parties are playing the game, but not fully in love with each other.
“I’m totally fine with the gray area,” she explains. “That’s usually where it’s effortless. [In the song], I can tell that he’s trying to play this game with me, and I’m like ‘Yeah, go ahead. Do your thing. I’m being chill.’ But then in the bridge, I reveal that’s not what I want. I want to have a fire. I want to feel that.”
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More details about the Swedish pop star’s follow-up to her 2014 debut Queen of the Clouds will be revealed this month.