For Algorithmic Perfection, All You Need Is Tove Styrke and Ritual’s New Single

This bittersweet song was made for the dance floor.

@blakexcharles/Tove Styrke/Twitter

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

This week: “Love Me Back” by Ritual and Tove Styrke (Island Records, 2019)

Why we’re into it: This classic electronic-pop track is a master class in contrasting melancholy lyrics with upbeat production.

Look, this song may sound exactly like “Closer” 2.0 in the way that it mirrors its rhythms and contains the similar snaps and drops that made the Halsey hit. Still, “Love Me Back” exceeds where “Closer” fell short. In this single, all of its beats—the melody, the lyrics, the rhythm, and the delivery—hit all the points from start to finish.

Tove Styrke—who had the best album of 2018—is a big reason for that. Her unique energy flows through the verses, turning the lyrics into something felt rather than heard. The emotion and subtlety that make her own songs so satisfying have been evident in “Talk to Me” and “Good Vibes,” and are fully revealed in “Love Me Back.”

Even though Ritual doesn’t add much vocally, with his generic-sounding male contribution, musically the background sound pops. Like “Closer,” it builds concisely and with certainty, building up to a finale that is made for the dance floor.

Listen carefully as the narrative duality unfolds; a somber track in tension with upbeat production are the elements of a classic pop music hit. And it’s all here. “I saw this all play out/I should’ve stopped/We should’ve talked/You should’ve left me.” Sometimes two dueling tones can feel incomplete, neither doing the other much justice. This isn’t the case with “Love Me Back,” where the pathos and the pleasure are in a perfect balance.

Honorable mentions: Julia Michaels’ wondrous new EP, Inner Monologue Part 1; Charlotte Cardin’s sexy new single, “Drive;” and Florence and the Machine’s soulful throwback, “Moderation.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate