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Lykke Li’s “Highway to Your Heart”: Road Trip to Lost Love

LKL

“Highway to Your Heart” is a melancholy ballad about the complexity of love and loss. Lykke Li translates the feelings of longing and hopelessness into an ethereal track that evokes deep emotion. It’s like the musical representation of the long cry you have after a tumultuous romance comes to an end. 

The harmonies are so beautiful, it’s something I could imagine being sung by a choir. If the lyrics weren’t so sad, I would say it’s a fitting song to accompany someone moving on to the afterlife. The vocals are soul-touching and lifting, but the subject matter is quite dismal. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that it replicates an out of body experience, but the kind you experience when trying to escape deep sadness.

Spun around your side for so long / Must have read all the signs wrong

This is the cry of someone who has been strung along, holding on to vague signs of interest from someone they are deeply in love with. It’s the kind of relationship where one person is giving everything they have, and the other person is oblivious to what it really means. You’re left wishing you had a step-by-step guide to the inner workings of their mind, so you could make sense of your relationship. The title is so fitting, don’t we all wish we had a highway to the heart of the person we desire? Often, we end up going on a trip to heartbreak instead.

Night falls and it, it rains and I wake up alone / Get high, but it won’t last, I’m still alone

Here Li touches on the next phase of heartbreak — the aftermath. At this point, there is confirmation that the love will never work out, and all you’re left with are the memories and the damage. This is the point when you realize that all of the energy you put into someone was wasted. These lines make me think of watering a plant for months just to have it die in the end. It’s all so relatable; listening to this in a dark room at night would surely move some people to tears.

The second part of this line will hit harder for anyone who has turned to substances to numb the pain. Li is not wrong — the fix is only temporary and the pain always creeps back in when you sober up. This part sounded like a cry for help; it really stuck with me. 

And it hurts your heart’s not ready / Wanna know, wanna know / Will our love always stay freewheeling?

It’s very difficult loving someone who isn’t sure about their feelings. Even worse is loving someone who is sure that they don’t feel the same way about you. Again, you can get strung along for so long just holding on to hope. Many hours are spent wondering if you will be in the same place forever, or whether you’ll ever be exclusive. 

While the production of “Highway to Your Heart” is beautiful, the songwriting is what hits home. Lykke Li wrote her lyrics carefully to convey a type of heartbreak that many of us have been damaged by. This song feels like an emotional band-aid for the wounds we have. 

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