YOU DON'T GO AWAY
HIGHWAY TO YOUR HEART
While working on the songs that became 2022’s EYEYE, indie-pop singer Lykke Li found herself following a pattern she’d followed before: taking personal heartbreak and turning it into an album. She didn’t want to repeat herself, but she also found it interesting, in a way, that she was. So instead of scrapping the project, she turned her fixation into a kind of organizing principle: heartbreak music about the tropes of heartbreak music made by someone obsessed with heartbreak music.
It’s an arty conceit, but you sense it was liberating: Where 2018’s so sad so sexy seemed occupied with covering the range and diversity of modern pop, EYEYE surrenders almost completely to its mood—a quality that gives the album an almost dreamlike consistency, filled with familiar images of dark roads (“HIGHWAY TO YOUR HEART”) and empty rooms (“NO HOTEL”), New Agey choral music (“CAROUSEL”) and ’80s ballads smoking with dry ice (“YOU DON’T GO AWAY”), beautiful and weightless throughout. “Is it only in the movies you love me?” she wonders on “5D.” And there’s the album’s realest heartbreak: Sometimes art feels more vivid than life.