It’s not that 2022 was a bad year. It was just a big ole life lesson nobody asked for but definitely needed.
There’s one album, among many, with gut-wrenching song lyrics that helped me survive the chaos of this year: How to Let Go by Sigrid. Released in early May of 2022, this album is 38 minutes of pure perfection. I wanted to honor and celebrate all that this album has done for me by taking a quick deep dive into each song. I want to share my favorite lyrics (from Spotify via Musixmatch) and explore my personal meaning of them.
1. it gets dark
Yeah, they’re sayin’ I’m insane ’cause I wanna go to space
And leave it all behind, and leave it all behind
I (I) I’ve never been this far away from home, and now I know
It gets dark, yeah, it gets dark and I
I’m movin’ at the speed of light, I have to go
In my head, it means you can’t get the good without endearing the bad. It’s also a literal translation for my feelings with moving eight hours from home and going across the country by myself.
2. burning bridges
I thought this would be my song of the year on Spotify; at the beginning of June, I literally recorded myself dancing to it to remember how much I love this song/the emotions I felt at the time.
Sometimes you just can’t fix it
You love somebody, love somebody
But you gotta let ’em go
Before you go down with them
Can’t love somebody who loves burning bridges
Cause it tore me apart
Tryna hold us together
I mean… it’s very obvious what this song is about, and the lyrics helped me overcome a lot of heartache from numerous relationships this year.
3. risk of getting hurt
I’d rather break than play it safe with my emotions
I’d rather say too much than leave a word unspoken
This is a goal; if I keep listening to the heart on my sleeve and try to avoid the risk, I’ll miss out on something great. If it ends poorly, I would’ve at least gotten a lesson from it.
4. thank me later
I need to let you go (let you go), let you go (let you go)
‘Cause when you know, you know
And it’s hurting right now but you’ll thank me later
The song as a whole is obviously about letting go of a romantic love, but I used the song to help me cope with leaving my hardware retail job… twice.
Ugh, this is one of the best songs on this already phenomenal album.
I think you met me at a strange time and you anchored me
I felt anonoymous
And you were someone who reminded me who I used to be
* I took a lot of steps back during the first half of the year, to the point where I cried every single day because I didn’t recognize myself.
‘Cause it took me walking away to really know
I love who I see looking at me
In the mirror, in the mirror
I couldn’t play pretend
And I’m sorry that you had to pay the consequences
* I’m sorry BJ.
This is another song that helped me overcome the heartache and heartbreak of the year, but it also helped with my self-love journey, which took a big hit with the new relationships ending so quickly.
6. last to know
I just changed, I never pretended
I found me after we ended
A very specific familial relationship comes to mind when I hear this song, and all I can say are the lyrics speak for themselves.
Wake up and I reach for you so naturally
I’m in a technicolor dream every day and night
This song is why I spent most of my nights cuddling my squishmellow. It made me feel more lonely than I already did and increased my desire to be loved.
8. a driver saved my night
Listen and the clouds are lifting
I look at me different with every note
Each line sounds like it was read right
Right out of my mind how do they know?
This perfectly describes my relationship with music and just how much it’s done for me. It’s kind of scary and beautiful when a song perfectly depicts whatever is going on inside my head or in my life.
9. mistake like you
I dimmed my light and you went brighter
I just think that anyone would be lucky to
Make just one mistake like you
I learned to always trust myself and
Never diminish any strength or
To rearrange or shift my shape for
I dumbed myself down to be in relationships that were ultimately really bad for me, and it took those ending in both mutual and tragic ways for me to recognize that.
Also, there’s so much good and growth that comes from being in then leaving a relationship that’s bad for you. I get a little teary-eyed when I listen to this song; I’m honestly grateful for all of my mistakes.
10. bad life ft. Bring Me the Horizon
Like a band-aid on a bleeding heart, I fake a smile and fall apart
And no one ever knows I’m a wreck
So tonight I’ll go to war with me
‘Cause I’m my own worst enemy
I wouldn’t say I’m the queen of seeming like everything is okay when all is falling apart, but it’s definitely a façade I put up the most.
This is the song that I listen to the least, but there is one lyric that hits home every single time it shows up in this song:
How do you know when the love goes?
12. high note
I’m too young to worry now
I got so much more to do
But when I run out of time
I wanna know I’ve seen it through
When I go
I wanna go out on a high note
Death was a frequent conversation this year, so I’ve thought a lot about how I want to leave this planet and what I want to leave behind with my legacy (definitely this blog).
Thank you to Sigrid for creating the perfect album to both sum up and help me survive the year that was 2022.
To anyone looking for new music, you need to listen to How to Let Go by Sigrid.