MISSING U – ROBYN | the Swedish pop singer has made a comeback to the stage…

is a cut from her forthcoming album, her first in eight years, and it appears in the clip at the 4:52 mark.

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At first glance, it might seem like Robyn’s heartfelt and brilliant new single, “Missing U,” fits squarely into the current era of bright synthesizers and depressive lyrics. But Robyn’s not following the trend here — she helped start it. Indeed, she was one of the central architects of this pop moment. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than the pop world has been flattering Robyn for some quite some time.

This was the prelude to the official release of the single “Missing U” Aug. 1. Sonically, the song picks up exactly where she left off with “Body Talk.” It starts with a swirling arpeggiator that circles around a vast space. A stinger hist just before Robyn’s voice hits. It feels like a proper beginning. Then comes the four-on-the-floor beat. On top of that, a stuttering synth subdivides the beat to keep it interesting. That’s two out of the three elements: a thumping bass and a sweeping synth.

Co-produced and co-written with Robyn’s longtime collaborator Klas Åhlund and Metronomy’s Joseph Mount, the song could be directed at a lover who left, if that’s what listeners need to hear, but its respectful gravity—“all the love you gave still defines me,” she sings—suggests it is about someone who has disappeared not by choice. In a recent live interview, Robyn spoke poignantly about the loss of her friend and collaborator Christian Falk, whose work she carried through with the posthumous release of their EP as La Bagatelle Magique (along with Markus Jägerstedt), 2015’s Love Is Free. “Missing U” is, by Robyn’s own estimation, “a little bit of a message to [her] fans,” but it’s undeniable that the hurt that permeates this quietly masterful song is one that is quite real to her.

In a rare recent interview, Robyn indicated that she was trying to strip down the sounds on her forthcoming eighth album, which has been due for… well, eight years, as far as fans are concerned. But the only minimalist in “Missing You” is in the percussion – it’s basically the sound of a bass drum being struck steadily for pretty much the entire 4 minutes and 51 seconds.

[Verse 1]
Baby, it’s so real to me now that it’s over
The space where you used to be
Your head on my shoulder
All of the plans we made that never happened
Now your scent on my pillow’s faded
At least you left me with something

[Chorus]
There’s this empty space you left behind
Now you’re not here with me
I keep digging through our waste of time
But the picture’s incomplete
There’s this empty space you left behind
Now you’re not here with me
I keep digging through our waste of time
But the picture’s incomplete
‘Cause I’m missing you
I miss you

[Verse 2]
Can’t make sense of all of the pieces
Of my own delusions
Can’t take all these memories
Don’t know how to use ‘em
There’s a slick washed up onto the beach
I follow the traces
Finding clues in my pockets and opening boxes
And going places we went
Remember to forget
Thinking how it could been
I’ve turned all my sorrow into glass
It don’t leave no shadow

 

 

[Chorus]
There’s this empty space you left behind
Now you’re not here with me
I keep digging through our waste of time
But the picture’s incomplete
There’s this empty space you left behind
Now you’re not here with me
I keep digging through our waste of time
But the picture’s incomplete
‘Cause I’m missing you
I miss you

[Bridge]
(I miss you)
This part of you, this clock that stopped
This residue, it’s all I’ve got
(I miss you)
This part of you, this clock that stopped
(Clock that stopped)
This residue (It’s all I got)
It’s all I’ve got

[Outro]
There’s this empty space you left behind
(This part of you, this clock that stopped)
I keep thinking you’re still right beside me
(This residue, it’s all I got)
You’re still there
There’s this empty space you left behind
(This part of you, this clock that stopped)
All the love you gave, it still defines me
There’s this empty space you left behind
I keep thinking you’re still right beside me
There’s this empty space you left behind
I keep thinking you’re still right beside me
There’s this empty space you left behind
All the love you gave, it still defines me

Robyn’s popularity and attendant fandom exploded in 2010, when she released three career-defining albums back to back: The Body Talk series, comprising two “mini albums,” subtitled Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, and one longer album, called simply Body Talk, that compiled songs from parts one and two alongside five new tracks. Altogether, the Body Talk era was responsible for around two dozen excellent, critically acclaimed dance songs, which became the crown jewels of a discography that also includes earlier hits like 2007’s “Handle Me” and her 1997 Total Request Live-era breakthrough “Show Me Love.”


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