Tove Lo’s “Cool Girl” Lyrics Meaning

“Cool Girl” is a love song presented in the type of unorthodox fashion that only artists like Tove Lo can bring forth.

The narrative is premised on a sense of freedom that she and her partner are enjoying in their romance. This liberty is derived from the two of them ‘not putting a label’ on their association. In other words, they are indeed lovers.  However, their union is devoid of specific titles. And this saves them the burden of having to conform to the norms associated with these titles. And apparently the result of adopting such a mode of operation is their relationship in general being more “fun”.

However, things are not all gravy for her internally. That is to say that Tove may front like she’s a “cool girl” to her lover. But in reality she has serious issues with the way he behaves, apparently due to the selfsame freedom they are enjoying. Or another way to look at it is externally she espouses the idea of this relationship having relatively-few restrictions. But inside she’s disturbed by the manifestation of such, specifically on his part. That is because what she actually desires is a deep, committed love. This is the underlying sentiment that comes forth via the elaborate symbolism used during the bridge.

Overall Theme of “Cool Girl”

So the overall theme of this song is basically the singer playing a certain type of “cool”, as in reserved, role. She does this because she deems such to be beneficial to the functioning of her relationship. However, deep down inside, to the contrary, she wants to passionately give her all to this romance. That is to say that this selfsame game she’s playing is, in a roundabout way, one of the factors preventing her from doing such. And this is not only due to her own reservations but also the actions of her partner, who as a result is less compelled to relate to her within certain established relationship guidelines.

Lyrics of "Cool Girl"

Tove Lo’s own words about this song

In an interview she had with, Tove Lo shed light on the inspiration behind this track. And here’s what she had to say about “Cool Girl”:

Tove Lo talks about "Cool Girl"

Facts about “Cool Girl”

  • This song charted throughout North America, Europe and Oceania. It peaked at number 84 on the United States’ Billboard Hot 100. In Britain, it got to the 46th position on the UK Singles Chart.
  • The song also made an appearance on Sverigetopplistan in Tove Lo’s home country of Sweden, reaching number 15 on that list.
  • In 2016, fellow music superstar Lorde referred to Tove Lo’s “Cool Girl” as “the pop song of the summer”.
  • Island Records released “Cool Girl” as the lead single from Tove Lo’s Lady Wood album on 4 August 2016.
  • Tove Lo’s frequent collaborators The Struts handled both production and writing responsibilities on this track, with the singer herself also contributing to its lyrical composition. The Struts is a Swedish production duo made up of Jakob Jerlstrom along with his music partner Ludwig Soderberg. In addition to “Cool Girl”, the duo has co-created many Tove Lo hits, including “Habits (Stay High)” and “Talking Body”.
  • The inspiration for Tove Lo to pen “Cool Girl” came from a certain scene in the 2014 psychological thriller Gone Girl. In this particular scene, the main character, Amy (played by Rosamund Pike) made statements alluding to the personal sacrifices she has made in the name of pleasing her lover.
  • The music video to “Cool Girl” was directed by noted Swedish director Tim Erem and released on 19 August 2016.

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1 Response

  1. Sabrina says:

    In this song, Tove Lo calls herself a “Cool Girl” because she is trying to prove to her partner that she can also the play the game of not being sentimental. As the lyrics suggest, her partner seems to be in the gray phase where he does not want to be fully committed to the relationship.

    She begins the song by describing how she is not concerned about his stance in their relationship. She gives him the freedom to ‘run free’ which signifies checking out other girls, as well as not considering a long-term affair because she, just like he’s portraying, doesn’t really care about their romance. The singer suggests that she is satisfied with them having an open relationship where there are no clear rules, no questions, and everybody gets to do whatever they want. She states she wants to have his privileges, as it is common for men to be promiscuous but not for women. In essence, she wants to be able to flirt and go around with anyone without any restrictions just as he is doing.

    In the chorus, Tove emphasizes on how cool she is. Considering the fact that she rolls her eyes, it is likely that she is only pretending to behave this way to please him. It is also possible that this guy is only interested in ice queens, thus she acts like one who does not really care in order to earn his love and attention. This is clearer in the bridge where she reveals that she is actually the type of girl that wants a real bond and a passionate relationship. Here, she uses metaphors like fevers, boiling blood and fire as opposed to the “cool” nature she is playing through the song. In the end, the artist is simply being ironic in this story. Although she is just going with his game, she is well aware that it is useless to act this way if you really want to be with someone. As seen in the outro, she stresses that she’s too cool for him, insinuating that he’s not worth her pretense.

    Speaking to the Rolling Stone, Tove Lo explained that the song depicts that she is totally cool with the gray area of relationships when both partners are not fully committed to each other and just want to have fun. In the bridge however, she discloses how she wants to feel a certain kind of fire and have a true connection.

    The artiste has revealed that she was inspired to write “Cool Girl” after seeing a scene from 2014 movie Gone Girl where Rosamund Pike’s character went from playing victim of love to psycho. She added that she was trying to understand the reason people put up pretenses just to make someone fall in love with them when they certainly cannot fake it their whole lives.

    Tove Lo also expressed in a BBC interview that causing someone you like to feel insecure is rather stupid because having an open heart and being honest requires more strength. Thus, she is being sarcastic in this particular song.


    Tove Lo’s “Cool Girl” depicts the games people often play in relationships, such as believing that you have more control and power when you’re less attached emotionally. While the singer appears to be in support of such games, she is ironically implying that both parties actually need to feel something real instead of pretending just to gain advantage.

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