“Wish You Were Dead”: London’s Lola Young Channels Passion & Toxicity into a Hot, Sweaty Fever Dream

Lola Young © Amy Peskett
Lola Young © Amy Peskett
English singer/songwriter Lola Young enters a bold new era this year with music that is as unapologetic as it is uncompromising and unfiltered; to celebrate, she sat down with Atwood Magazine to discuss the raw passion and undeniable toxicity at the heart of her hot, sweaty, and emotionally-charged single, “Wish You Were Dead.”
Stream: “Wish You Were Dead” – Lola Young




The scene opens on a mess in progress.

Can you come around? F**k me nice,” Lola Young sings, her aching voice hot on the mic as she lights a cathartic, carnal fire. “Pull my hair… Sing me lullabies… And we can pretend that we’re in love.” Her words are provocative, full of both passion and pain as she reflects candidly on a situationship that – very clearly – isn’t right.

But we don’t always see clearly in the heat of the moment, and it’s easy to mistake toxicity for love. Rising with a tender fury, Young’s new single “Wish You Were Dead” is an emotionally-charged fever dream laying bare all those emotions that boil inside, burning us from within until they come spilling out in a raging frenzy.

It’s a song of inner and outer friction; of unrelenting turbulence and undeniable trauma.

And it’s a song she had no choice but to write – a release that was coming, whether she liked it or not.

Wish You Were Dead - Lola Young
Wish You Were Dead – Lola Young
We can pretend that we’re in love
Until I throw a punch
You call me a c***
And that tips me over the edge
Ha, you throw my phone out the window
The next thing the neighbor
said she’s calling the feds
And I wish you were dead
For a sec, I wish you were dead
I wish you were dead

Put out at the top of this year, “Wish You Were Dead” is Lola Young’s first single of 2024, and a truly dramatic, all-consuming eruption from tense, intimate, and achingly raw depths. The follow-up to last September’s “Conceited” sees the BRIT-nominated, 23-year-old English singer/songwriter continuing to plunder her soul, building upon the foundations of last year’s debut album My Mind Wanders and Sometimes Leaves Completely, while at the same time completely throwing out the script and starting again.

Not to say her first LP isn’t an outstanding feat in its own right – it remains a stunning and absolutely singular listening experience – but Young’s fearlessness in the face of her own growth and change is equally remarkable. She holds nothing back in “Wish You Were Dead,” rising steadily to a climactic fever pitch as she builds out this image of a fraught, fractured relationship held together by sex and loose stitches:

But then you come around
At ten p.m., we watch TV
And break a bit
And we can pretend that we’re in love
We can pretend that we’re in love
Until I throw a punch
You call me a c***
And that tips me over the edge
Ha, you throw my phone out the window
The next thing the neighbor said she’s calling the feds
And I wish you were dead
For a sec, I wish you were dead
I wish you were dead
Lola Young © Amy Peskett
Lola Young © Amy Peskett

For Young herself, writing and recording this song gave her a kind of clarity about her now-ex that she simply didn’t have before.

“It definitely was a release for me, and meant that I could unfold some things about myself and my ex-partner, and learn some things about my relationship I didn’t quite know before,” she recalls.

And for those who hear this song, and see parallels in their own lives?

“Be kind to yourself,” Young says. “Remember relationships aren’t the be all and end all of life, learn to love yourself first, and also remember that mistaking passion and toxicity for love is never the way forward.”

You come around
f*** me nice
Pull my hair
Sing me lullabies
Until I throw a punch
You call me a c***
And that tips me over the edge
Ha, you throw my phone out the window
The next thing the neighbor said she’s calling the feds
And I wish you were dead…

Atwood Magazine caught up with Lola Young earlier this year to get under the hood of her fiery, utterly irresistible new music. Dive into “Wish You Were Dead” and more in our interview below, and listen both that and Young’s latest single, the tender, aching “Intrusive Thoughts,” both of which are out now!

One thing we know is sure: As Lola Young’s star continues to rise, she’ll be taking us along for the ride of a lifetime. As chilling as it is charged, “Wish You Were Dead” marks the beginning of a bold new era as the artist leans more than ever into herself, trusting her gut in making music that is truly unapologetic, uncompromising, unfiltered, and unstoppable.

— —

:: stream/purchase Wish You Were Dead here ::
:: connect with Lola Young here ::
Lola Young © Amy Peskett
Lola Young © Amy Peskett



A CONVERSATION WITH LOLA YOUNG

Wish You Were Dead - Lola Young

Atwood Magazine: Lola, it’s great to be catching up – and happy new year! Not sure if you subscribe to this kind of thinking, but do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2024?

Lola Young: I don’t like to make too many new year’s resolutions as I will most likely look back and feel rubbish if I don’t complete them… but I want to try and make two albums of music this year that I’m really proud of, and maybe try and quit vaping! [laughs]

It’s been 8 months since the release of your sophomore LP, My Mind Wanders and Sometimes Leaves Completely. What is your relationship like with that record, and how has that changed since it came out? Do these songs still resonate with you?

Lola Young: My Mind Wanders and Sometimes Leaves Completely is a project I’m super proud of and always will be, of course I sometimes look back and wish I could’ve done things slightly differently in terms of specific vocal choices or whatever, but in general they still massively resonate with all of the songs on the project.

“Don’t Hate Me” has emerged as a runaway hit - congratulations! To what do you owe that song’s success? What do you think listeners are connecting with in that song, and what excites you personally about it?

Lola Young: “Don’t Hate Me” is a fun, honest track, I think people like its simplicity and raw vocal and slight punk unapologetic energy. I love it too probably for that same reason.

You really wasted no time in coming back last autumn with “Conceited,” and I have to give you props - when so many artists will often wait years to release music, you don’t hold back. It makes music feel more authentic and less like a game. What’s the significance of this song, for you?

Lola Young: Thank you, I really appreciate that. This song is more for me about coming back with a striking sound that feels new to me. It has an uplifting feel, yet underlying it’s got a bit of spite, and sonically its the most unique style I’ve played with for sure.

This brings us to “Wish You Were Dead,” a gritty, soulful seduction. Was this song inspired by a true story, and do you mind sharing what transpired?

Lola Young: Relationships can get out of hand, and this is my way of expressing it… I feel as if my previous relationship became slightly toxic and unhealthy, I therefore wanted to create a song that talks about that in a way that sheds light on both sides of an uncomfortable feeling.

Can you come around? F*** me nice? Pull my hair? Sing me lullabies?” It’s a provocative entrance, and one that instantly has me hooked. What was your experience like writing this song, and why did you choose to open this way?

Lola Young: It’s a statement; I like being clear when writing lyrics, and a bold lyric is write up my street.

I’m taken by the line, “We can pretend that we’re in love.” What does it mean, to pretend, in this context?

Lola Young: I’m using sex as a way to hide and mask the truth, as there was a lack of love and respect within the relationship, that’s what I mean by pretend!

Obviously the chorus of this song captures the raw heat of a domestic fight, and this tension we can all too often feel in relationships. What have you learned, from your own experiences, in terms of how to best navigate these situations? What are some of your do’s and don’ts?

Lola Young: I would recommend therapy to be honest – as much as that genuinely sounds like a piss-take, I think that everybody has room for inner improvement and looking within one’s self is so important to help navigate different obstacles in relationships.

Music can help us to wake up and realize things about ourselves that we were previously unaware of. To anyone hearing this song and thinking, “hey that’s me,” what advice or message do you have for them?

Lola Young: Be kind to yourself, remember relationships aren’t the be all and end all of life, learn to love yourself first, and also remember that mistaking passion and toxicity for love is never the way forward.

Lola Young © Amy Peskett
Lola Young © Amy Peskett

This song feels like it was cathartic to make. Was it - did you yourself release something you’d been holding onto, in the process of writing and recording it?

Lola Young: It definitely was a release for me, and meant that I could unfold some things about myself and my ex-partner, and learn some things about my relationship I didn’t quite know before.

To the reader who’s just discovering Lola Young today via this song or interview, what do you want them to know about who you are and what your music is all about?

Lola Young: Don’t take me too seriously, but please take my music seriously [laughs] – it’s all I have and all I care about! Listen and try and feel something, whatever it is that may be.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you? What’s one of your “fun facts”?

Lola Young: I’m not super fun [laughs] – there’s not many super interesting fun facts about me – although I have more shoes than brain cells!

Lola Young © Amy Peskett
Lola Young © Amy Peskett

What do you hope listeners take away from your new music, and what have you yourself taken away from making it and now putting it out?

Lola Young: I guess that I am starting to find who I am and what I’m about as I grow up – and the more I release, the clearer that becomes. I hope people can do the same, with some of my music as the soundtrack.

In the spirit of paying it forward, who are you listening to these days that you would recommend to our readers?

Lola Young: I love Sza of course, Frank Ocean and all the best, but some cool stuff I’ve been loving as of recent are a band called Pinegrove, I’ve been loving Yeat, Molly Payton, Current Joys, Men I Trust, and Jordan Ward!

— —

:: stream/purchase Wish You Were Dead here ::
:: connect with Lola Young here ::
Stream: “Wish You Were Dead” – Lola Young



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Wish You Were Dead - Lola Young

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? © Amy Peskett

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