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Songs With the Same Energy As “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

No matter how often you listen to the radio or browse social media, odds are that you’ve come across Steve Lacy’s new single “Bad Habit.” After being released on June 29, this is the second single off of Lacy’s new album “Gemini Rights,” set to release on July 15.

In fact, Lacy notably gained his first spot on Billboard Hot 100 as a recording artist with “Bad Habit” (Billboard). Not to mention Lacy has achieved great success as a member of The Internet and a co-producer alongside artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and Vampire Weekend.

What makes “Bad Habit” such an enticing song, other than the catchy tempo and vocals, is the theme of what could have been through lyrics of nostalgia and lost love. Throughout the song, Lacy repeats “I wish I knew you wanted me” in the intro, post-chorus and bridge.

It’s in our human nature to question the duality of life. Every decision you make ultimately gives you an opportunity just as much as it takes away one. Throughout “Bad Habit,” Lacy explores the idea of a new life if he pursued someone, had he known that they were interested in him.

If you’re feeling retrospective, here are some other songs with similar themes and lyrics:


In my opinion, “Solo” is a song being told from the perspective of somebody who did pursue another person on the basis that they were mutually interested. However, in this case, the relationship failed to succeed.

Ocean even says they “think we were better off solo,” which indicates that sense of failure between the two parties. This song shows that daydreaming of what could have been is often romanticized to an unrealistic extent.


“The 1” absorbs every feeling you’ve had about a lost love into a song that you can sing (or cry) to. Swift explores another life, one in which she continued to pursue a dream with a past partner: “and if my wishes came true, it would’ve been you.”

Some of the best lyrics, “you know the greatest loves of all time are over now,” suggest that lost love is inevitable. But, as Swift contemplates another potential life with her past lover, she apologizes for “digging up the grave” and for not “leaving well enough alone.”


Throughout “Garden Song,” Bridgers sings about her ideal love from the perspective of her younger self. The song starts with a description of where Bridgers’ lover lives, “a house up on the hill” in her hometown of Pasadena, CA. She continues to describe moments of her youth as jumping a fence and having dreams about sex.

We can see that growing “taller” is referenced throughout the song as well, which likely has to do with Bridgers’ emotional and physical growth. As she matures, she realizes that her wishes as a 17-year-old aren’t in her best interest. She even says that she has “everything” she ever wanted, yet her resentment makes her reflect on her past decisions.

“Francis forever” by mitski

As the queen of sad-girl music, there’s no surprise that most of Mitski’s songs reflect on former lovers and her desire to be with them.

In “Francis Forever,” Mitski tries to move on from a former lover but fails as she continues to live for them instead of herself. For instance, she tries to move on by “walking” on a “tree-lined street,” but feels the need to be somewhere where her past lover can watch her from a distance: “I don’t think I can stand to be where you don’t see me.”

“Francis Forever” encloses the false desire to lead a new life away from a former partner.


While “Punisher” isn’t necessarily about a former lover or partner, it relates to the theme of potential relationships. Bridgers originally wrote this song about Elliot Smith, who inspired her to pursue her career as a singer-songwriter. However, since Smith tragically passed away in 2003, Bridgers never had (and will never have) the opportunity to meet Smith.

That being said, Bridgers asks “what if I told you I feel like I know you?” Yet, her own self-doubt, she follows up with “it’s for the best.”

I enjoy this song because it allows you to be retrospective without changing your current life. Personally, I believe that everything happens for a reason and we shouldn’t wish for anything in the past to have changed. However, as Bridgers does, it’s okay to reflect back on our lives and think about other outcomes.

“Lover, you should’ve come over ” BY jeff buckley

A beautifully-written song, Buckley grieves in “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” about his lover who did not forgive him. Buckley also explains how he will remain where he’s always been for eternity as he waits for her to “come over.”

His desperation is apparent throughout the song, especially in the lines “my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder” and “it’s not too late.”

I decided to include this song because it shows how miserable some may be as they wait for a potential lover to return. All in all, it’s up to you to decide if that misery is worthwhile.

While these songs aren’t identical to “Bad Habit,” they certainly explore similar themes and questions. Once again, congratulations to Lacy for securing a spot on Billboard Hot 100! I look forward to hearing the rest of “Gemini Rights” on July 15.

Arden Ericson will graduate Penn State in May of 2023. As one of the Campus Correspondents for Her Campus at PSU, she is a double-major in Public Relations and French Language. After graduation, she will pursue a career that combines her passion for educational equity, social justice and French.