On “Bad Bird,” Swedish duo lennixx sounds defiant. Over skittering percussive flicker and glacier-cold synth burps and hisses, Hanna Larsson and Andrea Kallström stand their ground against toxic exes, and the pair’s assertive cocktail of R&B and electronic music provides an appropriately direct vehicle for the no-bullshit stance the two take.

Although “Bad Bird” opens innocuously enough (“I can’t pretend/that we’ve never been friends”), it soon showcases a wholly resolute, borderline aggressive stance (“Won’t stand how you spit on my name”). By the time the song’s chorus arrives, the track’s protagonist has displayed sneering apathy, winking braggadocio, and downright ire towards its antagonist (“I could care less about anything you say about me”; “You say I was your best pleasure”; “I’ve been constantly reminded you’re more childish”). Yet for all the protagonist says to move past her overtly toxic relationship on “Bad Bird,” she knows that her grievances are valid enough that her ex shouldn’t even have the privilege of hearing them: “I don’t need to say more/It will never be us.”

Instead of existing to remind toxic exes that their behavior is indeed shitty, “Bad Bird” functions as a rallying cry for the many people who have dealt with emotional manipulation, or even abuse, from a partner. Had lennixx opted for a mournful, somber approach to grounding this toxic ex into a fine powder, it might have given listeners a song to listen to by candlelight, alone behind locked doors, sobbing over a plethora of trauma. Instead, “Bad Bird” is the sort of self-empowerment anthem destined for blasting before a night out at the club, where that next significant other might just be waiting. Until that new, healthy relationship is found, “Bad Bird” is here to fill that void, that anger, that resentment with a thorough dose of truth, assertion, dogma, and realization.

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