One of the most powerful things an artist can do is give words to feelings that introverts thought they were alone in experiencing.
Throughout my life, I’ve turned to music for comfort. Growing up as an introvert, I sometimes struggled to speak up, make friends, and find my place in our noisy, extroverted world. Instead, I was the quiet girl in the back of class, earbuds in, scribbling my favorite lyrics, and my own ideas, in the margins of my notebooks.
One of the most powerful things I think an artist can do is give words to feelings that we thought we were alone in experiencing. Nothing is better than discovering an introvert-friendly song that’s written by someone who sees the world in the same way that you do.
While I’ve stumbled across these gems of songs across genres and time periods, here are five current songs that I find especially relatable as an introvert today.
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5 Songs by Female Artists That Speak to Me as an Introvert
1. “The Path” – Lorde
There’s just something about Lorde’s songwriting that I connect to on a spiritual level. Possibly my favorite current artist, Lorde’s also an introvert herself. As she said in a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, “I’m an introvert, a writer — just trying to translate what’s inside my chest.”
I’ve appreciated so many of Lorde’s songs and lyrics over the years, and I relate to many of them for different reasons. “The Path,” the opening track off her most recent album, Solar Power, is one that stands out because it expresses many of her feelings about being an introvert in the spotlight. She describes this as a “teen millionaire having nightmares from the camera flash” who, during the off-seasons between her albums, when she returns to her home in New Zealand to reclaim a life of quiet and normalcy, “won’t take the call if it’s the label or the radio.”
The song also sets the tone for the rest of the album which, among other themes, explores the idea of seeking solitude and quiet reflection in nature — another theme that many introverts will find familiar.
2. “Symphony” – Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers is another artist whose songwriting I love, also for its sensitivity and introspection. She’s described herself as an introverted personality type, saying, “And I’m an extroverted introvert, you know? So, like, I get my energy from being alone, even though I love being with people.” When songwriting, she describes needing quiet time to rest, breathe, and think before she can fully understand what she wants to say.
“Symphony,” off of her 2022 album, Surrender, describes a scene that feels particularly familiar to me as an introvert: spending a quiet evening with that rare, special person who you can feel comfortable and at peace with. She sings, “We could spend the night or an hour watching your favorite show / Take my hand now / Don’t speak so loud / Try your best to forget the world outside your window.”
The singer-songwriter has said that the song is really about “wanting to spend time with the ones you love when the world is crumbling.” That message may especially resonate with introverts who find solace at home and in their closest relationships.
But my favorite refrain in the song comes in the chorus. She sings, “And be here with me / There’s nowhere else I’d rather be / And there’s a symphony / Going on inside my head.” It feels like a beautiful metaphor for the rich and complex inner lives of introverts, bringing to mind this quote I love from Quiet by Susan Cain: “So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet.”
Whether you’re composing a sonnet or a symphony in your head, it takes the power of quiet to be able to do that — something that Rogers seems to understand in her lyrics.
3. “Anti-Hero” – Taylor Swift
When you think of introverts, pop superstar Taylor Swift may be the last person who comes to mind. But even Swift describes needing breaks from the constant social stimulation to recharge. “I’m around people so much. Massive amounts of people,” she told GQ. “So then when I go home… I don’t feel lonely. I’ve just been onstage for two hours, talking to 60,000 people about my feelings. That’s so much social stimulation. When I get home, there is not one part of me that wishes I was around other people.”
Admittedly, not all of the lyrics in the iconic anthem “Anti-Hero” are relatable to me as an introvert. She describes disguising “covert narcissism” as altruism “like some kind of congressman,” which paints an image of a smarmy politician who is highly unlikely to be an introverted type. And introverts might not think of themselves as a larger-than-life “monster on the hill” who is “too big to hang out” — though they might be able to relate to the underlying sentiment of feeling like they don’t quite fit in.
But this song is really about Swift opening up about her self-loathing, insecurities, and what she sees as personal failings — something all of us, introverts and extroverts alike, can relate to.
Overthinking introverts especially may be able to relate to lyrics in the first verse and pre-chorus. Swift describes how “midnights become [her] afternoons,” referring to sleepless nights spent ruminating in self-doubt. In fact, the inspiration behind the entire album, Midnights, was inspired by “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [her] life.” And since introverts are more likely to struggle with sleep quality and wakefulness, many of us likely understand just where she’s coming from.
At any rate, Swift’s self-awareness and introspection is on full display here, and even if introverts can’t relate to every line, we can definitely relate to that type of inward reflection.
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4. “Come Out and Play” – Billie Eilish
Originally written for a holiday ad campaign for Apple, Billie Eilish’s “come out and play” (stylized in lowercase) tells the story of an artist who is incredibly creative, but is hesitant to share her work with the world.
While the song is meant to gently encourage the shy artist to feel more comfortable sharing her work, the lyrics don’t suggest that the narrator wants to change the person. In fact, the singer seems to appreciate the artist’s quiet manner, singing, “When we talk, you say it softly / But I love it when you’re awfully quiet.”
Still, in the chorus, she encourages the artist to share her work with the world, singing, “And I know it makes you nervous / But I promise you, it’s worth it / To show ‘em everything you kept inside / Don’t hide, don’t hide / Too shy to say, but I hope you stay / Don’t hide away / Come out and play.”
These lyrics, paired with Eilish’s gentle voice and soft guitar notes, feel like a loving nudge encouraging introverts to step outside of their comfort zone. The line “Too shy to say, but I hope you stay,” especially, conjures a feeling of warmth and reassurance — even though the artist may be quiet and shy, the narrator meets her with acceptance and inclusion, wanting her to stay and be a part of the group just as she is.
Introverts have so many amazing gifts to share with the world, and this song is a sweet, encouraging reminder to do just that.
5. “Brutal” – Olivia Rodrigo
My angsty teen days are (mostly) behind me, but every once in a while, I hear a song that takes me right back to all of those feelings. Olivia Rodrigo’s “brutal” (stylized in lowercase) — and really, her entire album, Sour, did just that for me.
“Brutal,” in particular, describes the insecurities and feelings of self-doubt and inferiority that come with being a teenage girl. Lines like, “And I don’t stick up for myself / I’m anxious, and nothing can help / And I wish I’d done this before / And I wish people liked me more” could hit home for introverts in particular.
How many of us, while growing up, faced the social anxiety of wishing we were better liked and understood? How many of us struggled to find our voice and gain the confidence to stand up for ourselves in an extroverted world?
In a review of the album, NPR called Rodrigo a “lowercase girl,” referring to the trend of female pop artists to stylize their album and song titles with lowercase letters. (Interestingly, two of the other artists on this list — Billie Eilish, with “come out and play,” and Taylor Swift, with her albums folklore and evermore, also fit into this trend). An excerpt from the NPR review reads:
“But lowercase girls have been there forever, in the back rows of classrooms and the corners of parties, daydreaming, doodling, stockpiling vivid details and observations in the marble notebooks of their minds — waiting for the precise moment to launch them like a carefully crafted dart that punctures everybody else’s apathy and proves just how sharply she has been paying attention… Beware the lowercase girl. Although she is usually overlooked, underestimated, and even ignored, she sometimes turns out to be the one who’s been writing the story all along.”
For me, this perfectly sums up the appeal of all of the songs and artists on this list for introverts like me; whether or not we realize it, and whether or not we’ve ever written anything stylized in all-lowercase letters, many of us are “lowercase girls” ourselves — the ones who may stay quiet in classes or in meetings, noticing the finer details that others miss, composing sonnets or symphonies in our minds.
So I appreciate these songs and artists for telling those stories, weaving lyrics together in a way that hits on these truths and sheds just a little bit of light on what it’s like to see the world from an introvert’s point of view.
You might like:
- 5 Songs You’ll Relate to as an Introvert
- 10 Songs Every Introvert Should Have on Their Playlist
- I Thought I Was Broken. Then I Learned I’m an Introvert.
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