Stckhlm Syndrome (Interlude)

Album: High Expectations (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • The youngest daughter of singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry and producer Cameron McVey, Mabel spent much of her childhood in her mum's home city of Stockholm, Sweden. Though appreciating the city's beauty, the teenage Mabel felt stifled and longed to escape to somewhere where there was more diversity. During this 1990s R&B-influenced slow jam, Mabel compares Stockholm to a toxic relationship where her lover is holding her hostage. Despite this, she's fallen in love with her captor.

    Always find a place to put your hands on
    Keepin' me on hold like a ransom
    You get away with murder 'cause you handsome
    Stockholm syndrome, baby, that's the truth


    Stockholm syndrome is a term dating from the 1970s referring to the observed tendency of hostages showing an irrational attachment to their captors. The phenomenon takes its name from a robbery of the Sveiges Keditbank in Stockholm, in 1973, which went wrong and turned into a hostage crisis; during this period the hostages begin to sympathize with their captors.
  • Other artists that have recorded songs titled after Stockholm syndrome include blink-182, Muse and One Direction.
  • Mabel did escape Stockholm after moving to London. She explained to The Sun why it was important for her to leave the Swedish capital.

    "It's a great city but it's safe - it keeps you safe in a box and encourages conformity. I'm multicultural: My dad is from London and my mum is half-Sierra Leonean, half-Swedish. I don't have a conventional family as my parents are musicians and travel a lot, so I felt kind of alien. In Sweden we have the word 'lagom' which means 'not too much and not too little.' Everything has to be in the middle. You shouldn't be too loud or too quiet and this stopped my creativity. I needed to go somewhere that is a little bit wilder and crazier."

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