Anyone working in the retail or restaurant industry knows how terrible those jobs can be. Many songs have been written about the shittiness of working for people who don’t care about you, but rarely has such a song sounded so serene. Kirsten Ludwig’s synth-infused folk music is an ideal vessel for this idea—the rage of a server directed in the calmest possible manner.
Make that the rage of a woman who would rather be doing anything but this serving job. “The corners of my smile are taped to my cheeks,” Ludwig sings to begin the song. The sentiments throughout the track are simple but powerful (“I don’t want to serve you/But I’ve got bills and wasted time”). The song even finds time for a guitar solo and a crescendo before hammering home its thesis: “Dealing with these strangers/Who look at us like servants.”
At face value there is no explicit anger heard in the gentle music nor Ludwig’s vocals, but there’s palpable anger simmering beneath the surface, and that’s why “Wasted Time” is such an irresistible song.