An Age of (Re)discovery: ‘Duvet’ by bôa and how TikTok has transformed the way we consume music.

If you’ve used TikTok at any point over the past six months, you’ve most likely heard this song.

‘Duvet; by bôa, twilight, 2001.

Whether it be the chorus, the first thirty seconds, the whimsical instrumental break or the hyper-pop, TikTok friendly sped-up version; this song by a relatively obscure British band from the late nineties was everywhere. ‘Duvet’ was released over two decades ago in 1998 as the opening track to bôa’s second and last album Twilight.

Musically, the song features many of the core tenants of late nineties rock music: the impassioned Dolores O’Riordan style vocals of lead singer Jasmine Rodgers singing about a frustrating heartbreak over a blend of layered melodies, guitars and strings.

As of now, an official eighteen-second clip of Duvet’s instrumental break has been used in 289,600 seperate videos across TikTok. The increasingly popular sped-up rendition of the song, clocks in at 138,600 videos. And that’s not to mention the many, many unofficial clips and edits of the song floating around the app. Like most ‘sound’ trends on TikTok, Duvet has mainly been used for specific video styles and formats such as cinematic or ‘aesthetic’ video compilations of a user’s recent life or surroundings, flirty ‘POVs’ from the perspective of the creator and even over romantic film or TV clips.

When interviewing the band earlier this year, Variety aptly summarised ‘Duvet’ as ‘the kind of song that would play in a romantic scene of a ’90s rom-com’, accompanying the montage of ‘a pivotal summer in the main character’s life’. If anything, it continues to broaden another recent TikTok trend of ‘romanticising’ one’s life. In a world near-constant media consumption and content creation – of films, TV, advertisement, reels, TikToks, tweets, podcasts and influencers – the lines between our reality and the fictitious nature of media have become increasingly blurred. Why shouldn’t we live the same fairytale life as our favourite rom-com protagonist? Instead of going through the motions, why not treat everyday like we could have the happenstance-luck of 90s TV and movie staples like Bridget Jones or Rory Gilmore? Our constant consumption has bred a desire to ‘cinematise’ our lives.

Through using songs like ‘Duvet’ in their videos, users seem to project themselves into an idealised alternative universe – into a different time and place. Nostalgia for the past is nothing new. Yet the vast majority of those using ‘Duvet’ on TikTok were born years if not decades after its release. It’s a kind of idealised nostalgia for a fantasised version of the past informed not by its history but its fiction; a place of warmth, comfort and simplicity where things are ‘easier’, the world less complicated.

The phenomenon of older, ‘nostalgic’ music like ‘Duvet’ re-charting and gaining viral popularity on TikTok has become a staple of the app’s content trend cycle. Other examples include mega-group Tears for Fears’s ‘Head Over Heels’ (1985), Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ (1972) and The Cranberries ‘Sunday‘(1993). Through the use of music streaming, it’s easier than ever to (re)discover older artists or find deep-cuts from long-standing favourites.

What makes the rise of ‘Duvet’ so enchanting is its relative obscurity. Unlike industry giants Tears for Fears or Carly Simon, bôa achieved little fame and notoriety when they released their music. Now twenty-five years later, the band is known by millions and have even been signed to a new label to begin work on a third album. It’s an internet fairytale straight out of the ‘romanticise your life’ playbook.


bôa. Duvet, 1998.

Garcia, Thania. “Bôa on Reuniting after 1998 Single ‘Duvet’ Enchants New Generation of Fans.” Variety, August 18, 2023.

Simon, Carly. You’re so Vain, 1972.

Tears For Fears. Head over Heels, 1985.

The Cranberries. Sunday, 1993.