Artist Spotlight: Tove Lo

So this post is completely fueled by my latest obsession with Tove Lo’s new album Blue Lips which literally nobody is talking about even though it’s probably one of the best pieces of work released this year — but let’s start at the beginning.

The song that started it all: “Habits” brought the Swedish singer songwriter Tove Lo to the mainstream. Picture it now: kids belting “GOTTA STAY HIGH ALL THE TIME” in the car with their moms.

This is one of those songs where the lyrics are so simple it left me sitting there thinking anybody could’ve written these words but somehow Tove Lo was able to turn them into one of the catchiest of songs of the year. How do people do that?!

But lets all praise her creative process because we could’ve been left with the mess at the beginning of this video instead.

But hey – props to her for making the best out of being locked in the studio during Hurricane Sandy and ultimately creating the banger we know and love today.

Then, if “Habits” hadn’t taken over the radio enough, we were blessed with “Talking Body.” Another seemingly innocent song that little kids were probably humming to on the playground (like how I used to sing “Yeah!” by Usher and didn’t understand why my mom told me not to sing the lyrics: “Ludacris fill cups like double d’s”)

Other songs from her debut album Queen of the Clouds that you should be aware of include: “My Gun,” “Like Em Young,” “Timebomb,” “Moments,” “Got Love,” “Run On Love,” and “Not On Drugs” – because sometimes you gotta stay high, but sometimes you gotta make it clear you’re not on drugs.

Tove has a history of writing songs for other artists including Lorde, Ellie Goulding and queen of music Hilary Duff:

Sidenote: Throwback to when nobody cared about Hilary Duff’s pop music comeback. Poor girl went ahead and invented blue hair and hired the YMCA’s zumba instructor to choreograph her music video and we still didn’t even blink an eye. We all went about our everyday lives leaving our good sis in her Lizzie McGuire days. Shame on us. I mean, “What Dreams Are Made Of” is still THAT song, and Laguna Beach wouldn’t have been the same without “Come Clean.”

But anyways, back to Tove: she has also collaborated with some other artists to give us a few more bops we’re all thankful for every Thanksgiving:

She’s also made some songs for various soundtracks over the years, but they’re meh so…

Once artists establish themselves, they usually start getting more creative freedom, and Tove Lo is no different —  with her second album, Lady Wood, I think it’s safe to say she found her niche with dark, synth-heavy music and strayed away from typical radio-friendly pop songs. I mean she called her album “Lady Wood” for crying out loud – she’s not really trying to fit into any type of prim, proper and appropriate mold.

The first taste of this darker sound came when she dropped “Cool Girl” in 2016 (which left us all bald) and started filming her short film Fairy Dust. 

Her second studio album Lady Wood is comprised of two chapters, “Fairy Dust” and “Fire Fade.” The short film for “Fairy Dust” is quite the doozy, but if you’re ever bored one day I’d recommend watching it.

It is essentially a long form music video for the first chapter of her album featuring the songs “Influence (feat. Wiz Khalifa),” “Lady Wood,” “True Disaster,” “Cool Girl” and “Vibes (feat. Joe Janiak).”

The thirty minute film goes from Tove Lo creepily laugh/crying for a solid 5 minutes, to a girl having a full conversation with herself out loud in a creepy motel room, to an underground party with some questionable choreography, to Tove Lo burying someone in a coffin, to her writhing around in the sand with Joe Janiak — like I said, a doozy.

Disclaimer: it’s sometimes boring and sometimes borderline NSFW, but I also couldn’t seem to take my eyes off the screen the entire time? So you can be the judge. And, if you happen to enjoy it, don’t worry because there’s a short film for the second chapter of the album too!

Only 20 minutes this time, and slightly less uncomfortable to watch — it’s a bit more trippy though. Tove Lo literally walks on walls to the tune of “Don’t Talk About It,” “Imaginary Friend,” “Keep It Simple,” “Flashes” and “WTF Love Is.”

The videos are quite visually appealing and showcase the lyrics and music nicely.
Lemonade could never (lol just kidding – I wouldn’t even jokingly go as far to say that)

“I’ve created this kind of character who I guess represents the self-destructive side of me but is also my worst nightmare and what I don’t want to become,” Tove Lo says in an interview with RollingStone trying to explain the version of herself depicted in these films.

Her third studio album Blue Lips is meant to be a continuation of Lady Wood, with chapters “Light Beams” and “Pitch Black,” and is probably one of the best pieces of work released in 2017 (especially paired with Lady Wood).

We were given even more strange visuals with the music video for the lead single, “Disco Tits” (and yes, that’s actually what the song is called). You can watch Tove Lo make out with a muppet while driving a car through the desert??? At least the song bops.

I think it’s safe to assume there will be similar short film adaptations of the songs from Blue Lips in the near future, and lord only knows what drug trip influenced visuals we’ll get to see this time: More muppets? More fingers in people’s mouths? More straddling atop coffins in the desert?

BUT what’s important is the music – I could list the entire track list for both Lady Wood and Blue Lips as songs you should be aware of because they’re that good, but I’ll refrain and limit the gems from her third album to: “Shedontknowbutsheknows,” “Shivering Gold,” “Bitches,” “Struggle” and “Bad Days.”

If “Bitches” doesn’t smash in 2018 we’re gonna have issues. Stream it, buy it, download it, share it, request it – we can’t let this song go unnoticed like we did Hilary Duff!

In sum, here are the Tove Lo songs you should be adding to your favorite playlists:

  • “My Gun”
  • “Like Em Young”
  • “Timebomb”
  • “Not On Drugs”
  • “Run On Love (QOTC Edit)”
  • “Close (feat. Nick Jonas)”
  • “Say It (feat. Flume)”
  • “Influence (feat. Wiz Khalifa)”
  • “Lady Wood”
  • “True Disaster”
  • “Cool Girl”
  • “Don’t Talk About It”
  • “Shedontknowbutsheknows”
  • “Shivering Gold”
  • “Bitches”
  • “Bad Days”
  • “Out Of My Mind (feat. Charli XCX & Alma)”

Add these jams to your playlists now, or follow my “Lady Wood” playlist for all the jams listed above and over 200 more songs by related artists for 10+ hours worth of Tove Lo vibes.

This blog post is meant as a commentary/critique/review and has no commercial purpose.

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s