It was warm night in Oakland when Tove Lo came to town, only to make it even hotter. The 28 year old singer took the stage at the Fox with the sexiness of an Egyptian goddess and the hypnotic voice that’s become her trademark. I read somewhere that Tove Lo’s sound could be described as grunge pop, which seems like a contradiction in terms, but in the end makes a lot of sense. The Swedish singer that may come across as the typical bubble-gum-pop starlet, really is not. In fact, her brutal honesty and sincere lyrics have led some to call her “the saddest girl in Sweden.”
On Wednesday night, her persona could be found somewhere between sexy pop diva and moody heroine, a-la Fiona Apple. But let’s face it, there’s been a little too much attention put on her image lately, and that’s largely due to her controversial album cover and shocking short movie. Not enough has been said about the solid music she’s consistently been putting out, and it’s really the songs that make this new artist stand out from the crowd, an artist that’s had a career literally catapulted overnight.
Lo first rose to fame with the release of her debut album “Queen of the Clouds,” which opened at number 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 in October 2014. The album spurted the hit single, “Habits (Stay High)”, which was career-defining for her as it went 5x-platinum and a global #1 hit. “Talking Body” followed suit and collaborations like “Heroes” with Alesso and “Close” with Nick Jonas turned her into a mainstream success.
On Wednesday night, she came armed with a three-piece band, two drummers and keyboardist, and effortlessly showcased her unique form of dark pop to an audience that clung to every note. She can best be described as sounding like the hybrid child of Ellie Goulding and Bjork, but her music differs in that it’s laced with more heavy, dreary trip-hop undertones.
She herself described her music in a Rolling Stone interview as an “intense love story” that explores her relationship with her self-destructive side. “I sing very openly about drugs and that I’m never as happy as when I just lose control and let go,” she said. “But I can’t live like that forever. I tried to do it a different way, but I developed a need for that side. I go absolutely crazy if I don’t ever let that side come through.”
You do get a sense that behind the baby blues, the golden locks and angelic face is a young lady that’s waiting to unleash. That’s what makes her so interesting and her music so captivating. She’s a times quiet and prudish, yet others feels the need to push the boundaries imposed upon her by society and dares to cross them. There’s a little Madonna in her in that sense. And one thing’s for certain she also has the same potential for stardom.
Fairy Dust (Interlude)
Not On Drugs
Lady Wood (Live debut)
The Way That I Am
Vibes (Live debut)
Imaginary Friend (Live debut)
Fire Fade (Interlude)
Keep It Simple
WTF Love Is (Live debut)
Flashes (Live debut)
What I Want for the Night (Bitches) (Live debut)
Habits (Stay High)
Remaining Tour Dates
February 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
February 15 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
February 16 – Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
February 17 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
February 19 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
February 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Electric Factory
February 22 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
February 24 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club