• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Introducing: Sweden's latest pop sensation

The Local · 28 Mar 2014, 14:29

Published: 28 Mar 2014 14:29 GMT+01:00

March’s Swedish flavour is one of our favourites, Tove Lo. Lo has already caught the eyes and ears of 2013’s major breakthrough artist, Lorde, who tweeted that Habits, a song from Lo’s new mini-album, Truth Serum, had the potential to be a massive hit.
 
The 25-year-old Stockholmer was predictably delighted: “I was blown away! I thought it was a joke at first. A friend sent me a picture of it. Then I saw it was real and I was like, ‘Wow’. I love her. I think she's one of the best things to happen for women in pop music who write their own songs. I think she’s opened so many doors for girls coming up.”
 
Tove Lo - Habits (Stay High):
 
 
A remix of Habits has just been added to the Radio One playlist in the UK. Momentum is building. One influential blog has called Lo “the Swedish Janis Joplin.” Lo’s knack is to write great pop songs with real, raw emotion. Her prime subject is heartbreak. But she doesn’t deal in cliche. Instead she has a knack of conveying desperation that hits you right in the solar plexus. 
 
Lo explains that what she calls her “dirty honesty” is deliberate. “My songs are an opportunity to be honest. I deal with my own issues. There are a lot of ways to blame other people, but it’s always two people in a relationship. I get sick of hearing people going “oh, he or she was such an asshole to me, he cheated on me sixty times”, and you’re like, “well why did you stay?”. The answer is always: “Because I love him.” And, you know, if you love a broken person you’re going to get hurt. 
 
And, anyway, it’s not always the other person's fault. And I've messed up many times—it's my way to deal with that. If I have a hard time apologizing or saying it to the person, or he doesn't want to hear it, it helps me to sing it and just get it out of me. At least I'm admitting to what I did. Sometimes I feel that my music is too honest, but I wouldn’t be able to write in any other way.”
 
And this is the key to Lo’s brilliance. On the surface she writes slick, melodic, slightly edgy pop songs. But just beneath the surface is a roiling sea of hurt, lust and failure. It’s a potent blend and one which has propelled her to the cusp of something big.
 
Tove Lo - Out of Mind:
 
 
Her songwriting prowess, meanwhile, has already been recognized. She’s written songs for Girls Aloud with the hit machine, Xenomania, and has been recruited by Sweden’s premier pop export, Max Martin, to co-write songs. "He was keeping an eye on me and asked if I wanted to be part of his new writing staff. I said yes although we're only really getting started.”
 
Should Lo be successful globally she’ll be mixing it with old schoolfriends, Icona Pop.
 
"I hope to have their success, they deserve all they get but I've not seen them in ages. They're on the Miley Cyrus tour in the US at the moment so I'm waiting to get the full report."
 
 
ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Ida Redig
Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy
(SoFo) ****
 
Swedish pop may be enjoying a golden age but the same cannot be said of Swedish music critics. Ida Redig garnered some very approving reviews of her gentle, pastoral 2010 album, Standing Here. It was a nice enough album, but mostly indistinguishable from a thousand other pretty singer-songwriters peddling soft folk. 
 
Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy could not be more different. It’s a brittle, sparky, occasionally troubled and mostly fantastic electropop album. The reaction from Sweden’s media has generally been negative and along the lines of “how dare she change?” One even wrote that she wanted to support new artists who experiment but ended up saying she only liked the songs that sounded like Redig’s first album. Such support. Such insight.
 
Generally, the Swedes are rather dismissive of their homegrown talent - there’s still a provincial feel about the music business here despite its huge success. They seem to not understand that someone like Redig is making music that sounds unlike pretty much anything else at the moment. And it should be savoured.
 
For instance, last year’s single I’m In Trouble sounds like a Sixties girl group fronting Kasabian, while Shout’s thunderous percussion is bolstered by a vast, euphoric chorus and Lie is a heartbroken, weeping electro-ballad. Only the first track, the bewilderingly underwhelming Hello is a failure. Maybe that’s it. Perhaps Swedish music critics are lazy. Maybe they just didn’t listen beyond the first track.
 
Ida Redig - Shout
 
 
Also out: 
 
The Weeping Willows
Story continues below…
The Time Has Come
(Pinch) ****
This Stockholm band return with the best album of their 19-year history, a tear-soaked collection of dramatic ballads of which Scott Walker would be proud. Glorious.
 
Weeping Willows - We’re In Different Places
 
 
 
GIG OF THE MONTH
Naomi Pilgrim
One of our tips for 2014 with her lush, funky soul.
Friday, April 11, Järntorgsgatan 12 413 01 Gothenburg
 
Naomi Pilgrim - No Gun

 
 
Paul Connolly

 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Fifty Stockholm heart patients hit by superbug
Staff check air quality in an operating theatre at Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: Gary Fabbri

A potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria has spread to more than 50 heart patients at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm.

Two jailed for match-fixing in Swedish football
Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

A Swedish appeals court has jailed two football players and handed suspended sentences to four others for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

How many Swedes were unfaithful last year?
Photo: Sandra Qvist/TT

It kind of depends how you define it.

Brexit
'A Swedish passport means more than a British one now'
A Swedish passport. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

The Local spoke to Brits living in Sweden on how they feel about the Brexit vote, one week on.

Want a job? Here’s where Sweden needs people
Nurses are in high demand in Sweden. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

It’s not always easy to find work in Sweden, but there are quite a few professions crying out for new workers in the coming year.

Top Swedish businesswomen slam boardroom quota plan
Antonia Ax:son Johnson opposes the plan. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

It's a slippery slope, they say.

What's on in Sweden
Five great ways to kick off July in Stockholm
A ghost walk in Gamla Stan is one way to kick off July in Stockholm. Photo: Jeppe Wikström/Visit Stockholm

From Vikings to ghosts, music and more: The Local looks at five great ways to kick off July in Stockholm.

In pictures: Eight cool compact Scandinavian houses
Houzz.se editor Sara Norrman rounds up some neat but great Scandinavian houses. Photo: Sommarnöjen

Size isn't everything, and Houzz.se's editor in chief Sara Norrman proves it with this looks at nine brilliant uses of compact Scandinavian houses.

Brexit and the growing digital divide
A business meeting at Artipelag in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Trygg/mediabank.visitstockholm.com

Modern tech hubs like Stockholm are thriving while smaller regions struggle. We need to close this gap and we need to do it quickly, argues Leif Rehnström, CEO of the Skellefteå-based Hello Future!

Brexit vote
'Brexit is an opportunity for businesses in Stockholm'
Could London's pain be Stockholm's gain post Brexit? Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/TT

The Local speaks to British business owners in Sweden about how they think the Brexit vote will impact their work.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Private
The Local Voices
'Having a Middle Eastern name makes life in Sweden hard'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Politics
Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
Blog updates

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
National
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Sponsored Article
International students in Stockholm partner with Nepal school
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Private
The Local Voices
'Sweden is the best place for people with special needs'
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
National
Is Swedish nationalists’ foreign food ban bananas?
Gallery
Property of the week: Söråker
International
Poll shows huge support for EU in Sweden
3,308
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se