• Sweden's news in English

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."
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
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
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
Swedish cat owners in fear after mass deaths
A different Swedish cat. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedish cat owners in fear after mass deaths

33 minutes ago

Concerns that a cat killer could be on the loose in the town of Skövde in central Sweden are growing after six pets were found dead in the same neighbourhood in just one week.

Should Swedish fashion firms use hijab models?
A screengrab of H&M's first model wearing a hijab in a YouTube video for the company.

Should Swedish fashion firms use hijab models?

2 hours ago

UPDATED: Protesters gathered in Stockholm this week to campaign against H&M and Swedish department store Åhlens using women wearing hijabs in recent fashion campaigns. But other Muslims are celebrating their new "role models".

Swedish trio among world's best executives
Michael Wolf, CEO of Swedbank. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedish trio among world's best executives

3 hours ago

Three Swedish bosses have landed spots on the top-100 chief executives in the global business world according to a key ranking published on Tuesday.

Refugee crisis
'Women weep, young men are collapsing'
Fatma and her three children after being rescued in Greece. Photo: Private

'Women weep, young men are collapsing'

5 hours ago

A Syrian woman rescued from a sinking boat after her brother called police in Sweden has told The Local of her struggle to build new life in Germany. The two siblings believe the Nordic nation offers a softer landing than its European neighbour.

Lund reopens after social media 'shooting' threat
Lund University rector Torbjörn von Schantz. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Lund reopens after social media 'shooting' threat

7 hours ago

UPDATED: Sweden's second largest university reopened on Tuesday after earlier cancelling all classes over an anonymous threat on social media that raised fears of a mass shooting.

Euro 2016
Sweden face play-off route after Russia victory
Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and John Guidetti. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden face play-off route after Russia victory

8 hours ago

Sweden defeated Moldova 2-0 in Euro 2016 Group G qualifying on Monday but it was not enough to guarantee a place at next summer's finals in France after Russia brushed aside Montenegro 2-0 in Moscow.

Will robots take over your job in Sweden?
Will jobs be lost to robots in tech-savvy Sweden? Photo: AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Will robots take over your job in Sweden?

8 hours ago

Economics analyst Mårten Blix outlines how to make sure jobs are not lost when digitalization grows in tech-savvy Sweden and robots take over skilled labour.

Julian Assange
UK ends police guards for Julian Assange
A police officer outside the Ecuadorian embassy in March 2015. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/TT

UK ends police guards for Julian Assange

23 hours ago

UPDATED: British police will no longer stand guard outside London's Ecuadorian Embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who still faces rape allegations in Sweden, took refuge in 2012.

Nobel Prizes 2015
Who is the 2015 Nobel winner in economics?

Who is the 2015 Nobel winner in economics?

1 day ago

UK-born Angus Deaton, praised for his analysis of "consumption, poverty, and welfare" has been awarded the last Nobel Prize to be announced in 2015. Here's what you need to know about his work.

Zlatan celebrates 'most played' national anthem
Zlatan Ibrahimovic training this week. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Zlatan celebrates 'most played' national anthem

22 hours ago

Sweden's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won a gold disc for his version of the Swedish national anthem 'Set You Free' and suggested that with three million streams, it had become the "most widely played national anthem ever".

Property of the week: Hörnefors, Umeå
CAREER: From Sydney student to rural Sweden entrepreneur
Sweden's Zlatan celebrates 'most played' national anthem
Timeline: Julian Assange rape claims
Sweden's Prince Nicolas baptised
Blog updates

9 October

Fler eller mer? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My students often ask me when they should use “mesta” and “flesta”. I thought you might..." READ »


9 October

My First Impressions of Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"There is a tradition in the British Foreign Ministry that when Ambassadors arrive at their new..." READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm International School: helping expat students feel at home
People watching: October 9th-11th
How a Swedish herring party sparked gas leak fears
Photo: John-Paul Bichard
The 5th International Stockholm Burlesque Festival
Refugees relocated from Italy land in northern Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden needs a stake in the global news game'
AS-IT-HAPPENED: Nobel Peace Prize announcement 2015
Sponsored Article
Swedes 'know more about sex' than Brits
Nobel Literature Laureate 2015
Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
IN PICTURES: Your best snaps of Northern Lights in Sweden
Five great art exhibitions in Sweden
Sweden's Nobel Chemistry Laureate: 'he likes science and wine'
The secret to more travel for less
People-watching: October 7th
Is Sweden no longer the world leader in gender equality?
Nobel Physics Laureates 2015
Business & Money
Is Sweden heading for housing crash?
Sweden mourns Nordic Noir legend
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's 'six-hour day' is bogus
Nobel Medicine Laureates 2015
Sponsored Article
#LifeChangingOptions: Change lives with birth control
Sponsored Article
Rugby in Scandinavia: an expat love story
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: