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▶ Featured Artist: Tove Lo – A Disco Goddess On “Dirt Femme”

Tove Lo makes her mark on Dirt Femme, the Swedish singer-songwriter’s first project as an independent artist. Although the record follows the 80s synth trend saturating the music industry, the singer adds a little European techno flare for some space.

The independent debut effort sees the singer grapple with her femininity in the world today and in unrequited relationships. For such a dazzling effort paired with lyrical honesty (seen on “Grapefruit”), Music Daily highlights Tove Lo for this week’s Featured Artist Friday.

Tove Lo makes her mark on "Dirt Femme", the first project for the Swedish singer-songwriter as an independent artist.
Credit: Kenny Laubbacher / Rolling Stone UK


Favorite Tracks from Dirt Femme

1. Grapefruit

If there was a perfect way to bridge hard topics and dance music, Grapefruit is that juxtaposition. The track documents how filming The Emigrants influenced thoughts of bulimia, a past struggle, due to the show’s strict diet protocol.

However, the uncomfortable experience took her ten years to write, to process. “I’d never really been ready. I’ve been healthy for a very long time now, and I feel like it’s been long enough now that I feel distant from it.” Now, super proud of her body and the experience, Tove Lo made a track perfect for dancing and crying at the same time!

2. 2 Die 4

Gershon Kingsley’s “Popcorn” (a 1969 klezmer-tinged proto-ringtone) paints the desert landscape with futuristic, techno dance breaks and raver undertones.

With StereoGum, Lo says, “With ‘2 Die 4’ I wanted ‘instantly iconic’ energy. I’ve never sampled anything before, and this feels like the perfect first moment. Lyrically I wanted it to be that ‘pick me up when I’m feeling down’ song. At first, it’s like a warm hug, then you shake it off, let out a scream and start dancing!”

3. True Romance

Lo debuted the song live during a show at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA, on May 18, her first tour date since the start of the pandemic, referring to it as the “crying part of the set.”

The singer describes the track as her “first real ballad” and “very raw” with only a single vocal take. On Youtube, she explains, “The lyrics are based on the movie True Romance, destructive cinematic love at its best and worst. We shot this scene for it in one take in the desert earlier this year. Kenny Laubbacher has always captured the emotional journey of the song perfectly in this scene. 💣🔨”

4. Suburbia

Per the official album visualizer, the Swede defines the track as “a modern Madonna struggling with domestic life.” However, with Apple Music, she takes us one step closer to its essence.

My husband and I both had fairly traditional childhoods, and I’ve always [sensed] a certain amount of confusion around my lifestyle—friends and family wondering when we’ll stop partying and settle down. In 2020, we eloped in Las Vegas, and the reaction was pretty uniform, like, ‘Oh, thank god, you did something normal! So when are you having kids?’ People seem to have this idea about how our life is supposed to look, and if that idea doesn’t appeal to you, it makes your head spin. You’re like, ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ We made a beat that sounded sad and upbeat at the same time, and it reminded me of the Stepford Wives—that eerie feeling you get in suburbia that everyone is hiding something. (Apple Music)

Artist Profile: Tove Lo

Tove Lo makes her mark on "Dirt Femme", the first project for the Swedish singer-songwriter as an independent artist.
Credit: Kenny Laubbacher / Rolling Stone UK

Award-winning performer and Grammy-nominated songwriter Tove Lo creates edgy dance masterpieces crafted from her love of grunge and the prolific sounds of hitmaking mastermind Max Martin. Her 2013 single “Habits (Stay High)” swings between the joy of being high and the deep withdrawal. Its addictive, hypnotic audio and lyrics made it a distinctive, relatable, multi-platinum hit, placing No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

With a  reputation for successful, infectious albums that explore the underside of love [Queen of the Clouds (2014), Lady Wood (2016), BLUE LIPS (2017), Sunshine Kitty (2019), and Dirt Femme (2022)], Lo established herself as a provocative yet carefree lyricist.

Lo worked with the likes of Flume, Charli XCXNick Jonas, and Kylie Minogue; as a songwriter, her credits include songs for Lorde, Icona Pop, Lea Michele, and Ellie Goulding‘s 2015 Grammy-nominated “Love Me Like You Do.”

What do you think of our Featured Artist Tove Lo and her new album, Dirt Femme? Let us know in the comments!

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