Tove Lo on new album ‘Dirt Femme’, ‘True Romance’ and getting candid about love

Watch our interview with the Swedish pop star as she shares details of her fifth album

Tove Lo has released a new single ‘True Romance’ and announced her fifth album ‘Dirt Femme’. Listen to the song below, and watch our video interview with the Swedish star above.

The Swedish singer-songwriter recently performed two tracks from her yet-to-be-released record – ‘No One Dies From Love’ and ‘True Romance’ – live at both New York City’s Governors Ball and during her sold-out show at Irving Plaza.

Speaking to NME backstage after her festival performance, Tove described ‘True Romance’ as “the one ballad I threw in there”, adding: “I’m very excited to see how my fans feel about that one.”

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When asked about fan reactions to hearing her new tracks live, she replied: “It was magical, I was holding back tears a little bit. It’s such a special feeling to have that support for the new songs. They were singing every word to ‘No One Dies From Love’, and that’s very special to me. It was amazing.”

Tove also spoke to us about writing ‘No One Dies From Love’, the first single from her upcoming album back in May and the first track released on her own label.

“It was funny because I wrote it in January 2020,” she said. “It was the only song I wrote in 2020, and it was before the pandemic and everything hit. I had three weeks in Malibu with my main producer and songwriter. Usually, we get like six songs out of it or at least ideas but we only worked on this one song.

“I was having the fear of ‘What if this love that I have ends?’ I was feeling very vulnerable about the relationship I’m still in, and we were just writing and drinking and crying and writing this song for three weeks. I’m so happy we spent all that time on it, and I’ve just been holding on to it until now to put it out.”

Love is a central theme on multiple ‘Dirt Femme’ songs, including her most recent single, ‘True Romance’. The song was inspired by the film of the same name, with Tove explaining that the lyrics are about “destructive love at its best and worst.”

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“It’s crazy the effect a person can have on you when you’re in love,” she told us. “If it’s toxic or great. The fact that someone can have that effect on you and it feels like you’re not going to recover to me that’s fascinating. Being completely vulnerable in a relationship, you have that risk of getting broken.”

Tove added: “Love’s hard, man. Love hurts.”

The follow-up to 2019’s ‘Sunshine Kitty’ will be released on October 14 via her own label, Pretty Swede Records. The entire record was co-written by Tove, and will feature collaborations with Channel Tres, First Aid Kit and SG Lewis.

“My deal was up with my label, and I’d been on a major label, pretty much my whole career,” she told us of her decision to self-release her most recent album. “It was great, it enabled me to bring songs all over the world at the start of my career and that was really crucial for me.”

However, the singer felt that “the way we consume music, the way I interact with fans, it’s changed so much” and wanted to share her music in a way that reflected that.

“It’s my fifth album, and I built this platform and have these very dedicated human beings who are with me,” she said. “I wanted to do things in a different way, and I felt like the only way I’m going to be able to do exactly what I want is if I just do it on my own.”

Tove added: “Taking the reigns felt like the natural next step. Maybe [starting a label was] a little bit impulsive, but so far, it’s been amazing.”

Tove Lo
Tove Lo ‘Dirt Femme’ album artwork CREDIT: Press

The tracklisting for ‘Dirt Femme’ is:

1. No One Dies From Love
2. Suburbia
3. 2 Die 4
4. True Romance
5. Grapefruit
6. Cute & Cruel (feat. First Aid Kit)
7. Call on Me (with SG Lewis)
8. Attention Whore (feat. Channel Tres)
9. Pineapple Slice (with SG Lewis)
10. I’m to Blame
11. Kick In The Head
12. How Long

Speaking about ‘Dirt Femme’ in a statement, Tove said it’s “about me and my relationship with my femininity.”

She added: “When I started out as a writer and an artist, I used to view my feminine traits as weaker and would enhance my masculine traits to get ahead in life. I feel a big energy shift in my environment since then, and this album reflects the various ways my feminine side has both helped and hurt me.

“I’m a pansexual woman married to a straight man. I believe masculine and feminine lives on a spectrum in all humans. There are so many more interesting nuances than most people want to accept. Songs on this album will contradict each other, will probably upset some of you, will make you want to dance, cry, fuck and drive your car really, really, fast.”

She also called the album “extremely personal,” noting that the record puts her feelings  “together in under 50 minutes with no answers.”

“I know I always feel relief and connection when a song just speaks to my emotions without telling me what to do about them,” Trove added. “I hope this album reaches that little secret pocket in your heart where all the real stuff is hiding.”

Tove Lo is currently on tour this summer and fall, with stops across North America, Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom. View the full itinerary and ticket details here.

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