It’s been six years since Tove Lo released sad banger ‘Habits (Stay High)’, the hazy, self-destructive break-up bop that soared up the charts, won awards and exposed the Swedish artist to an international audience. The sparse production and brazen lyrics (the song opens, “I eat my dinner in my bathtub, then I go to sex clubs / Watchin’ freaky people gettin’ it on”) were edgy, fresh and exciting.
And these are all things Tove Lo has remained in the years that have followed – just look at the pandemonium caused when she played a tiny NME gig in London last week. Since her emergence as a pop star, she’s released three albums, all stuffed with the slinky, expansive electronic pop tunes bristling with vivacity, and all still full of lyrics you wouldn’t want your nan to hear (on 2017’s ‘Disco Tits’ she whispers, “I’m wet through all my clothes / I’m fully charged, nipples are hard / Ready to go”).
‘Sunshine Kitty’, Tove Lo’s fourth album, follows the suit of its predecessors. It’s another record rooted in the sparkling electro-pop that Lo has become renowned for; the album boast a host of intelligently written and slickly produced songs. The scintillating ‘Really Don’t Like U’, a collaboration with Kylie Minogue, is a reminder that Lo is an expert at crafting glittering tunes filled with fizzing hooks. ‘Glad He’s Gone’, meanwhile, where Lo comforts her pal after they’ve split with a fuck boy, is filled with sun-drenched tropical beats and electronic falsetto vocals.
Midway through, we come to Jax Jones collaboration ‘Jacques’, a slick, house banger that really dazzles, standing out among the shimmering electropop tunes that make up the rest of the record. It breathes a new life into Lo’s already exciting music, with the throbbing bassline and smoky reverb on the vocals, and evokes the excitement ‘Habits (Stay High)’ created when it first dropped.
Tove Lo’s fourth album sees the star largely stick the formula that made her successful in the first place, but that’s no bad thing: it features some of her best work in years as she boldly embraces new sounds and unusual collaborators. Exhilarating and fearless, Tove Lo has ensured she’s stayed relevant with a bold, brash and at often quite brilliant record.