Tove Lo is a name you’re going to start hearing more of because this Sweedish songstress is here to stay. “Stay High” peaked at number three on the Australian Aria Charts and has topped charts worldwide with its haunting vocals and infectious melody. Her debut album “Queen Of The Clouds” is a body of intimate and raw material with infectious hooks that will send her to the top of the charts multiple times. The album is fittingly separated into four segments titled “The Sex”, “The Love”, “The Pain” and “For You”. It’s interesting when you distinguish the four sections and how each song slots in, it really gets you thinking and connecting in ways you wouldn’t expect. “The Sex” portion kicks off the album with “My Gun” which is one of the less pop tracks but doesn’t shy away with confronting sexual lyrics. “Like Em Young” and “Talking Body” follow that trend and makes these moments on the album so genuine because let’s be honest we’ve all shared thoughts about sex the way she explains it. She’s just more open and comfortable to sing about it than most of us. “Timebomb” closes ‘The Sex” segment with a strange fast paced pop/dance track that sees her experimenting with vocal techniques and melody pace. It’s a song that grows on you and after a few listens you will fall in love with it.
“The Love” is the strongest segment on “The Queen Of The Clouds” and boasts four electric pop songs that all could easily be heard on the radio. “Moments” impresses with its strong harmonies and honest but heartbreaking lyrics like “I’m not the prettiest you’ve ever seen but I have my moments”. She follows up that line with “I can get a little drunk, I get into all the don’t’s. But on good days I’m charming as fuck”. By the end of that song she already had me won over. “The Way That I Am” gives a catchy hook about the desperate feeling of someone wanting to recipiate the feelings you have. “Got Love” is a future hit waiting to be unleashed and is honestly just a genuine feel good pop song. You will find yourself quickly singing along to “Got enough to make the ocean look like it’s a pond, got enough to turn the valleys into mountain tops”. We first heard “Not On Drugs” on Tove Lo’s EP “Truth Serum” and I’m so glad it made this album as it was catchy as fuck and just an all-round strong track.
It wouldn’t be a true pop album without some heartache and “The Pain” segment gives us just that. “Thousand Miles” impresses with a memorable moody track with great quotable lyrics like “Wanna fly to you like birds do”. It was strange seeing “Habits (Stay High)” included in “The Pain” section until I read the lyrics and realised how sad this song actually was. “This Time Around” impresses with its strong infectious melody while “Run On Love closes the section with a EDM jam.
The album closes with the “For You” segment but don’t be fooled by “Love Ballad” cause it’s not a ballad and more an upbeat pop song that will have you bopping along but is my least favourite track on this collection. The Hippie Sabotage remix of “Stay High” is fittingly the last song on “Queen Of The Clouds” and do I really need to comment on how great this remix is?
“Queen Of The Clouds” is an impressive debut album that showcases Tove Lo as the pop/dance songstress she was destined to be. I would have loved to have heard a stripped back ballad without synthesizers as the girl can sing and it needs to be showcased. This is an album that needs to be heard in its entirety and will grow on you with each listen. Its more than infectious pop hooks and big synths, it’s an intimate and raw look at our way of life and emotions.
You can catch Tove Lo at selected dates opening for Katy Perry on her “Prismatic Australian Tour”. Also check out my Artist Spotlight article on Tove Lo from June. http://thomasbleach.com/2014/06/11/artist-spotlight-tove-lo/