Tove Lo has never been afraid to do things her way. She has never followed traditions nor has she tried to fit a mould of what the industry wants her to be. She’s always just been unapologetically herself, as shocking or as revealing as she wants that to be.
For her fourth studio album ‘Sunshine Kitty’ she underlines her vulnerability in a raw and simple way with her most club influenced production yet. The once indie-pop singer-songwriter has turned towards the more electronic production route since the success of her club favourites ‘Cool Girl’ and ‘Disco Tits’. Embracing that production style this record is full of disco nods, 90’s influences and UK dance nostalgia.
Lead singles ‘Glad He’s Gone’, ‘Bad As The Boys’ and ‘Sweettalk My Heart’ are as stripped back as she goes on this record and the closest she gets to her previous material while the disco and drum n bass influenced ‘Jacques’ and ‘Really Don’t Like U’ are songs you ultimately didn’t expect from her.
‘Are U Gonna Tell Her’, ‘Mateo’, ‘Come Undone’ and ‘Equally Lost’ are a little forgettable and compared to the other songs on the record do lack the drive they need to standout. But in saying that there are some real and clear highlights on this record.
The intoxicating ‘Stay Over’ hears her losing empathy and trying to pressure someone into getting over his ex and just getting with her while he’s still in a heartbreak state. “You just left her, that’s the past. Already deep in my bed, naked. So why don’t you stay, stay, stay, stay over?”. With the pulsating synths driving this song, the down-tempo mood is so captivating. ‘Shifted’ then continues this production styling, that also gives me slight similarities to ‘Flashes’. “Sick of waiting, yeah, I’m sick of waiting. When you shifted your love, done putting in work”, she sings as she realises her worth and stops putting effort into someone that isn’t putting effort into her. ‘Anywhere U Go’ is then that carefree sun soaked jam that you want to play through summer while your having some drinks and reflecting on all the decisions you’ve made. It’s about hope and what she wants for the future.
On a more minimalistic synth wave length, ‘Mistaken’ is the vulnerable synth ballad you really wanted from her. It’s full of emotion and some of her biggest bursts of honesty lyrically too. “I think you like the way she kissed you better, maybe I’m mistaken. I think you love the way you looked together, maybe I’m mistaken. I can tell myself it doesn’t matter, but it’s hitting my heart. I think you’re sleeping with me, dreaming bout her, I hope I’m mistaken” she details in the confessional chorus. This is a moment that vulnerably strikes a chord with me. It shows a growth and brutal honesty in her songwriting that is becoming more and more refined over time.
There is a bit of variety on this record, but at it’s heart, ‘Sunshine Kitty’ is a very different record to anything she’s released before. It’s very reflective of the artist she is becoming and tackles her vulnerability in a lighter and club directed way which will be represented in her live show in a fun manner. But I do feel we are increasingly getting to know the different sides of her personality through her confessional lyrics.
Tove Lo will be performing at Spotify’s SOLD OUT ‘Front Left Live 2019’ event in Melbourne at The Forum on October 9.