They call her a Swedish pop star in waiting, and what an apt description for a rebellious young lady who at the age of twenty-six is attracting a great deal of attention, not only in her native Sweden but throughout the music world.
A rock star, songwriter and musician, who lives in Stockholm, is making headlines with her debut EP Truth Serum, released in March of this year.
As a young girl Tove Lo started writing poetry and short stories, and later on studied at Rytmus Musikergymnasiet, a music school. From there she joined a band called Tremblebee for a short period before leaving to concentrate on a solo singing and songwriting career. In 2011 she collaborated with Max Martin and his songwriting team.
As many of her own generation of pop stars, she led a hectic life, often drugged up, and with failed relationships that drove her to the brink of despair, yet inspired her to turn these failings into pop gold.
In an interview with the BBC about her unflinching lyrics, and the correct way to pronounce her name, her revelations about herself are strikingly heart-warming. On the final track of her EP, her song ‘Out of Mind’, haunting throughout, reaches a climax where some bore is telling the singer ‘time will heal’ her broken heart; the music suddenly vanishes into a black hole, and she yells: ‘Are you kidding me?’ Mark Savage, the BBC News entertainment reporter, describes that moment as ‘pained, bruised, thrilling and glorious. A moment where meaning and musical intent align perfectly’.
Lo’s reaction is equally haunting. ‘I’ve always wanted my music to have that desperation,’ she says, ‘where you just want to strip your clothes off and run down the highway. I want the feeling where you don’t really know what to do with yourself – in the vocals, in the production, in everything.’
Her EP is a stark and courageous document of a failed relationship. ‘Not my first,’ she says, ‘but certainly the most intense.’
‘Out of Mind’ establishes her as a songwriter who is not afraid to bare her soul in such a lyrical and vigorous outburst of feeling that’s likely to take your breath away.
I felt the pain, the despair, the sadness the song conveys, as an experience of rare and intensifying power that lingers long after the song reaches finality.
As a new pop star on the horizon, with a charismatic presence and oodles of talent, she will go far in achieving the realm of musical excellency that only the few can confidently attain. Her rising star is there to stay and will shine more brightly as time and maturity intertwine.