Playful, dirty and authentic, Tove Lo’s debut album, Queen of the Clouds captures both romance and flings with relatable authenticity…
Swedish singer Tove Lo is someone you’ve encountered without even realising. Not only did she write Girls Aloud’s 2012 hit Something New, but that successful song Habits – ‘You’re gone and I gotta stay high’ – which has been dominating the charts is written and sung by hers truly.
2014 has been a good year for Tove, who is now touring on the Australian leg of Katy Perry’s Prismatic tour.
So what makes Queen of the Clouds one of 2014’s best albums?
The album is split into three parts. ‘The Sex’, ‘The Love’ and ‘The Pain’. It’s pretty self explanatory. The songs on ‘The Sex’ are dance tracks full of playful humour, sexual references and excitement. The songs on ‘The Love’ are shiny happy, relatable sing-a-long songs. And the songs on ‘The Pain’ are what we’ve all felt at some point during a relationship.
While each song manages to keep that authentic feeling, that hurt, the love and everything in between falling in love, Tove manages to make even the saddest of songs something you can move your body to. Whether you’re dancing happily to Talking Body or swaying sadly to Habits, you’re dancing. Aren’t we all happy when we dance?
Every lyric seems to make you feel something. They are easily relatable, stirring something inside you that reminds you of something you left behind, or something you are only now beginning to embrace.
Here are the songs which appear on ‘The Sex’:
My Gun is the opening track on the album, and Tove declares ‘If you’re gonna shoot me down, do it gently.’ While maybe this isn’t the best track to open on, it’s enjoyable and fun. Like sex.
Like Em Young:
A misleading track title if there ever was one. This song is all about liking someone your age or a little younger, who thinks they own the world and know everything about it. Favourite lyric: ‘Oh you’re so naive, thinking no one knows better than me.’
Definitely single material, and definitely one of my favourites on the album. Talking Body is all about that feeling you get when you’re with someone. Tove Lo shows off the ranges of her husky voice. Favourite lyric: ‘If you love me right, we fuck for life’ – because who doesn’t like that lyric?
Timebomb is a little different to other songs, in the way that Tove sings deliberately off beat, before cleverly finding it again for the production. While the chorus seems a little weak, it’s a song you can’t help but try and keep pace with as you sing. Favourite lyric: ‘We’re not forever, you’re not the one’.
Now we make our way to The Love as Tove says ‘Suddenly you freak out because you need this person…’
Moments may be one of the least dancy tracks on the album, but it’s genuine enough to enjoy. The song is all about not being perfect, but being comfortable enough to know you’re okay. Favourite lyric: ‘I can get a little drunk, I get into all the dont’s but in good days I am charming as fuck’.
The Way That I Am:
Again, another song that begs for somebody to love you the way that you are. While the message behind this song is good, I must say this is one of my least favourites. In no way is it bad, it just doesn’t do it for me.
Got Love is a song I absolutely adore. Another strong contender for a single, this song makes you sing to the top of your lungs. Favourite lyric: ‘Good enough to make the ocean look like it’s a pond, good enough to turn the valleys into mountain tops.’
Not On Drugs:
A creative look at the way we fall in love, Not On Drugs is one of Tove Lo’s recognisable songs, and deservedly so. It’s happy, naughty and relatable. Favourite lyric: ‘And I’m trip-trip-tripping in my Empire State of of mind’.
Now we leave the safety of love, and head to The Pain where there’s no easy way to say goodbye…
Thousand Miles is a song I instantly related to, and when it comes on I really just let the words and the music wash over me. The song is all about losing someone so far away, because they don’t love you anymore. You’re sad, you’re lonely and you’re in denial that this is over. Favourite lyric: ‘Too far away to feel you, but I can’t forget your skin. Wonder what you’re up to, what state of mind you’re in.’
Habits (Stay High):
Whilst you’re probably familiar with the remixed Hippie Sabotage version – one that takes away the meaning of this song – this version of Habits has the full verses and choruses. It’s a song about losing someone and coping with alcohol and drugs. Underneath the dance beat, similar to Lorde, you can hear the authentic hurt Tove Lo feels as she sings lyrics that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Kesha album. Favourite lyrics: ‘You’re Gone and I gotta stay High all the time to forget I’m missing you.’
This Time Around:
Another good track on QOTC, Tove Lo sings about wishing she could feel differently about somebody. Or they could feel differently about her. Favourite lyric: ‘I used to take your breath away. I used to make you laugh about anything.’
Run On Love:
An edited version of the Lucas Norde song which features Tove, Run On Love sits perfectly in ‘The Pain’. It’s about how she goes back to someone who isn’t right for her. They love each other, but only for a short amount of time, before problems get in their way again. Favourite lyric: ‘You say it’s my error, I say look in the mirror, the reason why our flame is dead’.
Queen of the Clouds, released under Island records, is one of 2014’s strongest albums. And with some luck, 2015 will see its sales rocket, along with Tove’s released singles. I truly hope 2015 is the year of Tove Lo.