Tove Lo hones her craft on Lady Wood.
With help from Wolf Cousins, comprised of Swedish hitmakers Max Martin and Tom Talomaa (the masterminds behind 2014's Queen of the Clouds), Lo has found her sound.
Ms. Lo launched the record with "Cool Girl" and her Wiz Khalifa-assisted track "Influence," but those don't scratch the emotional surface of what she's capable of.
In her latest LP, Lo is left standing in the ashes from the bridges she's burned. Her launch into super stardom this year propelled the pop singer into unfamiliar territory in her personal life. Now, she's forced to tend to relationships that are affected because of her notoriety, which she addresses in the album title track, “Flashes,” as well as “Don’t Talk About It.”
"Just because I'm present don't mean I forgot about you back home / You think I'm surrounded, but babe, I do most of this alone."
Lo also finds conflict in romance. In "Keep It Simple," she sings about an internal struggle living life in the fast lane.
"I go to bed with you, but dream about him / You think I want to? No, I hate that he wins / How to forget how fucking broken I've been / But I'm healing."
In "Vibes," which features Joe Janiak, Lo sings softly about blissful love over an acoustic guitar before dreamy electro production hijacks the beat. Most of Lady Wood is cohesive in that sense – there's an underlying synthy element attached to each song.
“My worry after the first record was that I wasn’t going to be able to be as personal and open because I was scared because of all the reactions,” she said in one of the album's mini films named Fairy Dust. “I got a lot of love for being honest and being raw and vulnerable and admitting to mistakes, but there were also a lot of mean comments that my mom always seems to keep finding on the internet.”
She adds: “I realized I spend my life chasing rushes, whether it’s love or being on stage or drugs. [The album is] like every different stage of that rush.”
Tove Lo also performed "Cool Girl" on MTV's Wonderland: