Onsale Times

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Tove Lo vividly recalls her first heartbreak. His name was Erik, and he was breathtaking. “I fell in love with him right away,” she says. But as we’ve come to learn from her songs such as “Habits (Stay High),” romance is complicated. Erik liked her friend instead; Tove was gutted. “I cried after that forever,” she says, laughing. Did she mention she was just eight years old?

To this day, the highs and lows of love’s labor’s lost continue to be the Stockholm native’s area of expertise. Her second album, Lady Wood, deeply navigates the tributaries of sex and love, while its cheeky title debunks her unofficial moniker as The Saddest Girl in Sweden. “When people meet me, they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re actually happy.’ I’m not going to show up drunk and cry my heart out to you,” she says. Then adds, joking, “Well, not every time.”

Tove summoned a tsunami of hormones, intimacy, and regret with her platinum 2014 debut, Queen of the Clouds. And she managed to distill these emotions into poignant sincerity. Pitchfork applauded Queen of the Clouds as a fascinating study in contrasts: "brightly arranged pop songs that feel grand but not excessive.” The lushly louche “Habits (Stay High)” hit No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and “Talking Body,” an homage to lust and taboos, hit No. 12. “Coming from a small country, I was shocked to have that kind of success. It meant a lot to me,” she says. “There’s this idea of what a good female role model is. It’s usually not what I’m doing. But if I have an impact, if it makes people speak their minds, that’s a good thing.”