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      Tove Lo in Portland

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      February 25, 2020

      Tuesday   8:00 PM

      8 NW Sixth Avenue
      Portland, Oregon 97209

      Tove Lo

      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 weve 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 loves labors lost continue to be the Stockholm natives area of expertise. Her second album, Lady Wood (out October 28 on Island Records), 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, theyre like, Oh, youre actually happy. Im not going to show up drunk and cry my heart out to you, she says. Then adds, joking, Well, not every time.It is true, however, that Tove enjoys exploring the darker side of life. Lady Woods first single, Cool Girl, is inspired by the twisted thriller Gone Girl and contemplates the hollowness and ironies of affecting an easygoing, feminine persona to ensnare a man. When you create, you try to get out of your safe zone, says Tove, who writes her own music and lyrics. Its okay to be pissed off or depressed. Youll pick yourself back up. We shouldnt be so scared of our emotions.To that end, 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: bruised, brightly arranged pop songs that feel grand but not excessive. The lushly louche Habits (Stay High) hit No. 3 on Billboards 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. Theres this idea of what a good female role model is. Its usually not what Im doing. But if I have an impact, if it makes people speak their minds, thats a good thing. Lady Wood expands on its predecessor by being more conflicted, more nuanced, more feminist. Theres no real word for, like, a girl getting a hard-on, she says of the album name, its title track a percolating dismissal of mores. I feel like its a powerful word that makes me laugh a little bit. In Toves world, humor and heartache are essential components of life. Lady Wood describes the album well, because theres a lot of passion-attraction songsthe leading-up-to- the-first-kiss moment, an intense high. The album is broken into two chapters: Fairy Dust and Fire Fade. These are basically the emotional curves I go through when Im chasing any kind of rush, she says. This can refer to everything from romantic sparks to the feelings evoked when shes on stage. Playing the last song in my set, where Im holding out the mic as everyone sings to methats the ultimate high, she says. Then I run off stage, close my dressing-room door, and its just, like, quiet. You were in this rush, and now youre like, What just happened?

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