Tove Lo

Monqui Presents

Tove Lo

Tue, February 25

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Roseland Theater

Portland, Oregon

This event is all ages

Tove Lo
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 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 (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, 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.”

It is true, however, that Tove enjoys exploring the darker side of life. Lady Wood’s 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. “It’s okay to be pissed off or depressed. You’ll pick yourself back up. We shouldn’t 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 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.”

Lady Wood expands on its predecessor by being more conflicted, more nuanced, more feminist. “There’s 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 it’s a powerful word that makes me laugh a little bit.” In Tove’s world, humor and heartache are essential components of life. “‘Lady Wood” describes the album well, because there’s a lot of passion-attraction songs—the 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 I’m chasing any kind of rush,” she says. This can refer to everything from romantic sparks to the feelings evoked when she’s on stage. “Playing the last song in my set, where I’m holding out the mic as everyone sings to me—that’s the ultimate high,” she says. “Then I run off stage, close my dressing-room door, and it’s just, like, quiet. You were in this rush, and now you’re like, ‘What just happened?’”