Ever since I was a little ’90s Meg rocking out to Roxette and Ace of Base, I’ve had a fondness for the lilting tones of Swedish lady singers. Maybe it’s my Swedish heritage — my grandfather was second-generation. (So there.) Maybe it’s the charm of their sometimes-strange lyrics (on account of their not talking English real good). Or maybe I’m just gay for gorgeous blonde Swedish women and no other ones.

In any case, I wasn’t too surprised to find that the singer behind “Habits,” the song that’s been rattling around in my head without cease since I first heard it, is a fine-ass Swedish lady named Tove Lo (though she’s brunette, so she’s safe — for now). Give it a listen:

“Habits” is captivating. Why, I’m not so sure. Normally I wince at lyrics that are so on the nose and so openly encouraging of unhealthy, well, habits. (I love the idea of drugs and slutting around and everything, but not in like, a depressing way.)

The more I listen to “Habits,” the more I feel it’s a modern “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Sinead ate her dinner in fancy restaurants; Tove Lo just stays high all the time and bangs strangers. Hey, whatever you gotta do, right? To each heartbroken foreign lady her own. I’m not saying this song is in the same league as a Prince-penned masterpiece, but it hits the nail on the head and makes me want to hear more from Tove Lo. (I’d also love to know how to pronounce her name. Does it rhyme with Rove Go or Love Go? Or even Toby Go? Help. Yes, I know I could watch a video somewhere. I’m not doing that.)

Tove Lo’s debut EP, Truth Serum, has enjoyed modest international success, but I have a feeling that she’s poised to take off in a big way. As a songwriter, she’s already collaborated with Max Martin, a freakishly talented Swedish pop producer and songwriter extraordinaire. That’s comparable to taking your first steps on the moon with Neil Armstrong. So yeah, I’d say she’s got some promise.

Tove Lo just so happens to be coming to The Observatory in Santa Ana — you know, that cool place in Orange County where I spent New Year’s Eve with Capital Cities — on June 29. Get tickets and check out Truth Serum if you think I’m onto something.


Tove Lo
The Observatory