Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Tove Lo’s Dirt Femme mixes heartfelt emotion with signature dancefloor grooves

"Dirt Femme"

Release date: 14 October 2022
Tove Lo Dirt Femme Album Artwork
10 October 2022, 09:30 Written by Sam Franzini

When people ask for my biggest music-related ‘hot take’, one thing comes to mind: Tove Lo has never, across her near-decade career, released a bad song.

Without a doubt, the most consistent artist I know is the Swedish dark electro-pop connoisseur, never afraid to embrace sexuality, playfulness, and sophisticated writing on each of her albums. With the most recent Dirt Femme, she’s taken her sound to new heights.

On this album, Ebba Nilsson (aka Tove Lo) takes a deep dive into her version of femininity; “Suburbia” shows her lamenting the idea of settling down; “2 Die 4” is a sexy romp about a hook-up that she hopes to expand into more. She evades our typical connotations of what it entails – not because she’s unable to – she’s just not that interested.

A confidence and unadulterated passion for being herself comes together on Dirt Femme, a much darker album than its predecessor Sunshine Kitty, but truer to Nilsson with its pulsating beats and slinky jams. Its unquestionably best song and lead single, “No One Dies From Love” is a breakup anthem translated into an effortlessly cool club banger. “Will you remember us? / Or are the memories too stained with blood now?” she asks over a hypnotic beat. It builds to the point where it’s hard to not join along with her, shouting “No! One! Dies! From! Love!” along with her on the ad-libbed chorus.

This return to form is immensely satisfying; the album frequently sees Nilsson on the dance floor. The triple header of “Call on Me,” “Attention Whore” and “Pineapple Slice” later in the track list are non-stop sweaty jams, the middle perfectly being paired with a feature from up-and-comer Channel Tres. “I’m an attention whore,” she admits in one of the album’s most direct moments, “and I want what I’m asking for.” The other two are produced with SG Lewis, but are different enough to hold their own and let Nilsson's personality shine.

These types of tracks are balanced by some of Nilsson's most emotional songs to date: “I’m to Blame” is one, a cascading, building song on par with “9th of october” from her previous effort BLUE LIPS. “Why do you leave me to wonder / If this is worth fighting for?” she asks a cold partner, with enough musical switches to keep the momentum high. “I’m to blame, all along / Kept my own coat of ice on.” “True Romance,” too, is one of her sparsest songs, directing full focus toward her lyrics about long term commitment, a sentiment she echoes on “Suburbia.”

Both fruit-related songs present entirely different ideas, indicative of the sheer amount of material on the album. “Pineapple Slice” is a disco-tinged sex anthem referring to how eating pineapples assists during oral sex (“I prepared for tonight / Ate a pineapple slice for you”); while “Grapefruit” points out the problems with the body positivity movement. The idea of accepting yourself however you are is more difficult in practice to millions of people, including the normally-confident Lo. “1, 2, grapefruit / Wish I could change overnight / 3, 4 lose more / Kill my obsession, please die”, she sings on the candid track, voice strained.

Dirt Femme is sexy, smart, and most importantly; fun. It’s a step up for Tove Lo without losing any of her signature charm, and it might just be her best album yet.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next