What with the recent attention Tove Lo has been receiving - no doubt aided by the Hippie Sabotage remix of “Habits”- it’s slightly hard to believe last night’s sold out show at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen was only the singer’s second UK gig.
As one of Tove’s two percussionists started with that familiar staccato drum beat of “Love Ballad”, the first single that started to get her noticed two years ago, the young Scandinavian ran on stage. With her mesh sleeves and signature tattoo, she clearly looked the part of a pop star, and as she poured into the euphoric chorus of “Cus’ this is my one true sacrifice”, it was clear that she can deliver the synth-drenched pop goods with style.
Of course she isn’t exactly the pop star you’d necessarily want your little sister listening to, with her lyrical focus on escapism (‘jump off a cliff, I give you my last spliff/I do it for you, ‘aint love sweet), but it’s certainly part of her appeal; reflected in her vocal balance of pitch perfect blasts and soft croaks.
There were a few false starts, like at the beginning of “Paradise”, but Tove dealt with it like a pro, heckling the crowd: “you’re still with us, right?” The live set up, with two percussionists (both electronic and live) sandwiching the synth player, added force and dub-y dynamics to “Out of Mind”. The set was naturally based around Tove’s EP Truth Serum, and as proceedings drew to a close she announced “this is the one that kinda started things for me”, nodding of course to huge single “Habits (Stay High)”. It was obvious from the way the young Swede controlled Hoxton’s small, hot room how prepared she is for the stages to get bigger; they will, and rightfully so.
Until then, see Tove Lo command Brighton’s Komedia at The Line of Best Fit stage at The Great Escape Festival this Thursday.
Not On Drugs
Out Of Mind
Run On Love