It’s been a maturing five years since Tove Styrke delivered her debut record. Fresh from Swedish Idol success, her 2010 self-titled record set a confident bar for catchy electropop thanks to Styrke’s charisma and the involvement of heavyweights like Patrik Berger.
This year’s long overdue follow-up Kiddo finds Styrke benefiting from some time out from the industry. With bratty swagger and a knowing tenderness part of her MO, she returned last May with manifesto track “Even If I'm Loud Doesn't Mean I'm Talking To You”, working. with the likes of Calle Ask and Familjen's Johan T Karlsson.
Kiddo's lead single "Ego" finds Styrke finely tuning her sound and attitude even further. The song describes “a person you once cared about gradually losing themself to their own ego,” Styrke tells us. “It’s that combination of joy and frustration that to me are feelings that just fit so well with pop songs. Dance yourself out of the rain, that kind of thing."
"It's probably one of my favorite tracks on the album. When we were putting together the production we sat in the studio, crying, listening to 'You’re So Cool' from True Romance. I think it shines through because there is something about 'Ego' that feels very movies to me. I like that.”
Filming sessions can be the bane of an artist's life but not for Styrke. "I like doing sessions," she explains. "It gives you a reason to really think about what the core of the song is. Like, what’s most important for an audience to hear to understand the song even if they haven’t heard it before."
For her Best Fit session take of "Ego", the song gets a reworked pace showing more vocal agility from the 22-year old Swede. It's both sweeter and moodier than its recorded counterpart. “What I like doing live is bringing instruments with me that have a very live sense to them,” she says of the experience. “I go with drum set and electric guitar. Those instruments contrasts to the electronic textures and programmed stuff I have on tracks, and it takes the music to a new level on stage instead of just sounding exactly like the record.”
“In this case Jonatan got to play on an SPD-SX sampling pad to get some electronic elements that contrasts to Sanna just playing the song kind of laid back on an acoustic guitar. That way I think we managed to recreate the essence of how we usually do it live even in a really simple and small setting.”