Tove Lo releases fourth studio album ‘Sunshine Kitty’

Written By Mya Burns, Copy Editor

On Sept. 20, 2019, Swedish singer Tove Lo released her fourth studio album, “Sunshine Kitty.” The indie-alternative album is full of tracks that are like an iceberg— if you just listen to the beat and the sound of the lyrics, you can bop along to it. However, once you sit down and listen to the lyrics, the song is a lot deeper than you first thought.

The poppy, club-music sounds of “Sunshine Kitty” brings the last few warm bits of sunshine into the beginning of fall. The sound of this album is at the same time new and the same old Tove sound. Listening to the songs the first time, they sound like fresh summer hits to play in the car with the windows down. Once you give them a second listen, they get stuck in your head, and you’ll find yourself reaching for them to tide you over into the cold beginnings of cuffing season in fall.

Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson, known by her stage name Tove Lo, began in music long before her rise to fame with her song “Habits (Stay High).” Called “Sweden’s darkest pop export” by Rolling Stone, she has released four studio albums: “Queen of the Clouds,” “Lady Wood,” “BLUE LIPS,” and now “Sunshine Kitty.” Tove’s music started very dark and grungy and didn’t really stray too far away as she progressed as a musician. Tove Lo has always put out vulnerable music, skyrocketing into fame with her song “Habits (Stay High)” which talks about the feeling of wanting to avoid the reality of a breakup after it happens. But this album pairs even more vulnerable lyrics with beats that could either keep you staring at the ceiling at 2am on a night where you’re too far into your bag or drag you onto the dancefloor at a club around the same time. Her confidence in her lyrics and herself has been growing throughout her albums, and this album shows this growth. Although she is still vulnerable in this album, she has an air of confidence, self-assuredness, and stability that her previous albums didn’t have.

Overall, “Sunshine Kitty” feels very warm. Starting with Tove comforting a gal pal (whether this friend is more than a friend is up to debate) after a breakup with someone that wasn’t good for her in “Glad He’s Gone.” In this album, Tove sounds like a big sister that’s a little messy. She’s still going through some hardships in love, but she seems to finally be getting herself together and has the time to give you advice that she’s learned from experience.

The most powerful tracks on this album lay toward the beginning. “Glad He’s Gone” and “Bad as the Boys” are back-to-back bops. Tove very openly sings about loving women on this album. She’s done this in the past as well, but I think that this album really throws it in your face in the best way possible. There aren’t many artists in the mainstream right now producing club dance music that has gay themes, so the representation is much appreciated.

Another strong track on this album is “Are U gonna tell her?” This track is very similar in both sound and lyrical content to “shedontknowbutsheknows” from her previous albumBLUE LIPS.” This song is one of those that you can dance the night away to in a sweaty club with low lighting while you’re singing the words; it has just the right balance of electronic sound and relatable, moderately emotionally gripping lyrics.

“Sunshine Kitty” is so strong that even the songs that don’t hit are still relatively good songs. Every new listen to this album will bring a newly discovered favorite. Some of the songs that don’t feel quite right one day will be the song you can’t get out of your head right after you’re finished listening to it.

Overall, I can’t wait to see where this happier, more confident, more stable Tove Lo takes us next. If it’s anything like “Sunshine Kitty,” I’ll be ready on the dancefloor for Tove to keep us warm with the songs of the summer any time of the year.