Swedish pop starlett Tove Styrke returns with new album Sway, but is she ready to wow the world?
Tove’s pop sound has changed and mutated over the years, and it finally feels like she’s honed in on something that suits her. From her roots competing on tv show Swedish Idol, to recently supporting Lorde and now about to tour Europe with Katy Perry, it’s no wonder people are starting to take notice and sit up with eager anticipation. Tove is a hard worker and the rewards are definitely paying off, and she’s finally able to show off all that graft and commitment shown with new record Sway.
The first thing you notice is how tailored the record is. It feels like every beat, every instrument, every vocal has been listened to with extra care to make sure it fits in perfectly with everything that’s built up around it. It’s not just the mixing, its the overall sound of the record that feels especially polished. The album-titled opener Sway kicks in with a catchy synth-pop riff as Tove provides floaty vocals to set the pace. She pours her heart out with lyrics of questioning and self-doubt, tying it all together with cleverly situated backing music and lively drums.
Say My Name starts off with simple synths accompanied by Tove’s voice alone; it lets her show off her distinct ‘singy/talky’ style that she got down to a tee, and sparkles the listener with witty one liners to push the track along: ‘wear it out like a sweater that you love’. In contrast, Mistakes good use of tightly layered vocals manages to bring the track to life as the melody and wordplay chug along at a steady beat. Tove makes great use of drops and breaks once again before rising the track up and belting out the chorus like a phoenix from the flames.
On A Level shows yet another side to Tove’s skills. Layered vocals form an Imogen Heap-esque sound (if you haven’t heard it check out Hide and Seek) that really suit the artist’s range, while the overly-polished track once again delivers the ambience thats majestic, it has that ‘something’ that every pop song searches for to reach the top amidst the saturated pop market. Not bad for a song in the deep-cuts of the record.
Sway is a success and Tove’s best work to date. Mixing with the big names has definitely paid off and the attention to detail that shines through on the record is impressive. Tove is an artist in her prime, and touring with Katy Perry is bound to bring her a bunch of new fans that the artist fully deserves.
By Jamie Parmenter