Pop music is in a constant state of evolution and the latest release from LOVA, the 21-year-old Swedish songstress currently making waves, sits comfortably at the forefront of this neverending wave.
Since releasing her Scripted Reality EP last year, LOVA has emerged as one of Sweden’s most exciting new acts, blending pop hooks with incisive lyrics to construct her own thoughtful compositions.
Swedish pop-songstress LOVA challenges stereotypes on her latest release, Daddy Issues, cementing her status as a master of thoughtful pop.
Now LOVA has released her sophomore EP, A Gentleman’s Guide, an anthem for feminine empowerment oozing with unapologetic confidence. To go with it, she’s dropped the video for the EP’s first track, Daddy Issues.
The retro video is soft and sparkling; LOVA dances beneath gleaming chandeliers clad in equally gleaming jewellery and vintage gowns, surrounded by straight-faced businessmen. There’s a playful use of tropes; the 90s-girl-on-the-phone-in-her-bedroom look, and later, the blonde beauty surrounded by men, a là Madonna’s Vogue.
But these stereotypes take on a tongue-in-cheek edge as the modern sentiment of LOVA’s defiant lyrics invert the meaning behind the imagery.
“Tell your son he should always be polite, to don’t mistake her love as an invite,” LOVA begins, entering into a dialogue which is both contemporary and political. Beneath the surface of LOVA’s lyrics lie darker issues of consent, violence against women, and toxic masculinity (“But don’t tell them ‘boys don’t cry'”). Dextrously, she packages them in a sparkly exterior so they become easier to talk about.
Even the track’s title represents an ironic flipping of the script. Whilst daddy issues are stereotypically associated with women, LOVA is instead imparting them on men who have been brought up with the wrong ideas of how to treat women. And in turn, through Daddy Issues, LOVA is addressing the fathers of these men, calling it out as their responsibility to make a change.
The retro setting makes sense then, and isn’t a purely aesthetic choice – she’s going back in time to start a conversation with the previous generation of men. Speaking on this LOVA describes, “The phones make the whole thing feel so much more conversational and honest, which is exactly what I want to achieve with this song.”
Conversational and honest seem to be a direction increasingly pursued in contemporary pop music. Once a canvas for the romanticisation of glitz and glamour, there is a darkness creeping into modern pop, and with that, there seems to be a yearning for the authentic over the overly-manufactured.
Nevertheless, the bouncing track is full of classy pop production. Minimal verses give way to punchy hook-laden choruses, with LOVA’s voice sitting like nectar in the middle of it all.
Despite the more somber notes which lie beneath the surface, the driving colour of the track cements the empowerment intended behind LOVA’s message. Through Daddy Issues, LOVA continues to establish herself at the forefront of a new era of pop which is just as thoughtful as it is catchy.
A Gentleman’s Guide is out now.