Fresh from joining Lorde on her U.S. tour in March (and now preparing to support Katy Perry through Europe in May), it’s no wonder Tove Styrke is making waves, building a loyal following across the globe. The Swedish electro-pop singer brought her bubbly, energetic set to Australian shores for the first time, playing only two shows before darting back home (after an excellent Like A Version appearance on triple j Breakfast the following morning). Thankfully, we managed to head along to Melbourne’s Howler to get a glimpse of Styrke’s stunning, refined talent before she left.
Following a buzzing opening performance from Sydney dance duo Moza, Styrke graced the stage in a sequined, translucent boiler suit as she bounced around to her reggae-inspired ‘Borderline’. The Swede immediately grasped everyone’s attention and held onto it with such confidence for the entire show.
After spotting a fan in the front row holding a copy of her debut, self-titled album from 2010, Tove ecstatically yelled “It’s baby me!” in clear disbelief that her music was as influential and well-regarded across the globe as it really is. A short spiel in her high-pitched talking voice later, and she was straight back into smashing out the new singles from her forthcoming third album, Sway. The repetitive, catchy hooks and distorted ukulele riff of ‘Say My Name’, as well as the soft, jumping percussion of ‘On the Low’ had everyone in the crowd swaying and dancing together.
One major aspect of Tove Styrke’s live show is her supporting band, comprised of two extremely talented musician-friends. Between them, almost every sound including percussion, guitars, keys and backing vocals was constructed and performed live on stage. For an electronic-pop artist, this was not only rare but also incredibly impressive – making the whole night both more personal and grounded.
In addition to blessing her newer fans (myself included) with her recent hits, Tove Styrke satisfied long-time fans by dropping some of her favourite tracks from the 2015 LP Kiddo, including soft yet pacing ‘Ego’ and the Taylor Swift-resembling anthem ‘Even If I’m Talking Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You’. In a move that all levels of fandom could appreciate, she then performed her stunning cover of Lorde’s ‘Liability’, with a clear love and gratitude to the Kiwi megastar who brought her along on tour.
Never before have I seen so much power, energy and genuine talent sustained by such a petite artist, clearly demonstrated as she rounded out an incredible show with one of her latest singles, ‘Changed My Mind’. Tove Styrke ticks all the right boxes – and she is deservingly on her way to becoming the next huge pop-superstar.
Where: Howler, Brunswick
When: Thursday April 12
Supported by Moza
Reviewed by Zach Edwards