Tove Lo’s newest album Dirt Femme is a powerful display of her pop skills, with many amazing singles. It’s honest and vulnerable but still fun throughout. Overall, it’s a deeply catchy synth pop creation.

What follows are my thoughts on the album after my first listen.

Dirt Femme has incredible singles1. I love them so much. They are standouts on what is still an overall impressive album. I was trying my best (and very much not succeeding) to avoid the singles so that I could listen to the album as a whole. They’re such bops and I think my mind would have been even more blown if I had heard them all for the first time in one sitting.

In this post I’d like to go track-by-track to share my thoughts.

Opener “No One Dies from Love” was one of the aforementioned incredible singles. It’s a banger. I love the vocoder-ish thing (harmonizer, maybe?) that we hear on the title phrase. It’s very solid pop.

“Suburbia” is the sort of song that I want to dance to with my friends after two or three drinks. It’s a little cheeky and very fun. Something I noticed on this track (and throughout the album) is Tove Lo’s commitment to a synth-dominated sound. And it sounds good.

“2 Die 4” is a boppp and I’ve been playing it since it came out! The vocal processing on this song sounds a little different than on the other tracks, and it contributes to the atmosphere of the song. The harmonies are great, and of course the synth hook from “Popcorn” goes hard. Tove Lo performed “2 Die 4” at Lollapalooza this year (it had just released) and it was a terrific experience.

“True Romance” has so much power as a song. The live performance at Lollapalooza also slapped. And the song has a lyrical reference to popcorn, which must be a nod to the previous track. “True Romance” is dripping with sad girl energy — it’s exquisite, but it can be a lot to handle. I hadn’t quite noticed the bit where Tove Lo sings a really high note through intense autotune, and I liked it. It kinda reminds me of a moment from “Human Nature” by Sevdaliza. Overall, this song is an excellent display of Tove Lo’s vocal prowess. It lets her performance shine, and that makes the entire song.

Next up, “Grapefruit” captures Tove Lo’s experience with an eating disorder. It’s a deeply sad and personal song, but framed in a way that it’s somehow still a bop. I like the “counting numbers” gimmick and the wonky detuned synth fill that we get at the end of each chorus.

Following that, “Cute & Cruel” (featuring First Aid Kit) opens with wonderful vocal harmonies in layers. It shows some of the lower end of Tove Lo’s vocal range2. The track has a moment where it really dries out, and I love the contrast that it provides.

“Call on Me” opens with drums that hit hard and a niice cowbell groove. This is a song that I absolutely want to listen to with friends.

At first, the Hollywood-centric lyrics of “Attention Whore” (featuring Channel Tres) confused me, but once we got a verse from Channel Tres, the song made a lot more sense to me. At least on my first listen, I thought that he was definitely the highlight of this otherwise somewhat-strange track. That said, I can’t deny enjoying the final chorus.

“Pineapple Slice” is not shy about its subject matter. It’s an expertly crafted track in terms of composition, performance, and production. This might be strange, but I want to listen to this song while on a late-night solo walk. The vibes are strong throughout this track, and we love a good pineapple reference. For what it’s worth, I think this would make a great mashup with “2 Die 4.”

“I’m to Blame” was a confusing track, at least on first listen. It felt like it switched disjointedly from slightly-Adele to kinda-Maroon 5. I think I’d hear this in an Uber.

“Kick in the Head” is excellent pop. The bassline is so good. The song makes me feel cute and reminds me of Dua Lipa’s “Blow Your Mind (Mwah).” The drums are catchy. This one is pretty high on my list of songs from this album (but then again, so is almost every other track).

Finally, “How Long” makes an excellent closer. On this listen, I heard little elements of the song that I hadn’t picked up on in previous listens. It goes hard. It’s hearty and buttery and sends us off into the night with energy and confidence.

Bottom line: This is excellent (synth-)pop; an excellent overall album with especially good singles.

  1. The album had five singles before release: “How Long,” “No One Dies from Love,” “True Romance,” “2 Die 4,” and “Grapefruit.” I did manage to avoid listening to “Grapefruit” before the album’s release, but I attribute that solely to the fact that the single was released two days ago. ↩︎

  2. Unless I’m mistakenly mixing up Tove Lo with the feature in this moment, but I don’t think I’m doing that? ↩︎