An outspoken member of the LGBTQ+ community, Tove Lo is one of many artists in the queer community raising their voice while promoting their craft. At the same time, she’s inspired by her like-minded peers, which is why she wanted to dedicate a playlist to them ahead of her upcoming fourth studio album Sunshine Kitty (Sept. 20).
“There are a lot of people that are out and in the LGBTQ community that are on this playlist,” says the “Glad He’s Gone” singer. “I wanted to make it like a smooth summer nostalgic playlist feel so I picked songs from people I just listen to and respect and some of them have really become my friends, starting with Alma.”
With regards to Lo’s upcoming release, she says fans can expect a “variety” with “club bangers,” but there’s an “acoustic feel” to it. The title Sunshine Kitty — a play on pussy power — was inspired by an episode of HBO’s Girls. “[The inspiration] was from this Girls episode that I saw where Lena Dunham talks about this author who used to tan her vagina to soak up all the power and the glow of the sun into her pussy. And that was how she got the glow on her face. I just thought it was a really cool visual thing, and so that also triggered the name.”
Ahead of her new album, Tove celebrates some of her favorite LGBTQ+ artists and allies in her Pride playlist below.
Alma ft. Tove Styrke – “Good Vibes”
Tove [Styrke] I really get along with and admire, and I’ve known Alma a few years, and we have a lot of fun together. That song — the title and everything — is just the mood for this playlist. And I just love both of them on the same song.
Kehlani – “Honey”
I listened to her SweetSexySavage album on repeat for the longest time, and I just think she’s a great songwriter. I love the lyrics of “Honey.” It’s just a cool, open song. Like with that first line, “Yeah, I like my girls, like I like my honey.” [It’s about] being a little selfish, so that’s why [I like it]. I think, for the rest of my playlist, I’m big on the transitions, and how they all go together, and that it’s the same kind of mood and vibe that you want. I think it was a tie between “Gangsta” and “Honey,” and I thought “Honey” would be better.
Troye Sivan – “Lucky Strike”
Well, Troye, [I’ve] been a big fan of his for a long time. I’ve listened to a lot of his songs [and] I loved both his first and second album. He’s a friend of mine [and] I think he’s just really a cool pop star, and I love that he is very out and open. “Lucky Strike” is just a really beautiful song that plays my heartstrings.
King Princess – “Cheap Queen”
I actually kind of just started listening to King Princess, and I fell in love with “Cheap Queen.” And since we were kind of close to each other on the Spotify New Music Friday playlist, I was like, “Ooh, this is a jam.”
K.Flay – “Sister”
I actually have a really cool story about her. I don’t even know if she remembers, but I met her in New York years ago. It might have been seven years ago, when I was there, trying to make it as a writer, and just trying to meet people. And I can’t remember, I was with some producer and she was in the studio next door. And someone just came in, and like, “Hey, you should meet this girl, she’s a really talented rapper.” And we just said “hi.” You know, I’ve met a bunch of people, but her name and face and voice stuck with me, and so I’ve followed her career. I’ve never seen her since, I haven’t run into her once since. I’ve followed her career since that moment, and [have been] really impressed with what she’s doing. And I think that’s pretty cool, and the new song is really good.
Frank Ocean – “Thinkin Bout You”
Frank Ocean, also an all-time favorite, and I think that “Thinkin Bout You” is just a classic that, you know, when you’re sitting [near] a sunset somewhere, and you’re with your friends, but there might be someone missing, and you’re thinking about past summers. It just has that feel about it.
Halsey – “Now Or Never”
Just straight up, “Now or Never” is one of my favorite songs of hers. I think it’s just a really, really good song and it has a melancholy to it, but it still has a romantic feel that is a bit hopeful. I like that about that song.
MS MR – “Hurricane”
MS MR are some friends of mine. I’m a big fan of Lizzy [Plapinger’s] solo project, that chick is fucking awesome too. I listened to “Hurricane” on repeat when I first heard it years and years ago, and so then when I got to know them it was just a very surreal feeling. I’m like, “You guys don’t know how much you inspired me and had been part of my musical life before we actually met.”
Allie X – “That’s So Us”
Allie X, she’s [an] amazing, cool, fabulous artist. I’ve written with her a few times and she’s a really, really talented writer, and I just think she’s really, really dope and also a cool person, and I like her music.
Tove Lo – “Glad He’s Gone”
You always need a little breakup song in there, and I think it’s just a good “Moving on is a good thing” kind of song. And it’s about friendship as well, which I think also fits in with this. I wanted to show the song that I feel shows a new side of me the best, but still has my personality intact, but it’s definitely a new sound for me. It’s kind of like the sort of most storytelling song, or one of the more storytelling songs, and I think because it’s so visual it’s hard to say why I chose that one, because it just felt like a strong identifier of the record.