The Swedish singer is strident amidst steel pans on her self-affirming new pop track
If you’d asked who Tove Styrke sounded like back in 2010, the answer would have been a hybrid of Kylie Minogue’s sparkle and the heartfelt electro-pop of fellow Scandinavian singers such as Robyn or Margaret Berger. And while early cuts like “Call My Name” have become classics for devotees of Scandipop, the 21-year-old’s new single “Borderline” – her first since signing with Sony Music UK, and taken from an EP due next month – sets out a different mission statement.
Much like Elliphant’s summery swag, “Borderline” takes you on a journey with carefree reggae-tinged beats, syncopated guitars and flecks of wildly-scattering instrumentation. Styrke’s attitude-packed vocals and post-chorus hook sit expertly against the tropical backdrop, with her waking up from what she calls "The Matrix of patriarchal dominance," finding self-identity amongst the confusion. “Society has taught me that there’s a limited space for me to grow within, a narrow idea of what I am supposed to be,” she explains. “I am free when I fully let go of the things that I, as a girl, have been taught to be throughout my life.”
Tove Styrke plays New Shapes @ Notting Hill Arts Club, London (Nov 5)