“Say the words, either way it’s gonna hurt…”
Nothing is certain in this world except death, taxes, and good pop music coming out of Scandinavia.
Tove Stryke‘s at it again with a brand new bop, following this summer’s “Mood Swings,” her first release in three years since 2018’s Sway. And this time, she’s really gone and done the damn thing. (Huge week for Swedish Idol contestants – magical, if you will!)
The 28-year-old singer-songwriter hopped into the studio with an enviable array of songwriting and production talent, including Dua Lipa collaborators Caroline Ailin and Sly, Lostboy (who has done great stuff with Griff) and Pablo Bowman.
The end result is “Start Walking,” out on Friday (October 22), a misleadingly sad pop banger, and the latest, greatest addition to the Crying at the Discotheque genre, full of dance-the-tears-away gems that we love, crave and relate to way too deeply on the dance floor.
“Say the words, no one wants to say the words, we’re holding onto nothing, but nobody here is talking,” she laments across a misleadingly chipper dance-pop beat.
I mean, this line alone: “I ain’t scared of feelin’ lonelinеss / I’m scared of watchin’ my life pass while I makе somethin’ bad last.” Oof. Felt!
“[It’s] a song I made together with some amazing writers and producers and I’m obsessed with it. It’s an upbeat song with sad lyrics, which is my favorite combination. It’s about a person who knows a relationship is over, and how it sucks to actually be the one to leave but you know there is no other way,” Tove says.
Much to our delight, the catchy cut arrives alongside an amusing, imaginative Oskar Gullstrand-directed music video featuring “Tove Styrkez,” a fictional dansband, as they tour around Sweden in the ’70s. (A fun fact: the possessive suffix “s” is often replaced by “z” in dansband names.)
Dans-who? Allow Ms. Styrke to explain the concept to the non-Swedes…
“I love the insane music video we made for the single. It’s about a Swedish ‘dansband’ with supernatural powers. ‘Dansband’ is a signature style of Swedish pop music that has drawn huge audiences dancing cheek to cheek around the country for decades. My dad played in one of these bands – they were called Max Fenders – in the 1970’s which is where the idea for the video initially comes from. Think Stranger Things, but the 70’s, showcasing cheesy pop band culture, set on the roads of deep Sweden. I can’t believe such video did not already exist, so I simply had to make it… Get ready for thunder, lightning, lasers and ‘Tove Styrkez!’”
Think Carrie, Scandipop style. The lesson is: don’t overwork Tove and her traveling dansband, lest you’re looking for a lightning bolt to the face.
Sometimes the best bet really is to just start walking. Are you ready, boots?