Socks are actually a bit amazing aren’t they? They’re all, like, foot shaped and soft and…sockish. They keep your feet warm in the winter and, together with their old friend ‘the leather sandle’, make middle aged men look all cool ‘n happenin’ in summer. They let you walk around the house without having to stand on bits of that mashed broccoli quiche your mum went and dicked up last night, and stop your Auntie Joan’s feet from causing an ALMIGHTY BLOODY WHIFF when she comes round for afternoon tea.
Bear with me. I’m going somewhere with this.
The thing is, socks are so simple and there’s so bloody many of them, that we often forget how amazing they are. They’re not like those gobshite cardigans with their ‘Oh look at me with my fancy patterns and chunky knits’ mentality, and they’re definitely not as hard as shoes. Shoes can accidentally stand in dog shit and still be ready for action after a quick wipe on the grass. Socks could never handle that kind of pressure. Still, socks are reliable. They’re essential. They might get the odd hole in the toe now and then, but you can forgive them for that, because, well, they’re socks.
Still going somewhere with this.
Swedish pop stars are a bit like socks. They can be so naturally and unassumingly brilliant most of the time that they sometimes get a bit overlooked. They tend not to have the ‘egg hatching/fanny flashing ’ immediacy of stars like Gaga or Rihanna (both amazing), but without them the world of music would generally be ten times shitter.
Tove Styrke is an amazing Swedish pop star. She might wear socks. She might not. To be honest this isn’t about socks anymore. It’s about TOVE bloody STYRKE. Styrke is one of those annoyingly talented people who seem to be able to do a bit of everything- in her case modelling, songwriting, singing and a bit of piano playing here and there. She first warbled onto the scene in 2009 when, at the still tender age of 17, she came third in the TV talent show Swedish Idol. She signed to Sony Music that same year and by June 2010 had released her first single ‘Million Pieces’- a punchy slice of upbeat synth-pop with a ridiculously catchy beat. While it would later turn out to be one of the less interesting tracks on the album, the song helped Styrke to shake off that pesky ‘talent show contestant’ tag and establish her as a credible artist in her own right.
A self titled album followed in November 2010, and further cemented Stryke’s reputation as an official ‘Robyn in waiting’. Songs like ‘Stalker in Your Speaker’ and ‘White Light Moment’ contained an infectious dance edged charm which, combined with Styrke’s sprightly vocals and thoughtful lyrics, demonstrated all that was amazing about Swedish pop music. Meanwhile, ‘Chaos’- one of the strongest tracks on the album- contained the kind of unassumingly brilliant production which Swedish pop stars seem to knock out as effortlessly as a Pepsi fuelled belch.
And in case all that wasn’t amazing enough she’s only went and recently released another bloody tune and a half! ‘Call My Name’- released last month- is Styrke’s most attention grabbing song to date. From the dance rock blast at the beginning through to the power-pop chant of the chorus, Call My Name hints that Styrke isn’t prepared to do ‘overlooked’. The song has a balls out confidence which is both surprising and charming, and if she continues on the upward slope of musical brilliance which she’s currently climbing, she’s going to be extremely hard to ignore.
Who knows, one day she might even be a shoe.
‘Tove Styrke’ and ‘Call My Name’ are available to download from iTunes now.
This post was originally written for OMFG Music