Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Tove Styrke – Say My Name

In case you want to comply with her request, here’s a handy pronunciation guide.


David Sheffieck: Her delivery vacillates between laid-back and demanding, and the production follows suit: it’s as if Styrke’s stitched two songs together, scattered a handful of additional samples and effects over the top like dice, and figured she could make it work. And she mostly can! This isn’t her first or strangest experiment after her relatively straightforward debut album; unfortunately, neither part of the song has a particularly catchy hook. I’m looking forward to the day she finally assembles the puzzle box she’s been working at for the last three years, but I don’t think she’s there yet.

Iain Mew: Tove Styrke and Elof Loelv do a Timbaland period piece, with at least enough tinkering at the edges to sound fresher than Jane Zhang and Timbaland himself did. There’s not much this does better than they did, though.

Alfred Soto: The verses pulse like Timbaland, the choruses like a hybrid of Rodney Jerkins and Robyn, the nagging guitar hook like nothing else — it’s like Tove Styrke teases the guitar into creating the musical equivalent of something lexically unrecognizable.

Thomas Inskeep: Hipster indie dance for the hipster indie kids who like to dance in the kitchen at house parties. But not particularly exciting.

Claire Biddles: Along with Kyla La Grange, Tove Stryke is the (alt-)pop woman having the most fun and covering the most sonic ground at the moment. There’s so much going on in “Say My Name” — each section or sound or idea could easily be spun out into a full track by a lesser artist — but it never loses its groove or sense of excitement. According to recent interviews, Stryke is holding off on an album release for the moment to “just to keep working on songs, simultaneously writing and releasing”, a thrilling prospect for a popstar who can’t be pinned down to a style or formula. 

Katherine St Asaph: Tove Styrke is no way in hell the first and won’t be the last artist to retrace Max Martin’s production path, but her past couple years are remarkable. First, a scuzzy-but-faithful cover of “…Baby One More Time.” Now, an utterly shameless rip of “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” the sole differences being a yearning bridge suited to the other alt-pop Tove, some multitracked and distorted bits respectively from Troye Sivan and probably Kanye, and a chorus that at least reveals a more interesting lyricist than par.

Micha Cavaseno: With all the rubbery reverberations, the blithering of the glitch guitar lick, and those distorted vocal tire-peel-outs it feels honestly like PC Music’s supposed piss-takes on pop were closer to the reality than many of us might like to admit. It’s the predictable patterns of modern pop we know, but everything that they’ve used to fill in the blanks is either ambiguous or rather extra.

Will Adams: The verse is a dead ringer for “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” with its lightly bouncing guitar strum (and it helps that they’re in the same key), but it’s not long before “Say My Name” proves it has much better tricks up its sleeve. We get the standard false drop structure right after, but the treatment of the ensuing hook is riveting. “SAY MY NAME,” Styrke cries, big enough to fill a cavern, but the chorus throws a clamp on it, and we’re back to an immediate, up-close space. The trick continues on, as effective the eighth time as it was the first. In a pop world that readily overindulges in reverb, it’s nice to still experience this much excitement happening inches from my face.

Reader average: [5.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Tove Styrke – Say My Name”

  1. no idea where people hear Timbaland in this — it’s so clearly “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”, you could lay them over top of one another