Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Tove Lo – Disco Tits

And finally, the return of Tove Lo, with a song untypeable at your editor’s workplace…


Alex Clifton: Combine a more sexually explicit early Ellie Goulding song with a bizarre descending pre-chorus synth drop and the feeling of listening to “Get Lucky” underwater and you end up with “Disco Tits.” It screams “teenage house party”: you can hear the hangover on the horizon. It’s also empty, the equivalent of a watered-down vodka shot. Tove Lo does grandiose so well, but a song called “Disco Tits” needs way more disco.

Micha Cavaseno: Over a groove that sounds like Al Bleek & Kid Drama trying to revive the Murk Records catalog for their own ghastly benefits, Tove Lo is both too concrete and too intangible a hedonist to be pinned down to one aesthetic; that said, were Abel Tesfaye ever to honestly admit to his egotism, maybe he could get something close to this level of divinity, but frankly the poor kid hasn’t actually convinced us he’s as much of a wastrel as he claims, y’know? Meanwhile, our Scandinavian friend’s falsetto sounds like #PEAK as much as her supposed peaks, and the lows both throb and entrench along the grooves of the record, resembling Kylie Minogue getting not so much trashed as Kristen-Bell-in-Deadwood-getting-concussed level battered. A coastal sinkhole of debauchery that you wouldn’t mind being inescapable.

Alfred Soto: She’s never been uninteresting, and the organ line prodding the double tracked distorted vocals is one of the year’s shrewdest instrumental tricks. I have a distinct memory of a male friend called Disco Tits in the early ’00s too. Maybe I’d grade this on a curve if Nick Jonas sang it. On the merits, though, this “Disco Tits” is a goose pimply dance floor experience.

Katherine St Asaph: Someone on ILX made an offhand comment that blew Tove Lo’s music wide open for me: comparing her to Liz Phair. Which would seem like the shallowest possible comparison to make about a hard-nipple-centric track called “Disco Tits” — but it’s the blunt affect, rendering cool girls and true disasters and being high as fuck as the same emotional shade. For Tove Lo it’s a specific effect: distanced, unreal (particular in the high register, with just a little much autotune) with no “there” there. What is there — hyper-there — is the track, careening through chromatics and repeats and Max Martin disco without quite sticking on either, as if you’re too far gone to register more than 66% of “Can’t Feel My Face.” Among life’s worse truths is that nothing is so seductive as the way music sounds when you’ve been drinking, how every song cracks itself open to reveal its neon Moonside version, then shuts itself back up the hours before and after. Lady Wood, unsurprisingly, was especially susceptible to the effect; probably this would be too. I wish I didn’t want to find out.

Jessica Doyle: I can’t remember the last time I disliked a song so thoroughly and immediately as I do this piece of defeatist tripe, somehow titled “Disco Tits” despite having no relation to either disco or tits. We can argue about what disco was, and whether a callout to “disco” isn’t just another prop in the era of James Franco watching himself play two roles, but it would be giving the song a veneer of care it doesn’t have: “disco” and “tits” are empty signifiers, stripped of anything they might once have had, including humor. (A song about being high as fuck with references to disco, but no disco fries!) The sample accomplishes absolutely nothing besides calling attention to the fact that the producers involved have the power to sample. Tove Lo chants about hard nipples as if she’s vaguely aware that out there are people thinking about sex and robots and dehumanization but what’s the point of actually learning anything when you can just wander into a recording studio and walk out paid, who cares? This is such a complete waste of time I can’t even bring myself to hope that the people who created it have enough humanity to hate themselves a little.

Julian Axelrod: Here’s a fun experiment: Imagine any other major pop star trying to pull this off. Imagine if Katy, or Ariana, or (god forbid) Taylor put out a single talking about hard nipples. No one but Tove Lo could sound this cool, this blase, this tongue-in-cheek. “Disco Tits” plays out like a prequel to “Habits” — specifically, the moment when you’ve had one drink too many and everything just looks like shapes and colors and you’re about fifteen minutes away from remembering why you don’t go out that much. But no one makes bad decisions sound more fun than Tove Lo.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Come on, it’s a song called “Disco Tits,” it’s exactly what we expected, and exactly what we needed. Tove Lo out-Tove Lo-ing herself. The performance is still so engaging that dumb title ends up being the least interesting thing about it. It’s all about her embracing that silly, raunchy image, immorally catchy hooks and all. And so should you. 

Reader average: [7.87] (16 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

15 Responses to “Tove Lo – Disco Tits”

  1. Good grief, sometimes this place is ridiculous. This can’t even muster a 6?!

  2. I’m fully charged nipples are hard ready to go

    Ok Ms Lo

  3. If it makes you feel any better Luke, I would’ve given this a 7 or 8 but couldn’t figure out how to write about it (and tbh i’m still pretty annoyed I couldn’t). All I know is that I dance every time the pre-chorus hits and it was through dancing that I understood the utility of the “i say hi, you say hi, we stay high, you look so pretty” line (the robotic eighth note vocal rhythm bridges the pre-chorus’s cascading eighth note synthline to the chorus’s deadpan-esque delivery [and of course we’re already used to the chorus following it since this sequence opens the song up]). One of the few songs this year where every listen just had me envisioning specific choreography for it.

  4. There weren’t a lot of reviews, so a 0 knocked it almost a full point down. It’s a shame, I really like it.

  5. I don’t really get why people are surprised this was controversial?

  6. If anyone had scored it a point higher it would be an even 6, so I’m actually surprised it wasn’t lower. 5 out of 7 above 7 is very good for a song called Disco Tits.

  7. this song is not very good. 100% with alex on this one.

  8. Worst song I’ve heard this year

  9. Julian should have warned us before unleashing the mere IDEA of taylor recording this

  10. I was actually very surprised more people liked this? I love silly stuff as well and like, I’ve also been in a headspace where I took this song 100% seriously (even though it is, yes, called “Disco Tits”) but honestly I tried really hard to like it and after three or four listens I knocked down my score a couple notches. It’s still been stuck in my head though so bravo Tove Lo on that count.

  11. kylie comparison spot-on, also

  12. …and the video is out!

  13. I love this song and it’s gets a 7 from me.

  14. To listen and appreciate Tove’s discography (before scoring 0s for believing she make songs just to get her check which is quite a superficial excuse if I may say) one has to fully immerse in her artistry and envision her never shallow or dull way of portraying every bit of life. If I don’t read interviews, lyrics or biography about an artist before giving a review, I simply won’t engage in such critique for I am an ignorant of the singer’s artistic vision and experience which make a song what it is (an introspective look at one’s soul). Most of I fully stand for beign no such scores as 0s in music because of the minimum amount of work there has been dedicated in is already a point in favor. I would also like to sum up what’s the meaning behind the song since I assume some people may just fall blindly in the listening wondering what the heck is going on. She’s always been an advocate for the “Free the Nipple” movement because of the cultural shock she encountered when first approaching the States’ music industry (to which her music is addressed) for all the stigma around nipples and boobs. By flashing and chanting about her breasts she aims to unapolocetically bore the moralists until they understamd she can’t be arsed because a woman in the industry can do whatever she wants (that’s basically the essence). Furthermore Disco Tits was a nickname she was given by her new boyfriend because of her top’s resemblance to a disco ball. She said she considered it as a naive and fun state of mind in relation to the newfound love because – let me get this clear – all if her songs reflect her life FULLY. Tove is one of the fewer artists out there which baldly describes her life in her lyrics and isn’t afraid of people submerging in her visions by creating sometimes fun and liberating, sometimes deep entrancing visuals which are part of her artistry. Just as a background info she decided to shoot 2 short films for her latest album financially supperted by herself. Not precisely quoting her in her YouTube behind the scenes for her first short film “Fairy Dust”: “some people think I’m crazy because I spend too much money. What the fuck should I do with the money? This is what I wanna do with the money” talking about the production of the film. Having said that, it’s definitely your point of view and I respect it. Also mine is just a critique and a point of view, it is not meant as an attack. Lastly, pardon my English, I’m Italian.

  15. @Luigi: your comment gets at a debate some of us have had in fits and starts behind the scenes, namely when, if ever, it’s appropriate to “parachute,” meaning if it’s okay to review a song without being immersed in the song’s and/or artist’s background. I have previously defended parachuting (as you might have guessed) on the grounds that our format allows for the both the knowledgeable and the ignorant to give their opinions. But I suspect there are a fair number of other readers and/or writers who would agree with you, that delivering a knee-jerk opinion isn’t fair, especially if it’s especially negative (and especially especially, maybe, if the artist is generally less likely to be taken seriously due to gender / Denver identification / race / country of origin / etc.). In this case, like I said, I pretty much never dislike a song this much this fast (this is my first 0 in four years at the TSJ) do it seemed worth reporting the reaction. I appreciate your coming back and giving some context to this.