Tove Lo knows how to throw a party. Just two weeks ago, the Swedish singer celebrated her 30th birthday with a "pimp your tracksuit"-themed rager at a rented mansion in Calabasas, California, complete with a glitter station, a unicorn-boob cake, and 300 friends, including her self-professed "bestie" Caroline Hjelt of Icona Pop, who played co-host. "Everyone was getting pretty crazy and f-cked up, but there was no fighting and nothing broke," she said yesterday afternoon at InStyle's offices, wearing a T-shirt, Y/Project pants, and velvet Converse. "It was good vibes."
Up until this point, Lo's career has been imbued with a positive energy and blatant disregard for societal norms that has catapulted her to mainstream fame. Her debut album, 2014's Queen of the Clouds, won her Best Swedish Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards, while her co-write of Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" earned her nominations at the 2016 Golden Globes and Grammys. All the while, she was a frequent headliner on the music festival circuit, where she consistently flashed her bare breasts to the crowd.
Now, after opening for Coldplay during their A Head Full of Dreams Tour, Lo is back with a follow-up to 2016's Lady Wood titled Blue Lips, out today and complete with album artwork that's a close-up of her butt. It's a testament to her unwavering commitment to sexual freedom, despite the naysayers. "Sexual expression is fun to me," she said. "It's freeing. With everything coming out about Harvey Weinstein, people say, 'Don't you think it's time to be more careful about being so openly sexual?' It creates the space where that type of behavior is okay. We can't turn this back on women."
But change is afoot, Lo said, noting how, when she released Lady Wood, there was a positivity around being sexually open—it wasn't something she had to defend. "Just because I like to be naked doesn't mean that you have to," she said. "If you want to be covered from head-to-toe, that's your choice. We can still coexist and be happy and share a lot of fun times and opinions."
Lo continues to cite how recent sexual harassment accusations have prompted her male interviewers to reassess their own values. "I did a radio interview in Texas, and this guy's mind was blown when he realized that women should be allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies, and if I want to be topless, I should be allowed to be topless when he gets to be topless. I saw him changing his outlook, and that's a great thing."
VIDEO: Watch Tove Lo's NSFW Music Video for "Disco Tits"
The NSFW video for "Disco Tits," Lo's lead single off her new album, is also sure to grab attention. It features the singer in a series of compromising positions with a furry yellow Muppet, singing along to the lyrics "I'm fully charged, nipples are hard / Ready to go." The meaning of the song, she said, is falling in and out of control in a relationship. "Someone always tends to have the upper hand at different times. This became a great, bizarre, cheeky way to tell that story." No word from the Muppets yet. "They're leaving it alone for now," she said.