Tove Lo Closes Lady Wood Era with Visually Stunning Short Film About Female Friendship
BY ISABELLE BEAUCHAMP
Roller skates, parties, and strong female friendship. What more could we ask for from the fiercely unapologetic Swedish singer, Tove Lo?
The short film, directed by artist Malia James, accompines Tove Lo's album Blue Lips (Lady Wood Phase II). With the album as the soundtrack, the film centers around best friends and partners in crime Ebba (Tove Lo) and Kit (Ana Coto).
Heartbroken after her boyfriend dumps her for his ex, Kit joins Ebba on a whirlwind road trip full of partying, boys, and neon lights. The film explores the ups and downs of female friendship when a guy (ironically named Guy) causes conflict between the pair. From a drug-fueled hallucination atop a pile of toilet paper rolls to a vulnerable heart-to-heart in the tub, Blue Lips explores the greatly dynamic and ever-changing female friendship.
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Dear Tove, Four years ago, ending my time in Dum Dum Girls, I was riding a bike around NYC listening to “Stay High” on repeat. I VERY specifically remember this moment because I was flying back to LA that morning, uncertain of what the next steps of my life would look like and how I was going to ACTUALLY become a movie director. And now, with our project, you have altered the course of my life. I could have let fear keep me from actually giving a narrative film a try for years to come, making a steady income on music videos and continually saying “someday I’ll make films.” Serendipity brought us together, but that path of fate lead both of us into our own uncharted waters that we’d only dreamt of before. No matter where the road leads, this was the tipping point. I will always remember it started with you accidentally dosing me with mushrooms at 2PM on a Wednesday. With our late nights watching movies, eating snacks, and unabashedly sharing stories of our triumphs and failures in friendships and love. No matter where the road leads, I stepped into what I really want to do because of your unwavering trust, your passion for our project,and willingness to go on the journey with me. No word is big enough to fit the gratitude I feel. We all love you for how wild and fierce you are, but I feel lucky to have also learned how tender and humble you are. Thank you. 💙 @tovelo
Lo has always been known for her fiery spirit in her music and personal image. Her concept album Blue Lips features not only in-your-face and sexually-charged tracks like "Disco Tits" and "Bitches," but also more passionate and emotional tracks like "Struggle." Lo's Blue Lips era is all about the fluidity of self, and more specifically, fluidity in womanhood. As Malia James said in an interview about Lo with The Fader, "I'm honored to show that not only will she tell you to get your fucking tits out, she'll also open up and share her heart with you."
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Thank you for all the love on Blue Lips ❤️ ”the tub scene” with Ana was a very special moment to shoot. Capturing the vulnerable side of two strong, free and open minded girls who are questioning the future and path you’re suppose to want. We set the intention before the scene but the heartfelt conversation between me and @anaocto was improvised and felt so natural. It was an instant connection between us, just as @malia_james predicted 😌 thank you Ana for bringing so much to this film.
James also explains that the film aims to show genuine, non-objectifying female sexuality, "Where eating a burger or picking your swimsuit out of your butt are sexy. Where the entire essence of a woman is what makes us desirable. Where being yourself is seductive." Some said that the film felt unfulfilling, but it is worth noting that the title of the film, Blue Lips, is the female equivalent to the term "blue balls." Touches linger and words are purposely left unspoken to create necessary tension that expand on the themes of the album.
Blue Lips explores femininity in a way that destroys the male-created image of friendship: girls in their underwear laughing and throwing pillows. It's raw and romantic, hammering in the idea that female friendship is not for the male gaze.
Lead Image Credit: Emma Holley