Immediate clarification: this is not a military invasion. This is a British-Invasion-style invasion. Although I guess the British did militarily invade a lot of places, so that’s not super clear. This is a Beatles-and-Rolling-Stones-style-British-Invasion-style invasion. Except with Scandinavian ladies.
Second point of clarification: Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. This is not to be confused with the Nordic countries which are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden and various lands under their control (including Greenland). This is not a distinction that is particularly important in my life, but I’m sure somebody somewhere cares deeply.
I’m writing this post now because I recently found out that Tove Lo is Swedish. I was on the lookout for a prominent solo female electropop musician from Sweden because I already had MØ from Denmark and Anna of the North from Norway, and I wanted to complete the Scandinavian set. When you hear the name “Tove Lo” in Swedish (link below), it’s pretty apparent that it’s a Scandinavian name, but I think I can be forgiven for not realizing it sooner because most people I interact with pronounce it the “American way” with a hard “o” in both “Tove” and “Lo.”
In any case:
Country of origin: Denmark
Pronouncing her own name: https://instaud.io/3jlJ
Translation of her name (according to Wikipedia): Maiden
Most famous solo song: “Final Song,” good song and a hilarious use of irony on my part because it’s the first song I’m mentioning in this post.
Other great songs: “Nights With You,” “Kamikaze” (which has a great music video even though it seems like kind of a ripoff of the music video for M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” which is also a great music video), “Blur” (which begins with a quick dialogue making a good contender for this list)
Scandinavian accent peeking through in a fun way: In the song “Blur,” she sings “started out the way I wanted but it’s weird now,” and there’s something about how she says “weird now” that sounds distinctly Northern European to me. I can’t quite place it.
Anna of the North
Country of origin: Norway
Pronouncing her own name: https://instaud.io/3jlA
Translation of her name (according to Wikipedia): Anna av Nord
Most famous solo song: “Lovers,” great song which was featured in the move To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which I haven’t seen but I assume is a great movie because it features this song.
Other great songs: “The Dreamer,” “Fire,” “Oslo” (previously featured here), “Leaning on Myself”
Scandinavian accent peeking through in a fun way: In “Leaning on Myself,” she sings the phrase “driving through the streets,” but she pronounces “through” with a hard “t” at the beginning. You might have noticed that she also pronounces “th” as a hard “t” when saying “Anna of the North.”
Country of origin: Sweden
Pronouncing her own name: https://instaud.io/3jlK
Translation of her name (according to Wikipedia): Tove the lynx (in an interview with Vulture.com: “There was this lynx at a zoo that was called Tove, and that I totally fell in love with. It was my dear godmother who decided to call me Tove Lo, after that lynx. It stuck.”)
Most famous solo song: “Habits (Stay High),” if you haven’t heard this song, I can say with some confidence that you never got within fifteen feet of a radio in 2014 or 2015.
Other great songs: “Talking Body,” “Cool Girl,” “Not on Drugs” (I like this song despite the fact that it uses the unbelievably trite metaphor of love being like a drug)
Scandinavian accent peeking through in a fun way: In the bridge of “Cool Girl,” she pronounces the word “blood” like a total Swede.
It’s a good thing this post isn’t about the Nordic countries, because if it was I would make a pun about it being “Finnish”-ed.
Tony graduated in 2012 with majors in mathematics and economics. He now lives in Chicago and is pursuing graduate study in economics. He also has a very good cultural trivia podcast called “Here’s My Number, So Call Me Ishmael” available on Libsyn, iTunes, and Google Play.