Lady Wood

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Lady Wood
Close-up of a woman's navel, her right thumb pulls down the top of her short shorts
Studio album by
Released28 October 2016 (2016-10-28)
RecordedJuly 2015 – April 2016
Tove Lo chronology
Queen of the Clouds
Lady Wood
Blue Lips
Alternative cover
Unusual camera angle highlights a woman's bent right leg, covered by black fishnet pants
2018 deluxe vinyl reissue with Blue Lips
Singles from Lady Wood
  1. "Cool Girl"
    Released: 4 August 2016
  2. "True Disaster"
    Released: 15 November 2016

Lady Wood is the second studio album by Swedish singer Tove Lo, released on 28 October 2016 by Island Records. Lady Wood is considered the first half of a two-piece concept album that describe "highs, lows and ultimate demise of a relationship." Its chapters "Fairy Dust" and "Fire Fade" precede the chapters "Light Beams" and "Pitch Black" from her following album Blue Lips (2017). It was recorded between July 2015 and May 2016, which Lo commented was a quicker turnaround than the "whole life" she was afforded when creating her previous record Queen of the Clouds (2014).[4]

The tracks that begin each chapter are instrumental compositions by The Struts member Ludvig Södberg ("Fairy Dust"), and Ilya Salmanzadeh ("Fire Fade").Including the introductory tracks, Lo co-wrote the album's 10 songs. The album features new collaborations with producers Ilya, Oscar Holter, Oscar Görres, Rickard Göransson, and Joel Little, and guest vocals from rapper Wiz Khalifa, and fellow singer-songwriter, Joe Janiak. Two short films complemented the album's two chapters. The first, Fairy Dust, was released on 31 October 2016, and was followed by Fire Fade on 25 August 2017. These short films focus on a fictionalized, self-destructive version of Lo while expanding on the album's lyrical themes. Both short films were produced by Diktator, written by Lo and Tim Erem and directed by Erem.

"Cool Girl" was serviced as the lead single from Lady Wood on 4 August 2016, reaching number 15 in Sweden and number 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100. "True Disaster" was released on 15 November 2016 as the album's second single. The album peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard 200, becoming her highest-charting album in the country to date. To promote the album, Lo embarked on her second concert tour, Lady Wood Tour.

Background and composition[edit]

Lady Wood was inspired by "the chase, the rush, the peak, and the downfall [of the] emotional rollercoaster" Lo experienced since her extended play Truth Serum and debut studio album Queen of the Clouds were released in 2014.[5] The album consists of two chapters: "Fairy Dust", which details the euphoria surrounding a gratifying encounter, and "Fire Fade", which highlights a subsequent sense of self-awareness.[6] Lo announced Lady Wood is to be the first half of a two-piece album, with the third and fourth chapters "Light Beam" and "Pitch Black" to be included on Lo's third studio album in 2017.[6]

Title and release[edit]

On 17 August 2016, Lo revealed that her second studio album would be titled Lady Wood and would be released on 28 October.[7] About the title, Tove Lo recalls "writing the bridge of the title track, and thinking that I wanted to say, like, 'You're turning me on,' but I wanted to find another word. Like, what's the word for a female hard-on? I think I heard it in a movie somewhere—they were just like, 'You give me wood.' And I was like, 'Girl wood, or, Lady wood! Yes!'"[8]


The lead single from the album, "Cool Girl", was released on 4 August 2016,[9][10] reaching number 15 in Sweden and number 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[11]

"Influence" was released on 9 September 2016 as the first promotional single from the album. The song features American rapper Wiz Khalifa. "True Disaster" was originally released on 14 October 2016 as the second promotional single. The song was sent to US contemporary hit radio on 15 November 2016 as the album's second single.[12]


On 23 October 2016, five days prior to the release of the Lady Wood, Lo announced North American and European headlining Lady Wood Tour, with special guests Phoebe Ryan and Broods, to promote the album.[13][14] Various South American dates, Australian dates, other miscellaneous concerts, and festival dates were later announced at different times.[15] The tour kicked off on 6 February 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

Fairy Dust and Fire Fade[edit]

["Fairy Dust"] is when I hear the fans shouting my name and I'm about to hit the stage. "Fire Fade" is when it all sort of starts to wear off and I'm losing connection with the fans a bit, and I'm trying to get back to that first chase. You feel vulnerable there. It's where you start to reveal your true self.

— Lo describing the chapters of Lady Wood.[5]

The trailer for Fairy Dust, a short film based on the first half of the album, was unveiled on 17 October 2016.[16] The full short film for Fairy Dust was released on 31 October 2016.[17] A short film for the second half of the album, titled Fire Fade, was released on 25 August 2017.[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyA−[22]
The Observer[24]
Rolling Stone[3]
Slant Magazine[25]

Lady Wood received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 74, based on 16 reviews.[19] Entertainment Weekly's Madison Vain praised the album as "the darkest, weirdest, most irresistible pop record of the fall" and wrote, "While Lo's lyrics are stark and intensely personal, the music sounds engineered for the masses."[22] Writing for NME, Nick Levine commented that "[s]ome listeners may not warm to Lo's persona, but her songwriting skills are difficult to fault", adding that "she keeps the hooks coming throughout as her hip, minimal electro-pop quivers, shimmers, pulses and throbs."[23] Alim Kheraj of DIY noted that "Lady Wood isn't an album made for radio or easy digestion. The hooks are there but, like Tove herself, they aren't succumbing expectations."[21]

Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone opined that the album "doesn't have anything that hits quite as hard as 'Stay High (Habits)' [sic] and 'Talking Body' [...] But its minimalist tech-house sound has a darkly textured allure".[3] Heather Phares of AllMusic remarked that "despite its provocative title, [Lady Wood] often feels more straightforward than Queen of the Clouds did."[20] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine concluded that "Lady Wood is admirably lean and tightly focused, and though it doesn't boast confessionals on the order of Like a Prayer's, it offers a peek inside the psyche of a smart, burgeoning young star."[25] Katherine St. Asaph of Pitchfork stated that "Lady Wood is short, but Lo finds ample darkness to plumb."[2] The Observer's Kitty Empire expressed that "Lady Wood is, if anything, classier than Queen of the Clouds. But it might not sell so well, in that it lacks the sleazy catnip—the sex clubs, the self-abasement—displayed in the latter's defining singles."[24]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes[26] and Tidal[27]

Lady Wood – standard edition[28]
1."Fairy Dust"
The Struts0:57
2."Influence" (featuring Wiz Khalifa)
The Struts3:44
3."Lady Wood"
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Oscar Holter
  • Holter
  • Söderberg
4."True Disaster"
  • Lo
  • Holter
5."Cool Girl"
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Jerlström
The Struts3:19
6."Vibes" (featuring Joe Janiak)
The Struts3:46
7."Fire Fade"Ilya0:52
8."Don't Talk About It"
9."Imaginary Friend"
  • The Struts
  • Little
10."Keep It Simple"Payami3:51
12."WTF Love Is"
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Jerlström
The Struts3:41
Total length:39:35
Lady Wood Target exclusive edition bonus tracks[29]
13."Cool Girl" (The Knocks remix)
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Jerlström
14."True Disaster" (Hyperbits remix)
  • Lo
  • Holter
  • Holter
  • Hyperbits[a]
15."Influence" (Chords remix) (featuring Wiz Khalifa)
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Jerlström
  • Khalifa
  • The Struts
  • Chords[a]
Total length:51:12
Lady Wood and Blue Lips – Deluxe vinyl exclusive 10-inch picture disc[30]
1."Cool Girl" (Timbaland remix)
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Jerlström
2."WTF Love Is" (Karma Fields remix)
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Jerlström
3."Cycles" (MK remix)
  • Lo
  • Söderberg
  • Jerlström
  • Janiak
  • The Struts
  • MK[a]
4."Bitches" (featuring Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Elliphant, and Alma)


  • ^[a] signifies a remixer


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Lady Wood.[26]


  • Tove Lo – vocals (tracks 2–6, 8–12)
  • Wiz Khalifa – vocals (track 2)
  • The Struts – programming, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion (tracks 2, 5, 6, 9, 12)
  • Oscar Holter – programming, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion (tracks 3, 4)
  • Ludvig Söderberg – programming, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion (track 3)
  • Joe Janiak – vocals, guitar (track 6)
  • Ilya – programming, arrangement, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion (track 8)
  • Joel Little – programming, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion (track 9)
  • Ali Payami – programming, drums, keyboards, bass, guitar, all other instrumentation (track 10)
  • Oscar Görres – programming, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion (track 11)


  • The Struts – production (tracks 2, 5, 6, 9, 12)
  • Noah Passovoy – vocal recording (track 2)
  • Oscar Holter – production (tracks 3, 4)
  • Ludvig Söderberg – production (track 3); executive production
  • Ilya – production (track 8)
  • Sam Holland – engineering (track 8)
  • Jeremy Lertola – engineering assistance (track 8)
  • Cory Bice – engineering assistance (track 8)
  • Joel Little – production (track 9)
  • Ali Payami – production (track 10)
  • Oscar Görres – production (track 11)
  • Tove Lo – executive production
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • John Hanes – engineering for mix
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Randy Merrill – mastering assistance


  • Tim Erem – creative direction
  • Tove Lo – creative direction
  • Samuel Burgess-Johnson – art direction, design
  • Serena Neo – art direction, design
  • Matt Jones – photography


Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for Lady Wood
Region Date Version(s) Format(s) Label Ref.
Various 28 October 2016 Standard Island [28]
United States Target exclusive CD [29]
11 November 2016 Standard LP [50]
Various 17 December 2018 LP (with Blue Lips) [30]


  1. ^ Tracks 2–6 and 8–12
  2. ^ Tracks 8 and 10
  3. ^ Track 9


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  2. ^ a b c St. Asaph, Katherine (1 November 2016). "Tove Lo: Lady Wood Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Dolan, Jon (28 October 2016). "Review: Tove Lo Part Pop Star, Part Perfect Disaster on 'Lady Wood'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Tove Lo Is Officially Done With Her New 'Dark Techno' Album". American Top 40. 24 May 2016. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
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  14. ^ Blistein, Jon (25 October 2016). "Tove Lo Plots 2017 'Lady Wood' Tour". Rolling Stone.
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  18. ^ Reed, Ryan (25 August 2017). "Watch Tove Lo Walk on Walls in Introspective 'Fire Fade' Short Film". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
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