Perhaps more difficult than delivering a good song is delivering a good cover. Luckily, Swedish superstar Tove Lo is fantastic at both. Coming off the heels of releasing her delectable summery heartbreak dance anthem, “No One Dies From Love,” the singer has unleashed her version of Olivia Rodrigo’s angsty pop-punk Sour hit, “Good 4 U” — and it’s excellent, if we do say so ourselves.
There’s a lot of ways a cover can go wrong: too unimaginative, too close to the original, so experimental that it gets weird, and the list can go on (everyone’s a critic, after all). Lo, however, clearly arrived to her live session at Swedish Sverges radio station this past week determined to give a masterclass on how a cover can go right, and in the best cases make you see an already beloved song in a complete new light.
Swapping out the guitars for keyboard and synths, her reimagining of Rodrigo’s track skews more dance than angst. Her voice booms over the song’s new and sparkling pop coat, adding a slight tweak to the melody here and there, and just when you think there’s nothing more she could do to make the song her own, a shimmering dance break pops in for a moment of euphoric reprieve. If Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” is built off the pop-punk that dominated the hallways of our formative years, then Lo’s version is what it might sound like grown up, experiencing heartbreak in the dimly lit corridors of the club. After the song generously brought rage and catharsis throughout the summer last year, don’t we deserve to now dance it all out this year?
Also during her visit to the radio station, Lo gave her first live performance of her new track, “No One Dies From Love” — another clarifying dance anthem and one of NYLON’s dark horse contenders for 2022’s Song of the Summer. While we wait for Tove Lo’s “Good 4 U” cover to get uploaded on streaming services (there’s no guarantee, but it would be a shame if it didn’t), watch that performance too, below: