Back in October, Swedish artist Tove Lo released an unflinching 31-minute video suite featuring five songs from her sophomore album, Lady Wood. Entitled “Fairy Dust,” the film travels through the dark underbelly of the soul: we bear witness to sexual obsession, the agonizing renegotiation of selfhood, and more generally a woman claiming her right to be fucked up. It incorporates the previously-released video for “Cool Girl,” and now a second segment has been cut for standalone viewing: “True Disaster.”
Much of “Fairy Dust” is aesthtically dark; “True Disaster” is unrelentingly so. Lo comes to in a car being doused in kerosene by a shadowy double. She exits the vehicle and stalks through the middle of the street, the second woman ever in pursuit. Played by actress Lina Esco, Lo has explained that the character embodies all that she’s “terrified of becoming”: “just alienated, bitter, angry, narcissistic, insecure.”
Dressed in a red patent leather mini and a nonchalant white tank, Lo has the lightly sweaty, disheveled appearance of someone who just left the club. She throws punches in the street—a choreographic homage to fellow Swedish singer Robyn—and tosses her mane. The song itself articulates a sort of nihilistic liberation: “I said, come on, zero fucks about it / Come on, I know I’m gonna get hurt.”
And yet, the video implies emotional imprisonment. No matter where Lo turns, she cannot escape Esco and the flaming car; in a sinister bit of absurdity, her every turn takes her to the same spot. Ultimately, she collapses in the street, succumbing — but to what? Her own masochistic desires? To a poisonous lover? To all Lo has said Esco’s character represents?
Let’s contemplate the video together. Or you can treat yourself to the entirety of “Fairy Dust” here.