After spending the first decade of her career in the Max Martin-driven bubblegum machine (which yielded, among other songs, the saccharine 1996 hit “Show Me Love”), Robyn went independent in 2005 and has since reinvented herself as a force of gritty, energetic synthpop. Body Talk Pt. 1, the first of a trilogy of albums planned for this year, put Robyn back on American playlists for clubgoers and music bloggers alike. On the first day of last month’s Pitchfork Music Festival, Robyn—this year’s best Swedish export that doesn’t involve dragon tattoos—turned a smoldering 96-degree Chicago afternoon into a vibrant dance party. Tracks like “Dancing On My Own” and “None of Dem” are destined to become dancehall anthems, but Robyn is no Gaga-come-lately. Album opener “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What to Do” is a spoken-word manifesto in which Robyn lets you know that while she wants you to get up and dance, she’s doesn’t have the patience to string you along.
ROBYN PERFORMS WITH KELIS, DAN BLACK, AND FAR EAST MOVEMENT AT 6 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. SOLD OUT. (202) 265-0930.