MØ - No Mythologies to Follow
- Kirsty Logan
- 21 February 2014
Intelligent, danceable electropop from Scandinavia
It's been a long wait since Danish electropop singer Karen Marie Ørsted (aka MØ, which translates as 'maiden' or 'virgin'), released her first single, suitably titled 'Maiden' in 2012. It's also the second track on her first full-length album, No Mythologies to Follow. It's a great choice, too: swooping, crooning vocals combine with infectious drum loops and bass heavy enough to vibrate your walls. Another five singles have already been released, and each comes with delightfully trippy video of disconnected clips and slo-mo dancing: overall it's a lovely mix, with bold stripes of Santigold and Lykke Li.
No Mythologies to Follow is skilfully produced throughout, with nicely balanced vocals. The sound is catchy and glitchy, with steady, danceable beats better suited to the start or end of the night than the frantic middle. Opener 'Fire Rides' begins with echoing vocals and drops in some plinky-plonky keyboards and dubstep-style beats. The ridiculously catchy 'Pilgrim', the fifth track on the album and a single from last March, combines a throbbing beat with looped vocals, handclaps and trumpet samples. Latest single 'Don't Wanna Dance' is a real foot-stomper, with the cutesy bell sound a nice touch. Closing track 'Glass' layers beats over seductive lyrics and a repeated, joyful 'hey hey hey!' refrain.
With this ilk of soulful electronica, the obvious appeal is for fans of Chvrches and Grimes (which, surely, means a lot of people), though there's a Lana Del Rey-esque quality to MØ's vocals, particularly 'Never Wanna Know' and catchy, reverb-laden ballad 'Slow Love'. There are also connections to MØ's fellow Scandi-girl singers Mr Little Jeans, The Knife, and Niki & the Dove.
MØ names her influences as Santigold, Lykke Li, Twin Shadow, Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Major Lazer, J Dilla and Little Dragon, though the influence is most discernable with the first three – the cover of MØ's 'Don't Wanna Dance' features a photo of her spewing cut-out glitter, which will look familiar to anyone who's seen the cover of Santigold's 2008 album 'Santogold'. Intelligent, danceable electropop is always welcome, and the bold, dreamy females of Scandinavia are currently providing some of the best.
MØ plays Broadcast, Glasgow, Sat 8 Mar.