It’s no secret that MØ, stage name of the Danish musician Karen Marie Ørsted, has been generating a lot of buzz since her EP in 2013. It’s unclear where she is in the latest trend of female singers over electronic tracks (could we call this singer-songwriter techno?) but it is clear that she is one of the first examples of the genre. Her debut No Mythologies to Follow is very promising, but uneven. In our recent interview with her she described her creative process and her desire for everything to be ‘fucking perfect.’ While this album is not that, there are some gems in there.
The exceptional tracks make her combination of R&B with over synths and unique production (courtesy of Ronni Vindahl) makes for haunting tracks that can teeter between laments and celebrations. In Never Wanna Know, you can’t tell if she doesn’t want the day to end or if she asking you to spare her the details. Originally released as part of her Bikini Daze EP, this is the big hit. Maiden has her vocals produced, low and distorted, and song unfolds slow and accusatory (‘What do you know about being the best one?’) and is distinguished by it’s restraint. This is where MØ is the most successful: the power of the song is lies in what she doesn’t say. Waste of Time has minimal synths that complement MØ’s swelling vocal style: alternately low and sultry, sometimes high and operatic, this track has her showing off her best abilities. Slow Love is basically a ode to MADONNA, and in a good way. Red in the Grey starts out slow and questioning, and builds to into a bittersweet reminiscence.
Don’t Wanna Dance is the most pop oriented track of the album, a low point that lacks the more ethereal, soulful sound of the other songs. Walk this Way is just a little too standard: generic lyrics and an overly repetitive beat keep it as a pop song but far from being a masterful pop song. Looks like all directions are still open for her – who knows if this is a good or bad thing.
‘No Mythologies to Follow’ by MØ is a good start for a young musician. Now we have to see what comes next.
NBHAP Rating: 3/5