Karen Marie Ørsted – better known as MØ (pronounced Muuh) – has compiled a funky selection of synth and electronic based songs on her debut album No Mythologies to Follow. MØ – which means ‘maiden’ or ‘virgin’ in Danish – started off her music career as a rapper and released a number of provocatively named tracks. However since switching to singing she has found much more success and is signed to RCA Victor and Chess Club Records who also represent the likes of Everything Everything, Swim Deep and Laura Mvula.
The album was created through a series of emails between MØ and Vindhahl, where he would develop the music and she would record the vocals over the top. The resulting tracks are surprisingly cohesive and the technique has worked well for the album. Producer Ronni Vindhahl – of No Wav. – has created a collection of songs which is overflowing with beats, pulses, and creative harmonies; every space of every song has been filled with sound.
This album has its routes in themes common to the life of every early twenty-something. From the carefree easiness of ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’, to the earnest heartbreak of ‘Never Wanna Know’, MØ reflects a lifestyle that her audience can relate to. In the same way, her influences clearly reflect the beginning of a new wave of music – one which has grown up in the nineties and naughties. This Scandinavian creates an electro-pop which has nods to a range of artists including Grimes, as well as Lykke Li, Lana Del Rey and even the Spice Girls. Make sure you check out her recent cover of Spice Girls classic ‘Say You’ll Be There’!
The beats in ‘Red in the Grey’ coupled with impressive vocals show off the talent of the 25-year-old. These effects work perfectly in contrast to the brass and glockenspiel elements of ‘Pilgrim’ and with the melancholic tones of ‘Never Wanna Know’. MØ never limits the range of this album, introducing an almost tropical beat in ‘Slow Love’ which is coupled with even more glockenspiels. (Any album which sneakily uses a glockenspiel has my vote!) In ‘XXX 88’ another successful juxtaposition is made between the sticky electronic beats and MØ’s smooth harmonies, Diplo’s presence can definitely be heard in the production.
The main criticisms are that it is perhaps a little long for a first album and that despite that, there aren’t that many new tracks. The album lacks overall direction and this is down to the fact that most of the material has been previously released in separate EP’s. Whist the range in musicality is impressive it can also be confusing and potentially a shorter, more pulled together collection would have proved more effective. Interestingly, the album name sake No Mythologies To Follow is underwhelming and essentially over produced.
Overall, however, the album is a success and shows off the talents of MØ. There is definitely more to be heard from this Scandinavian, and with the generally positive reception of the album I’m sure that we will. Album highlights are ‘Never Wanna Know’, ‘Maiden’ and ‘Waste of Time’.