Mø isn’t an easy lady to pin down. Once you are pronouncing her name properly (a drawn out “muh” seems to be the correct way) you’re left attempting to put her into a musical genre. Something that on the first listen of her debut album will prove a difficult task. The 25 year old Danish born Karen Marie Orsted seems like a rule breaker right from the start. Cutting her musical teeth making surreal, minimalist videos as one half of feminist, electro – punk duo MOR, she soon changed her name to Mø (which means maiden or virgin in Danish) and began rapping. Eventually quitting the rap game for singing, she began her steady rise to fame releasing single ‘Maiden’ across Europe.
For someone so young and only releasing their debut LP, Mø has been in the industry a long time and this confidence shines through on No Mythologies To Follow. Her voice is a thing of beauty and glides perfectly over producer Ronni Vindhaul’s electro R’n’B melodies. Opener ‘Fire Rides’ sounds like three songs in one, going from a choir like beginning, to a bass deep R’n’B beat to a techno dance chorus. It should sound cluttered, but Mø manages to keep the whole thing focused with her vocals. Next is ‘Maiden’, which along with other singles ‘Glass’, ‘Waste of Time’ and ‘Pilgrim’, serves as a reminder that this album was a long time coming. There’s no doubt though that the collection was worth the wait.
‘Never Wanna Know’ shows an innocent side, proclaiming “I never wanna know the name of your new girlfriend”. It’s forlorn but drawn out and the whole song feels false compared to the fun, sassy Mø. Luckily this is short lived and ‘Red In The Grey’ is effortlessly catchy and cool. ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’ is the most commercial moment on the album, taking the synth sounds and horns and making them in to a pop song, and it’s apparent as to why this is being touted as her breakout single – it’s easy listening, sing along and very danceable while still keeping that gritty edge intact.
‘Slow Love’ begins strong but starts to lose itself around the bridge before gaining composure again on the next verse. It feels like it’s designed to show off Mø’s impressive vocal range, rather than be a solid, listenable track. Mø’s personality (or at least the personality she wants us to get to know) is transparent on the album. She’s young, native, bratty and provocative and the world is her playground.
Like Lykke Li before her, she acts as the quirky Scandinavian who is the anthesis to all the pop princesses while making pop music herself. Mø has just the right amount of uniqueness and talent to see her stand out from the crowd. It’s hard to imagine a day when this Peter Pan of Pop won’t be singing “Oh, why does everyone have to grow old?” and by the sounds of things it won’t be for a long time yet.