Despite the sheer volume of electro-pop starlets recently emerging from Scandinavia, the debut album from 25-year-old Dane Karin Marie Ørsted, aka MØ, proves that the movement hasn’t reached its saturation point just yet. If anything, No Mythologies To Follow could arguably be one of its defining records.
Indeed, if MØ’s recent inspired cover of the Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There,” which transformed the 90s pop classic into a brooding slow-jam, didn’t already indicate that she’s capable of blending the playful with the pensive, then these twelve genre-hopping tracks certainly will.
On post-break up anthem “Never Wanna Know,” she valiantly attempts to recover from a broken heart while simultaneously offering hew own subdued take on the brill-building girlband pop of the 60s. “Waste Of Time” is an equally-tear stained tale of relationship woes which combines menacing synth drones with hip-hop grunts and ethereal Sia-esque melodies, while closer “Glass” is a glitchy future-pop lament to the loss of youth (“why does everyone have to grow old”) which possesses a similar too-cool-for-school demeanour as Lorde.
But No Mythologies To Follow is just as captivating when it ventures into clubbier territory, whether it’s the tribal neo-disco of “Walk This Way” (not an Aerosmith cover), the acid house-meets-pagan folktronica of opener “Fire Rides” or the two-step-tinged “Red In The Grey.” Although rather disappointingly, the much-anticipated collaboration with Diplo, “XXX 88,” turns out to be a rather lacklustre affair which lacks the exuberance of the superstar producer’s recent Major Lazer output.
Self-described as an ode to being young, confused and restless, No Mythologies To Follow could easily have succumbed to the kind of brainless YOLO hedonism that swamped Icona Pop’s debut. But instead, it’s an intelligent and impressively ambitious first effort which places MØ firmly at the top of the increasingly crowded Nordic pack.