Karen Marie Ørsted – or, simply, MØ, as she is known – is a Danish electronic-pop princess who has been labeled no less than “The New Grimes” by the indie music press.
The 24-year-old’s blend of soul, dance, R&B, punk, and electronic influences – all filtered through Scandanavian melancholy – have already caught the eye many, including that of super-producer Diplo, who invited her to guest on a recent track. MØ leads off her girls-night-dance-party soundtrack with a song from that former collaborator, before moving along to songs from peppy to nostalgically gritty.
Her debut full-length, “No Mythologies to Follow,” comes out this week.
My name is Karen Marie Ørsted, and I also go by the artist name of MØ. I know it sounds weird but it’s because in Denmark we have this weird letter called Ø. And so that’s my name. And now I’m gonna take you through my dinner party soundtrack.
“Get Free” – Major Lazer featuring Amber Coffman
The first track I would play is “Get Free” by Major Lazer, one of Diplo’s projects. It’s featuring Amber from Dirty Projectors. This is for when my guests are arriving, and I’m imagining that it’s all my girlfriends, and I’ll play this song to get them into this moody, dreamy state of mind.
It makes me dreamy and melancholy but still makes me want to do something because the lyrics are political. It’s about society holding you down. The production is electronic but it also has these real instruments. It has this amazing guitar. Kind of an Eastern world sound. A lot of people from Scandinavia like this melancholy vibe, but not too much. Just a bit of it. And this is only the start of the dinner party. It’ll get better. It’ll get brighter.
“Keepers” – Santigold
Now we’re catching up on, “Okay, what’s going on in life?” and more heavy stuff. And now it’s time for some serious drinks and for that we’ll be hearing a track by the musician Santigold called “The Keepers.” I think it’s so great to have this energy and this edge and this power. When I want people to have something to shout for. It’s the sound of right now. Kind of street but still it’s also very pop and very catchy. When Santigold’s playing, that’s when we’re dancing with our drinks. Just happy drunk.
“Lost” – Frank Ocean
And the next song would be actually a song I just discovered one week ago at this party at my friend’s house. It was blowing my head away. Frank Ocean with “Lost.”
This song is about exactly what the good party should be all about. Just letting go, be lost with your friends, not caring about the morning light. Just being free. I just really love songs that have air. You don’t feel like the track is stuffed with elements and music all over the place. It’s putting a loop on the cool things and zooming in on that. Like the guitar hook, it’s so catchy and so nice but it’s still exotic in a way. It’s like the song is longing for something. It’s great, I love it.
“My Friend Goo” – Sonic Youth
All right so now it’s getting late. We’re just being like teenagers again, having fun. I really want to pick a very carefree song. I’ll play Sonic Youth “My Friend Goo.” Sonic Youth were my big obsession when I was a teenager. I like that grungy vibe. “Oh, I’m a teenage dirt bag. I don’t know anything.”
When I was a teenager I was in this girl punk band and my parents were just like, “What?” They didn’t understand it. Also, because my brother was, like, a wonder-child, and I was dressing up in black and totally not in control. But they were very sweet, though. They did come around and understood me in the end.
“Pilgrim” – MØ
Now’s the time that I have to play some of my own music. Not that I want to kick people out of my house but I guess “Pilgrim” should be the go-home song. Go home and think about trying to find your own ways, and then wake up and do something good about your life.