Arts album review

15 minutes of top-notch pop

Danish singer Mø enters the music scene with a stellar EP

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Album cover art of Bikini Daze, Danish singer Mø’s debut EP.
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment


Bikini Daze

Released Oct. 18, 2013

Sony Music Entertainment UK

Karen Marie Ørsted, also known simply as Mø, might not be the most familiar name in the music industry yet, but the 25-year old Dane is far from operating in the corners of obscure and alternative scenes. Just within one year, she has released several singles, contributed her vocals to Avicii’s song “Dear Boy” and delivered her debut EP Bikini Daze. Like many of her contemporary Scandinavian singer-songwriters, she seems to be faithfully following their long-lasting tradition by doing what Scandinavia is famous for — making fantastic pop music.

Catchy and dense pop music can often be overwhelming when presented in the form of full-length album, but this is not the case with Bikini Daze. Lasting for only fifteen minutes, Mø’s new EP brings four well-produced songs that give enough space to the listener to fully experience the quality of the tracks without feeling drained by the commonly-used filler songs. Each of the four songs has its own specific flavor, and the strategic order of the songs makes the EP flow smoothly from opening dance beats to closing ballad tunes.

The first track “XXX 88,” a collaborative dance gem with Diplo, opens the EP with liquid synths as Mø sings in crystal-clear pitch: “Oh no, buddy don’t you cry as they go / Life changes all of us, it’s not your fault, no no no.” The backing vocals lead into the majestic brass-heavy and rhythmical chorus while Mø invites the listener to run with her “where the sky is blue forever.” The dance-centered tone settles down with the second track “Never Wanna Know,” whose harmonic melodies, mesmerizing vocals, and bell tunes bring a reminiscent sound of holiday-inspired tracks. “Dark Night” restores the catchy and upbeat atmosphere with even sharper and more striking instrumental delivery, after which the album closes with the vocally-rich ballad “Freedom (#1).” Within only 15 minutes, Bikini Daze compactly describes the essence of Mø’s style and beckons you to go for another round.

With so many Scandinavians producing high-quality music, it’s hard to believe that there is something that would make another Scandinavian female singer unique. There are certainly observable similarities between Mø and her fellow contemporaries — the vocals resemble those of Oh Land and Quadron, while the brass choruses surely remind of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Nonetheless, Mø maintains her own signature sound and her music will definitely not leave you with a sense of “already heard.” With such a promising debut entrance, there is no reason not to look forward to Mø’s first full-length album.