MØ, Sin Cos Tan & Highasakite @ Ja Ja Ja Third birthday

0 Posted by - Dec 2, 2012 - Live music

MØ @ Ja Ja Ja Third birthday

To mark their third birthday, Ja Ja Ja, purveyors of the finest music from Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Denmark brought one of this years most tipped acts from Copenhagen to their adopted home, The Lexington.
Karen Marie Ørsted, better known as MØ was hailed as the new Grimes by The Guardian, Grimes having previously been fated as “the new Bjork”, who in turn was “the new Kate Bush”. If you follow the hype trail back far enough there was probably a virtuoso Lute player in a 17th century English hamlet heralded as “the new Tobias the troubadour”.

MØ has a relaxed but focused look about her as she stands at the centre of a very stark stage, DJ on one side, Guitarist the other, a solitary burst of colour offered by her bumblebee striped top and blonde locks. There’s a slight pause before the surprisingly full sounding music kicks in, including a whole lot of MØ’s vocals…a thought briefly crosses my mind. Could someone raved about as much for her voice as her songs be about to mime? The answer thankfully is, if you make music consisting of artfully slicing up vocal samples and multi layered harmonies, then unless you were fortunate enough to be born with four larynxes, you’re gonna need a little backing.
Ørsted treats the beat like a sprinter does a gun and immediately throws her body and long legs into a dance thats half B-Boy and half Babushka era Kate Bush. If you’ve ever seen a breakdancer building momentum before launching into a windmill, thats what it reminds me of, the only shame being she didn’t end the show with a headspin.

The staccato rhythmed “Pilgrim” (video below) is MØ’s best known tune to date and it doesn’t disappoint, getting the crowd holla holla hollaring with its slow hand claps and those infectious bursts of filtered horns. Floating above the slick production is a fine voice, Ørsted occasionally stands still long enough to deliver a nuanced vocal, at times soft and gentle but properly letting rip at others.

The hype around MØ has built off the back of just two tracks, the second of which “Maiden” offers a chance for her guitarist (pic below) to step out of the shadows. Not since Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” has a pop guitar line been as indebted to the West African sounds of Ju-Ju and Highlife, although in place of the Vamps references to 17th Century architecture and punctuation, MØ aims firmly for the dancefloor with crunching beats and a seductively intoned declaration that “my desire is ravaging me“.

Tracks like Longing Bird and Woman of Babylon were available as demo’s earlier in the year but have since disappeared from Soundcloud presumably to build up demand for that first long player. Broken hearted ballad “No More Seconds” showed off MØ’s vocal prowess, as well as proving she can do almost Dianne Warren style epic love songs, albeit a left-field Warren with production by Timbaland.

Although it’s a short-ish set, there’s an assured confidence to her performance that will see her playing much bigger venues than the Lexington and plenty of evidence in the songs to predict a MØ album could be a highlight of 2013.

MØ – Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud / Tumblr
More pictures from the Ja Ja Ja Third birthday / Fantastic shots of MØ’s performance from Wears The Trousers blog

Ørsted pops up as the female chorus/hook singing foil for Danish/Ugandan rapper and Megan Fox fan, Peaceful James on his old school mixtape (free download below). “Hula Hey” a 2009 collaboration with producer Nabo is also available on Soundcloud.