Rating : NNN Rating: NNN
Since there's currently no mainstream female pop vocal outfit, the debut album of Danish pop singer Karen Marie Ørsted, or MØ, is the closest we have in 2014 to the 90s girl group sound.
Ørsted has made no secret of her affection for that genre: she recently released a cover of the Spice Girls' 1996 hit Say You'll Be There. And although her sputtering drum machines and disjointed beats are evocative of hip-hop/R&B-influenced acts Purity Ring and AlunaGeorge, her harmonies, romantic obsessions and affinity for the xylophone hark back to the Phil Spector era.
Produced by Ronni Vindahl (save for a horn-y contribution from Diplo on XXX 88), the album doesn't so much co-opt these influences as distill them into a more personal and energetic sound that matches her robust vocal style. The production isn't minimal, but Ørsted and Vindahl cram in a lot of oddball flourishes without distracting from her refreshingly unvarnished voice.
Top track: Never Wanna Know