When I Was Young is daydream pop electronic music that is pushed by a hint of drama and a darkly pleasing voice. (MØ album cover)

Street Sounds: Abstract art-pop

MØ’s third album, When I Was Young showcases her talents at self-production and her edgy voice

Danish indie/pop vocalist MØ’s (Karen Marie Ørsted) third album, When I Was Young showcases her talents at self-production and her edgy voice.

MØ’s songs thrive when heard with an open mind or ears. In other words, don’t listen to this when gearing up for a night out or highway driving. Do not press play in the heat of a loud party – it could kill the vibe.

Despite those cautions, the songs on When I Was Young have their own peculiar energy.

This is electronically driven Scandinavian art-pop at its melodic fringe with the shiny, happy delivery of people singing in perpetual gloom and trying to forget about it. And it works.

Bb and the title track are examples of Ørsted’s command of northern electro-pop. The abstract instrumentation of these songs and Turn My Heart to Stone suggest a willingness to get weird with vocalizing while keeping it presentable.

Maybe it’s in the water or writing songs in the depths of fjords, but these songs aren’t rooted in folk themes. They have a hint of the celestial about them, coming from the shifting arrangements, electronic sounds and upwardly lifting voices.

Run Away highlights Ørsted’s purity of tone, made all the more dramatic against the gloomy chords of the songs. MØ’s growing reputation as a collaborator (on songs like Lean On with its oft misheard lyrics) adds weight to her own work.

When I Was Young is daydream pop electronic music that is pushed by a hint of drama and a darkly pleasing voice.

–Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews the latest music releases in his column, Street Sounds, every Friday.

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