Our Take: Dissecting MØ’s Heart-Tugging EP ‘When I Was Young’

When I Was Young EP - MØ
When I Was Young EP - MØ

Ethan's Take

RIYL: Banks, London Grammar, AlunaGeorge, Sia, Charli XCX

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Danish electro-popstar Karen Marie Aagaard Ørsted has made major waves in electronic music’s shift to the mainstream scene. Under the moniker MØ, she has lent her uniquely punk-pop vocals to notable producers such as Avicii, Major Lazer, DJ Snake, Diplo, Snakehips, and Cashmere Cat. With such an impressive portfolio of collaborations, her Bikini Daze EP, and a full-length album, No Mythologies To Follow, under her belt, she left fans wondering what her next move could be. In line with her no-fucks-given attitude, she decided to drop a surprise six-track EP, When I Was Young (October 2017 via RCA Records), and it is her best work yet.

When I Was Young – MØ

In a press statement, MØ shares, “All of these songs are really personal, referring to the journey I’ve been on, specific situations and my state of mind through all this. It circles themes like coming of age, nostalgia and escaping from reality.” Most of her previous work borders on brash and grungy bubblegum pop, drawing influence from The Spice Girls, Santigold, and M.I.A., and the new EP follows suit, though this time, with more angst and more clever hooks. It’s an eclectic collection: Soft at times, ominously edgy, and overall liberating.

When I Was Young EP - MØ
When I Was Young EP – MØ

The first track, “Roots,” is an ornate and grand, almost medieval. Its menacing sound reflects her anarchic background as the theme touches on the idea of hopelessness and triggers anxious feelings. The title track speaks of the invincibility of her youth. A seemingly bouncy club hit, the playfully jazzy drop is a surprise, and its bursting circus-like nature emulates the rebellious youth culture that she so boldly embodies and celebrates.

MØ draws upon her teen angst with the moody “Turn My Heart To Stone.” Sporting a solemn horn, it speaks of her loneliness and inner turmoil. On the other hand, ”Linking with You” is magnetically exuberant. It is a successful attempt at polishing her typically jagged style into a more radio-friendly and dynamic style that soars and climbs. ”Bb” is personal and painful, as she cries:

BB, I will always
I will always love you
BB, I will always
Be your riot gal
Even though you don’t want me to
MØ © Frederik Højfeldt Nielsen
MØ © Frederik Højfeldt Nielsen

Finally, “Run Away” has more of a dreamy-rock feel to it and explores the feelings of being misunderstood, overlooked, and lost. Somehow, MØ seems to make it work no matter what she does. A rebel at heart, she lives by her own playbook, and it doesn’t seem like she’ll be out of the game anytime soon.

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:: stream/purchase WIWY EP here ::

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When I Was Young EP - MØ

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cover © RCA Records

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