REVIEW: MØ – Bikini Daze EP

MO-BIKINI-DAZEBy now it’s well and truly been established that there’s something in the Scandi water, as PressPLAY tip  has reinforced time and again with past releases. Like Lykke Li with a lick of Grimes, Karen Marie Ørsted has been quite a spiky and refreshing entrant into quirky electro-pop, albeit with genuine mainstream potential.

Unfortunately, the EP doesn’t hold up as well as past releases. People need to cotton on to the fact that collaborating with Diplo isn’t the badge of pride it once was – given how derivative his recent EP was, he might need some time on the bench before gathering his mojo. XXX 88 is a bit of a tiresome romp through clunky production, and a bit of a disservice to MØ’s talent.

Second track Never Wanna Know starts off a bit like Lykke Li’s Sadness Is A Blessing, though it doesn’t even come close to being as affecting. A misjudged spoken-word section doesn’t help matters, but it’s also fair to say that it doesn’t even hold a candle to Ørsted’s previous releases, let alone those of her peers.

Still, Dark Night is an enjoyable if forgettable romp over slick beats and a brass-driven chorus, proof that MØ’s eccentricity can still work. And we’re very much reassured by EP closer Freedom (#1), a slow-burn number with just Ørsted, her piano, and some light backing vocal. Weirdly, MØ sounds her best on this release when completely stripped back; it might not be what we’re accustomed to when it comes to her, but it’s a fine ending. Besides that, Bikini Daze feels very much the sound of an artist still finding her feet, which we’re confident that she will by the time an album beckons.