REVIEW: MØ – ‘Bikini Daze’

Artist: MØ
Album: Bikini Daze EP
Genre: Pop, Indie, Ambient
Label: Chess Club / RCA Victor

Pop lovers focusing their listening efforts on the likes of Lorde, Lana, and Lykke Li, are depriving themselves of an equally deserving talent in Copenhagen’s . Seemingly coming out of nowhere in the latter half of 2012 with the monstrously huge “Pilgrim,” MØ blew us away right off the bat and left us figuratively, and possibly literally, drooling for more. She followed up with “Waste Of Time,” further cementing her place in the ranks and convincing us that she was a gifted force to be reckoned with. When she announced her new EP, Bikini Daze, our anxiousness grew, knowing that it was going to be an effort worthy of much praise, and luckily our instincts were wholly correct.

Opening with the Diplo-assisted “XXX 88,” Bikini Daze means business from its initial beats and never dwindles throughout its entire 15-minute runtime. “XXX 88” is catchy, perfectly layered in instrumentation, and MØ’s vocal approach blends sweet and sour soul with effortless execution. The “sour” takes effect in a minor capacity, while some may find her “gangster-like” backing calls through her trackography somewhat off-putting or unfitting, they actually feel right at home with MØ’s personality and production, especially in this banger of a single.

“XXX 88” is followed by quite a departure in “Never Wanna Know,” a gorgeously lulling and elegant romp in a 50s-like pop ditty backed by ethereal instrumentation; the bells fit seamlessly. “Never Wanna Know,” simply put, feels timeless as a whole and is one of the best songs of the year. MØ’s dreamy vocals are heart-melting and accentuate the body of the song with ease.

“Dark Night” is a pulsating slapper with production reminiscent of that on her inaugural single, “Pilgrim,” but further expresses the range in which MØ’s talent is capable of reaching. Any of the four tracks on Bikini Daze are overqualified for radio play as it is, but if mandatory, “Dark Night” may just be the most worthy of the honor, as far as fitting a top 40-esque style that is. It’s perfectly constructed from beginning to end with a big, anthemic feel, backed by an excellent horn section, and again, MØ’s vocals tie it all together with a prowess that can’t be ignored.

The EP’s closer, “Freedom #1,” rounds up the perfect balance of getting amped up and mellowed out throughout the short whole of Bikini Daze. Pairing moreso with “Never Wanna Know,” the end cut truly shows that MØ can do no wrong, be it upbeat or slow and dreamy. My one and only gripe would be that while those background calls work with no problem on tracks like “XXX 88,” the “say whaaaat?!” can sully some of the novelty of a song more arresting such as this.

It’s easy to make comparisons to similarly-styled acts when it comes to most artists these days, but regardless of being comparable to notable names in the genre, MØ has a style that’s all her own and the efforts found on Bikini Daze certainly set her apart from the Lanas and the Lordes. MØ is on fire with four nearly perfect tracks on one release, making us hopeful but confident of what’s to come in the exciting career of this Danish damozel.

SCORE: 9.5/10
Review written by: Brian Lion — (Follow him on Twitter)

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Brian Leak
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