The girl formerly known as Karen Marie Ørsted is Skyping us from her childhood bedroom, where she’s recording the vocals for her debut album.
A soundproof vocal booth has been constructed by taping bedsheets up against the ceiling, teepee-style. It’s a fitting environment for the 25-year-old’s icy tales of adolescence, heartache, love and self-identity to crystallise within.
The fragmented, glitchy audio of her singles “Pilgrim” and “Waste of Time” gives her a fragile and precious songs a defiant toughness.
“With Waste Of Time, I heard the beat and remember thinking it was this combination of aggressive and energetic, then something cold and silent,” she explains. “Like two poles, or two forces, so I wanted the vocals to be the same. Very soft, but very aggressive.”
The song’s video splices a series of images together by an ominous theme: a chainsaw ripping through wood, a chair bursting into flames, a grass snake rearing its head, ready to strike.
The dream world also plays a pivotal role in her song-writing process. “I just wrote a song that’s about a break-up, and there’s a house. Inside the house is all the chaos, and outside, in the garden, lies the calmness.” She pauses, catching her breath. “Then things get mixed up, and the chaos comes inside, infecting the calmness. And that reflects the relationship between the two people inside.”
MØ’s debut album will be released later in the year. She promises it will be a snapshot of love and the journey to become and find oneself.
“As a teenager, you’re as close to being a psychopath as you’ll ever be. Focused on yourself, on your own emotions. Even when you get older you’re always searching for something more; we’re made that way. Always looking for validation towards what we’re feeling.”