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Mø

We are in a golden age of not-quite-famous female pop stars. (Though, hopefully, these upstarts will overthrow the Gagas and Mileys of the world soon.) Lorde, Sky Ferreira and Charli XCX all released smart, honest, modern debuts last year. Then there are the established voices like Santigold, M.I.A, Lykke Li, Robyn. You can hear traces of all of those acts in Mø, the alias of Danish singer Karen Marie Ørsted. Her recently released bow, No Mythologies to Follow, deftly balances the moody and the upbeat. Vocally, the 25-year-old pours her soul into each track like Lykke—every subject is a matter of life and death. There's the glitter-coated trap beats of Charli ("Red in the Grey"), and the panglobal bounce of Santi (the wonderful flecks of African soukous guitar on "Maiden," the Diplo produced "XXX 88"), plus the spooky minimalism of Lorde ("Dust Is Gone"). It's terrific stuff, all coming together in the killer climax, "Glass." The closing tracks opens like Christmas morning, piling on the cheerleader chants, guitar arpeggios and splashing drums.

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