The lineup: Karen Marie Ørsted (vocals, music).
The background: Karen Marie Ørsted, alias MØ, is being touted as the new Grimes, which is going to annoy the old Grimes something rotten, because old Grimes has only just stopped being touted as the new ? well, what? Who was her predecessor? And who was her forebear's forebear? Who is the godmother of the current generation of women with synths, the Nite Jewels, Laurel Halos and Maria Minervas? Is it Claudia Brücken of Propaganda? Björk? Kate Bush?
While you're considering that, wondering how to type Ø on your keyboard (option + O) and pondering the meaning of MØ (it's old Norse for virgin, apparently), have a listen to MØ's two tracks, Pilgrim and Maiden. They're great, a bit glitchy, with some elements of dubstep, aware of most developments in soulfully-sung electronica between Portishead and AlunaGeorge. They certainly go some way towards confirming the notion that the Scandinavians do intelligent, commercial pop as well as, if not better than, the Americans or the British these days. Although, when we say "commercial", we don't necessarily mean "commercially successful" (something else to ponder: when did the last of the many touted and fabulous Scandipop would-be stars actually have a hit over here? We can't think of one).
Both songs are artfully produced, with lots of space and the vocals high up in the mix, allowing you to hear what Ørsted is singing: seemingly straighter songs about relationships than Grimes's irresistible, albeit more abstract takes on Infinite Love Without Fulfillment, and the connection between Vowels and Time/Space. These vocals are more in the sultry, seductive-siren register, with one ear cocked to Lana Del Rey, while the sizzling little guitar-figure on Maiden contrasts nicely with its cool electronics. Pilgrim is slower, heavy on the handclaps, the melody and pace seemingly based on mid-80s pop-disco favourite I Can't Wait by Nu Shooz. There is treated brass, a neat bass burble and cavernously spacious production that makes us think of Clipse's Grindin' sung by a Danish gamine, if indeed gamines aren't solely a Gallic phenomenon. One blogger called Pilgrim "your 'do bad shit' anthem for this weekend", and there is swearing on it, making it feel like an I Will Survive de nos jours. MØ's influences include: Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Major Lazer, Santigold, J Dilla, Twin Shadow, Little Dragon and Lykke Li. But, to save you time, we'll tell you which ones are discernible throughout Maiden and Pilgrim: Santigold and Lykke Li. Meantime, listen out for MØ's debut album, due early next year we're guessing, and if you happen to be in New York next week, she's at CMJ. Rumour has it Grimes won't be there as she's too busy working on her new goth-metal direction.
The buzz: "Pilgrim is electronic pop of perfection fused with soulful synths and melodies" ? Mostly Junk Food.
The truth: Meet the Danish Grimes.
Most likely to: Be a virgin.
Least likely to: Worry about time/space.
What to buy: Pilgrim and Maiden are all over the net.
File next to: Grimes, Nite Jewel, Saint Lou Lou, Maria Minerva.
Monday's new band: Paradise.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk