The Belgian ballad babe and the Danish (pop) virgin


AlunaGeorge is one of many boy-girl duos in which the girl sings and the boy produces. It’s a typical set up, and yet their sound is not that typical. Pitchfork calls it “a remarkably slick hybrid of radio-ready 90s R&B vocal melodies and experimental production that tends toward the wobbly loops coming out of Flying Lotus‘ Brainfeeder camp” which is basically a dragged-out way of saying it’s R&B-tinged weird’ish pop. An EP on the experimental electronic label Tri Angle (Balam Acab, Holy Other, oOoOO) made the blogosphere go nuts, which eventually led to an album deal with Island Records. Their sound is nothing like anything that’s popular right now, but they’re very much doing their own thing and it seems to be working out pretty well for them. Their most recent single is the infectious Watching Over You, probably the most direct pop song Aluna and George have released so far, even with all those ‘random’ bleeps going off all throughout, giving it that special charm.

Trixie Whitley

If you live in Belgium there’s a big chance you’ve already heard of Trixie Whitley, daughter of the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Chris Whitley. Heck, she even sold out the Rivierenhof last summer with barely any releases on her track record. That’s all about to change though, as the blonde 20-something has finally announced the release of her long-awaited debut album Fourth Corner. It’s out early January (via Unday Records in Belgium) and is set to shake things up. The first single, Breathe You In My Dreams, is an emotionally heavy, soulful (rock) ballad that sends shivers (in a good way). MTHRFNKR asks “Who is Adele?” when they post about Trixie Whitley, and the fact that a singer-songwriter leaning towards indie impresses the electronic-oriented blog MTHRFNKR means she must have something special. We are inclined to wholeheartedly agree.

is Danish for ‘virgin’ and also the moniker of Copenhagen-singer Karen Marie Ørsted, referred to by The Guardian as ‘the Danish Grimes‘ and by Pitchfork as ‘the halfway point between Purity Ring‘s vocal-fucked acrobatics and Twin Shadow‘s new-wave dreamscapes.’ MØ is far less glitchy and experimental than Grimes and Purity Ring, though: her first two outputs, Maiden and Pilgrim, are two very direct pop-songs with a nifty, ‘street-vibe’ beat. “Hey yo” and “holla holla holla” are two lines taken from the latter, representing the hip-hop inspired fun that awaits in MØ’s music. The rhythm, the chorus, the beats, the production… it’s all there and ready to conquer the world. Plus she has an Ø in her name, and that alone must be worth some swag.