When MØ sings "Life is cynical, despite your heart of gold" on the fantastically titled "XXX 88," she knows what she stands for. The Danish singer born Karen Marie Ørsted makes sophisticated synth-pop for realists, and this Diplo and Ronnie Vindahl-produced track shows she’s kept the bar high since previous singles "Pilgrim" and "Waste Of Time." The sumptuous, horn-laden beat recalls a time before Diplo ruled over a kingdom of white girls twerking, though the only thing Ørsted needs to express herself is her voice. She switches easily between soaring verses and primal punctuation, sounding simultaneously unrestrained and totally in control. Look out for "XXX 88" on MØ’s upcoming EP for Sony/Chess Club.
Ever-reliable boutique label Kitsuné’s latest find is Chela, an Australian newcomer who’s ready to keep sharpening her pop chops. She’s Chelsea Wheatley to her mates, and on her debut EP Romanticise, she delivers pared-down synth bliss. On "Romanticise," Wheatley sings her heart out over a disco-inflected beat, perfect for the kind of party where no one’s taking themselves too seriously. (This is obviously the best kind of party.) The Romanticise EP is out now, featuring remixes from acts including Gold Fields and Boys Get Hurt.