Ora the Molecule shares “The Ball” from Mute debut, made us a Disco Playlist
Ora The Molecule is the alter ego of Norwegian-born art pop creator Nora Schjelderup. Following a handful of singles over the last few years, her debut album, Human Safari, will be out July 23 via Mute. For it, she takes on the role of an obversever, cataloging the unfamiliar world around her. "You could look at it like a bird walking around and feeling stupid for not understanding how everything works," she says. "You feel small. When cognition takes over, those feelings can come easily because it's so much to take in for a tiny creature. It's celebrating the spectacle."
The new single from the album is opening track "The Ball," a fizzy bit of '80s inspired dance pop, complete with disco guitars, breathy vocals and quirky shouts. "'The Ball' is about everyone wanting the same thing but there's only one. And this ball is going so fast that it could actually kill you if it hits you the wrong way. Strong division creates friction and unhealthy competition. Community is everything, but it starts with the individual.” The video was shot in Granada and had Nora on a horse for the first time in 10 years. "I was holding on for dear life," she says. Watch that below.
We also asked Nora what she's been listening to lately and she responded with a disco playlist featuring Róisín Murphy, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Boney M, Shalamar, and more. Check that out, complete with her commentary, below.
ORA THE MOLECULE – DISCO PLAYLIST
1. IVAN – “Fotonovela”
The combination of minor chords and the disco rhythm on this makes me overwhelmingly cheerful and melancholic at the same time.
2. Muriel Dacq – “Tropique”
This summer pearl from Muriel Desclée de Maredsous in 1985 is a hit on the dance floor, especially with the background voices shouting "J'ai chaud" (meaning "I am hot") but can also sound like “shot” (for drinking). This adds up for a first-rate summer celebration song.
3. Pino D’Angio – “Quė Idea”
This Italian disco champ took the absolute best from McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" -- the bassline. If I could choose what voice to be born with, I would have picked the voice of Pino D’Angio. It’s like Tom Waits in Chic.
4. Ian Dury and The Blockheads – “Reasons To Be Cheerful”
Like the title suggests, it does give you a reason to me cheerful. Such a fan of Ian Dury,
and this might be the most disco he ever ventures…
5. Momoko Kikuchi – “Deja Vu"
1986 Japan. There is something so beautiful and light about her voice. I think that if the princess in film The NeverEnding Story where to sing a song, it would be this one.
6. RAMU ラ·ムー “kyu kyu”
Another Japanese treasure. I just feel warm inside listening to her voice.
7. Zou Juanjuan – “Spread Your Wings and Fly”
Chinese singer Zou Juanjuan’s cover of Sandy Powers’ “Tonight We’re Gonna Make
Love” from 1980. I think it’s better than the original.
8. Róisín Murphy – “Narcissus”
I discovered Róisín Murphy for the first time when Sju (our drummer) showed me Roisin’s cover of one my favourite Italian songwriters Lucio Battisti’s, “Ancora tu”. I remember feeling disappointed at once as I had always wanted to cover that song and now somebody already did it. I felt that song was mine in a way, and now my secret was no longer a secret anymore. Do you know that feeling? But that feeling soon left when I I took a dive into her other original songs and I realised what an incredible artist Róisín Murphy is. Now I adore her! And this song has been stuck with me ever since that dive.
9. Boney M – “Rasputin”
The story, the melody, the instruments, the rhythm, the performance. It’s epic on an
intergalactic level. All of it.
10. Shalamar – “A Night To Remember”
I love the simple lyrics. It’s like a magic spell. You believe it and it happens.
Human Safari tracklist:
1. The Ball
4. Die To Be A Butterfly
6. Shadow Twin
7. Beat Beat Beat
8. I Wanna Be Like You
9. Pocket Universe
10. You Need Air