Think of the great pop girl groups of history: The Shangri-Las, The Supremes, Destiny’s Child. Where have they gone? Who will take over that divine tradition of ladies in harmony (with synchronized dance moves) in the new millennium? Whose songs will we lip-synch to in our bedrooms, using hairbrushes as microphones? Probably, the crown will go to an unstoppable K-pop group like 2NE1 or Girl’s Generation and the world will learn to lip-synch in Korean.
But, failing that, I’d like to nominate Brooklyn’s My M.O. for the title. I don’t think there’s ever been a singing trio quite like them. The members hail from three different countries: Australia, Jamaica, and Texas (as their brilliant bio puts it.) And this international triad is reflected in the eclecticism of their music.
Pop music is kind of like the tofu or the potatoes of the music world. In its pure form, it’s kinda bland and tasteless. It’s all the other ingredients that you mix in and pile on top that makes it good. My M.O.’s M.O. is to exploit this principal to the fullest.Their sublime single “Bonfire Man” blends in noisy guitars, some tasty electro hooks, classic pop vocals, and just a lacing of Caribbean flavor. “What I Want,” the second track on their Bonfire EP, marries R&B to dreampop and sprinkles it with tambourine and disco guitar. Fans of Toro y Moi’s bedroom funk will love chilling out while wrapping their brains around this stuff. But they could also definitely get down to it — especially the Pointer Sisters-meets-Le Tigre jam “Paper Chase.”
Through their videos these three pop mavericks demonstrate a knack for the sort of provocation that Lady Gaga wouldn’t dream of. In the clip for “Bonfire Man” they beat up their boss and run away to form a neo-tribal commune. But that’s nothing. In the gorgeous video for “Monkey” they went with a group marriage theme. My M.O. plays the role of the girl group to the hilt in these videos, but in their live shows they manage to do the vogueing diva thing while also making up three fifths of the backing band. Talk about super women.
Check the video for “Monkey”:
Photo Courtesy of My M.O.