World Watch: Ora the Molecule

Country: Norway

Avant pop artist Nora Schjelderup was born in Norway, but spent her youth hopscotching between there, Spain and Italy. Being raised with this more worldly view certainly is reflected in her unique brand of beat-driven, synth wave pop, which she creates under the moniker Ora the Molecule.

Recent single “Creator” relies on a thumping beat, xylophone and a smattering of other musical touches that breaks out into a big harmonized chorus that sounds like a children’s church choir group. It’s fluttery and bright and completely enrapturing. Even as the bridge gains in intensity, with Ora singing “everybody run”, there remains something uplifting in the sound of the track.

Another stand-out is her 2019 single “Samurai”. Choral voices float over each other, as another synthy beat lays the groundwork for a moody, slightly melancholy ambiance. Orchestral flourishes and intricate guitar playing on the chorus make the song wonderfully difficult to pigeonhole. It’s music for sunsets in Ibiza or vaporware clubs.

However you want to define her sound, Ora the Molecule is an artist you should get to know. Listen to these tracks in our World Watch Playlist!

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