Earlier this month, Norwegian pop starlet Sigrid took on her sold-out show at the legendary Mercury Lounge with the best weapon: a smash hit. By the end of last Monday night, Sigrid had the entire crowd dancing and singing along to her debut American single, “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” an explosive track that begins with minimal piano and vocal chops but finishes with a sing-along chorus (which she nailed) placed triumphantly over a descending guitar line. Right before closing her set with that song, Sigrid completed her outfit — a flowing yellow blouse over high-waisted blue jeans — with a black cap that displayed the title lyric, gifted to her from an audience member. She peered out into the full crowd and said a simple “I love you” in a disarming accent, smiling at the incredulity of it all.
But that’s not to say that the audience wasn’t won over way before “Don’t Kill My Vibe” was performed. Sigrid has been making the rounds in the US following the release of that song in February, quietly gaining public admiration. Lorde featured her on a homemade playlist, Billboard hailed her music as kin to the “explosive pop euphoria” of Robyn, and she’s also connected directly with listeners; “Don’t Kill My Vibe” alone has picked up nearly 15 million Spotify streams.
But it’s the strength of her debut EP (released via Island Records on May 12th) that rebukes any notion that Sigrid could be a one-hit wonder vying for a single shot at success. On the Don’t Kill My Vibe EP, Sigrid powers through each electropop cut, flitting through vocal registers and emotional states in service of truly ingrained pop hooks — a feat surreal in how deceptively effortless it sounds, both through headphones and in a live setting. In “Plot Twist,” Sigrid’s voice intones more sharply than the rhythm section, jumping from a raspy, belted “shots fired” to a percussive “better work on that hype, oh” within four beats of music. “Dynamite” is similarly impressive, as Sigrid muses on an old flame like the Icelandic pop cousin of Adele, with the implied vocal thorns strongly intact.
It remains to be seen whether Sigrid can follow up her four track EP with an equally engrossing full-length, but the potential is certainly there; many of the tracks she previewed at her Mercury Lounge show sounded promising. Either way, Sigrid has shown that she is in this for the long run, and all we need to do is to continue to take notice. For now, take a listen to Sigrid’s debut EP above.