The Hidden Greatness of Karen O’s Solo Career

Karen O and Danger Mouse just released two new songs, “Woman” and the title track “Lux Prima” from their upcoming album. It’s yet another reminder that O’s talent extends far beyond the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Karen O & Danger Mouse, “Woman”

Best known as the frontwoman to the 2000s rock ‘n’ roll band, Karen O’s vocals can rock hard and flow sweetly. Her range is utilized fully on these new songs with Danger Mouse. “Woman” is catchy yet rowdy while “Lux Prima” takes a slower and dreamier route.

Her journey from badass Yeah Yeah Yeahs rocker to solo indie heartthrob began with her debut solo album Crush Songs in 2014. (She released a live version in 2015.) While Crush Songs is the only album O has out as a solo artist, she’s been spreading her creativity as a solo artist nonstop. In true underground artist fashion, O’s work includes small art projects, collaborations and film soundtracks.

Karen O, “Rapt”

I highly recommend watching the short film “YO! MY SAINT” O scored last year for the fashion brand KENZO. With captivating cinematography, the 10-minute long work features the brand’s SS18 line and tells the story of a lovesick fashion photographer.

Karen O ft. Michael Kiwanuka, “YO! MY SAINT”

Or perhaps you missed her contribution to Daniele Luppi and Parquet Courts’ album Milano from 2017. Her vocals are featured on four of the tracks, one of which, “Talisa,” just had a music video released for this past January.

Danielel Kuppi & Parquet Courts ft. Karen O “Talisa”

In 2016, O went silent for the year after giving birth to her son Django in 2015. if you look at her Facebook page it’s like 2016 never even existed. But the year off didn’t faze her career. Before her break, O released a single with the band Maximum Balloon ft. her and Tunde Adebimpe and the single “I Will Rise” for the video game Rise of the Tomb Raider.

A year before that, in 2014, O recorded “The Moon Song” for the Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson film Her, which was nominated for best original song at the Oscars and best song written for visual media at the Grammys.

Even before Yeah Yeah Yeahs went on hiatus, O was creating breathtaking art. She contributed to the soundtracks for House of Wax, Jackass 2, I’m Not There, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Where The Wild Things Are. And also directed several music videos for bands like Liars, Foetus and Tiny Masters of Today. There was even a demo leaked of a home-recorded album O titled KO at Home she made as a gift for Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio. Though it was never officially released, it’s still loved by fans.

Now, with Lux Prima about to hit the airwaves Karen O doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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