La Femme’s debut EP, Le Podium #1 landed on the Honorary Mentions portion of the Best of 2011 List for their unique take on surfer rock – after all, for most people, surfer rock is something that’s decidedly American and decidedly very summer-like. But interestingly, their sound also managed to bring comparisons such as the B52s, the Kinks and very early the Who – think of The Who Sings My Generation in particular.
However on, Psycho Tropical Berlin, La Femme’s sound has gone through a major departure as the band has incorporate elements of psychedelica, pyschobilly, minimalist electronica while still retaining a small bit of the surfer rock sound that has won international attention; however, in some way the material on the new album sounds as though the French band had been spending time in Berlin discotheques, thanks to relentlessly pulsating synths. Where “Si Un Jour,” had a sound that was simultaneously warm and danceable yet chilly and mechanical – a sound that would only be possible in an increasingly globalized world; “Amour Dans Le Motu,” sounds anxious and paranoid, thanks to the addition of relentlessly tribal drums and feels like a feverish, hellish nightmare that’s impossible to shake.
The official video is a kaleidoscope of surreal and at times frightening imagery – soldiers marching through the hot and foreboding jungle as hula babes suddenly come out of the greenery like some kind of phantoms; our soldiers march onward to a seemingly abandoned house that’s the site of a nightmarishly decadent party straight of the pages of The Great Gatsby, if it were written by Hunter S. Thompson; the same hula babes are seen dancing among the Cosmos and dissipate into the ether like smoke; and then back to the a Gatsby-esque party with burlesque dancers wearing gas masks and other war regalia. Much like the song, the video is unsettling – it evokes the madness of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
You can catch the band during their North American tour, which includes three NYC area stops — March 23 at Glasslands Gallery; March 28th at Music Hall of Williamsburg and March 29 at the Bowery Ballroom.