Founded back in 2010, Parisian psych pop act and longtime JOVM mainstays La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — managed to completely hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour as a then unknown band, with only $3,000 Euros and their debut EP, that year’s Le Podium #1.
After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”
2013’s critically applauded and commercially successful full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin found the Parisian JOVM mainstays making a wild, creative and sonic left turn incorporating krautrock and synths to the mix. The album eventually earned a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing national and international profile, La Femme’s sophomore album, 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.
The French JOVM mainstays long-awaited, third album Paradigmes was released last year through the band’s own Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL. And over the course of that year, I managed to write about five of the album’s nine previously released singles:
- “Cool Colorado,” a coolly bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
- Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik grooves, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric electronics, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.
- “Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck freak out that meshed Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with ’77 punk rock nihilism.
- “Le Jardin,” an achingly sad lullaby written and sung in Spanish — the band’s first song in Spanish. Inspired by a trip to Spain that the band took a few years ago, the song as the band explains is a kind of an old-school slow dance, which underlines how fragile and random fate is.
- “Pasadena,” a slow-burning, woozy ballad that sounds — and feels — like a narcotic-induced haze. Written as an informal response and continuation of the story told in “Septembre,” off the band’s sophomore album, “Pasadena” features the main character of “Septembre” as a teenager. And as a result, the song is about budding romances — primarily their seemingly carefree nature at the time, their eventual difficulties and confusions, and the weight of peer pressure.
April has been very busy for the JOVM mainstays. Earlier this month, they released Paradigmes: Le Film, a full-length film co-directed by the band’s Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée and Aymeric Bergada du Cadet that’s centered around the album’s material, and highlights their humor and creativity. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8Wnil2ipf0
The JOVM mainstays will be releasing an exclusive, vinyl, Record Store Day edition of Paradigmes, Paradigmes: suppléments, a deluxe edition of their critically applauded third album. You can purchase it here: https://recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/14923
And along with the Record Store Day exclusive vinyl release of Paradigmes: suppléments, the band released yet another single off Paradigmes, the album closing track “Tu T’en Lasses,” a slow-burning and atmospheric fever dream, centered around skittering beats, glistening synths and a distorted yet mournful horn solo paired with dreamily delivered vocals.
The accompanying video for “Tu T’en Lasses” continues a run of hazy, feverish visuals: The members of La Femme are house band at a local dance, playing the slow dance song for the couples out there — including a Sid and Nancy-like couple. Is it an achingly nostalgic memory of a lost love and a time since passed — or a drug and booze-fueled hallucination? Or perhaps both? That’s up to you to decide.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Paradigmes, La Femme has also announced the release of a limited collection of NFTs which are made up of the original frames used for the animated video of their motorik punk party anthem “Foutre le Bordel.” The NFTs will be released by Ballad(r), an NFT launchpad for artists and institutions in the music industry. These unique digital works of art will include a unique audio track made from stems of the original song and will also unlock exclusive content and numerous real-life perks for each lucky NFT holder. More information on these La Femme NFTs can be found via Ballad(r): https://www.balladr.xyz/collection/lafemme
The French JOVM mainstays are currently on tour and will be embarking on a North American leg throughout June that includes a June 20, 2022 stop at Brooklyn Steel. As always, tour dates are below.
North American Tour Dates
06/03/22 – Washington DC – The Black Cat
06/04/22 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry At The Fillmore Philadelphia
06/05/22 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
06/07/22 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
06/09/22 – Quebec, QC – Impérial Bell
06/10/22 – Montreal, QC – Les Francos de Montréal
06/11/22 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
06/14/22 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
06/15/22 – Saint Paul, MN – Turf Club
06/18/22 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
06/19/22 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
06/20/22 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
06/22/22 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
06/24/22 – Los Angeles, CA – The Belasco
06/25/22 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s
09/19/22 – Amsterdam – Paradiso