Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years in particular, you’ve likely come across several posts about Paris, France-based psych punk/krautrock/global music act La Femme. Comprised of founding members Marlon Magnée (keyboards), Sacha Got (guitar), Sam Lefevre (bass), Noé Delmas (drums) and Lucas Nunez, along with a rotating cast of vocalists including, Lara Luciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and current lead vocalist Clemency Quélennec, the act exploded into the international scene with the release of their 2010 debut EP Le Podium #1, an effort that laded on this site’s Honorary Mentions section of the Best of 2011 List for a decidedly French and breezy take on American surfer rock that also seemed to draw from The B52s. Psycho Tropical Berlin, La Femme’s full-length debut revealed a band that had went through a decidedly radical change in sonic direction, and while retaining elements of the breezy surfer rock that first caught international attention, the material on Psycho Tropical Berlin also possessed elements of psychedelia, psychobilly, synth pop, krautrock and several other genres; in other words, the material, which possessed a propulsive and thumping groove also managed to be wildly and uncompromisingly strange and difficult to categorize. And although the album does sound as though it drew influence from The Clash‘s Combat Rock and Sandinista, it manages to only be possible in a truly global world.
The Parisian collective’s long-awaited sophomore effort is slated for a September release and you may recall that earlier this year I wrote about the hallucinatory and gorgeous “Sphynx,” a track and video that manage to evoke a lingering fever dream — while cementing their growing reputation for boldly defying categorization. The album’s second and latest single “Ou va la monde” is — using a cliched and awful music journalist phrase — a “return to form” as the collective’s sound is stripped down a bit, pushing their sound back to the breezy, French take on surfer rock — but with warped carnival-sounding organs that makes the song sound as though it could easily be part of the soundtrack of a decidedly French arthouse flick. Unsurprisingly, the recently released video for the song also manages to be a take on low-budget, art house flicks, complete with dream-like and mournful logic over a love lost and/or slowly dissolving in a rainy and damp Paris.