Femmepop & Chronica - The Game
Info: Cork native and electronic artist Femmepop (real name Margaret O'Sullivan) has been releasing her music since 2008's The Kick E.P. and her latest release is the Underground E.P. which drops on the 30th of January. Femmepop's 2014 album From a Girl Who Never Sleeps was reviewed here in 2014 and the excellent track 'Our Time' featured in my Best Irish Tracks that year also.
When you've just finished reviewing a release that you really loved you're already setting your sights on what the artist will bring out next, whilst obviously knowing these things take time and patience is a virtue! For me Femmepop was one of those, O'Sullivan in my view is one of the best electro-pop acts in Ireland of the last few years, a position shared by glowing reviews and respect from BBC's 6 & Ulster, The Irish Times and 2FM's Dan Hegarty.
Underground augments that trajectory since 2008 to today, and keeps the Femmepop show firmly heading in the direction it is intended to go. Opening with the pounding trip-hop sounds of the E.P.'s title-track, the music and vocals recall Sneaker Pimps & their singer Kelli Ali respectively. On second track 'There is a Place' we're entirely indulged by some gorgeously spacey synth, again the drum-machine is employed to good effect and you're already getting lost in the little world Underground creates.
Femmepop - Celestial
'The Game' (top) sees O'Sullivan return to her bread and butter, classic 80's synth pop with vocals that remind you of a plethora of female artists from the era, Lauper, Madonna, Carlisle, Wiedlin, resulting in a delightful nostalgia overload delivered with seeming ease. A standout favourite then arrives, 'Celestial' above, when I listen to this with headphones and volume turned up to the max I'm in unadulterated synthpop heaven, it appears that Femmepop can nail these type of tracks again and again. At the time of the previous album review I had said that her music could reside happily somewhere between Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx and College on the Drive soundtrack, and this one is another example of that sound.
Underground finishes with a contemplative, experimental and moving track in the shape of 'Games & Toys' (Ode to a Punk Boy) which is nicely executed, Eno meets Oldfield, but only because Femmepop has invited them. Here is an E.P. that brought something old, something new and very little borrowed, where you can feel the creativity, time, and late nights that were put into ensuring a progression was achieved once again, mission accomplished.
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