Sunday, 9 April 2017

Album: Femmepop - Dancing With Myself

Femmepop - Dancing With Myself
Design: Demetryjus Guajara

Info: Femmepop is the moniker of Cork electronic and dream-pop solo act Margaret O'Sullivan, who has had a prolific output of music going back to the release of her debut EP, Kick, in 2008. A slew of singles, 2 additional EP's, and the wonderful From A Girl Who Never Sleeps (2014) album later, and we are delighted to have a fresh LP on our hands in the form of Dancing With Myself, released just two weeks ago.

Every aspect of Femmepop's delivery, from music to artwork, is like a Renaissance version of the 1980's, not imitation, but from a parallel version of the decade that existed on another habitable planet in a galaxy many light years away. The intro to 'Boys & Girls' sounds like the beginning of an infomercial from a long, long time ago, or closedown theme music when a channel is offline overnight, ah those were the days. The track is rich and every single space filled with a relentless drive to envelop us with 100% pure 80's electro-pop.

A sharp change in mood and tone follows on second track 'Bright Noise', a deep and looping bass-line opens up the track, O'Sullivan's vocals are crisp and clean, and by the time the synths kick in you are under water and floating. 'Bled For You' has a deep house undercurrent, a thumping muted bass seems to move independently from the gentle nature of the rest of the track, Femmepop grasps control and then lets go repeatedly throughout the track, alternating chorus and verse methodically. 

'Breakout', gosh, what an intro, an almost mono sounding bass and beat pump in a loop, the vocals and lyrics like the gentle strokes of a paintbrush over the music; 'And don't you know, rage is not for girls, and don't you know, anger is not for girls, no way'. The defiance is understated, yet very clear. '1998' feels like a major homage to where Femmepop is from musically, it's the bridge between the 80's and 2017, the monologues breaking the track very nicely, and creating an atmosphere that is warm and gives pause for thought.

Dancing With Myself wraps up with its title track, an alternate cover of a Billy Idol number. It's a very enjoyable lo-fi version of Idol's song, almost indiscernible from the original. Femmepop's sophomore album has many highlights, and is beyond majestic when it comes to rattling our nostalgic cages. One observation however is that when the time comes for a third album, a notable shift may not be a bad thing, that said, no one has nailed retro 80's electro-pop as well as O'Sullivan to date.

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