With huge domestic success and a rapidly growing international stature, La Femme have reinvigorated French pop over the last decade. Absolutely no-one wants to reflect on 2020, so the Paris-based pop auteurs kickstart 2021 with a statement for the year ahead with their new single ‘Foutre le bordel’. Translating loosely as “to make a mess” or “to wreak havoc”, the hell-raising party anthem previews their upcoming third album ‘Paradigmes’ which will follow on April 2nd.
A rally cry of nihilism, anarchy and carpe diem spirit, ‘Foutre le bordel’ is motorik punk filtered through a prism of strenuous synth-pop. The result is an elegantly wasted call-to-arms which feels like an unholy matrimony between Giorgio Moroder and Plastic Bertrand. It’s a track to galvanise you to cause a scandal, wake up the neighbours and get drunk in Pigalle. And when you wake up with a splitting headache and vague recollections of the night before, to do it all over again.
The track is accompanied by an equally rambunctious video, completely drawn by the band which cuts between kaleidoscopic punk imagery and an unsettlingly sinister vocal performance.
Of the track the band says:
“Foutre le bordel is the first fully animated video we create. We have always been attracted by graphic arts. Originally we wanted to join art schools but none of them accepted us! Over the years, we have drawn lots of our visuals: artworks, t shirts, clothes, fonts,.
Last spring, during the first lockdown, we thought it would be the best moment to start this animated drawings project, as we had so much free time in front of us. We think it reflects well the image of La Femme and we are happy we finally managed to do it with this particular fast and nervous track, which is made to revitalise a party at any moment! The kind of song that we look forward to playing on stage!”
Alongside the recent singles ‘Paradigme’, ‘Cool Colorado’ and ‘Disconnexion’, ‘Foutre le bordel’ provides a taste of the huge scope that La Femme cover within the ‘Paradigmes’ album. It offers a shift in how we see the world, a psychedelic vortex to a more vibrant dimension. It’s a retrofuturistic set of beautifully-curated electro-pop that echoes everything from coldwave to yé-yé, Kraftwerk to The Velvet Underground, all distilled into La Femme’s unique sound.
Unconstrained by genres or era, La Femme’s eclectism extends to geography influences too. At the album’s heart is a triptych of songs named after locations in America, some conjured from experience, and others dredged up from the imagination. ‘Cool Colorado’ melts the senses majestically as it recounts a glorious smoke in the Rockies; ‘Pasadena’ is a moody rap song set at school; and ‘Nouvelle Orléans’ swirls with swooping backwards electric guitars and forward-looking electro arpeggios, peripatetic bass and breakbeats.
As they explain, “Geography must be important to us because of the fact we travelled quite a lot over the last few years, and different places brought different inspiration to us. We like the folklore of places and what comes out of them.”
‘Paradigmes’ also represents an evolution in La Femme’s approach. The album is their first to be entirely self-produced and released on their own Disque Pointu label, in association with the French independent music distributor IDOL.
The heart of La Femme is the two songwriters who started the band together, Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée. They’re joined for live shows by the masterful rhythm section of Sam Lefevre (bass) and Noé Delmas (drums) alongside a host of guest vocalists and musicians. As ever, those artists remain enigmatically unnamed.
La Femme’s legendary live shows are aesthetically rich and decadently bawdy, like a catwalk runway crossed with ‘Caligula’. They’re eager to return to touring once circumstances allow, although in the short-term we may have to enjoy the adventures of ‘Paradigmes’ from the comfort of our own homes.
‘Paradigmes’ is an album that lives in the moment, even if that moment is a challenge right now. Its fantastical voyages will undoubtedly provide an escape into a world beyond our own.
- ‘Le sang de mon prochain’
- ‘Cool Colorado’
- ‘Foutre le bordel’
- ‘Lâcher de chevaux’
- ‘Force & Respect’
- ‘Divine créature’
- ‘Mon ami’
- ‘Le jardin’
- ‘Tu’ten lasses’
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE