Info: Femmepop is singer songwriter/producer Margaret O' Sullivan from Ireland. Based in London. She writes, records, performs, produces and mixes her work. Ms Femmepop's voice has been classically trained and she attended Cork city's renowned music college, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa for two years in her teens. With her music making comparisons to Lovefoxx, Kavinsky, Bat For Lashes, Madonna, Cocteau Twins and The School of Seven Bells.
The CYM EP is Femmepop’s latest release and on August 17th the EP droppd on all digital platforms. The release was marked by Femmepop beginning her 'CYM Tour' in Berlin on the same date. Berlin being the home of electronic music and female artists ruling the scene there, it’s seems a very apt city for the release of 'CYM' which was recorded by Femmepop between the months of December 2017 and February 2018 in Cork, Ireland. This is Femmepop’s most instrumental / dance based futuristic sounding release and a new direction from previous work.
O'Sullivan is an electronic artist I've had the humble pleasure of following for the past four years as Femmepop, indeed her debut album From A Girl Who Never Sleeps was one of the very first albums ever reviewed here (it's still amazing - check it out). The biggest attractions for me were always the vocal and sound-wise her penchant for revelling in retro-synth sounds so adroitly in the most ear-candy manner.
Femmepop has never stood still though, and on CYM a notable marker has been reached following years of perfecting, self-challenging and honing the early sound. With opening track 'Astra' this becomes immediately apparent, most obviously because it is entirely instrumental, then there's the fact that O'Sullivan has dialled down the overt retro style, yes it's still there, but it's a bit more distant rather than to the forefront of proceedings. The first 16 seconds of the track are very contemporary with a house-twist, and after a synth-led build I'm in love with the darkness of the hum and drum-pad between 2:20-2:36.
The EP's title-track goes even further forward into new territory, I wouldn't recognise either sound nor vocal as hers unless I was told in advance, and this is a big plus. A rippling and intent-filled bass-line bounces along a digital milky way of celestial vox and shuffling beats, it's colourfully mellow and a soundtrack for daydreamers.
That tinge of dark and isolation in dimly-lit industrial buildings emerges again on 'Motion', so much atmosphere crafted out of a sensory-deprived surrounding. The kicker arrives at 2:47 and it's a very 1970's sci-fi moment, albeit brief, before we are treated to a highly indulgent synth and drum-pad bombast. CYM closes with 'Suck it Up', this reminds me more of continental punk new-wave from the mid 70's to mid 80's, like French coldwave four-piece Charles de Goal, or Lille's Guerre Froide, with a bit of Kraftwerk in your side-dish. It's a wonderful conclusion to an impressively diverse collection of electronic songs, over a long period of time Femmepop has been arriving at this point through graft, passion, and a desire to blow apart the boundaries of her own musical horizons.
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