femme fatale – femme fatale

femme fatale

Listen to the self-titled mini-album of femme fatale, a self-produced synth pop idol duo made by two sisters already known in the idol world.

Will synth pop ever get old? Hopefully not, since femme fatale‘s self-titled mini-album once again proved that this genre can still be enjoyed even after four decades from its origins. I’ve been following these sisters from the beginning, so it’s nice to have a chance to talk about them.

Singles aside — some of which are included here anyway — this is the first release of the self-produced idol duo which last year fell straight from the heavens and into the idol scene with its otherworldly pop sound. The 80s-like aesthetics of the fun and uplifting music and the MV of “down shout leaf” are still one of my favorite idol moments of the last few years and I was happy to find it right at the beginning of the album.

Things get even better with the dreamlike atmosphere of “after light”, which also got a MV a few months later. Despite the joyful synth melodies, the often energetic rhythms and the happy-sounding refrain, the song also features a more intimate sound that is perfectly represented not only by the more quiet parts, but by the video as well. “after light” was the song that made me realize why the name femme fatale fits them so well: as a man, I can’t really stop listening to them. Let me know if it works with girls too.

Next up is “フェイズ” (Phase), the most recent of the singles included in this mini-album, bringing back the purely cheerful sound with a very catchy chorus and an even more colorful music video, although everything is lighter, less intense compared to “down shout leaf”. The vocal melodies here shine more than ever, with the two sisters alternating and giving life to a very enjoyable track.

Surprisingly, the first previously unreleased song “サバイバー” (Survivor) shakes things up a bit, adding some future bass elements to the usual synth pop formula, which sounds like past and future got blended together. While it’s not the best one in the EP and some may not enjoy this different approach, the (not so) bizarre mix really works and is a nice change of pace after the first three tracks.

Don’t worry though, as “JR” keeps out the futuristic music to focus only on the typical femme fatale style; as it often happens with their music, one of the main selling points is the bass line and it is especially true here, which gives it a nice groove and helps supporting the ethereal, goodnight-like aura provided by the synths. I never thought a goodnight-like aura could be a thing, but that’s the best way I can describe this atmosphere.

And, as to wake us up after the sweet dreams of the previous song, “バタフライ” (Butterfly) ends the album on a more hyperactive-j-pop-idol-oriented sound, full of chiptune elements and with a quite fast and intense beat. There is also some wobbling stuff going on in the middle of it and… let’s just say that it’s there.

femme fatale‘s first mini-album is definitely a good release, even if we already knew half of its songs; considering that the duo has already been releasing more MV’s, the two girls seem to be quite passionate with this project, and it surely shows.


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