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.


TOP 10 IDOL MV – October 2020

Top 10 Idol MV - October 2020

Another month has passed, which means that we need another Top 10 of the latest MV’s. Check out this list of the best alt-idol music videos of October!


10) 緋鬼籠帝國 (Hikikomo Teikoku) – Shelter

While it’s not the most unique video out there, 緋鬼籠帝國 (Hikikomo Teikoku)’s debut MV perfectly shows how badass this unit is. The dynamic and powerful sound of “Shelter” combining melodic death, power metal and metalcore is a pretty good start for this group.


9) femme fatale – 安眠swimming (Anmin Swimming)

Since their first single, femme fatale have never disappointed me yet. The otherworldly, rich and detailed video combined with the usual 80s-like synth pop sound of “安眠swimming” (Anmin Swimming) is another proof of the greatness of this duo. Bonus points for the pony.


8) NELN – Milk

NELN keeps releasing great singles one after another and this one is no exception. The catchy synth pop sound of “MILK”, alternating atmospheric and intense semi-rock parts, brings the four girls through any kind of TVs and monitors in this new music video.


7) 天空音パレード (TOP / Tenku On Parade) – バジリスク (Basilisk)

I have to admit this was the first time I met 天空音パレード (Tenku On Parade) and I regret not listening to them until now. While they use more typical idol vocal lines, the powerful rock/metal sound supporting them in “Basilisk” is definitely worth more than just a listen.


6) BiSH – STORY OF DUTY

I’ve never been a fan of Call Of Duty and BiSH is surely not my favorite idol group. But how can you not love this destructive digital hardcore song together with a war themed MV? If this will be the soundtrack for WWIII, I almost wish it would start right now. Just kidding, don’t do it please.


5) 会心ノ一撃 (Kaishin No Ichigeki) – パステル (Pastel)

The delicate sound of 会心ノ一撃 (Kaishin No Ichigeki) is perfectly represented by the ethereal atmosphere of its MV, which shows the group’s live activities, often in drawing-like style. This one deserved to be in the Top 3, but well, there was a lot of good stuff last month.


4) NEO JAPONISM – LEGEND OF BATACHIKI 〜バタチキ伝説〜

NEO JAPONISM goes full Egyptian with “LEGEND OF BATACHIKI”, mixing the sounds of pharaohs and pyramids with their usual alternative metal. There is also a short reggae part which doesn’t really belong there, but isn’t this why we love this kind of idols?


3) リリィカオナ (LiLii Kaona) – Europa

Ok, it was released in Spooktober, but I didn’t really expect リリィカオナ (LiLii Kaona) to get this creepy in the MV for “Europa”. Although the song is a quite relaxing electronic-synth pop one, the things shown in the video give it a more eerie aura. And yes, of course I love it, how could I not?


2) 始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-Machi Underground) – 高電圧反抗少女 (Kō Den’atsu Hankō Shōjo)

For the second time in a row, 始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-Machi Underground) manage to get in the Top 3. While the video is not as interesting as the previous one, it still looks pretty cool and “高電圧反抗少女” (Kō Den’atsu Hankō Shōjo) shows the awesomeness of their psychedelic music at its best. One of the most underrated units out there, no doubt about it.


1) DESURABBITS – アイコトバ (Aikotoba)

I still remember the day I discovered DESURABBITS through their first MV. Watching the one for “アイコトバ” (Aikotoba) made me realize once again how incredible this unit is. They literally grew up in this group and became one of the most important artists of this alt-idol scene. I’d like to give them a career award, but for now let’s settle with the first place of this Top 10.


That was all for October… or maybe not. Since there was a lot of good MVs I couldn’t include, here’s some of them!

Honorable Mentions