The essential FEMM

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Some bands are more than just the music that they play. Some of them are also about the persona they present to the world, making a statement as much with their overall act as with the music they produce. FEMM is a great example of a band that is more than just their records or songs. They are a whole experience.

Everything you need to know about FEMM

FEMM promotional picture

FEMM stands for Far East Mention Mannequins and, surprisingly, they are exactly what they sound like they are. RiRi and LuLa make up the duo, who produce a mixture of house-dance and hip hop music. It is important to note that, within the act that is FEMM, these figures are actually sentient mannequins who are the leaders of the FEMM Agency Syndicate. This is an organisation that supports the independence and rights of mannequins — the very same figures that shops use to model clothes, and that occasionally come to life in classic 1980s films.

Of course, mannequins don’t generally talk, so the pair is represented by agents Honey-B and W-Trouble. They represent the living face of the act and appear at events and speak on behalf of them. It is a very unusual portrayal for a group, but it works for the heavily synthesised club music that the pair produce. And it would be silly to think that they aren’t capable songwriters and performers just because they rely heavily on the uniqueness of their act. These two can sing, rap, and lay down a kick-ass beat. Much like Band-Maid, don’t overlook FEMM just because they have a gimmick.

In a genre that often gets dismissed as shallow or vapid, FEMM’s music doesn’t shy away from making a statement. Their lyrics are full of calls for self-reliance in women and an overarching theme of feminism and anti-censorship comes through in many of their songs, which cover a broad range of genres. The fact that they can give you romantic trap, modern rap anthems, and even pure, uncut Jpop in the same back catalogue is astounding. These two are diverse talents that should not be underestimated.

Want to find out the best tracks to get a taste for FEMM? Let us lead you on your journey.

Fxxk Boyz Get Money

This is probably the best-known song in FEMM’s catalogue, and it is pretty easy to see why. A girl power anthem for the modern age, the track sports lyric spitting that would make Nicki Minaj proud. This song was a breakout hit for FEMM back in 2014, with the video gaining over two million views on YouTube. The video is a great introduction to FEMM’s style, both in terms of music and their performance, which feels robotic in their motions. They are mannequins, after all.

Falling For A Lullaby

This song is a more recent offering from FEMM, landing on their most recent album Tokyo Ex Machina. This whole album feels like a mix of a throwback to Jpop classics, with a distinctly club feel. While the punk rocker at my heart feels like I shouldn’t enjoy this song as much as I do, it is undeniably catchy and fun to listen to. It is everything that I want in a pop song.

Unbreakable

With many pop acts, it is tempting to think that they rely too heavily on overproduction, but this stripped-back, raw ballad should put any of those fears to rest when it comes to FEMM. With just the pair of them singing accompanied by the backing of a piano and an orchestra, the song displays a different side to FEMM’s extraordinary talent. It is a defiant track and the video, while still featuring the unique movements that the two are known for, is distinctive among their other work. It is an unmistakably FEMM track, while also sounding like nothing else they have done.

FEMM’s latest album, Tokyo Ex Machina, was released just this month and is full of some great tracks. You can stream it now on Spotify.

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