Dublin is brimming with synth acts now like TINY MAGNETIC PETS, CIRCUIT3, EMBRACE THE CRISIS and iEUROPEAN, so it’s only natural that further south, the city of Cork should want to join in the fun as well.
In 2018, FEMMEPOP collaborated with Canadian synth songstress MECHA MAIKO on ‘Tomodachi’ as well as working with ROBERT PARKER on ‘Demise’, a song for the soundtrack of the acclaimed Swedish film ‘Videoman’. The title song of her most recent album ‘Dancing With Myself’ was an eerie electronic cover of the GENERATION X masturbation anthem.
FEMMEPOP’s most recent release was the ‘CYM’ EP which saw O’Sullivan develop her synth sound further with the recent addition to her armoury of a Korg Minilogue and a step-up in production values.
To start proceedings, the filmic instrumental opener ‘Astra’ features a catchy riff surrounded by plethora of arpeggios, electronic textures and pipey counter-melodies like a more uptempo modern-day CHINA CRISIS.
Also instrumental, the atmospheric ‘Motion’ fully appreciates what the form is about with its widescreen sweeps, subtle tones and rhythmic interludes, something those laptop boys with their meandering offerings that sound like someone has forgotten to sing on don’t seem to understand.
Meanwhile, the immersive ‘CYM’ title track recalls MECHA MAIKO, a dreamy synth concoction that nods towards a cooler KID MOXIE, like if she had been living next to the Irish Sea rather than the Aegean!
Already a veteran of two albums, one of O’ Sullivan’s most striking statements has been “PLEASE DO NOT CALL FEMMEPOP SYNTHWAVE, THANK YOU!”, a community she has described as “sexist”; so it is fitting that the EP closer ‘Suck It Up’ is a delightful feminist rallying call immersed in a cacophony of pulses, angelic voices and a cascading wall of edgy metallic sound before concluding with a classic synthy motif.
With FEMMEPOP developing a more thoughtful sophisticated sound without losing her avant aspirations, the end result is less harsh and more accessible. Things can only get better…
Text by Chi Ming Lai
29th November 2018