Henry: Remember this? From 2013! Femtronica has come a long way. Any comment on how the genre has evolved since your last post? Has anyone blown up in a way you didn’t expect? Looking back some artists went in a sound-direction I didn’t love (Haim) but some have surprised me in a really great way (Grimes).
Michael: It’s actually amazing how big a sound this has become and I am totally, totally thrilled for it. Femtronica has gone mainstream (the music not the term unfortunately) and actually produced some pretty great results. I think the reality is that Femtronica is as much a part of me as Look See Proof are and I am pretty stoked about that.
1) Miniskirt – Braids
M: If only I had been writing for The Guardian for a couple of decades at a time like this. This song deserves to be written about by people who can write far more eloquently and gracefully than I can (Todd VanDerWerff come write this for me!) because it is truly spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% the type to get emotionally attached to stuff easily (even thinking about the end of Celeste & Jesse Forever gets me in a state) but if there were a song to get attached to in 2015, this is it. This is a proper feminist anthem. This is a big f*** you to the ludicrous backlash against women striving for equal representation and respect. This is one hell of a pop song. Braids were always a group I’ve loved (listen to Lemonade or Plath Heart from their last LP) but they’ve pushed themselves further for their first single from their new record. I don’t know Henry, I just think this is spectacular.
2) Go – Grimes ft. Blood Diamond
H: I can’t think of an artist who’s had quite such a dramatic change in their sound over the last few years. Grimes has moved from sweeping, unfamiliar dreamscapes to the heaving, all-too-familiar dance-floor. OK, the transition’s not that simplistic and actually, this still sounds like Grimes. It’s just Grimes with new commercial appeal. If you’re sad she’s less aggressively weird, take comfort that maybe – finally – you can play Grimes at pre-drinks without harshing the buzz.
M: Consider me delighted that Grimes has gone the way she has. Spectacularly talented and overwhelmingly creative, I love that her sound has managed to stay hers despite a pretty dramatic transition. More people are going to hear her music and when she has the ability she has, that is only ever going to be a good thing.
3) Agor Edits (Mixtape) – Blue Hawaii
H: Blue Hawaii haven’t released a full album since 2013, but if you haven’t checked them out, do it now. If they sound familiar, it’s because they’re made up of two members from Braids. That was good training ground; Blue Hawaii sound like the beautiful, weird future. Try to Be (from their 2013 LP, Untogether) is an exercise in restrained emotion, and their 2014 mixtape, Agor Edits will make you smile throughout. Yours to Keep and All of my Heart are particularly great.
4) Catch – Allie X
M: Allie X has been on our radar for the past twelve months and with good reason. The Canadian singer is very quirky. Her videos are bizarre concoctions in surreality and as much as I appreciate that this sentence makes little sense, neither do her videos (just go with this lazy excuse for my failure to find the wanted words here). I mean they are so strange but its Allie’s talent and her straight up commitment to her image that makes it all work. She has a unique sound, style and persona and it is so refreshing. Catch has been around for a while but the video is new. It is suitably insane.
Bonus cover: Falling – Haim (CHVRCHES cover)
H: You featured Haim’s Falling and CHVRCHES on your last Femtronica list so this a nice cover that recognises your picks. The cover’s not my favourite – the chorus kind of falls apart – but it’s interesting to see how CHVRCHES make it their own. In the fearless dedication to their sound, this cover might actually succeed, there’s just not much replay value.