Along with groups like Juniore and L'Imperatrice, the Biarritz based group Le Femme, has, since their 2010 formation, been central to the burgeoning French indie rock and electro pop renaissance. Tracks from their esoteric 2013 debut Psycho Tropical Berlin ended up documenting high end fashion runways and the hippest Netflix shows, whilst their similarly eclectic second album Mystere cemented the bands individualistic attitude to reworking Francophile stereotypes. Their particular journey through sound continues on Paradigmes, a venerably subversive collection of new wave chanson, cathartic ye-ye and simmering punky cabaret, produced by the band themselves and put out on their own Disque Pointu label.
If La Femme did have a 'typical sound' it's to be found within the hip hop beats and brass arrangements of "Paradigm" and "Cool Colorado", as well as the '60s chanteuse influences on "Nouvelle Orleans" and "Le Sang De Mon Prochain" which show off their skill for slinky pop crammed with tricksy production and aloof cool. This is their tried and tested though, Paradigmes comes into its own when they freak it up. The wonky weirdness which made previous releases such a blast are scattered throughout this album and show off a fearless approach to taking a hard left turn.
Europeans, specifically members of the French intelligentsia, have long had a thing for the unknowability of the American interior. Just look to Jean Baudrillard, the French sociologist, cultural theorist, and, among other things, author of a book called Amérique. Published in 1986, it describes a cross-country trip through white-hot stretches of desert and Midwestern megaplexes.