My thanks to Nicholas of Femme Fatale for keeping me in the loop and sharing.
I have the highest respect and admiration for truly “independent” bands/artists, which brave a corporate dominated industry, where numbers are more important than talent and artistry. But the world has changed since the days of reading zines to get information; in this broadband revolutionized world, bands, like Italia’s Femme Fatale, have the means to but their music out there. Self-producing and recording the “Fading Night Sounds” EP (8 September 2010), Femme Fatale demonstrates everything that indie is about: raw visceral power, the mettle to bring the feel of live music to a recording, and a true alternative to the glossy, gimmicky music out there. Though named after the Velvet Underground song, their cues come from the 90s, which is further evidence that we should brace ourselves for an upcoming 90s revival.
With a touch of grunge and a whole lot of Britpop (an odd combination, but one that works), Femme Fatale’s style is straightforward. There are no virtuoso moments or waxing poetic; this is solid “rock,” with no frills, meant to have a strong visceral and physical effect as you listen. With a mix of power chords and dramatic arrangements, the music is consistently in your face; it is obvious, like any good band, the music is meant for live performance.
“Fading Night Sounds” opens with “Going Nowhere Fast,” reminiscent of garage rock, it is the perfect, mosh pit ready track to open the album. “Hidden Histories,” the second track, is where the stylistic characteristics of Britpop start to kick in; however, this is the Britpop of bands like Northern Uproar … dismiss any idea of hearing echoes of Lush, Sleeper, or (The London) Suede. “I’m Surely Gonna Miss You” follows this musical motif, and then there first single, “You’re the One.” Like the track that follows, the vocal arrangements are more distinct. All the vocal arrangements sell the lyrics, but here the vocals are more playful and are more distinct against the music.
“Sunset” is the quirkiest song the EP. Again, with a playful vocal arrangement and a guitar rift closer to closer to original punk, this is the kind of standout track that makes you wonder what else the band has up their sleeves. “Fading Night Sounds” fades with “Shed the Colours.” Musically the most distinct song on the album, it reminds me of the music early Britpop and American bands like Camper Van Beethoven in the late 80s. It is that kind of straightedge music that definitely demonstrates conscious craftsmanship, something that has become rare over the last few years.
Femme Fatale is one of those nascent bands that really have gotten my curiosity going. As they continue to compose, perform, and refine their craft, I definitely think they are going to surprise more than a few people. As for “Fading Night Sounds,” solid, solid, solid … in this brief, twenty-minute collection, the band has sown the seeds of possibilities and delivered a great, no frills collection of music that is what primal indie is all about. Check out the band’s music streaming on MySpace, contact the band about future availability of their music, and support this band.
1. Going Nowhere Fast
2. Hidden Histories
3. I’m Surely Gonna Miss You
4. You’re the One
6. Shed the Colours
Keep up with Femme Fatale at their MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.
Here is the audio clip for “I’m Surely Gonna Miss You” from their YouTube Channel: FemmeFataleband.