Published on October 6th, 2022

La Femme by Oriane Robaldo

Four trombone players sporting blonde bobs, black tails and fishnet stockings promenade down a dusty stair and through a heart-shaped neon-lit entryway, and what looks like an abandoned Vegas hole in the wall transforms into a space-electro dreamland. Reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s breakout performances, La Femme’s 2020 music video for “Paradigme” featured imaginative choreography, electrifying visuals, and experimental editing to produce unforgettable moving art backed by modern synth-pop — and a kind of template for winning over the world.

The accompanying album, “Paradigmes,” arrived in April 2021 as a hypnotic audiophile escape from Covid times and an evocative retelling of life on the road. There was also a feature-length companion “Paradigmes: Le Film,” essentially a movie musical for the album. The titular opening track, through written before the pandemic, seemed to capture its harrowing isolation: “The souls of the evening that we meet on the sidewalks are often lost/ And carry in them, twisted desires and dark thoughts.”

It was a maiden trek through 20 U.S. cities, in 2010 in support of a self-released debut EP, that begat a red-carpet welcome back home and a signing frenzy for La Femme among French record labels. The duo formed by guitarist Sascha Got and keyboardist Marlon Magnée quickly evolved into a psych-punk-rock-pop collective with a rotating cast of contributors. More EPs followed and, in 2013, a debut studio album, “Psycho Tropical Berlin,” exclaimed their love of France’s own ’60s underground and ’70s synthwave movements. In short order La Femme were climbing charts and amassing an international following with their liquidating, lustful melodies and lounge-pop esthétique.

La Femme operate as a fluid entity, not just in gender representation but in creative approach, writing music first and then seeking out complimentary collaborators — a process allowing for continuous metamorphosis. This production model, a contemporary approach to the concept of “featuring,” creates a trans-temporal, psychedelic-exotica sound while remaining true to La Femme’s philosophically acute and libidinous lyrics. Their expansive, tropi-pop, euro-dance energy has also landed them on concert bills representing a few music-fan constituencies — with Gorillaz at the Austin City Limits Festival, Iggy Pop at Desert Daze, The Killers at Voodoo Music & Arts Experience, and Kendrick Lamar at Electric Panic.

These visionaries are making more trans waves internationally with the release of “Sacatela,” from a forthcoming Spanish-language album, “Teatro Lucido,’ due on November 4. A tasteful, suggestively sensual strain of ’70s lounge-surf psychedelia, met with present-day blunt sexuality, washes through both the lyrics and music video of “Sacatela.” Set poolside at the love-themed Hotel Amour in Nice, France, the video draws viewers into a quirky and quite possibly eternal summer’s day (and night), and infuses Latin erotic flair into La Femme’s coastal euro-pop-poshness and ambience.

“Sacatela,” though consistent with eccentric earlier works, speaks to some of the band members’ close hometown proximity to Spain and to more recent tours there as well as through South America. La Femme are also said to be exploring reggaeton influences on the new album. If the single and corresponding visual art piece are any indication of the rest, fans can expect more ardor and romance set to rhythms made famous by the original (pre-Los Angeles) Whisky a Go Go discothèque in the French Riviera. La Femme are an embodiment of the French expression “à gogo,” with their intoxicating, unrestrained and provocative endorsement of joy.

Touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, performing at secret locations with DJ Sam Quealy, springing guest artists in concert, La Femme excel at being unpredictable in everything except guaranteeing that they’ll be “incredible live” — a recurring phrase in online forums reviewing their gigs — and they’ll have everyone dancing from start to finish. Le Femme want everyone at their giant, rolling electro-disco dance party. To quote one of their recent tour posters:

“I want to see you/ I want to have you/ In the nightclub in Los Angeles/ You came closer/ I don’t want to forget the touch of your skin and laugh/ It’s like we already/ Know each other.”

La Femme perform Friday, Oct. 21 at the III Points festival in Miami. ~ Amanda Moore