New Wave Punk/Rock Why We Love

Why We Love: La Femme

Some bands are difficult to understand. Not being able to speak much French, I understand just about as many lyrics from the exquisite french band ‘La Femme’ as I understand their mind-boggling, hypnotic and seemingly other-worldly style – but you don’t need to speak the language to find out what a truly amazing band they are, you just need to listen.

La Femme are a group totally unafraid of playing around and creating mesmerising sounds. Completely entrancing at the best of times, they are truly one of the best psych-rock bands out there at the moment. I’ve often found myself sitting on a train listening to one of their songs and totally losing all attachment to reality, like the world around me is melting away between my fingers – usually, I’m listening to this corker of a tune;

Their debut album Psycho Tropical Berlin is something I keep coming back to on a regular. My year doesn’t feel right without listening to it at least once. Putting on their songs feels like falling through deep space, or one of those heist movie scenes where they gear up and put their plan into motion… I thought this edit perfectly describes listening to this particular song, however, TWM does not endorse drug taking of any kind, unless that drug is La Femme.

Everyone loves a good psychedelic punk band, but La Femme are something else. Heavily influenced by bands such as Velvet Underground, guitarist Sacha Got and keyboard player Marlon Magnée formed La Femme in 2010 then released their first two EP’s to high national and international praise.

Since the band’s beginnings in Biarritz in the South of France, nine people from cities across the country now form the band’s lineup today.

Last month, the band released their brand new single ‘Paradigme’, along with a message for their fans; “Paradigms vanish, masks come off. From now on, nothing will be the same anymore.”

The band also released this truly captivating video quite unlike any we’ve seen from them before:

With a bold new image and brand new ideas, La Femme have set out to re-brand themselves for a new era. The announcement of their partnership with IDOL digital distribution and the promise of an upcoming album means we’ll be keeping a close eye on La Femme and are looking forward to our brains being melted once again by this truly remarkable group with a surprise around every corner.

Listen to La Femme on Spotify now.

Indie/Indie Rock

Hidden Gems: Montoya – On The Hill EP

Sometimes, bands will only stick around for a short time. They release an album, an EP or maybe just a single before dropping off the radar completely. But I don’t believe that should stop people from discovering and sharing the songs they made.

And sometimes, bands will even ‘break-through’ years after they’ve split. In the case of Indie-Pop band Montoya, they very well did.

I first discovered their EP ‘On the Hill’ after their one and only music video, directed by Damien Bonnaire, gave them big exposure on Vimeo back in 2016. Instantly gripped by their uplifting melodies and stunning vocals, I have since remained a loyal fan of Montoya and their charming sound.

The next few years, I very eagerly awaited to hear more tunes from the Parisian band, but it now seems that day may never come.

I read up on them recently, just to see what happened, only to find that their social media had gone quiet and their website had been taken down.

I reached out to them via email hoping to find some answers, but their mailbox no longer exists.

After some digging, I found the Instagram profile of the band’s guitarist, Hugo Rattoray, who told me the band had split due to each member’s prior commitments.

After years of hope, this was terribly sad to hear, especially from such a promising band, but an understandable reason nonetheless. Sadly one of the biggest reasons most bands today don’t last long is that at the end of the day, whether your music is good or not, you still have to pay the rent.

Unless you’re a student nowadays or have bundles of time on your hands, putting a band together and managing to hold down your life at the same time is more arduous now than at any point in the last 50 years.

Part of the reason so many great bands from the ’70s and ’80s were able to do so well (in the UK at least) was because at a time of such high unemployment, there was f*** all to do.

I worry now that after the recent pandemic, with so many venues being forced to close, that it may have become near impossible for small bands to get by. Not to mention with a sharp decline in job security, some people might see that time spent writing songs is not worth their while. It’s a shame when you imagine how much great music will be lost to the world because of this.

As for Montoya, I feel somewhat strange writing about a band whose music always ends up back on my playlist year after year, but who I hardly know anything about.

It was great chatting to Hugo, who assured me that the previous band members were all still working on their own solo projects, including singer Cécilia Bonnet, the incredible voice behind their songs. Montoya’s first EP will foreseeably be their last, but one I will certainly still be listening to for a long while to come – and who knows, maybe one day this group with so much talent will crop up again under a new name with more great tunes to give the world.

Listen to Montoya’s EP ‘On The Hill’ now.