PSYCH SURF-ROCK BAND LA FEMME ON RECORDING IN A CASTLE AND MAKING THE HOP TO PARIS
Many people who have been under hypnosis describe the experience as a unique trance that mysteriously stimulates physical and emotional sensations. Emotions may suddenly become heightened, the body may seem to be disconnected from the self, or vivid visuals may come to mind. And yet, despite these profoundly concentrated sensitivities, one can feel entirely relaxed.
The hypnotic, psychedelic surf-rock of French band La Femme may not be as intense as hypnosis, but it transports listeners to a place—equally inspired by France Gall, Gidget, and Lou Reed—that evokes vivid images of vintage surf scenes and chain-smoking French youths. It’s hard to categorize the music of La Femme as just “psychedelic surf-rock” given their dizzying array of interchangeable influences—Yé-yé, California surf, ‘80s new-wave, Turkish disco, and a Finnish rock band called Zook—“I like the old-school stuff,” said guitarist, Sacha Got, “I’m not crazy about the West Coast bigger, new stuff. Like when you go to Los Angeles and you hear, in the Uber, fancy rap, or stuff like that. It’s fine but it’s not for everyone.”
Regarding their origins, Got relates that, when starting out in the small French surf-town Biarritz, the band befriended a group of Californian surfers who invited them out to the States for the first time. They ended up staying for three months, touring across the U.S. and scouting the birthplace of their surf-rock influences. “We do the same shit everywhere,” Got says about the experience, “Eating, partying, rocking, going to see friends—the same shit.”
Their recent move to Paris had a widening effect: the city is more accommodating for musicians with its burgeoning music scenes—from punk to rap, indie-rock to reggae. “I like to go see some bands sometimes at a cool place like at La Mécanique Ondulatoire,” says Got. “There’s always a good dance with French art bands and little new bands who are not famous yet.”
Maybe all these curious attributes have led to the band’s decision to aptly title their eclectic upcoming album Mystery.
“We began writing it in Brittany, in a castle,” says Got, “We rented it cheap and we stayed in the castle for two months. Then, we finished recording in Paris and afterwards mixed it in California.” The two-year long process was only recently wrapped this past June in Los Angeles.
Set for release in September, Mystery can be expected to uphold the vintage-cool feel that La Femme typically carries. Got’s words on the upcoming album? He smirks wryly before answering: “It’s a mystery.”
Photographer: Nick Sushkevich.
Stylist: Magali Suvelor.
Hair: Giulio Panciera.
Makeup: Juila Wretzky.
Photographer Assistant: Ksenia Obukhovskaya.