Musical mannequin duo FEMM are famed for their girls’ anthem ‘Fxxk Boyz Get Money’, which quickly earned them a fan base in the United States, Europe and the rest of the world. Their debut album Femm-Isation reached the Top 10 of the Billboard World Albums chart in the US, and was picked as a Best Indie Album at HMV stores across the UK.
Their most recent album Tokyo Girls Anthem was released just last month, in December 2021, packed with a wide variety of rap tracks made in collaboration with globally active hip-hop producers such as Boys Noize and Star Boy. Now, FEMM have made the surprise announcement that their third album, Tokyo Ex Machina, has been released today, Friday 21 January, 2022.
The music video for new song ‘We Got Each Other’ was also released today.
Tokyo Ex Machina features a selection of star collaborators from Europe, the US and Asia: Jenna Andrews, who worked on the smash BTS song ‘Butter’; John Ryan, who has worked on many songs with One Direction as well as Maroon 5 and Rita Ora; Doja Cat collaborator Kool Kojak; Danny L Harle, who is a cohort of Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama; and Woo Min Lee, who has worked on several songs for TWICE.
The jacket photo is by Liam Wong, who has been featured on Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ list and who previously created the music video and jacket image for FEMM’s single ‘Tic Toc’. The photo, titled ‘Neo Tokyo’, recalls the classic cyberpunk vibes of ‘AKIRA’ and ‘Blade Runner’ and will appeal to fans of concept artist Syd Mead.
The opening track of the album, ‘We Got Each Other’, incorporates the sound of the 1990s revival that has been hugely popular this past year in the United States and Europe. The sweet and sour lyrics in which the two singers comfort one another over broken hearts deliver an emotional message, reminiscent of the girls’ rock movement that was prevalent in the ’90s and ’00s.
Directed by Julie Giesen, the video dares to be girly, and starts with the two members of FEMM touching down in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. As the mannequins are brushed by a wave of animated magic, their appearance transforms into something we have never seen from FEMM before. As they visit an arcade and a bowling alley, the members – who are known for their icy demeanor – actually crack a smile! Are they dreaming, or have we been transported to a world of fantasy?
In the near future, music videos for new album cuts ‘Outta The Clouds’ and ‘Crystal Ball’ will follow, as well as a video for ‘Crawl Away’, the song that reunites FEMM with their ‘Fxxk Boyz Get Money’ producer Pat Lukens, and a video for popular track ‘Falling For A Lullaby’. Look out for each new announcement as it comes.
FEMM have attracted attention from many global media, and their videos have found great acclaim, with Venezuelan musician Arca praising the twisted avatars in a previous video made with Aphex Twin visual collaborator Weirdcore. As the world contends with the ongoing pandemic, FEMM are broadcasting their own 21st-century Japonisme to the globe.