A lot of the music I listen to on repeat is loud and poppy, especially since I started listening to Kpop on a regular basis. It makes me feel good when walking around listening to music; I can block out all the annoying sounds of the public and listen to cheerful and energetic music instead!
But the weather recently has been more sombre, seeing it’s started going into Autumn, so I’ve been listening to more slow, chilled out music that fits with the atmosphere a bit better. The band that I’m really enjoying is Hyukoh, a Korean indie 4-piece band. I know, another Korean band, but hear me out.
There are times where, sometimes for no reason at all, my anxiety spikes and it feels like my skin is a size too small and I just want to peel it off to get some sort of relief. Obviously that is not possible, so instead I end up trying to lessen the feeling by blaring some music and singing along. I feel bad for me neighbours when this happens.
Sometimes I play happy poppy songs to cheer myself up; sometimes it’s shouty angry songs. But other times the only thing I want to listen to is a sad song on repeat to sing along to while trying not to cry (and most of the time failing at that). Forever by Tiger JK falls very squarely into that last category.
Ah French, the language of love. I learned French in school, starting in primary school all the way up to year 10, when I realised that I had stopped caring about it for at least half of that year and dropped it. I have forgotten a lot of what I was taught, because that is what happens, but I still like to listen to it. Luckily for me there are a bunch of awesome musicians who sing (or rap) in French.
I may have gotten a little obsessed with Rob Cantor’s live version of “Shia LeBeouf”, a story about the actual cannibal Shia LeBeouf. I have definitely sent it around to people in my office who I think will enjoy it and the responses have basically been as positive as mine was when I first saw it. I had heard the song on my travels through tumblr, but thought nothing of it until I saw the video linked above. I feel like the performance really adds an added level of awesomeness to the song.
This made me look into some of Rob Cantor’s other songs, and he’s pretty dang talented!
Far East Mention Mannequins (who shall be referred to as FEMM from now on because that is a ridiculous name) are a Japanese duo I have been listening to a lot lately, and it has gotten to the point that I put a song on repeat for a few hours before changing to another one. I am even listening to them while writing this post. It seems appropriate. Now you may think they’re just another weird Japanese electropop band, but they are so much weirder than that.
The premise behind FEMM is that two mannequins, RiRi and LuLa, were saved and got a device implanted into them to make them, uh, alive. So now they are using music to try and create mannequin awareness so that mannequins are treated better. Because RiRi and LuLa can’t talk (even though they can sing?) any interviews are done by their ‘Agents’, Honey-B and W-Trouble. These two ladies are rappers who have been featured in one of FEMM’s songs, and Honey-B seems to do all the social media stuff, going off the facebook and youtube comments.
I found out about them through tumblr, when someone I followed posted one of their videos. Apparently FEMM has gotten some attention recently with their song ‘Fxxk Boys Get Money’, where they are dressed in latex maid outfits and twerking. It’s not really my jam, the vocals are a bit too grating and the twerking kinda puts me off. The point of the song is pretty great though, which is pretty much “yeah boys are ok but I would prefer money to buy stuff”. They seem pretty big on ‘girl power’ type themes in their songs, which I definitely appreciate.
‘Dead Wrong’ is definitely my favourite of their songs so far (I haven’t listened to all the songs they’ve released, because Dead Wrong is so catchy in it’s autotuned glory) but coming 2nd is ‘Wannabe’, which is how I found about FEMM in the first place. The whole thing is a bit bizarre, with two ladies dressed in latex Japanese schoolgirl outfits, singing with deadpan expressions on their faces.But I think that’s part of why I like it.
Ben and I were talking about this and talking about how the mannequins can be seen as a reference to how pop stars put forward a persona, and how RiRi and LuLa are essentially singing dolls while Honey-B and W-Trouble are the ones talking for them, like Agencies do for musicians these days (especially in countries like Japan and Korea where pop music is such a big industry). The more I think about it the more layers I can find, like having FEMM wear the latex outfits could be referring to the fetishism of public figures like pop stars. Obviously we won’t know if this is all intentional and it’s a very complex message, or if we are reading too far into this. We’re not the people behind FEMM, I also haven’t looked that deeply into them as there’s probably a bunch of stuff in Japanese that I can’t read that may or may not even clear things up.
Either way they’re super catchy, have pretty positive messages in their songs, and I may have been obsessing about their songs for a while. I have been listening to them pretty constantly, and I think the main reason I like them so much is that the music sounds like the soundtrack to some sort of Magical Girl Anime fight scene. Check them out, maybe you’ll like them, maybe you won’t! Either way it’s fun to try out new things!