I received a press release from Femina-X detailing their new album Multiverse. Standard stuff, description of the release, quotes, promo images, etc. We emailed back and forth a few times about setting up an interview and getting a pre-released copy of the record for review. Got the link, downloaded the album and gave it a once through. Right away I was pulled in. From the jump, Multiverse perked my ears and kept me interested the entire way through.
After listening a few times with ear buds at work, desk speakers at home and in my car, I was convinced, Multiverse is a good record. The songs were interesting and displayed their musicianship, song writing skills and Daniela’s voice sounded great. The quality of the production and mastering was on par with more established bands. But there was something else going on I could hear in the music. Something different. There was a change that was a bit of a departure from other Femina-X recordings that I could not quite pinpoint.
In planning my interview, I took notes during my initial spins. I listed words and phrases like: cross over, larger than life, separate, ambitious. Multiverse is a release I’ve been wanting from Femina-X. The album is focused and constructed in a way that isn’t without reference. It’s hard to understand music that doesn’t sound like anything else. It’s hard because there is no context, there is no comparison. It’s hard to understand what a band is or where they are coming from if you have no starting point. Multiverse feels and sounds like Femina-X, no doubt, but there is a familiarity present in the album that I hadn’t found in their other work.
We set a date, time and location to meet up and I sat down with Daniela and Alex. I had questions pertaining to the album and I asked them, but as the conversation progressed I began to realize these questions about production, genre contrasts and blending, the recording process at Sonic Ranch, etc. were doing more than painting a picture of the record. The questions had revealed something larger.
The next morning, I woke up and thought: “Femina-X is breaking up.” This music was previously unreleased material & singles. One of the key songs in Multiverse, “Babies,” is one of the first things Alex and Daniela ever worked on together. “Frida’s Heart” was released towards the end of 2015. “Cosmos” was a single release, INKA, again, a previously created track.
The music business and overall economic realities effected the construction and release of this music. When asked about recording, they talked about the expense and the difficulties related to fund raising. When asked about the upcoming tour, they mentioned the tedium and labor of booking it on their own and again financing. They seemed exhausted and even defeated by an industry without well defined parameters for navigating or advancing.
But what I sensed as “breaking up” was really the band emerging from their chrysalis. Multiverse is a retrospect. It is a collection of puzzle pieces that were brought together and that listen as a full album experience. Femina-X are not breaking up, but they will not be the same on the other side of this record release & tour. Get this album. Go to a show. Because where they are going, we might not be able to get this close again.
A south Texas version of Gang Gang Dance, Xiu Xiu, Basement Jaxx. Some electronics, southern rock, indie, world/native rhythms & instrumentation.