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BOTW Playlist: FEMME’s 10 Girls on Top in 2013

From Miley Cyrus’ year-long twerkfest to Lily Allen’s divisive ‘Hard Out Here‘ video, it’s hard to remember a year quite like 2013 where there’s been such discussion over gender and sexuality in music. If there’s one thing that’s resulted from 2013 though, it’s been a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of great music. From Tirzah’s stunning I’m Not Dancing EP to Lorde’s world-conquering Pure Heroine, we’ve really been spoilt for choice this year with a deluge of genius.

Well then, who better to pick her top 10 female-fronted tracks of 2013 than our BOTW: London’s Laura Bettinson, aka FEMME. The prodigal young songstress – who also appears in Nigel Godrich’s Ultraista – was behind two of our favourite singles this year in ‘Double Trouble‘/’Educated‘ and ‘Fever Boy‘/’Heartbeat‘: a quartet that taught us – among many other things – that this lady knows how to pen a tune.

But first, in case you somehow missed all our ranting and raving this week, here’s the video for ‘Fever Boy’:

Micachu + Tirzah – ‘I’m Not Dancing’

“The best song of the year for me. So minimal but it packs such a punch. Mica Levi is one of my favourite producers. She can do no wrong, I mean, come on…”


Banks – ‘This Is What It Feels Like’

“I love the sound of this EP. I think the writing/production hook-up between her and Jamie Woon was a very smart move. You can hear both Banks’ and Woon’s personalities shining very brightly on this track. I’m looking forward to hearing what comes next.”

FKA Twigs – ‘Papi Pacify’

“Everything that comes out of camp Twigs is gold. The visuals, the music; it’s going its own way and at an impressive pace. I’d love to see her live some time. I’m intrigued as to what her stage persona might be like.”

Machines – ‘On This Spot’

“These guys are a fellow SE Goldsmith’s band and they’re opening up for me at the next FEMME single launch (26th Nov, Madame JoJo’s). Lead singer Caragh Campbell, as well as being an amazing drummer and viola player, is evidently a very talented writer and frontwoman. The way she writes melodies reminds me of Björk in places – who I love – so they’re definitely ones to watch.”

Alex Winston – ’101 Vultures’

“Alex is great. I loved her King Con album and I’m so pleased to see she’s back with another single. I recently had the pleasure of remixing this track and it was a lot of fun working with her vocals. What a voice. So effortless.”

Chela – ‘Romanticise’

“I heard this track once and had to hit repeat about four times. So retro, so 80s, but so good. Basically gets me up out of my chair and on my feet every time. I’ve tried learning the dance moves from the video so one day I can be a Chela tribute act. That day will come.”

Angel Haze - ‘Echelon’

“The production on this track is everything. Kind of sums up the sound of 2013 for me a little bit. Fusing the world of hip hop and trap with those big, wide, fizzy rave synths. I think she’s a great rapper and would probably be a lot of fun on a night out. I’m just waiting for the invite. Any day now.”

M.I.A. – ‘YALA’

“The new M.I.A. album splits opinions a bit, but she’s still one of my favourites. I like that weird juxtaposition between school playground chant-like melodies and the socio-political and sometimes banal content of her lyrics. It’s been done before sure, but she does it so well.”

Lorde – ‘Glory and Gore’

“Breakout female of 2013. I couldn’t not put Lorde in. It hurts my head a little bit when I remember she’s only 17 and there she is at the top of the Billboard 100. At her age I spent most of my time drinking Malibu and trying to persuade bouncers to let us into Revolution. But what a year she has had and she seems so…sound. Phenomenal.”

Kelela – ‘Keep It Cool’

“Wicked. The way she crafts melodies reminds me a lot of Yukimi from Little Dragon, who I adore. This track has such bounce; I could play it again, again, and again. And again.”

- Alex Cull

‘Fever Boy’/'Heartbeat’ is available from November 25 on TAPE.

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