Joining the ranks of uber cool pop mavericks like Grimes and Santi White is Britain’s Laura Bettinson, who performs under the moniker of Femme. Debutante serves as her first full length album and it does everything it needs to in order to leave a favourable impression of Ms Bettinson on an ever critical audience.
After a brief intro, Femme hits the ground running with the slick, attitude filled ‘Fever Boy’. Over some Riotgrrrl-esque drums Bettinson delivers deadpan lines like “I don’t even know your name but I want to get to know your friends” to a one night Romeo. The punk bravado that makes the track a winner runs throughout the album, punching hardest on ‘Shout Out Loud’. Here Femme unleashes her inner Santigold with energised chanting on the verses.
Grungy guitars compliment the relationship angst of ‘Locoluvva’ while the electro-pop groove of ‘Dumb Blonde’ reflects Femme’s cool confidence perfectly. She may be many things but dumb sure isn’t one of them. Closing out Debutante is ‘Sirens’, a hypnotic synth and drum driven gem that encourages everyone to be as much of a risk taker as Bettinson is.
Debutante has what it takes to be one of the best alt-pop records you’re likely to listen to in 2016. Thanks to Femme’s ability to juggle several elements without fumbling, she’s created an artwork that is sassy, passionate, clever and most importantly, fun.