Losing third band member Malin Nyqvist last year seems to have had no real negative effect on alt-pop outfit Le Corps Mince De Françoise, better known to their mother as sisters Emma and Mia Kemppainen. Several stints gigging at local venues in their hometown of Helsinki catapulted these playful ladies to ‘internet smash’ status back in 2007, accomplished via eager bloggers and diehard social networkers. The band, who have now officially shortened their name to the more palatable LCMDF, have treated their audience to a number of singles since then, including the blistering moxy of 2008′s ‘Ray-Ban Glasses’ and the following year’s spiky ‘Bitch Of The Bitches’. Now, having mastered their own inventive strand of energetic electro-pop stuffed full of all kinds of surprises and endearingly deranged sound effects, debut LP Love & Nature arrives as a fresh and exciting call to the dancefloor.
One part leftfield pop and one part straight up rapping, LCMDF are akin to electro shock-rocker Peaches, albeit without all the cock jokes and blatant innuendo. Party starter ‘Take Me To The Mountains’ makes for a perfect introduction to the world of LCMDF, mixing softly spoken verses, a killer chorus and alluring synths with dirty, slick dance breakdowns designed to whip a crowd into a frenzy. ‘Ray-Ban Glasses’ and ‘Bitch Of The Bitches’ may be conspicuously absent, but more recent singles ‘Gandhi’ and ‘Cool & Bored’ are just as staggering in the tune department. The latter is a stellar example of the sisters creating a big, hooky pop song without the slightest blight on their reputation for being unique, twinning an engaging rap with a reggae-lite beat and a heavenly chorus. ‘Gandhi’ on the other hand is frenetic and aggressive, complete with icy, offhand rapping and propulsive chorus chants.
Current single ‘Future Me’ changes tack completely, opening with the foreboding sound of a wailing siren before unfurling into a mega hip hop-infused dance track. Then, to prevent the tune from coming off as too bleak in nature, a bright and cheery chorus crashes in as LCMDF sing about the weather and sunshades, and the song’s competing elements, inexplicably, mesh effectively together. Then, as if to underline that eclecticism is one of LCMDF’s strongest attributes, the middle of the album brings it in spades; ‘Hard Smile’ pulsates with dreamy ’80s synths and beautiful pop vocals, while 2009 single ‘Something Golden’ goes for some seriously retro dubstep and ‘We Are Cannibals’ provides a grandiose, chant-heavy rave up.
The anthemic ‘Pumping Heart Shaped Thing’ closes out the album on a thrilling note, the gloriously high-pitched verses pledging carnal attraction while yelping, wordless choruses erupt throughout. Listen out for the moment in the middle-eight where the song sounds suspiciously close to bursting into ‘It’s Raining Men’ – a charmingly offbeat moment on an album full of them. This album may have been a long time coming, but at the risk of sounding totally clichéd, it really has been worth the wait. Love & Nature deserves to be as monstrously huge as the ten tracks which are lurking – dangerously spring-loaded – within it.
[Heavenly; February 21, 2011]