Following the release of several singles in 2013, singer-songwriter Margaret O’Sullivan from Cork (aka Femmepop) has recently released her debut album, entitled From A Girl Who Never Sleeps. The album was written, recorded and produced by O’Sullivan herself and later mixed and mastered by Gavin Monaghan whose previous work includes Babes in Toyland and Broadcast.
In a nutshell, From A Girl Who Never Sleeps is an album of classic synth-driven pop and relaxed vibes. However, there is an inherent darker edge in each song which gives the album something unique. Songs such as ‘Timescapes’ and ‘Neon Nights’ are built around cleverly-crafted synth riffs that are reminiscent of 80s pop. Honestly, if you like synth even a little bit, then this album is for you.
Of course, synthpop doesn’t define the entire album. There are some songs, such as ‘Beautiful Boy’ which have an ominous rock twist. Songs like this create an album that expands across multiple genres, and it’s fantastic.
O’Sullivan is also clearly a fan of the spoken word – many songs on the album, including the opening song ‘1983’, have sections where the lyrics are spoken as opposed to sung. It’s a great addition to the songs and gives them a deeper meaning than your run-of-the-mill pop songs – it’s like poetry set to music!
The entire album has this great ambience – great for night-time driving or gazing out your window on a rainy day! It’s a perfect blend of atmospheric backing music and well-executed vocals. O’Sullivan has a distinctive breezy (yet strong) sounding voice that is akin to Alanis Morissette or The Cocteau Twins. Saying that, it’s difficult to compare her to anyone – she’s just truly unique.
From A Girl Who Never Sleeps is an album that I’ll remember for a very long time, and I’m confident that Femmepop is a name that will be heard more and more as O’Sullivan’s career progresses. It’s refreshing to hear an album that adds some respectability to pop, and it really should be heard by just about everyone.