100 Plays Later is a series that is exactly how it sounds. I try to explain how I’ve managed to reach a century of plays on songs you may not even recognise. Or explain what it’s like to listen back to my favourite songs for the 238th time.
Fembot – Robyn – 226 Plays
Think back to early 2010 when an eager pop fan had become full on obsessed with a certain Swedish pop singer. We hadn’t had properly new music from her for 5 years now and there were rumours that her return was imminent. Out of the blue she posts Fembot on her website as the first tease of her new album and I knew Robyn was going to own the next 12 months. That she did, with no less than 3 mini albums appearing by December, she was inescapable.
Fembot isn’t the best of these songs, but bloody hell was it one hell of an introduction. Never released as a single it’s the most plays that an ‘album track’ has received for me and for good reason. It’s futuristic in that it feels like Fembot was beamed down the earth, like a public service announcement for the world to hear. The half spoken, half sung verses make it brilliantly robotic while managing to be a more immediate hit than anything she had released before. The electronic backing vocals, ‘Once you go tech you ain’t never going back’ stab in and out with the beeps and bloops of the production. It recalls Konichiwa Bitches, the frenetic introduction to her self titled breakthrough album, but the hook is much more of an event here. Only ever released as a promo single back in her home country of Sweden, Fembot remains the most played ‘album track’ in my iTunes library. A laser shot of pop hooks that still sounds as exciting as the first time I heard it.