6 songs, 24 minutes

Female President are:

Drèa Atkins (guitars and vocals)

Johnny Moss (bass)

Jasper Cunningham (drums)

When Drèa and Jasper spoke to us recently (link to the feature here), Drèa told us that,

The previous EP reflected on my dad’s passing, it was the grieving process along with the bad news of the world, all wrapped up in my dads long drawn out death. That EP contained those five songs on that theme, songs like “Elegy for my Father.” The new EP is more about us recovering from all that as a family and being upset that people are not more appreciative of the time we have. That is why the whole anti-war thing is there, because life is precious, we are here for too short a time. So that is the movement.”

The new EP “The Healing Ritual” follows on from the 2022 “Our Time to Grieve.”

“Enflamed in Effigy” opens up with a punk/rock fusion. It’s fast and heavy, with the drums rolling like thunder in the background and effective use of the cymbals too. I liked the heavy bass bridge in the mid-section. It is a great blaster, a form of protest song and it delivers some attitude in spades.

I have placed the official video for this one below, and the band tells us ” this song explores the concept of anger and rage. An anti-war song, the themes of climate change, societal erosion and the physical destruction of the concept of home play out in the video. The video was conceived and filmed by the band members, friends and family, Jaxon Sain and Twiyla Cunningham. It was edited by Jasper Cunningham.

“Joy Lab” showcases a strong vocal performance from Drèa. This is another rock driven track, fast and on the heavy side. In only three minutes, it rips along with plenty of emotion and grit in the mix. I would imagine this one would be a blast live.

“Waves as Sharp as Knives” introduces itself in a big melodic manner. It has a different vibe from the opening two tracks. Musically, the band seems to be having a great time here; you can pick up on the studio energy on this one and the little break to cymbals and bass works nicely. It was a good track that gains from a second listen. Probably my least favourite on the EP, but by no means a filler track, I would describe it as interesting.

“II Odyssey Within” turns in a totally different direction, it’s multi-faceted, a bit more poppy, a bit more jungle drum like and has some very interesting rhythms. The vocals, too, often use sound over words. The whole song tells us, “No more crying in the dark,” and layers some vocal switches in sound and pitch. Let’s all go and howl at the moon or dance in the rain” as Drèa tells us!

“Home is on the Horizon,” which I reviewed recently, as it was the single. What I said was: This haunting track is a change of direction for the trio. The seagulls take the wind, and we drift on the summer seas. The horizons rise, and we move through the seasons.  This is more of a folk melody from a band that knows how to rock. I found the song relaxing and warm, I sat and sipped a cup of tea, closed my eyes and enjoyed the ride. It’s a great single and after listening to it again, I stand by what I said!

“II Odyssey Within” – Katsuhara Koura Remix Dance Version – presents us with a faster nightclub-style remix of “Odyssey Within.” I would say this is brave from a rock band, but why not? One thing that Female President have shown me is that they will experiment, and are not afraid to try different things. This one is to get out there and bounce!

The whole EP moves nicely between tracks, and each song is an individual. This is not one of those EP’s when you can barely tell which song you are listening to! Not only are the trio a lovely group of people, but they deliver a quality sound and clearly love what they do. I absolutely suggest you get on there, support them and stream the EP. You won’t regret it if you enjoy modern rock music and want to check out some new music.

Standout tracks: “Enflamed in Effegy” and “Home is on the Horizon.”

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You can stream music from Female President here

by Stevie Ritson