As Time Magazine recently called it, 2017 is the year of The Silence Breakers, and us Get In Her Ears girls are here to support the women who are making all the right kinds of noise.
It has been increasingly difficult to absorb and process daily news stories about women and girls who have been sexually assaulted and raped by powerful men who (wrongly) assumed they would get away with it. Women from all walks of life started to use the #MeToo campaign to document their experiences of sexual harassment and assault earlier this year, and since then perpetrators have been called out, shamed, and fired – though few have apologised for their actions.
Whilst we can’t seem to stem the flow of pain caused by stories of inherent societal sexism, or the tories’ budget cuts to vital women’s services here in the UK, we can provide some respite in the form of some of our favourite immensely talented, informed, brilliant female musicians. These are the women who rocked our world in 2017 – we’d be lost without their precious anthems. Take a look at our top tracks below…
The Nyx – ‘Fire Breathing Lady’
Exuding their intense, raucous energy The Nyx deliver immense, electrifying offerings. Fuelled by a seething passion, ‘Fire Breathing Lady’ hits you with its fierce, empowering force like nothing you’ve heard before. I’ve had this track on repeat throughout the year – its thrashing power having seen me through the trials and tribulations of 2017, and marking these exceptional women out as a real force to be reckoned with. So, turn up the riotous sound of ‘Fire Breathing Lady’ and celebrate your womanly powers in all their glory. (Mari Lane)
Nova Twins – ‘Mood Swings’
Driven by devious and distorted basslines, Nova Twins (aka Amy & Georgia) have unmatchable attitude and instinct for writing anarchic anthems, and ‘Mood Swings’ is a warped reflection of swift emotional shifts that will be buzzing around your brain long after it’s stopped playing.
Sink Ya Teeth – ‘If You See Me’
‘If You See Me’ was the debut single from Sink Ya Teeth who signed to James Endeacott’s 1965 Records this year. The track is drenched in addictive beats and nods to post-punk royalty ESG. A particular highlight for me was watching Sink Ya Teeth perform this live at one of our Finsbury nights; catch them if you can, these guys are worth seeing live. (Tash Walker)
Lizzo – ‘Water Me’
I’ve been in love with (queen) Lizzo for some time… I was completely obsessed with the uplifting wit of her 2014 track ‘Batches And Cookies’. And I’ve been equally head over heels with this year’s ‘Water Me’. A super empowering anthem, it’s filled with immense hooks and the completely infectious, invigorating chorus as Lizzo repeats “I am my inspiration”. Lizzo explains of the track: “It’s about needing nourishment, it’s about being loved for who you are. We’re celebrating black beauty and the meaningful freedom of water.” So, nourish yourself, inspire yourself, and fall in love with Lizzo’s ‘Water Me’. (ML)
Smerz – ‘Because’
Low slung rhythms, crunching beats and those ever so distinctive vocals, Because in short is some of the best obscure techno-pop around. Copenhagen based duo delivering distorted electro tracks, a perfect mix of minimal futurism and experimental nostalgia. I’m so into this track, it makes me feel like I want to don a heavy orange bomber jacket, an East 17 style beanie and head down to some industrial rave in a warehouse and two-step the night. (TW)
Dream Wife – ‘Let’s Make Out’
It was difficult to choose a specific Dream Wife track this year, as both ‘Somebody’ and ‘Let’s Make Out’ were equally as catchy and important as each other. Whilst ‘Somebody’ addresses victim-blaming and the shame around sexual assault, ‘Let’s Make Out’ is a shamelessly confident anthem about acting on your own consensual desires. I was fortunate enough to be on set during the video shoot, and it was a real joy to watch the band and their friends dance around at fake prom, living their best lives. (KC)
Queen Zee – ‘Boy’
I’m hooked on Liverpool punk sass-perts Queen Zee. ‘Boy’ is the first track of theirs that reached my ears, and it’s an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes.(KC)
The Orielles – Sugar Tastes Like Salt
In case you haven’t noticed, The Orielles have had the title of my favourite band for a while now. I named them as Ones To Watch last year, and it seems they’ve lived up to that title – having wowed crowds at festivals this summer (including a wonderful set at Green Man), become a BBC 6 Music favourite and received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian , as well as many other esteemed publications.
Though I’m a fan of everything they have to offer, this year’s ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ is a truly epic creation. Racing with pounding beats, scuzzy hooks, jangly melodies and woozy vocals, Sid, Esmé and Henry show they’re capable of greatness with this dreamy offering. At just over eight minutes long, it truly is an anthem in every sense of the word. An anthem heralding the arrival of The Orielles into the ears of masses. The band’s first release on Heavenly Recordings, ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ is a magnificent, clattering cacophony; a frenzied fusion of sounds that takes you on a musical adventure into the minds of its creators. (ML)
Madame So – ‘Black Is Beautiful’
London-based promoters LOUD WOMEN released their first compilation CD this year (buy a copy here), and Madame So gifted them with this superb track. ‘Black Is Beautiful’ is a poignant song about race, identity, and doing things for yourself. Her lyrics and unique voice move me each time I listen (and I love her reference to The Cure). (KC)
Amparo – ‘Reset’
If I could…I would have chosen everything that Amparo has released this year, constantly creating such beautiful dreamy soundscapes but if forced (and I am being forced) I’d go with ‘Reset’. A firm favourite of mine taken from Amparo’s EP Isolated Islands which has a melodic-chill atmosphere created with the idea of being enjoyed whilst exploring the outdoors. Absolutely excellent listening. (TW)
Beckie Margaret – ‘At Home (Where I Write)’
Cool Thing Records introduced me to Beckie Margaret in late 2016, and I’ve been mesmerised by her ever since. She has such a pure, faultless voice and it was a pleasure to interview her before her debut London show at The Waiting Room in October of this year. This is her second single, following on from ‘Cars & Catacombs’ and it’s totally divine. (KC)
Noga Erez – ‘Dance While You Shoot’
A sheer force to be reckoned with, if ever there was one, Tel Aviv artist Noga Erez has blown me away with her immense arrival into our ears (and eyes at Visions Festival!) this year. An utterly compelling performer, she oozes an hypnotic elegance as she delivers the glitchy, sweeping cacophony of ‘Dance While You Shoot’. In this utterly infectious track, Erez combines a magnetising grace with with a fiery, frenzied power; cementing herself firmly as one of the most exciting artists around, and a simply stunning performer. (ML)