Although some might say we now live in an age dominated by single tracks – as streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud take over our listening habits – here at Get In Her Ears we still enjoy losing ourselves in a flowing collection of songs by the same artist. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of discovering your new favourite album or EP.
2017 has seen us spoilt for choice for great albums by great people; from St Vincent’s incredible comeback with ‘Masseduction’ to the enchanting, spine-tingling splendour of Aldous Harding’s ‘Party’; from the haunting magic of the legendary Bjork’s ‘Utopia’ to the twinkling, introspective grace of Adult Mom’s ‘Soft Spots’. There’s been some crackers.
However, as promoters of new music, we’ve decided to pick our favourite albums/EPs of the year from some of the most deserving, most amazing upcoming/DIY artists we know.
Sacred Paws – ‘Strike A Match’
I think it’s fair to say 2017 hasn’t been the best of years, but just one listen of London-Glasgow duo Sacred Paws’ Strike A Match will uplift in an instant, making everything seem just a little brighter. Fronted by the sunny charisma of Rachel Aggs, Sacred Paws have not only provided a soundtrack to our year, but have also left us grinning from cheek-to-cheek and full of joy upon seeing them live at Visions Festival in the summer.
Filled with one delectable, danceable delight after another, the Scottish Album Of The Year award winner oozes a unique jangly joy throughout. With each track offering a contagious buoyant energy as vibrant calypso-inspired melodies flow seamlessly alongside lush harmonies and thrilling, racing beats, Strike A Match is the perfect antidote to 2017’s troubles. A wonderfully musically rich collection with all the reviving spirit and colourful charm you could ever need to see you into the new year. (Mari Lane)
H1987 – ‘Dreamlike’
Mysteriously named electronic artist and producer H1987 released Dreamlike earlier this year; and it’s an ambient, fluid, ethereal offering from this prolific talent.
Whilst the record is mainly instrumental, it manages to articulate emotions and states of mind that the most poetic of lyrics would fall short of explaining. It’s a soundscape for anxiety, distance, euphoria, reassurance – and equal parts cold and comforting. Like a pebble that breaks the surface of a placid lake, each track is a ripple that widens and spreads in to the next.
If film soundtracks or unusual electronic albums are your thing, then allow yourself the luxury of listening to Dreamlike in one sitting to feel the full effect. It’s the ultimate antidote for any stressful or long commute. Put your headphones in, and disappear. (Kate Crudgington)
Dream Nails – ‘Dare To Care’
As well as providing us with some of the most liberating and exciting live performances of the year – the assertion of their ‘Girls To The Front’ ethos at their gigs providing an empowering and necessary step towards creating safe spaces for women and non-binary people at music venues – Dream Nails have also released their completely fantastic debut EP.
Packing a punch with its seething force, Dare To Care is proof of why we need Dream Nails in our lives now more than ever. From ‘Joke Choke’ – a raging, discordant offering filled with a punk-fuelled fury about people who think it’s funny to make jokes about rape – and the fist-clenching power of ‘Tourist’s message against emotionally predatory men; to the uplifting, unifying sparkle of ‘Merkury’, and the ultimate, sex-positive break-up anthem ‘Lovefuck’, this EP provides a perfect and timely voice against the patriarchy.
A group willing to combine activism and music to form a unifying force against misogyny and inequality in society, Dream Nails succeed in inspiring and motivating girls everywhere to get to the front and make our voices heard. And we cannot wait to hear what our favourite Feminist Punk Witches have in store in 2018 to follow the empowering magnificence of Dare To Care. (ML)
LOUD WOMEN – ‘Volume One’
Featuring 21 tracks from a variety of DIY female musicians – with all profits going to Women’s Aid – LOUD WOMEN’s Volume One compilation album is a vital piece of energy-giving activism. With tracks from DOLLS, GUTTFULL, Bugeye and more; this eclectic mix of punk, indie, rock & alternative is perfect listening for any feminist activist – or any fan of quality DIY music.
The chorus on Madame So’s ‘Black Is Beautiful’ filled me with tearful hope the first time I listened. Petrol Girls’ ‘Touch Me Again’ has remained my angry, life-affirming, self-autonomous anthem. Deux Furieses brief but brilliant ‘Out Of My System’ is the punk remedy to any bad day. There really is something here for everyone. (KC)
H.Grimace – ‘Self Architect’
Having wowed us with their impeccable live performances at Green Man Festival and at our very own Finsbury night, this year H.Grimace followed 2015’s ‘I Am Material’ cassette and last year’s Royal Hush EP with the release of their debut album Self Architect.
A collection of raw post-punk scuzz, the album swirls in its stirring darkness and shoegaze-inspired haze, the likes of which I haven’t been quite as addicted to since first losing myself in Sonic Youth’s Goo.
Whilst the blunt power of ‘2.1 Woman’s commentary on patriarchal society’s expectations of women to create perfect versions of themselves may be a personal highlight of the album, this record is a pure sonic delight from start to finish. From the seething, dreamy whirr of ‘Lipsyncer’, to the twinkling hum of ‘Land/Body’ and the jangly cacophony of its title track, Self Architect flows with a soaring, bewitching majesty and gritty power.
Combine these innovative musical creations with the compelling, cool swathe and raw honesty of exceptional front woman Hannah Gledhill, and you have one of the most exciting bands of 2017. (ML)
Rews – ‘Pyro’ (KC)
Like the phoenix that rises from the ashes of its own flames, REWS take the remnants of loves old and new, and turn them in to tunes that blaze with fun and furious style. Their debut album Pyro (released via Marshall Records) brims with a simultaneously dark and delightful energy, and it set our ears alight in all the right ways.
From the glittery, gritty goodness of single ‘Shine’, to the powerhouse break-up anthem ‘Miss You In The Dark’ – Pyro proves the REWS girls take everything in their stride; and they should take great pride in a debut that perfectly showcases their musical potential.(KC)