PLAYLIST: Galentine’s Day 2022

It’s one of the best days of the year, GALENTINE’S DAY! Coined by Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) back in 2010, Galentine’s has since been recognised by girls across the globe and used as a light-hearted platform to celebrate the girls and women who enrich our lives.

To celebrate, we’ve chosen tracks from some of the many female-identifying artists who inspire us and we’ve put them into one eclectic playlist. We’re all about self-love and sisterly – not just cis-terly – love today, so scroll down, press play and share the Galentine’s joy!

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’
This one goes out to my GIHE gals, Tash and Kate! A song about having the coolest best friend by ultimate heroes Bikini Kill, you should listen to it at full volume and celebrate all the “queens” of your world this Galentine’s Day. (Mari Lane)

Problem Patterns – ‘Gal Pals’
Having been fans of Northern Irish band Problem Patterns for some time now, my love of them has skyrocketed since they headlined our gig at The Shacklewell Arms in December. Oozing a swirling energy and fierce, infectious passion, they united the crowd in solidarity with both their righteous anger and vibrant, joyous sense of fun. ‘Gal Pals’ offers a perfect sentiment for this Galentine’s – celebrating female friendship and the mix of feelings that comes with it. (ML)

Petty Phase – ‘Different For Girls’
Southend’s Petty Phase aka Jen, Rosie & Alyx were guests on our radio show a few years ago and they played a GIHE gig at The Finsbury back in 2018 too. We loved their riot grrrl inspired sounds and rumour has it they’re set to play some more shows this summer. Bassist Alyx has also been busy co-hosting the excellent We Wear Black podcast alongside Sophie K and Yasmine, talking about all things in the rock & alternative scenes. Definitely check it out. (Kate Crudgington)

Big Joanie – ‘Used To Be Friends’
The GIHE team are huge fans of Big Joanie who work tirelessly to make the punk scene a more inclusive and diverse space. Not only that, they’ve got a debut album full of lo-fi punk bangers that we’ve listened to many times. Check out Sistahs today and keep up to date with all the amazing work they do on and off stage by following them on Twitter. (KC)

Charmpit – ‘Bridges Go Burn’
Charmpit’s ‘Bridges Go Burn’ is not so much a celebration of friendship as an empowering ode to moving on from toxic relationships and standing up for yourself. But I think this sentiment is super important when celebrating the ones you love. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised the necessity in cutting ties with damaging people, however many fond memories you might share with them; life really is too short to surround yourself with people who don’t lift you up and make you feel good. In the words of the band: “It can take time to burn a bridge, especially when it’s guarded by a troll. You can forgive yourself for taking the time you needed to exit that toxic relationship. And when you exit it, you can write a pop banger so it ain’t so dang depressing!” (ML)

WILLOW – ‘transparent soul’
How many times am I going to say “I am living for the pop punk revival!” on a GIHE Playlist? (at least once more.) WILLOW’s debut album Lately I Feel Everything is full of emo bangers and this track featuring Travis Barker on drums is no exception. (KC)

Brimheim – ‘hey amanda’
An ode to friendship in all its bittersweet glory, I love this track by Danish alt-pop artist Brimheim. Taken from her sublime debut album, can’t hate myself into a different shape, it’s a celebration of platonic love, brimming with nostalgic lyrics, warm guitar sounds and tender vocals. (KC)

VERO – ‘Beg!’
Fuelled by the anger left behind by a flawed relationship, VERO’s debut single ‘Beg!’ is saturated with brooding bass lines, swirling riffs and stinging lyrics. I LOVE it and can’t wait to hear more from the Stockholm-based trio this year. (KC)

Softcult – ‘Gloomy Girl’
I’m a big fan of Canadian twin siblings Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn aka Softcult, who create swirling, grunge-infused songs about inequality & sexism within the music industry. This track ‘Gloomy Girl’ is a more introspective offering, giving listeners a glimpse behind the veil of depression. It’s a tentative musing on the ominous feeling that you’re “wasting away” whilst going through a period of poor mental health. Their recent EP Year Of The Snake is also well worth a listen. (KC)

Aye Nako – ‘Nightcrawler’
This melodic tune from Brooklyn-based queer punks Aye Nako popped into my head the other day and it’s been on a loop ever since. The song is about unpacking difficult memories, but Aye Nako deliver it in their quirky, upbeat style. (KC)

SASAMI – ‘Say It’
This industrial-tinged “rage dance anthem” from SASAMI is 100% a bit of me. Taken from her upcoming album Squeeze, which is set for release on 25th February via Domino, SASAMI explains: “I feel like when I hear this song I see a hot femme with a mystical flamethrower engulfed in emotional blue flames throwing elbows alone in an industrial dance club in outer space.” Mate, same. (KC)

M(h)aol – ‘No One Ever Talks To Us’
I was blown away by M(h)aol’s powerful post punk sounds when I saw them live at The Shacklewell Arms last year, and this track was a real highlight. Taken from their debut EP Gender Studies, it’s a brooding, much needed antidote to toxic patriarchal standards. (KC)

Self Esteem – ‘How Can I Help You’
I don’t know why chanting along to “I don’t know shit!” throughout this Self Esteem song is so cathartic, but I fully recommend doing the same. Rebecca Lucy Taylor has proved she’s an alt-pop icon twice over with her album Prioritize Pleasure, and this track in particular is my favourite. (KC)

Wet Leg – ‘Too Late Now’
Best friends Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers aka Wet Leg look like they’re having a blast touring their tongue-in-cheek indie bangers across the country. The GIHE caught their debut headline show at Omeara last year and knew they’d be icons from the moment they walked on to the stage to ‘Concerning Hobbits’ from The Fellowship Of The Ring soundtrack. I really, really enjoy the lyrics in this track, especially the line: “I don’t need no dating app to tell me if I look like crap / to tell me if I’m thin or fat / to tell me should I shave my rat.” Their self-titled debut album is set for release on 8th April and I can’t wait to hear it. (KC)

ARXX – ‘The Cat Song’
I couldn’t not include a song from total faves ARXX in this playlist celebrating friendship and love, as Hanni and Clara are two of the loveliest folks in the world – and their love of each other is evident in everything they do. ‘The Cat Song’ – as well as paying homage to our feline friends – is also about the love we have for our friends. As Hanni sings “I’m going to hold you up like this”, I think of how my friends hold me up throughout the bad times and good. And there’s added actual cat sounds – what’s not to love?! (ML)

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
‘Dancing On My Own’, and what’s wrong with that!? Often I prefer to dance on my own. More space. Robyn is also an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights and we all know romance isn’t just for the heterosexuals out there! So whether you honour Galentine’s, Valentine’s, or even Palentine’s Day; make sure you have a good old dance. (TW)

Chromatics – ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’
A great cover of a great track, need I say more? (TW)

Elodie Gervaise – ‘Free Babe’
One of my favourite discoveries of 2021: mixed beats, intricate synths and electronics from French-Australian artist Elodie Gervaise. When I first played this song I described it as some kind of audible light show. Elodie Gervaise’s EP, Syzygy (undoubtedly my word sound of the year) is great – go listen if you haven’t heard it yet! (TW)

ML Buch – ‘I’m a Girl You can Hold IRL’
This song is taken from Danish electro-pop musician ML Buch’s album Skinned which came out in 2020, but I spent a lot of the winter break listening to it so thought I’d share it with you all in 2022. I love its futuristic techno electro tones and all the FEELINGS. (TW)

Lizzo – ‘Like A Girl’
Turning the common derogatory phrase ‘Like A Girl’ on its head to create something wonderfully empowering, this is another ferociously fun offering from GIHE fave, Lizzo. With references to other powerful women of colour, including Lauryn Hill and Serena Williams, it’s the perfect ode to the power of being female and the power felt when women unite. So, this Galentine’s Day, I’ll leave you with the Lizzo’s words of wisdom: “If you fight like a girl, cry like a girl, do your thing, run the whole damn world”. An ultimate feel-good anthem for women everywhere. (ML)

Aretha Franklin & Annie Lennox – ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’
It it even a Galentine’s playlist if this absolute classic isn’t on it? These two talented women coming together to sing about equality and independence never fails to make me feel good. It may have been released in 1985, but the lyrics are just as relevant today. (KC)

Sheryl Crow – ‘All I Wanna Do’
Having just celebrated her 60th birthday, Sheryl Crow has been a hero of mine from a young age. With her perfectly catchy anthems, she’s been my go-to uplifting soundtrack over the years. This song reminds me of dancing around the kitchen with my oldest friend during carefree times, and it still makes me wiggle and sing-a-long on each listen, over 20 years later. (ML)

Girl Ray – ‘Friend Like That’
An ode to friendship, ‘Friend Like That’ flows with the trio’s colourful energy, creating a dreamily uplifting offering. Of the track, the band explain: “This is a friendship anthem. Reminds us of a really smashing high five with great contact. In music, friend love is often overshadowed by romantic love and IT’S JUST WRONG. This one goes out to the mates of the world.” (ML)

Fightmilk – ‘Overbite’
As the raw emotion and distinctive smooth-yet-husky charm of front-person Lily’s vocals deliver a heartwarming sentiment (“You don’t have to smile if you don’t want to darling, you’re perfect as you are”) alongside scuzzed-out riffs and an infectious, shimmering energy, Fightmilk have created the perfect, alternative fuzzy love-song. A totally joyous ode to your best pal or lover, or both, it offers another slice of blissful power-pop from one of my favourite bands. Fightmilk headline for us at The Shacklewell Arms on 25th March and we can’t wait! Tickets on DICE. (ML)

BAXTR – ‘Grace On Fire’
Reflecting on the feelings of helplessness that come with seeing someone you love suffer, ‘Grace On Fire’ is a sweeping slice of alt-pop. Propelled by an uplifting energy, it’s a wonderfully anthemic ode to looking out for your friends – as singer Floss expands: “These days, I try not to overlook those simple yet precious 3 words that did so much to help douse my own flames… ‘are you ok?’” BAXTR were due to play their first ever gig for us on 24th February, but have sadly had to pull out as one of them is currently recovering from surgery – we’re sending them all loads of love and Galentine’s wishes, and look forward to them playing for us later in the year! (ML)

Carole King – ‘You’ve Got A Friend’
Carole King’s Tapestry continues to be one of my most favourite albums. It’s my mum’s favourite too, and I have many memories of singing along with this uplifting message of unity and platonic love with her over the years, both reaching for the tissues when we saw it live in the musical, Beautiful. So, this heartfelt anthem goes out to her, my all time favourite gal, who inspires me every day. (ML)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
I know I’m guilty of adding this tune to multiple GIHE Playlists, but it’s so good I can’t help it! Jackie Shane’s wonderfully smooth vocals, sophisticated style and defiance in the face of transphobia in the early ’60s make her a true GIHE icon. Whenever I hear this song, I think of using it as an opening track to many a GIHE radio show, sitting next to Tash & Mari in the studio, chatting about our favourite music on air (and laughing at my penchant for sad girl bangerz off air too.) This tune is dedicated to them both and to all of our followers who keep GIHE going. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Big love. xxx (KC)

PLAYLIST: LGBTQ+ History Month 2022

To acknowledge & celebrate our amazing LGBTQIA friends and allies this LGBTQ+ History Month, we’ve spotlighted the work and efforts of GIHE Co-Founder Tash Walker, who works tirelessly to support and champion queer communities. Co-Chair of the Switchboard LGBT+ charity, Co-Founder of the groundbreaking The Log Books podcast and general all-round superhero and solid gold friend, Tash was invited on to Lauren Laverne’s Desert Island Disco on BBC 6 Music at the end of 2021 to talk about the work that they do.

Below is the playlist Tash put together for the occasion and their words about why music is so important to the LGBTQ+ community. Fellow GIHE Co-Founders Mari Lane & Kate Crudgington have also added a few tracks from some of their favourite LGBTQI+ artists to the playlist too…

Tash Walker

“At the end of 2021, I had the absolute pleasure of being on Lauren Laverne’s Desert Island Disco on BBC 6 Music talking about the work I do sharing Britain’s LGBTQI+ history. I spent several years looking through the log books, which are written records of the calls made to the charity Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline since 1974, from which I produced the  podcast called The Log Books. The Log Books foregrounds the marginalised voices and stories not usually featured in the media, or even in LGBTQI+ histories which often focus on activists. Over three seasons, the podcast has featured around 100 voices from across the UK, covering the years from 1974 to 2003.

Throughout this track listing I’ve tried to mirror the years of LGBTQI+ history that we explore with songs of empowerment and strength, from LGTBQI+ people and allies. Music has always been a core strength in the queer community, often the dance floor was the only safe place for many, moments before the clubs were raided, the sense of community from the people I have spoken to stands strong. Switchboard the charity was there to support people from the police raids and custody battles of the 70s and early 80s, to the horrors of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the homophobic legislation of Section 28. Our most recent season moves into the 90s, as the internet began to change how LGBTQI+ people found each other, how more people created queer families, how a nail bomb ripped through the community in 1999, and how changing attitudes and a government focus on human rights led to significant improvements in the lives of many queer people.

Music is so important to me, and I think to so many people throughout the LGBTQI+ communities today. I found my queer family on the dancefloor – music is community, it’s love, it’s pain, it’s power, it’s pride – it’s the foundation of so many memories, the backdrop to so many stories and so much strength that keeps us pushing forward and surviving!

Here is my Desert Island Disco in full, which I would like to dedicate to all the LGBTQI+ people we have loved and lost, but especially to our trans siblings past and present – you make this world more beautiful, every single day.”

Tash’s Desert Island Disco Playlist

Jackie Shane – Comin’ Down 
Donna Summer – I feel Love 
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now 
Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) 
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive 
Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
George Michael – Faith
Erasure – A Little Respect 
Madonna – Vogue
Ultra Naté – Free 
Hercules & Love Affair – Blind
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
SOPHIE – BIPP Autechre MX 
Planningtorock – Gay Dreams Do Come True

Mari & Kate’s Playlist Additions

Mari Lane: This LGBTQ+ History Month, I wanted to celebrate some classic queer anthems as well as shine a light on a couple of newer favourite LGBTQIA+ artists. Electro-punk artist Bitch’s cover with Logan Lynn of Gossip’s empowering anthem ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ fits both these categories perfectly, and I couldn’t not include pioneers of queer culture and ultimate faves Le Tigre. If you don’t know Margate queer punk duo pink suits yet, you really need to get their riotous anthems of inclusivity and politically-charged rage into your ears, whilst another duo with a more subtle, but equally powerful, message against homophobia and society’s constraints is Naz & Ella. Ezra Furman, who beautifully came out as a Trans woman last year, is also an essential for this month, and every month of the year.

Kate Crudgington: As many of our regular readers & listeners will know, at GIHE we aim to support and highlight LGBTQIA+ artists all year round via our website, radio show and our live music nights. Being an ally to such a welcoming community makes running this platform a total joy, and it’s wonderful to be able to share just some of that joy with you via our LGBTQIA+ History Month Playlist. So tuck in to my choices below: there’s the delightful electro-pop of Catherine Moan, the exquisite avant garde sounds of BISHI, an alt-pop banger from Halsey, a majestic hip hip fusion from Witch Prophet and a post-punk ode to love from Grandmas House.

Le Tigre – TKO (ML)
Pink Suits – Pink Suits Everyone (ML)
Bitch/Logan Lynn – Standing In The Way Of Control (ML)
Naz & Ella – Internalised (ML)
Ezra Furman – I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend (ML)

Catherine Moan – Fools (Depeche Mode Cover) (KC)
BISHI – Dia Ti Maria (KC)
Halsey – I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God (KC)
Grandmas House – Girl (KC)
Witch Prophet – Makda (KC)

If you need support during LGBT History Month or at anytime, you can always reach out to Switchboard LGBT+ via their website or by calling 0330 330 0630

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Fraulein 09.02.22

Tash, Kate & Mari were back on the Soho Radio airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists.

London-based grunge duo Joni & Karsten aka Fraulein joined them to talk about headlining the first GIHE gig of 2022 at The Victoria in Dalston, their upcoming tour dates with The Mysterines, what initially inspired them to start playing instruments and Joni’s upcoming rhythm guitar teaching workshop for First Timers Fest.

Listen back below:

 

Tracklist
Ronnie Spector – She Talks To Rainbows
Dropper – Ok Ok Ok
Brimheim – can’t hate myself into a different shape
SASAMI – Say It
LOBSTERBOMB – Sense
SPRINTS – Little Fix
Kim Gordon – Murdered Out
Moon Panda – Falling
LEYA ft. Julie Byrne – Glass Jaw
Novaa – The World’s Thing
SEA CHANGE – Is There Anybody There
Pearly – Silver Of The Mirror
Fraulein – Belly
**Fraulein Interview**
Bachelor – Back Of My Hand
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupil – Ceci n’est pas un cliché
Celine Love – Good Girl
MARIA BC – The Only Thing
Gazelle Twin – Hole In My Heart
Mitsune – Maru
Proper. – Milk & Honey
Double Helix – Rat Rave
Bluebook – Shake Shake
t l k – Frame of Ted
Bas Jan – Sex Cult
Queen Cult – Calm
Tits Up – Macho Bullshit
Sassyhiya – I Had A Thought
Nova Twins – Bullet

ALBUM: Cate Le Bon – ‘Pompeii’

You awake, eyes wild, dreams of Pompeii still flashing through your mind. It’s dark outside, what time is it? A rhythm shuffles over the horizon, an unidentified pulse of percussion and a shambling couple of wind instruments. Pompeii, Cate Le Bon’s sixth album, has begun, with ‘Dirt on the Bed’.

Yet again, she has created a remarkable, singular work. Pompeii is continuously rewarding, an album to return to again and again until it swallows you into its world. Like its artwork, a version of the Tim Presley painting that served as the central inspiration for the entire project, it possesses an aged, grainy feel in spite of its fresh originality. The sound is science fiction. As if from a parallel 80s, it is drenched in synths while evading the worn conventions of synth pop, instead assimilating those sounds into the Cate Le Bon style.

The brilliant ‘French Boys’ is punctuated by a beautiful steel pan hook that is mechanical and melancholy, creaking with the sad nostalgia of an abandoned oil rig in some post-apocalyptic landscape. Later tunes like the momentous ‘Cry Me Old Trouble’ develop walls of synths that provide epic and strange backdrops to the lyrics, complementing their tone perfectly.

Le Bon’s writing builds on the vocabulary of the ancient and the spiritual which she introduced to her work on her previous album, Reward. It constitutes perhaps the best example to date of her ability to create affecting lyrics out of abstract emotive language. Lines like “cry me old trouble”, “my heart broke a century”, “raise a glass in a season of ash and pour it over me”, they have that Symbolist combination of familiarity and mystery. Like a dream, her writing makes some unconscious sense even when individual elements evade comprehension.

Recent Cate Le Bon albums have felt terrestrial in their experimentation, each album conveying a kind of landscape. Crab Day was shingly, coastal, Reward was mountainous and sublime. By comparison, this album feels like it takes place on a swampy exoplanet, with thicker air and a slightly stronger gravitational force. In other words, Cate Le Bon has broken loose from Earth and is operating from a world of her own, free from any obvious external reference point and working according only to her original logic.

The closer, ‘Wheel’, provides a cyclical end to the album, an approximate reprise of ‘Dirt on the Bed’ with a palette expanded on the basis of all that we’ve gained through the 9-song track list. Only Le Bon can bound this sound-world, can make sense of it and condense it into an ordered and beautiful album. She is yet to make a bad record, and this might well be her finest work yet.

Order your copy of Cate Le Bon’s new album Pompeii here (released 4th February)

Follow Cate Le Bon on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Cate Le Bon

Lloyd Bolton
@franklloydwleft
@lloyd_bolton