FIVE FAVOURITES: Mira Lu Kovacs (5K HD)

Austrian experimental-pop group 5K HD shared their new LP, High Performer, in September earlier this year, and their feet have barely touched the ground since. They’re currently touring the new record across Europe, filling stages with a blend of their poppy, jazzy, prog-rock beats. Vocalist Mira Lu Kovacs is regarded by critics and peers as one of the most expressive voices in the scene, and with a team of multi-instrumentalists behind her, it’s easy to see why 5K HD are in such high demand. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Mira to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for for 5K HD’s track ‘Crazy Talk’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Ani DiFranco – Evolve / Educated Guess
With Ani DiFranco I grew up! I remember I was 11 and my step father at that time played a mixed CD (it couldn’t have been a tape, it was the late 90s). He put on Ani DiFranco’s ‘Marrow’ right after Tori Amos’ ‘Cornflake Girl’, what a mix! I didn’t understand much, cause my mother tongue is German, so the only thing I grasped was the phrase “And where did you put all those letters that you wrote to yourself, but could not address?” I don’t know if it was her finger picking (or should i say ripping?) on her steely guitars, or her edgy playful singing? I think it was the seriousness of her songwriting, I felt spoken to. It was really magical. Later, I listened to all her albums. Now I would say my favourites are Evolve and Educated Guess, but to me Ani DiFranco is such a poet and what she does must be evaluated as a whole and not just one album. She inspired me endlessly, even if her sound aesthetic isn’t the one that I am looking for today.

2. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief
Hail To The Thief is maybe an atypical Radiohead album to start with, no? I think I listened to this one at the age of 14 and then traveled back in time to learn about Kid A, OK Computer and The Bends (which I only appreciated later in my musical career). Most Radiohead Hardliners don’t understand why this album is so special to me. But I think, again, the songwriting is especially good on this one and there is a new shininess in their sound with this album. Also – ‘Backdrifts’, ‘We Suck Young Blood” and “I Will “ (to date the only song I ever publicly covered – acappella) – what great songs to speak to a depressed teenager!

3. Aldous Harding – Designer
This one is quite new, and has been such an inspiration to me this year. I just love the boldness and uncompromising softness in Aldous Harding’s music. I didn’t allow myself this kind of softness for a while, and now I feel like it’s coming back. The allowance, it’s something that I was scared of, because: how else to defend myself? I thought I needed to be loud and clear and aggressive. I am that, too, but I need to allow the softness to comfort me, as well. I feel like the beautifully weird old/new voice of Aldous Harding reminded me of that part of me. Thank you ❤

4. Beth Gibbons – Out Of Season
I can’t believe I only found this album 3 years ago. What a production! What songwriting! What truth, what openness. Sorry, there’s not much else to say. She’s a genius. The arrangements are sparse and pompous at the same time. I think this is where I wanna go in the future and who I wanna be when I grow up.

5. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
I think this was the album of a whole generation. It changed many things, not only musically, but also in the industry. The simplicity set new standards. The vulnerability in his voice was a new level of emotion. Whatever genius album Bon Iver made after this, this one is still one of the most brutally beautiful ones that there are.

Thanks to Mira for sharing her favourites with us. Follow 5K HD on Facebook for more info on their current tour dates.

Photo Credit: Ingo Pertramer

Track Of The Day: Grizzly Coast – ‘High-Functioning’

If you’re struggling to keep your head above life’s turbulent waters, then Grizzly Coast‘s latest single ‘High Functioning’ will resonate with you. The Toronto-based indie musician has documented her personal struggle with OCD via buoyant guitar riffs and relatable lyrics.

Grizzly Coast (aka Alannah Kavanagh) has spent most of 2019 releasing singles – including the brilliant ‘Half Light Boy’ – and putting together tracks for her debut EP which is set for release in 2020. Her refreshing indie-pop sounds are often underscored by emotive contexts (break-ups, dealing with OCD), and ‘High Functioning’ showcases her resilience as a woman and a songwriter.

Speaking about her new track, Alannah explains: “’High-Functioning’ is a song about holding your life together in every place but your own head. When I wrote the lyrics, I was going through a difficult time with my OCD. During that period, nobody in my life could tell that my inner world was overwhelming because I was right on the ball in so many other capacities. One particular night, I thought to myself – “I may as well try to write instead of just sitting and stewing in these uncomfortable feelings”. By powering forward and working towards my goals in the face of struggle, I built a solid foundation to stand on where I found both the purpose and drive I needed to stay confident through it all. I was ‘High-Functioning’ in every sense of the term”.

We’re glad Alannah is able to function in the face of adversity, and we’re looking forward to hearing more of her poignant work. Watch the video for ‘High Functioning’ below and follow Grizzly Coast on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Lunar Sounds – ‘Reputation’

Inspired by the dark side of modern dating, Leeds-based riot grrrls Lunar Sounds have shared their debut single ‘Reputation’. Filled with thumping beats and defiant vocals, the track pushes back against the patriarchal pressures women face when it comes to their appearance and their behavior on dating apps.

Formed of Chesca Henderson-Cox, Anna Reed and Caris Shekell, Lunar Sounds began making music together in early 2018, and releasied their debut EP The Void in September of the same year. The band launched their new single with a hometown gig last week, supported by Sheffield synth-pop heroes DUCK, and Leeds’ scuzz-pop duo Bad Idea.

Produced by band member Anna Reed, and mixed Brighton based engineer Katie Tavini, ‘Reputation’ is a raw slice of riot grrrl attitude and a welcome antidote to the often toxic results of trying to form romantic connections in the digital age. Band member Chesca explains further: “The song questions how men view women, and how women often feel like they need to portray some ideal version of themselves to be found attractive”.

We’re glad to see this trio challenging these insecurities, and having fun in the process too. Listen to ‘Reputation’ below, and follow Lunar Sounds on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears w/ Hari Debi 10.10.19

Tash & Kate played out some of their fave new music from the likes of Shari Vari, Baby Taylah, SHHE, Sunflower Thieves and HAVVK.

The lovely Hari Debi popped into the studio for a chat about their upcoming single ‘Sick 9due Oct 25th) and what the rest of 2019 has in store for them.

Listen back:

@getinherears
@KCBobCut
@maudeandtrevor

Tracklist
SIA – Chandelier
Audrey – Paper
Girl Ray – Show Me More
Dream Nails – Corporate Realness
Blood Red Shoes & Queen Kwong – Kids Don’t Be So Shy
GRIMES – Violence
Projector – Superstar
Les Flair – Fence
Foundlings – I Love You All
Lande Hekt – The Future
The Leaf Library – Hissing Waves
Sunflower Thieves – Heavy Weight
Grizzly Coast – High Functioning
Hari Debi – Sick
Thyla – Two Sense
REYKO – Hierba Mala
Baby Taylah – Reclaim
Minor Pieces – This House
Shari Vari – Dance Alone
SHHE – BOY
HAVVK – 52
Healy Maye – 5 Months
Majia Sofia – The Glitter
Lady Gaga – Til It Happens To You

Track Of The Day: Arlo Parks – ‘Second Guessing’

Confessional, gentle, and refreshingly honest: Arlo Parks‘ latest single ‘Second Guessing’ will strike a chord with anxious hearts who are overwhelmed with the fear that they might not be good enough.

The 19 year old London poet, singer and producer is not one to shy away from the difficulties of life, and on ‘Second Guessing’ she combines her beautiful vocals with lo-fi beats to get her important message across. The track is taken from her second EP, details of which will be released later in the year.

Speaking about the track, Arlo Parks explains: “‘Second Guessing’ is an exploration of the existential misery that comes from a desire to be successful in a way that pleases everyone. However, it’s also a song about strength and the possibility of self fulfillment”.

We’re happy to let Arlo Parks’ smooth voice build us up again. Listen to ‘Second Guessing’ below and follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Arlo Parks Live Dates 2019
Oct 08 – Academy, Dublin, IE *
Oct 10 – The Mill, Birmingham, UK *
Oct 11 – Academy 2, Manchester, UK *
Oct 12 – Uni Stylus, Leeds, UK *
Oct 15 – Trinity, Bristol, UK *
Oct 16 – Concorde, Brighton, UK *
Oct 18 – Roundhouse, London, UK *
Oct 25 – Guardian Live presents: Arlo Parks
*Supporting Jordan Rakei

Photo Credit: Charlie Cummings

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut

LIVE: Dream Nails – Old Blue Last, London 07.10.19

“You are not your job! Work is not your life!” belts lead vocalist Janey from feminist punk band Dream Nails – a validating statement that has their sold out crowd at Old Blue Last shouting back in agreement. Celebrating the release of their new single ‘Corporate Realness’ (from which the lyrics are taken); Janey, guitarist Anya, drummer Lucy, and bassist Mimi lit up the stage with their defiant anthems.

Get In Her Ears have been to many a Dream Nails gig, and we keep returning to see them for the same reasons: empowerment, solidarity, and comfort. Their songs about avoiding creepy grief thieves (‘Tourist’) and getting ghosted (‘Chirpse Degree Burns’) use humour to deflect from the stresses of navigating everyday life, but their ability to switch between the silly and the serious is what makes their live performances so vital.

Delivering their familiar and necessary chant of “women and non-binary people to the front, men to the back” three songs in, the band present an unshakable confidence as they blitz through their 40 minute set. Janey’s voice soars over the perfectly curated noise that Anya, Lucy & Mimi create, and is equally as commanding when she speaks about worthy causes and shameful statistics between songs.

Championing the cause of Solidarity Not Silence, Janey shouts out to the first support act of the night, Nadia Javed of The Tuts. She encourages the crowd to believe and support women who speak out against their abusers, and to follow the campaign that Nadia and other female musicians are a part of.

The band’s collective rage boils over during ‘Joke Choke’, a song that takes down people who think rape jokes are funny in a country where two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. It’s two minutes of frenzied guitar and crashing percussion, and a cathartic burst of righteous energy.

Much like second support act The Baby Seals – whose frontwoman Kerry described her sweat level as “bio-hazard” – Dream Nails know how to get their crowd working out. During their song ‘Jillian’, which is dedicated to cult fitness coach Jillian Michaels, the band ask everyone to squat down for a few moments, before leaping back up to join them in their poppy ode to the health guru.

It wouldn’t be a proper Dream Nails gig without renditions of iconic singles ‘DIY’ and ‘Deep Heat’. The first arrives mid-way through the set, with the crowd screaming back “Do It Yourself!” at all the right intervals. The latter closes the band’s set in furious style, proving that the band’s hex on Donald Trump and his British counterpart Boris Johnson is still as potent as ever.

With their militant mindset and knockout delivery, Dream Nails set at Old Blue Last was a reminder to all to keep fighting in the face of adversity, and to have a fucking good laugh whilst you’re doing it.

Follow Dream Nails on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Chloe Hashemi & Emily Barker

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Projector – ‘Superstar’

“Don’t wanna be a woman with a smile like flat champagne” sings Projector’s vocalist & bassist Lucy Sheehan on the band’s latest single ‘Superstar’ – and we couldn’t agree more here at GIHE.

Based in Brighton, Lucy, Demelza (drums), and Ed (vocals/guitar) formed Projector in 2017, and began creating music reminiscent of the 90s grunge era. Their blend of poetic lyrics and abrasive, yet catchy sounds caught the attention of PRS & Festival Republic’s ‘Rebalance’ initiative in 2018, and since then the trio have been busy recording and gigging across the country.

Filled with crashing drums, powerful vocals and strung out guitar riffs; ‘Superstar’ is an immersive, raw exploration of the uncertainties that come with trying to make it big. It’s an atmospheric new offering from this promising trio.

Listen to the track below, and follow Projector on Facebook for more updates.

Projector UK Tour Dates 2018
Oct 15th – Electrowerkz, London (w/ Thyla)
Nov 7th – Green Door Store, Brighton
Nov 8th – Paper Dress Vintage, London
Nov 14th – Heartbreakers, Southampton

Photo credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut