Track Of The Day: Boy Harsher – ‘Fate’

Massachusetts duo Boy Harsher have shared the second track from their forthcoming new album, Careful, which will be released on February 1st via their own label Nude Club Records. Titled ‘Fate’, the new song is four minutes of off-kilter synths, breathy seductive vocals and dance inducing beats.

The track is accompanied by a startling set of visuals, directed and produced by Bryan M. Ferguso. The video shows a blood-thirsty young woman hunting her prey against a dark cityscape – reminiscent of cult 80’s film Lost Boys (minus the mullets, of course).

Speaking about ‘Fate’, Boy Harsher explain: “It’s a song about how there’s no amount of running that can prevent you from your life. You are raw and beat-down, yet you will continue to behave the same way – ‘Fate’ is your own trouble, a magnetic force that’s stuck on you forever.”

Immerse yourself in the sound of ‘Fate’ below and catch the pair playing live at Heaven on 27th February.

Follow Boy Harsher on Facebook for more updates.

Boy Harsher 2019 UK Live Dates
Feb 24 Bristol, UK – Lanes #
Feb 25 Leeds, UK – Wharf Chambers #
Feb 26 Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen #
Feb 27 London, UK – Heaven # **NEW VENUE**

# w/ KONTRAVOID

Photo credit: Nedda Afsari

VIDEO PREMIERE: Indian Queens – ‘You When I Close My Eyes’

Let the “weight of the world” melt from your shoulders as you watch the hazy new video for Indian Queens‘ latest single ‘You When I Close My Eyes’. Taken from the band’s debut EP of the same name (released via Cool Thing Records), the track is a blur of the “ugly and [the] beautiful” according to vocalist and guitarist Jennifer O’Neill.

Shot and edited by the trio during a recent trip to California; the footage blends still images and lyric reels to create a “memory book” cut-and-paste feel, whilst also giving an exclusive glimpse of Indian Queens’ studio space in East London.

Championed by John Kennedy (Radio X), LOCK Magazine, and chosen by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his Meltdown festival earlier in the year, the Hackney trio are hotly tipped (especially by GIHEs) for a successful 2019. Watch the video for ‘You When I Close My Eyes’ below and follow Indian Queens on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Sarah P.

Sarah P. (former front-woman of Keep Shelly In Athens) has shared her new EP Maenads with the world, and it’s a record that openly explores the theme of female power in all its magic, strength and “imperfect perfection”. The record is a triumphant return for the artist, who has been busy championing public conversations about mental health through the creation of her monthly zine EraseRestart, which aims to wipe out the stigma that surrounds it. 

We caught up with Sarah P. to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below…

1. Sad Lovers & Giants – Les Années Vertes
This record is everything to me. Pure 80s sound, conscious-but-mysterious lyrics, eerie vocals. I’ve always loved the “hopeless romantic” vibe of the post punk-scene. Les Années Vertes is a classic, timeless piece of art. Even if the sound is now considered vintage, the lyric themes are easy to connect with. This album is a manifesto for the youth – I believe every generation can relate to it. I put on this record when I need a push in my life. It makes me feel powerful and confident. It takes me back to being a suburban teen with dirty converse shoes trying to grasp from the complexities of coming of age. And whenever I’m playing it, I think of this awkward child (that grew up to be an even more awkward adult), her tough years and how she overcame the hardships.

2. Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth
I guess I’m naturally attracted to haunting melodies, thought-provoking lyrics and quirky vocals. This is my favourite Nine Inch Nails album and one of my top records of all time. I remember listening to With Teeth for the first time and being genuinely impressed by the arrangements and how every sound is right where it belongs (pun intended). Also, it’s safe to say that NIN are the most amazing band I’ve seen performing live. The production of everything they do is so detailed-oriented and perfect, and always leaves me in their awe. ‘Right Where It Belongs’ is perhaps my most favourite song in the world. It’s so raw, authentic and honest – a truly inspiring composition. Most of the things I strive to be, I’ve learned courtesy of NIN and With Teeth.

3. Tim Buckley – Goodbye And Hello
When I was around 6 years old, my dad made me a mixtape and included ‘Phantasmagoria in Two’ on it. Boy, didn’t I fall in love? I asked him “who’s Tim Buckley?”, he showed me a picture and I was ready and committed to get married to him. Dad told me that Tim Buckley had died, but that didn’t matter, because he was set out to be my forever crush. An angel for me – a tortured soul, regardless. Goodbye And Hello is too pretty to be man-made. Vulnerability was Buckley’s strength. ‘Pleasant Street’ is a truly moving song about addiction, but there are far too many gems in this album. Buckley wrote from his heart – he never took a vocal lesson or cared for chords and song structures. To me, he’s one of the greatest artists to have ever walked on earth.

4. Anne Clark – Joined Up Writing/The Sitting Room
POETRY! Anne Clark, the ultimate siren – she’s so intense. ‘Our Darkness’ is obviously her most popular song to date, however the whole record is pure beauty. She’s one of the most fascinating artists, I’ve ever come across. I love how committed she’s always been to her artistry. I point that out knowing how tough the industry is with women who are not making what they like to call “mainstream music”. But Anne Clark is a true badass and never shied away from speaking truths on her songs. Beautiful arrangements, leaving room for majestic spoken words that make you shiver.

5. Dionysis Savvopoulos – Vromiko Psomi
‘Zeimpekiko’ is one of the songs that makes me very emotional. My parents played it every time they had their friends over – it brings back memories of their parties at home, the smell of cigarettes and whiskey, the breeze coming in from the open window, the muffled sound of philosophical conversations, music and the sounds of cars passing by. I’ve reconnected with this record while in Berlin – away from home. This record was released two years before the fall of Greece’s military junta. Savvopoulos was jailed twice during that time – the song ‘Dimosthenous Lexis’ is about him in jail thinking how life would be if he got out of jail (apparently, not too bright, because democracy seemed like a dream at the time). In times where fascism slips through even the tightest layers of our societies, it’s important to look back and learn from our recent history. Democracy shouldn’t be taken for granted and neither should artistry and talent that’s bold and brave to address topics
that our societies may not be ready to hear about.

Follow Sarah P. on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: George Geranios

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: VOKXEN – ‘Crystal Eyes’

Inspired by the feminist writings of film critic Laura Mulvey on ‘The Male Gaze’, Northern Irish trio VOKXEN have shared visuals to accompany their latest single ‘Crystal Eyes’. Produced by Definitive Film (Netflix, Disney and Google) and with allusions to Jim Henson 80’s cult film The Dark Crystal – ‘Crystal Eyes’ is a captivating visual delight.

Premiered on Hot Press, ‘Crystal Eyes’ is a catchy blend of pop-hooks and strong vocals, underscored by bouncing synth beats. The video for the single tells “a tale of (false) perception, entrapment and breaking free of bonds that hold us back”. VOKXEN have had a busy year playing shows in Dublin and Berlin, and we’re sure we’ll be hearing more from the trio in 2019.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Big Joanie

DIY punks Big Joanie have had a great year. They’ve toured extensively across the UK & Europe, supported our faves Dream Wife at Camden’s KOKO, and last week they released their debut album Sistahs. Their music is a mix of the personal and the political, and we wanted to know what inspires the girls to create their own sound. We caught up with band member Stephanie Phillips to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below…

1. Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out
I’m a huge Sleater-Kinney fan and it all started when I was a teenager. Listening to Dig Me Out in my bedroom when I was 16, I remember feeling a well of emotion in my chest. It was like I wanted to shout out loud with the song but I could never get the words out, even when I was alone. My journey from a shy, reserved kid to a singer in a band has mostly been through listening over and over again to this band and learning how to sing along. I’m pretty sure Carrie’s stadium rock guitar style has crept into my playing as well.

2. The Breeders – Last Splash
It’s hard to pick a favourite out of all of The Breeders albums, but Last Splash had a huge impact on me. Kim’s way of creating something that can still be a bit rough or unusual as long as its honest has been an approach I’ve tried to follow. The Deal sisters know their way around a harmony and it’s glorious to listen to them when it seems to come so naturally. Big Joanie’s album also opens with a song called ‘New Year’, not the same song but I must have subconsciously taken a note of this. It doesn’t matter how many times I go back to this album it’s still one of my favourites.

3. The Ronettes – Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
I once went on a date with a guy who said he didn’t like ‘60s girl groups. I knew then and there I couldn’t be with that person. Who doesn’t love girl groups? From The Crystals to The Shangri-Las, I’ve studied every type of girl group but one of my all time favourites is The Ronettes. Ronnie Spector’s voice still sounds as arresting today as I imagine it did when the group first debuted. Though Phil Spector is a detestable human being, he was a visionary producer. The all encompassing wall of sound he was known for worked so well with The Ronettes sound. It’s a sound I’ve always wanted to capture myself. I know the wall of sound would have been nothing if it wasn’t for the young black women Spector worked with who gave it a voice.

4. Throwing Muses – Untitled
Again similar to the other artists I’ve listed, Throwing Muses have so many albums that influenced me but I have to pick their first album. I loved the complexity of the song structures, the emotional depth of the lyrics and the unusual turns and twists the record took. The album made me think about different ways to write pop songs. It made me think about how some of the best songs always take a different path to reach their destination of eventually becoming a pop song. Songs like ‘Vicky’s Box’, which is essentially a three part epic packed into a five minute song, shouldn’t work but they do.

5. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
The raw blues punk of Peej soundtracked my early years and it’s still with me today. I love this album for all its worth. It’s strikingly intelligent, funny (even though many male journalists at the time didn’t seem to get her humour) and displays a level of emotional vulnerability that is rarely seen. Her dark sensibility and slightly twisted takes on love, lust, pain and anger captured my attention when I first listened to the album. I couldn’t believe that was the way people felt whether it was about her own experiences or not. Her ability to switch between different voices and tell numerous stories in her songs is comparable to the greats like Bob Dylan. I’m pretty sure for as long as I live I’ll always be trying but failing to replicate the work Polly created on this album.

Huge thanks to Steph for sharing her five favourites.

Order your copy of Big Joanie’s Sistahs here.

Follow the band of Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Hockeysmith – ‘Tears At My Age’

We’re pretty sure you’ll be able to identify with the sentiments expressed in the ambient new single from Hockeysmith, titled ‘Tears At My Age’. Taken from her upcoming EP of the same name (set for release Jan 25th via Ex-Local), the track is “one for the girls out there, and their tears for undeserving boys.”

Whilst she may have spent much time lamenting the actions of unworthy loves, Hockeysmith has reclaimed those hours through her shoe-gazey, lo-fi new release. She traveled frequently between Cornwall and Copenhagen whilst writing her new music over the last two years, with the aim of connecting the influences of two very different, yet exciting underground music communities.

The result is previous single ‘Holy War’, and now with ‘Tears At My Age’ she looks set to share a record’s worth of mesmerising, hazy electronics. Listen to the new track below, and follow Hockeysmith on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Noise Noir – ‘I Don’t Need You’

Garage rockers Noise Noir have shared Jessica Jones style vigilante visuals to accompany their debut single ‘I Don’t Need You’. The footage – shot and directed by Sergio Angot – shows band members actively taking down those who think it’s okay to harass women in public or private places.

Speaking about the video, vocalist Kelly Chard explains: “I wanted the video for ‘I Don’t Need You’ to be a hyperbole of the feelings I felt when writing the song. Sexual harassment is very present in London, and I wanted to play a Jessica Jones type character in the video. So instead of feeling emotionally strong, I felt physically strong enough to fight off bad guys. Reaching equality is very close to our hearts, so I wanted to highlight sexual harassment and domestic abuse. The video is set in various locations in London throughout the day to show how harassment and violence can happen on the streets in broad daylight, behind closed doors, and in a public busy surrounding.”

Recorded by Margo Broom (Big Joanie, Yassassin), mixed by Greg Burns of Sit Down, and released through Kelly’s independent record label We Can Do It, ‘I Don’t Need You’ is a seething attempt to shout back and empower those who have felt vulnerable or victimised by street harassment. Together; Kelly, guitarist Anthony, bassist Elis & drummer Davide are here to set the record straight through vicious riffs and powerful vocals. Watch the video for ‘I Don’t Need You’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut