Introducing Interview: th’sheridans

Following a decade on the scene, indie pop duo th’sheridans have recently released an epic, career-spanning compilation – Pieces Of General combining both old favourites and some newer treats. Showcasing their knack for creating scuzzy hooks, jangly beats and a swirling energy, the album offers reflections on poignant issues whilst oozing an uplifting effervescent euphoria. Whilst harking back to old favourites with a shimmering sense of nostalgia, the duo have managed to evoke a stirring resonance for right now; a sparkling call to arms, oozing a quirky, colourful spirit.

We were lucky enough to chat to the band to find out more… Have a read!

Hi th’sheridans! Are you able to tell us a bit about how you initially started creating music together?
We met at Bongos?! World Music Society in 2010 where we played “international folk” covers that ended up sounding more like a big indie band. The first thing the two of us really played together was an arrangement of the Italian partisan song ‘Bella Ciao’ (which may some day emerge as a b-side). And after trying out a batch of original sheridans songs, everybody agreed to do band.

I love your scuzzy, sparkling sounds but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Thank you so much! We put a lotta thought into the sounds and textures we use, so it’s lovely whenever that resonates with someone. Our songwriting really comes out of the Ramones playbook in that the songs can usually be broken down to a set of chords and a pop/R&B melody. As well as the broader ‘70s New York scene, ‘90s Riot Grrrl is a huge influence – especially Ladies, Women and Girls, Bratmobile’s second record. It’s key in terms of figuring out how to express and own our values in the songs, while keeping the hooks as tasty as possible! Klezmer music, Papa T. (Julia’s dad), and The Velvet Underground’s drone all play a big part in our arrangements, especially with the viola. Lastly (although this could easily spin out into a whole encyclopaedia…), artists like Hundred Waters, Beth Orton and Metric have really helped us hone how we incorporate electronic elements like drum machines and synthesisers.

You’ve just released your new career-spanning compilation album – ‘Pieces Of General’ which is super exciting! Are you able to tell us a bit about this? What made you decide to put together this collection of songs new and old?
This album really came out of conversations we had with Reckless Yes after signing with them in 2020. We were thinking about how we could best introduce ourselves to their audience while also capping off the DIY phase of our work. So Pieces Of General is basically greatest hits for a band that’s had… no hits, with some new tracks mixed in. The key thing for us was to sequence it as a coherent album, which only really became possible through Livio Beroggi’s incredible remastering work. Getting the chance to present these songs in this way has been truly wonderful, and having the label stand by and co-sign our work has meant so much to us personally.

And how have you found recording and promoting an album during these strange times?
Day to day, it’s honestly felt quite abstract, which is tough. But it’s also been a blessing to have this project to work on, especially with such wonderful collaborators. Having the remastered tracks coming in from Livio, or seeing Nestan Mghebrishvili’s artwork and design take shape – those were moments of total joy. Promotion’s been an unusual vibe (when is it not?), and at times it’s felt like folks have had more energy to get down and engage with something – and at times less. And that’s okay, we’re all trying to survive right now. But we’re grateful for where our work’s been given space or shared, and we’re particularly appreciative of Reckless Yes’s efforts to get our stuff further out there.

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
It’s been v. v. difficult. We’ve definitely missed the energy of a scene, of seeing friends do their thing and being inspired by that. The divisiveness of the UK government’s “it’s all up to you now, so fight amongst yourselves!” policies has been especially painful. We haven’t been rehearsing or taking bookings in the pandemic, because that hasn’t been right for us, and that’s still where we’re at. Bitch Hunt put it so well in a recent interview, where they pointed out that “it’s just less visible when people are not-doing-stuff.” Meanwhile, virtual connection has definitely felt more meaningful, whether that’s social media or ZOOM calls.

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, over the last couple of years?
Absolutely! In terms of craft or artistic practice, artists working in other media have been an increasingly big deal for us in how we approach our work as a band. Over the last few years, that’s included Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Diane Arbus. Exploring how someone develops, refines, unpacks, diverges from, expands on the themes in their work is just endlessly interesting – and where you find connection in that, it’s such a precious, beautiful experience. Same goes for how an artist lives their values – lately that’s been writers like Cecil Castellucci, artists like Bianca Xunise, and the folks over at wildly rad UK record label Amateur Pop Incorporated. And on that level of inner work, cultural workers like adrienne maree brown, Layla F. Saad, and Prentis Hemphill offer invaluable insights and pointed, necessary challenges. All their podcasts come highly recommended by yr local sheridans.

As a band keen to call out sexism and racism, how do you feel the industry is for new artists at the moment? Do you feel much has changed over the last few years?
There’s always values at work in any piece of art, the same way there’s always values at work in any conversation. And because of the overt and more transparent experience of fascism in recent years, we’ve felt the need to be increasingly direct and open about our values, as in songs like ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Dismembered‘. It’s also important to pair that kind of projection with practice and embodiment. And, while we name and explore the things we can speak to, we’re also trying to do the work around the things we don’t directly experience. As far as what we’ve seen lately, it’s a mixed bag(uette). Something we’ve noticed is a kind of values drift, particularly when it comes to specific intersections of marginalised identity (eg. white bands only paying attention to gender as a lens). And it’s hard to know how much it’s just the predictable co-option of whatever’s on-trend, or something else. Dr. Angela Y. Davis reminds us that even if it is just co-option, it means we’re getting somewhere. And at the same time, one of the biggest shifts has been witnessing the start of mainstream conversations that were previously totally off the table, specifically with regards to structural racism. And, as so many of those who have spoken truth to power have always underscored, one of the things that keeps us going is the idea that folks younger than us won’t have to go through the same things we have over the last decade or so.

And, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists or bands that you’d recommend we check out?
A list! Shilpa Ray (‘70s New York vibes for the modern day, best scream outside of metal), Naz & Ella (grunge + indie + folk), Breakup Haircut (spooky pop-punk), Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something (cutting edge post-punk), Whitelands (shoegaze lives!), sweetbellechobaby (radical atmospheric pop), Bitch Hunt (emotionally real indie punk).

(Great choices – all GIHE faves!)

Finally, in addition to the release of your album, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for th’sheridans?
Anxiety and hibernation! We do have our next release already in the can though (a li’l late ‘80s throwback), and we’re currently figuring out which thematic batch of songs to get into next.

Massive thanks to th’sheridans for answering our questions!

Pieces Of General, the new compilation album from th’sheridans, is out now via Reckless Yes. Buy it on bandcamp now.

WATCH: Grace Petrie – ‘The Last Man On Earth’

Having been a big fan of Grace Petrie and her politically-charged, but beautifully catchy, folk-strewn anthems since first hearing 2018’s Queer As Folk, I was excited to hear that she will be releasing her new album, Connectivity, next month (read all about this and more in our in-depth interview with her). Following the release of her euphoric last single ‘Storm To Weather’, she has now shared ‘The Last Man On Earth’ and its accompanying brand new video.

Showcasing Petrie’s exquisite smooth vocals at their most angelic, ‘The Last Man On Earth‘ fuses together a heartwarming ode to friendship with a moving reflection on the confused headspace that can come from mixed messages and unrequited feelings… Flowing with lilting, folk-strewn melodies – complete with jangling banjo refrains and sweeping strings – it’s a perfect example of the Leicester songwriter’s knack for combining beautifully harmonious sounds with a gritty, stirring lyricism, and often a touch of playful wit. Shimmering with Petrie’s crystalline charm, it poignantly juxtaposes the raw emotion of its heartfelt sentiment with a refreshingly joyous musicality and instantly catchy energy. Of the track, she explains:

“… it’s a country-inspired bop that we couldn’t stop singing during the recording sessions. It’s about the age-old experience of being a butch lesbian in a slightly confusing friendship with a straight woman where you both know the lines are a bit blurred but ultimately it will never come to anything. It seemed like country was the best medium for that message, sort of a slightly satirical take on the classic “sad country music” cliche.”

‘The Last Man On Earth’ is accompanied by a fun-filled video of people young and old line-dancing along to Grace and her band; a perfect reflection of the feeling of solidarity and joy of coming together with like-minded folk that runs throughout the upcoming album. So, fling on those daisy dukes, nab the cowboy hat that’s been hanging in the wardrobe since that fancy dress party in Fresher’s week 2005, and immerse yourself in the uptempo twinkling spirit of this spirited new offering.

Connectivity, the upcoming new album from Grace Petrie, is set for release 4th October. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Introducing Interview: Izzie Walsh

Having received acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio Two’s Bob Harris and BBC Introducing Manchester, alt-folk artist Izzie Walsh has just released her eclectic new EP, Ideals. Flowing with a twinkling, uplifting energy, the EP showcases Walsh’s emotion-strewn rich vocals and a soaring, catchy musicality.

We caught up with Izzie to find out more… Have a read!

Hi Izzie Walsh, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I love to perform on stage and create music that I hope connects with people. I like to try new food and go for a beer or two. And occasionally go running to balance my calories out!

How did you initially start creating music?
I was quite late to the game and only started creating music when I was 17. It all came about when I started learning the guitar and then I realised I could hold a tune singing as well. 

Your new EP Ideals is out today – congratulations! Can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the EP?
This EP is about how ideally the world could be a different pace to what it is now – for both others and myself. It addresses themes of class escapism, and the impact of modern-day capitalism. 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Wallis Bird and Lisa Hannigan, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
My main influences at the moment are Margo Price and Stevie Nicks, but I also love big band sounds, ranging from the likes of Arcade Fire to Slipknot. 

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Yes! The local music scene in Manchester is great. It can sometimes be bogged down by the next reincarnation of The Stone Roses typical indie boy band scene, but there is always an alternative and culturally different act to go and see if you take the time to find them. The open mic scene is great as well! 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
They can expect brand new songs as well as the classics – I want to bring high energy and high musicianship to lay the foundations of my touring show for years to come. I think the best artists at the moment have the ability to translate their recorded medium into an entertaining show and that is what I aim to do!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Yes, definitely! Check out Toria Wooff, Harriet Rose and Chloe Foy. All incredibly talented females creating some amazing music and making their mark on the industry.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It is extremely difficult to get noticed, especially if you are different to the norm. In the past it seemed the more unusual you were the more you got noticed, but now I feel as if the industry are just looking for really safe bets. As you would expect money plays a huge factor as well in terms of the advertising side of things. 

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for Izzie Walsh?
Besides the tour I am going to hunker down and finish writing off an album – hopefully I can get it into production, ready for a massive 2022!

Massive thanks to Izzie for answering our questions!

Ideals, the new EP from Izzie Walsh, is out now.

Track Of The Day: Coco – ‘Come Along’

Formed in 2019, LA trio Coco consists of Maia Friedman (of Dirty Projectors, Uni Ika Ai), Dan Molad (of Lucius, Chimney), and Oliver Hill (of Pavo Pavo, Dustrider). Now, following acclaim for their beautifully wistful last offering, ‘Knots‘, they have shared a stirring brand new single ahead of the release of their debut album next month.

Oozing a twinkling, ethereal haze, ‘Come Along‘ flows with a lilting energy, creating a dreamy, shimmering soundscape. As gentle strummed melodies provide the backdrop for the blissful allure of harmonious vocals coming together, the track bathes the listener in its sweeping euphoric splendour. With shades of the sparkling energy of the likes of Real Estate, ‘Come Along’ invites you to immerse yourself in its captivating grace; soothe yourself with its rippling sonic waves.

The track is accompanied by a new video, perfectly reflecting its breezy, uplifting vibes. The band explain:

The skeleton of ‘Come Along’ was recorded live, all together, with Oliver on guitar, Maia on drums, and Danny on bass. The underlying chord loop plays throughout as other instruments are weaved in one by one, picking up momentum and rolling forward as everything joins in harmony. The video mimics the song in this way, portraying our individual days-in-the-life with each of us filming one another on handheld camcorders. The day culminates in our first performance together as Coco, at a houseshow in Oliver’s garage with our friends as backing band. When it all came together we were pleased with the juxtaposition of the comically low fidelity and fast-paced editing, like a homemade action movie.

Watch the video for ‘Come Along’ here:

Coco’s eponymous debut album is set for release on 29th October.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Stella Hartmann