Top 5 Playlist: ANNAVR

Berlin based avant-pop artist ANNAVR has just released her latest EP II: Vibration the second chapter of a three part trilogy series, which began back in the summer with I: Hallucination. This EP has been on repeat ever since it landed in our inboxes – an all encompassing, experimental, sonic soundscape that melts into your ears.

Hot off the back of this release we asked ANNAVR to put together her Top 5 Playlist for you all and what a Top 5 it is… Get listening, learning and loving.

Kelly Lee Owens – ‘More Than a Woman’ (Aaliyah cover)
It’s a shame, but I have to admit that I discovered Kelly Lee Owens’ work actually only through Spotify algorithms. Her name popped up in the ‘fans also like’ section on my artist page. I guess this is one of my favourite tracks from her, featuring the beyond beautiful voice of Aaliyah.

Lauren Auder – ‘these broken limbs again’
I can’t say that Lauren’s music influenced me (yet), as I just very recently discovered it – it reflects a certain musical wavelength that sounds and feels very familiar somehow.

Tirzah – ‘Gladly’
I don’t think it’s possible not to love this song. Also that Pitchfork quote: “‘Gladly’ is a warm embrace of a song that clocks in at a leisurely 65 bpm—incidentally, the resting heartbeat rate that indicates tip-top physical condition.”

Eartheater – ‘Peripheral’
The day I discovered Alexandra Drewchin’s music, I felt heavily relieved. At least for a moment. Which also happened with Dean Blunt for me. It’s like that rare moment when you experience someone making audible what partly goes on in your head, but you can’t even describe with words.

Dorian Concept – ‘Promises’
Oliver’s work always connected pretty much everything I look for in music. I was lucky to cross paths, with him in the role of a lecturer, at the Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp in Berlin 2017. His latest album was probably my favorite of 2018.

Listen to ‘Vitamins’ by ANNAVR below, and find out more via Instagram & Facebook.

Introducing Interview: Soia

In the run up to her new release, Where Magnolia Grows, we caught up with Viennese Soia to get to know her a bit better.

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
Thanks! I started my first band when I was 18 with my ex-boyfriend who got me into hip hop, before I was mainly into 60s and 70s fusion jazz and klezmer. When I met the producer Mez years later we started working on the Soia project. It was all accidental.

Are you currently based in Vienna? How do you find the music scene there – is there much collaboration?
Yes, I have been living in Vienna for almost 20 years now. There are a lot of high quality musicians in Austria, a lot of highly skilled jazz musicians that wonder off to NYC one at a time. I recommend artists like Lylit, Schmieds Puls, Ruff pack, Jahson the Scientist, Esches, Oliclusive and more.

We’re loving your latest single ‘Run With Wolves’, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
The song’s lyrics are about not minding so much what other people think of you and not letting yourself be categorised by others. For the video, we collaborated with the performance artist Mirabella Paidamwoyo Dziruni, as the lyrics reminded me of her unapologetic approach to queer and anti racist activism.

It’s taken from your upcoming album Where Magnolia Grows, out on 29th March – how was the making of the album and how best would you describe it in one sentence?
The album was a lot of work and somewhat challenging for everybody involved. I hope it all pays off with the quality we were aiming to provide. Once everything is finished you can reflect and appreciate it again, but in the process it can be wonderful and painful at the same time.

What can fans expect from your live shows, and more importantly are you planning on coming to the UK anytime soon??
I might come to the UK sooner than expected. Our live show is very intimate, and different every time. I love being on stage with the band! We try to make it a whole new experience so it sounds different than the production.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I’m not the hippest up to date music digger, but I love listening to Allysha Joy, Solange, Mac Miller and Georgia Anne Muldrow at the moment. Also always the NYC fam like Black Spade, P.U.D.G.E. or Cavalier. I’m super excited for Kiefer’s new album coming up. The rest of my current music mood is mostly gems like Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway.

Thanks Soia! You can check out more from Soia via Instagram and Soundcloud

 

Photo Credit: Ina Aydogan

Introducing Interview: Helga

What better way to jump into Spring, than getting to know Swedish artist Helga, who’s told us about the reasons for going solo, her latest EP Nebulous and a new favourite sweet treat she’s discovered called bananinha!

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how Helga started?
Thank you! Back in late 2016 I decided to go solo after having played in a rock band and an indie folk duo. It just felt natural to go solo, I enjoy working alone and I am more effective this way. Also, I think it was a time when I was starting to explore the dark side of my heart and mind. It felt very exciting.

You are described as an artist, activist and songwriter- do you feel you identify more strongly with one particular creative arm, or do all these aspects of your life influence the other?
I wouldn’t call myself an activist. I just have strong opinions about things sometimes. I’m just a human being who happens to create stuff, write songs. Writings songs is one of the best things in the world.

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from in Sweden? Is there a strong music community over there?
I’m from the region of Dalarna. There is indeed a strong folk music tradition here that I hope we can preserve. I appreciate it very much.

We’re loving your single ‘In The Wilderness’, which we’ve played on the radio show – in it you reflect on the state of the natural world from the perspective of someone that spends their life close to nature. Can you expand on this for us?
I’m glad you’re enjoying the song. I wrote it when I was hanging out by myself in the forest nearby. It was just so tranquil and peaceful there. It moved me, so I thought I should write a song about this forest. I wish it knew that I wrote a song for it. I love writing songs about nature, sometimes it’s even easier than writing songs about people. All my music doesn’t have to have a message. Sometimes I just want to feel the music, the melodies. That’s enough. Sometimes there are no words to be said. You just sit there in silence and feel things.

‘In the Wilderness’ features on your recently released EP Nebulous. We’re totally mesmerised by the reverb heavy, drawl of this EP and its dark, damp forest music. How did you go about creating this record?
You’re too kind. Thank you. I played and recorded some of the guitars and vocals here in Sweden, while the rest was recorded in a land far away called Brazil! They have this candy that you should try called “bananinha”. You will like it if you’re a banana fan. I hope you’ll find some in the UK. Anyway, the musicians I worked with were beyond amazing, I can’t thank them enough. I’m not a drummer nor a bassist, but I have a decent idea on how these instruments work, and obviously that helps a lot when producing your own music. Luan is such a groovy bassist. Pedro is also a groovy drummer, even if he can do furious blast beats as well. Luiz is a groovy guitarist, who also happened to be good at producing and mixing. These are versatile and groovy musicians! I loved our team work.

What’s 2019 got in store for Helga?
Hopefully being crazy on stage! There are some exciting things happening, some that I’ll probably talk about later. I’m working on new music as well. Liking it a lot so far, some really cool sounds we’ve managed to create! I need to shut up. I won’t say more… Let’s see how it all goes!

Have you got any plans to tour over the next couple of months?
Maaaaaybe!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I haven’t been listening to music much these past few years, especially not the new ones. But in the beginning of 2017 I stumbled upon this American artist while reading stuff on a Swedish digital music magazine called HYMN. I listened to one song and it impressed me, so I listened to more of her stuff. Really enjoyed it. The artist is called Haley Heynderickx.

 

Nebulous, the latest EP from Helga, is out now.

Track Of The Day: Seraphina – ‘Kingdom Come’

The latest release by Seraphina, ‘Kingdom Come’ showcases her powerful vocals as they soar over this fiery track. All devils and churches, you can hear the influences of gospel, blues and soul all building into the song’s feverish crescendo. Of the track Seraphina told us:

‘Kingdom Come’ is about the addictive power of doomed desire – like a cult promising salvation it draws you in and once you sense the shadows it’s too late to pull away from the thrill. The desire can be for anything or anyone – but it has a silken touch and iron grip.”

This is the first in a trio of tracks which she’ll be releasing over the first half of 2019, supported by the MOBO Help Musicians Fund.

You can hear more from Seraphina via Soundcloud and Instagram.

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Track of the Day: novelties – ‘Pillow Talk’

‘Pillow Talk’ comes from emerging LA-based pop duo, novelties – aka Sisters Kelly Kawaii and Sophie Kowai – who are both entirely self-taught. Kelly produces the tracks, merging her innovative pop production with Sophie’s poetic lyrics.

We’re totally into the warped gentle vocals of Pillow Talk which glide over the top of the buzzing samples. Dreamy AF. Looking forward to hearing more from these two.

You can find out more about ‘Pillow Talk’ on Instagram and Twitter.

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Introducing Interview: Saga Back

We caught up with Sweden’s Saga Back in the wake of her debut single release ‘There You Go…Again’ to talk about her writing process, musical influences and how it all began.

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how Saga Back’s music career began?
Thank you! Well, I don’t know if I would call it a “career” yet, but I think it was almost exactly two years ago that I started recording my own songs. It was for an examination project in school and although I didn’t take any music classes I somehow managed to “write, record and perform five original songs” around the topic of the project. So, that was when I started working with Mattias Nyberg (who’s produced ‘There You Go… Again’), but at the time I didn’t take it very seriously. We just recorded three or four of my songs – they were very acoustic and I didn’t even use a metronome, so the beat was completely off in some parts. And then I uploaded them onto Spotify. As for songwriting, that started a bit earlier but the songs I wrote back then luckily will be forever unheard… Except for one song that me and my best friend made when we were ten. We wrote it in Swedish, asked my mom to translate it to English, and then we sang it at our school’s talent show.

Then, few months back I decided I wanted to do something to learn more about the music industry and so I started an internship at a record label in Gothenburg called Kning Disk. I’ve learnt, and I still am learning, so much from my boss, Louise Hammar, who runs the label. That’s also where I met Markus and Jesper from Something Beautiful, the record label that I’m working with now. So, although I wouldn’t call it a career yet, only four months back I never would’ve guessed that so many people would be listening to my song!

We’re loving your latest single ‘There You Go…Again’, which we’ve played on the radio show, can you tell us a bit more about this song?
I’m so happy to hear that! It feels surreal that it’s been played on a radio show in London. Wow. I was in a pretty destructive relationship, without really realising how much it hurt me. It’s strange how you can abandon all your beliefs just to make someone else happy. That’s why I wrote the song. Actually, I started writing it as a way of putting into words what he did. That way it was harder for me to ignore my feelings and continue making excuses for letting him do those things. But now the song is more of a reminder to not let anyone make me feel less than I am. I hope that’s what people feel when they listen to it.

Can you tell us a bit about Gothenburg, and what the music scene is like there?
Actually, I live in a smaller town twenty minutes from Gothenburg, but I’d say typical “Gothenburg music” is a lot of indie – Swedish music that you either love or you hate. But we do have Way Out West festival, which is the best weekend of all summer. Does that count even though the majority of the acts aren’t Swedish? I really hope it does.

How do you go about writing your music – can you give us an insight to your process?
Lyrics and music at the same time, always. I’ve tried to write lyrics to an already finished instrumental when someone’s asked me, but so far I’ve had no luck with that. My phone is filled with random words and sentences that I’ve heard or come up with. It could be from a newspaper, a movie or a conversation. Usually, I have an idea of what I want to write about and a phrase that I really like and then it goes from there. I always write about my own experiences in one way or another. It makes it a little scary to put it out for everyone to hear, but I don’t think about that while writing. It’s only when I record the song that I start realising that other people will hear it.

Who or what would you say are your inspiration and influences?
Recently I’ve been listening to a lot with Jorja Smith, H.E.R, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa. All women as you can tell. I listen to male artists as well of course, I just find female musicians more inspiring and relatable. And last but not least, Adele. Although I don’t listen to her music every day, that’s the type of music that I always go back to. I love the songwriting, her vocal range and the way she builds her songs. She played in Sweden a couple of years ago and I didn’t manage to get any tickets, which I’m still sad about.

As we’re a new music-focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Maple & Rye! You might have heard of them but I think they deserve a lot more attention.

Finally, what’s 2019 got in store for Saga Back?
To be honest, I don’t really know. I’ll be going to Paris for two months, which I planned way before all of this started, and my goal there is to finish writing enough songs for a first album. There’ll be some more singles, I’ll spend time in the studio recording, and then we’ll see. I don’t wanna jinx anything…

Huge thanks to Saga Back for answering our questions! 

Track Of The Day: VEE 303 – ‘Wounded’

‘Wounded’ is the latest release from Berlin based VEE 303 and it is all about moments. Moments of violence, moments of overwhelming emotion, 225 seconds of so many moments.

In her own words ‘Wounded’ is “about the dynamic of control between two people and how it can be a liberating experience to just let someone take over. It can give you some kind of freedom to not worry about the world for a second and indulge yourself in the moment. It is a reflection on how I experience salvation through pain and the contradictory forces of violence and beauty.”

From stripped back trip-hop to rising orchestral sounds, this songs leaves your ears gladly tripping over the intermittent plucking and pounding beats. Yes please VEE 303.

Listen to the new track below, and follow VEE 303 on Instagram for more updates.

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor