Five Favourites: MEI

South London-based vocalist, bassist and producer MEI, is on our radar. MEI recently released her double a-side project ‘No Dim Lights’, the second installment in her Antonio Vivaldi-inspired seasonal trilogy. The project expresses the “fight to not give up, even on my gloomy days, my light still shines and nothing can dim it.”

We asked MEI to name her ‘Five Favourites’ – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques, and we let her chuck an extra one too! Check out her choices below, and make sure you give ‘No Dim Lights’ a listen out now.

Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
This album really changed my life. I studied it like it was a school project! I learnt so much about singing, songwriting and rapping from it, and it was the first time I’d heard all three be done so incredibly well. She definitely put the fire inside me to rap as well as sing, and it wasn’t until years later I actually had the confidence to do it. The honesty in every lyric also made it impossible not to connect to it. The album really had a profound impact on me personally and my songwriting.

Coldplay – Parachutes
I still remember clearly hearing ‘Trouble’ on the radio for the first time and feeling such a strong wave of emotion. I don’t think I even took in the lyrics because I was too young but sonically it was just so moving. When I revisited the album in my teens I was so gripped by how talkative they were and how they hit you so deep. The chord progressions too!

Laura Mvula – ‘Show Me Love’
I truly believe this is outstanding songwriting. It inspires me so much. It’s so honest and tragically beautiful. Wow. The vocal is mesmerising, you feel every word and the arrangement tears you apart and brings you back again. I wish I wrote it.

Ms Dynamite- ‘Dy-Na-Mi-Tee’
I absolutely love this song. I’ll never forget feeling so empowered by it. Here was a young black girl from London being herself all over my TV screen and I loved it! She was so unique and unapologetic and always bringing a positive message to her music, which was so inspiring to me.

Ebo Taylor – ‘Love and Death’
This song takes me straight back to my childhood! Growing up in a Ghanaian household meant I got to hear a lot of highlife and afrobeat music. Especially at family parties; you would have all the old school high life playing in the background and I’d never know any of the titles or artist names. I loved the horn line on this tune so much, so when I rediscovered it a few years ago I was so happy! I also loved the concept of a sad song that made you want to dance. The polyrhythms in highlife and afrobeat music really inspires my production.

Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’
Kendrick is definitely one of my favourite artists of the last decade.

Massive thanks to MEI for sharing her Five (or six!) Favourites with us. Listen to ‘No Dim Lights’ below.

Follow MEI on Twitter for more updates.

Get In Her Ears: Ones To Watch 2020 (16.01.20)

At the fresh new time of 7-9pm, Tash served up a strong playlist of GIHE’s ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2020. Highlights include: Hinako Omori, Pongo, Greentea Peng, Hurtling, LibraLibra and Jemma Freeman & the Cosmic Something.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
Garbage – I Think I’m Paranoid
Pongo – Canto
Greentea Peng – Sane
Sea Change – Stepping Out
Peaness – Kaizen
The Big Moon – Barcelona
Summer Camp – Women in Love
PVA – Divine Intervention
Nayana Iz – how we do
Gold Baby – Philadelphia
ARXX – Moments At A Time
Tamesis – Cosmic Heat
Big Joanie – Fall Asleep
Laulia – Outcast Kids
Yacht – Blue on Blue
Ella Winter – Burnt
Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something – Helen Is A Reptile
LibraLibra – Loverboy
Hinako Omori – Bank Of Inner Criticisms
Otta – Small Hours
Lucy Gooch – Calm Down
FKA Twigs – Cellophane
Tasha Angela – Undescribable Feeling
Hurtling – Summer
Lauren Alex Hooper – Clarity
Texas – Drawing Crazy Patterns

Get In Her Ears New Music Show, 03.10.19

Tash played out some of Get In Her Ears’ favourite new music from the likes of Coral, Hunjborn, Aunty Social, Cuntrie, Duck and Audrey. Kicking things off with Joan Armatrading as its UK Black History Month and ending on Neneh Cherry, the show was jam packed with tunes from beginning to end.

Listen back:

 

Tracklist

Joan Armatrading – The Weakness In Me

Kosie – Heavy Waters

Coral – Find Me Wrong

Hunbjorn – Keep Breathing

Goodnight Louisa – Someone so sublime

Fever Ray – Features Creatures (remix of Bjork’s track)

Duck – Siren

Aunty Social – Travelling Circus

oviale – Storm

Hydra Lerna – In The Dark

Cuntrie – The Singer

Sui Zhen – Perfect Place

Audrey – Paper

Mipso – People Change

Black Calavera – Cigarettes

Perra Vida – Eterno Retorno

Kate Malco – Creatures

Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance

Get In Her Ears w/ Naz & Ella 26.09.19

Tash played out some fresh new music from the likes of Ski Lift, Argonaut, Callisto and Shari Vari.

Naz & Ella popped into the studio for a catch up on their upcoming singles and change in musical direction, treating us to a couple of live tracks on air!

Listen back:

@getinherears
@maudeandtrevor

Tracklist

Lizzo – Juice

Pallas Athene – The Wall

Aunty Social – Travelling Circus
Ski Lift – Comfortable Here
Kitt Philippa – Fahrenheit

July Jones – Liar Liar
Anna of the North – Dream Girl
She Keeps Bees – Bodies
Rahh – Home
Daniella Mason – Woman Lover Powerful
Vagabon – Water Me Down
Argonaut – Fuzzy Lovely
Callisto – Salamander
DeTeresa – Bonita
Ali Barter – January
Jenny Hval – Conceptual Romance

EP STREAM: TABS – ‘Love Like This’

“It’s so powerful for butch women to take that feeling of hate and being ‘incorrect’, and turn it into something amazing.”
(‘Why I Love My Butch Lesbian IdentityCosmopolitan)

TABS (previously writing and releasing under the name Detour City) tells her story of being a butch lesbian in an increasingly hostile world in new EP Love Like This.

A singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer based in East London, TABS has written, recorded and produced the EP herself. Inspired by the soundscapes of Massive Attack and Bjork, as well as the storytelling songs of Joni Mitchell and k.d lang, it’s a poignant and powerful collection.

Whilst signed to major labels (Polydor, BMG) TABS felt misunderstood. As a club promoter of Butch, Please! – an amazing lesbian club night which we love – she connected with butch lesbians all over the world and began the journey of making the EP. Seeking authenticity, she self-releases this EP with the support of her queer community.

Speaking about the EP, TABS explains:

“My story. My way. As a woman and a butch lesbian trying to write music I found the industry difficult and I found it hard to be heard. It took guts to walk away and choose a different path. I can’t help but write music. I’ve done it since I was two years old and singing has saved me over and over again. So, in these turbulent and unsettling times, I want this music to tell my story.” 

Dealing with themes of family rejection, the struggle to be herself and the violence she has suffered – Love Like This is a deeply personal exploration of hopes and fears in these turbulent times. Go listen, we love it!

 

Love Like This is out now. Buy a digital or hard copy over on TABS’ Bandcamp. To hear more from TABS check out her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

FIVE FAVOURITES: Esmé

Australian singer and songwriter Esmé recently released her single ‘Ella’ which I fell for on first listen. The track was named after one of her biggest inspirations and has Esmé’s golden vocals laid over the top of samples of Ella Fitzgerald, broken hip hop beats and textured electronic synths. Esmé is looking to release her debut EP which is expected at the end of 2019 – looking forward to that a lot!

In the wake of the release of ‘Ella’, we asked Esmé to share her ‘Five Favourites’ – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you give ‘Ella’ a listen at the end of this post!

Amy Winehouse – FRANK
I love this album so much and can listen to it over and over again. This album taught me how to use the simple jazz harmonies I knew and write my own lyrics and melodies to them. Amy uses the most beautiful chord progressions like you hear in ‘I Heard Love Is Blind’ and her rendition of ‘No Greater Love’ is just incredible too. I feel like Amy made vocal jazz new again. She is completely honest and raw in her lyrics and storytelling. This album is also characterised by beautiful strings, beat-less guitar dominant in between songs and one thing that I always love in an album is its connectedness. It’s not a series of singles – it’s a body of work, you go on a journey when you listen from start to finish.

Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough
I discovered this artist and album at the most perfect time. I was writing only with a guitarist (Sean Harlor) and we were both influenced by her honest singing/songwriting, yet drenched in soul style. I love this album for the finger picking guitar elements, interesting phrasing and rhythmically entrancing melodies. There is a song on it called ‘Forget’: it really stretches the overall sound of the album to a darker, more aggressive side and it really inspired me to venture outside of my quietness as a musician too. The most amazing thing though is her voice and lyrics. Listening to Lianne makes you feel like you’re in the same room as her, her voice speaks to your soul. I think it means she is so in tune with her voice and the story she is telling.

Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun
This album for me is a lesson in groove, performance, using jazz in your own way, feeling your lyrics and owning your sound (voice). I’ve been inspired by Erykah for a very long time, I love her last song on this ‘Green eyes’ – it just grows and grows sonically. Her voice is mesmerising. It sounds like she is giving it her all. I think what you hear, is what you would get live. I always think that about Erykah, it’s like she knows how to transmit her energy from live performance into her recorded work. I think that is a really hard thing to do!

Radiohead
I can’t ever really get over Radiohead – their melodies are actually so beautiful, I love all of their songs and I listened to them a lot when I wrote my second release ‘I wonder’. I think there aren’t many artists that have the same harmonic structure an entire song through but make you feel the shift from verse to chorus so much and so emotionally. I think another artist that does that well is Pharrell Williams… You know, 2 chords or at the most 4, and you’re completely transported when you hit the bridge or chorus. That’s always been amazing to me and Radiohead is a master at it! Their song ‘Creep’ is a stunning example. But I’m not going to list my favourites from them because there’s multiple from each album.

Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass
Ella actually had a really girly sounding voice for a long time, it was still beautiful and entrancing, but it was sort of thinner in resonance and tone. Each album of Ella’s witness her growth as a singer, tonally. Her music with just Joe Pass shows her voice to me in its most beautiful state, full and warm, velvety and husky at the same time. Nowadays we don’t get to witness the journey of an artist as much – we are presented with polished things in every medium. Listening to Ella with Joe Pass, or Gershwin, reminds me of the journey you take to really be good, to develop and grow and eventually sit down with just a guitar and not need anything else. Ella has helped me embrace the journey of my voice as a woman and appreciate each stage.

Thanks to Esmé for sharing her Five Favourites! Follow Esmé for more updates via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Listen to her single ‘Ella’ below:

LISTEN: fluxx.world – ‘Like Me’

‘Like Me’ is the debut single from fluxx.world, aka Isaac and Sofia, formerly known as MOONOVERSUN. Already fans of their remix of Foxgluvv’s ‘Crush’, we’re loving fluxx.world’s creations and look forward to more where this came from with their upcoming EP set for release in September.

Speaking about their new track, the band explain:

“’Like Me’ is about the trials and tribulations of partying, conflicted minds, learning to enjoy our own company and not losing sight of what we want no matter who/what gets in the way. We want to create pop music that we can party and cry to, something that reflects every heightened emotion during a night out.”

Check out the very catchy ‘Like Me’ here:

 

Find out more from fluxx.world on Instagram and Twitter.

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor