EP: Julia-Sophie – ‘Y?’

Describing herself as finally finding her hullabaloo within the storm, new electronic artist Julia-Sophie jumped onto the scene supporting GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth. Last week she released her debut EP, Y?, and we cannot stop listening to it.

This record draws you in from the outset. Lead track ‘Breathe’ envelopes you with its sound as the pulsating title lyric repeats, leaving it reverberating around your head after only the second listen. At points, especially on ‘x0x’, I feel that I can hear the influences of Gazelle Twin, where I am sat watching this music performed in a darkened auditorium with a light show that electrifies the stage as the music electrifies your ears.

Of the record Julia-Sophie explains “I came to point in my life when I realised that I had been coasting through life and in these songs, rather than carrying on floating I chose to rip myself open and see what would come out the other side.”

Y? is a sublime four track record of emotionally intelligent electrifying electronica. Music which builds and layers, over and over, resulting in an almost painfully blissful experience. I’m completely addicted and have not enjoyed an EP this much in a long while – Julia-Sophie is clearly an artist who has a solid understanding of producing, removing boundaries and letting music speak for itself. I cannot, and do not want to stop listening. 

Listen to Julia-Sophie’s EP Y? here. Follow Julia-Sophie on Instagram for more updates.

FIVE FAVOURITES: Julia-Sophie

Describing herself as finally finding her “hullabaloo within the storm”, new electronic artist Julia-Sophie shared her mesmerising debut EP, Y?, last week, and we cannot stop listening to it.

Y? is a sublime four track record of emotionally intelligent, electrifying electronica. Music which builds and layers, over and over, resulting in an almost painfully blissful experience; much like listening to a Gazelle Twin record. Julia-Sophie is clearly an artist who has a solid understanding of producing sound, removing boundaries and letting music speak for itself.

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 Julia-Sophie to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that influenced her own writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for her single ‘x0x’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Thom Yorke – ANIMA
I’ve been listening to a lot of Thom Yorke this last year and feel very drawn into his latest album ANIMA. For me, it feels dark and tender and addresses emotional holes in my life. I’m attracted to his lyrics that have a dreamlike quality, like a stream of consciousness; like a beautiful nightmare. I love the way the album floats through unease as it slips and slides all over the place without ever becoming boring. It’s a left of centre electronic album with jabbing pulses, syncopated rhythms, spring loaded grooves and wheezy synths surging in waves; I love how effortless it all feels. I only dream of making music with that apparent ease. I love feeling like I can hear his whole creative process. The album makes me feel like I’m listening to art, like a sculptor mastering textures and layers; as I drift off the album catches me unawares. I love it and can’t recommend it enough.

2. James Blake – Assume Form
James has an infectious take on post-dubstep and downtempo, minimalistic electronica. His vocals are otherworldly, airy and his productions boundary-breaking. When the way that you relate to the world becomes difficult I look for artists who express emotions that I cannot; that I am searching for. I felt particularly connected to this album; it is melancholic yet hopeful. The record is full on emotion, and like all the best things in life, it doesn’t reveal itself immediately; it deserves time. As a producer, his sounds make me want to explore the record further and as I do, I capture themes that I didn’t quite grasp the first time round. When I feel dulled by emotion and trauma, James’ music makes me feel safe; his music makes me feel like I’m being held; arms wrapped around me delicately; all unencumbered by musical form. The guests on this album are incredible and are definitely worth revisiting, most notably Moses Sumney’s performance on ‘Tell Them’ blows me away. There’s definitely something particularly special about this album.

3. Art School Girlfriend – Into The Blue Hour
I’m not sure where or how I first came across Polly Mackey, aka Art School Girlfriend (knowing me, I was probably stalking Paul Epworth’s Wolftone Records as I’m a guilty Glass Animals and Harry Edwards fan). Art School Girlfriend self-produces music that for me shares the hypnotic euphoria of trance music. Her ability to create surreal, ethereal bodies of work laced with moodiness not only blows my mind and inspires me, but also gives me feelings of lustfulness and space; within this space I find myself free to think, feel, bend and reflect. I love that place she takes me to. Her music is all very dreamlike but packed with emotion and feels as menacing as it does beautiful. As someone who loves and is obsessed with electronic sounds, I love her use of electronica and only dream to be able to create hazy soundscapes like her, that are tied together with an innate pop understanding. Her music to me, feels quite sad and melancholic, but all tinged with beauty and mystery; it draws me in. Definitely music worth escaping to (plus she has a really cute dog, so what’s not to love about her and her music?)

4. TT (Theresa Wayman) – Lovelaws
I was never a huge Warpaint fan, not because I didn’t like them, but because I was late to the party. Warpaint’s music was so big that it seeped into my life all the same, always playing in the background at friend’s houses or in cafés, and so I’ve always had a wispy notion of their sound. When I heard Warpaint’s Theresa Wayman’s solo debut, I guess because I’ve become more into electronic music than guitar-led music, I was immediately drawn in. Her vocals felt intimate and her use of electronica excited me. This debut record feels really honest; where she explores themes of motherhood, isolation and romances. Her songs are dreamy and I feel she allows me to dream with her; the sound of skin on skin, she journeys fragile threads of human connections and makes me feel a certain sense of companionship and loneliness, all given in equal weight. The album never overpowers; it is warm and comforting: its songs mutate in ways that are unexpected and offer different kinds of rewards. She reminds me that we are all human, obsessing, disconnecting, passionate and jealous. I love her and this record for it.

5. Double Negative – Low
I first discovered this record at my local record store, Truck Music Store in Oxford, as they made it their album of the year. I remember Carl who works behind the counter waving it to me as I asked for recommendations. He was telling me about this album and I loved it from the get go. It’s an immensely creative, ambitious, warped slowcore album that takes you on an experimental journey from start to finish. It’s a radical record in many ways, creating all kinds of atmospheres; sometimes through drone and then also through using song as a conduit. It thumps, crackles and hums, is as oblique in its nature as it is haunting and on first listen sent shivers through me. I was hooked; I found myself lost in its noise, its darkness and heartbreak and yet the album somehow made me feel good even when I was falling apart.

Thanks to Julia-Sophie for sharing her favourites. Listen to her EP here.
Follow Julia-Sophie on Instagram for more updates.

Track Of The Day: Hunger Moon – ‘Patience’

Birmingham born duo Hunger Moon released their latest single ‘Patience’ on April 10th and it’s just beautiful from start to finish. The melancholy pop track is an expression of the internal battle songwriter Natalie Jenkins faced to leave a relationship that was, in her mind, already over.

Of the track Natalie explains, “I knew things needed to change, but I didn’t anticipate the level of change to come. I didn’t want to cause hurt, but had to learn to accept that I couldn’t become the right person. I had to have patience with myself and recognise that what I wanted was not mutual”.

Already a firm fan of these two, this latest single is an eruption of musical emotions I’ll happily dive into. Hunger Moon’s music has been described as a sonic canvas, and I couldn’t think of a better way to sum up the emotional strength and tenderness that is carried in both the vocals and crescendo of the guitars on this track.

 

And check out this live performance of Hunger Moon in in Cologne, Germany with Sofar Sounds. Sublime.

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Photo Credit: Laura Chen Photography

FIVE FAVOURITES: Sans Soucis

Italo-Congolese singer-songwriter Sans Soucis caught our attention after the release of her most recent single, ‘Make One From A Two’. The song explores the complexities of love, uniting Soucis’ delicate vocals with an intimate, orchestral backing to create a tapestry of rich acoustics. She’s set to release her new EP, Unfinished, on 17th April, and we’re excited to hear it.

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 Sans Soucis to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five songs that influenced their song writing techniques. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to listen to ‘Make One From A Two’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Coldplay – ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’
This is probably what really got me into songwriting. I never properly took the time to write my own music until I was 20, but I started developing a certain sensitivity around songwriting by listening to Coldplay. They are my first love and probably this is one of the first pieces of music on which I shed a few tears when I was a teenager. I believe music can touch many different strings in our lives, depending on where we are, how we relate to it, but certainly great and evergreen music doesn’t leave you any choice but to empathise with what’s presented to you and dig deeper into something you weren’t seeing before. Coldplay unsealed so many new ways for me to decide how and where to fulfil my need to establish a profound connections with people.

2. Nelly Furtado – ‘I’m Like a Bird’
Ok, I’m taking it this right back to the time I had the physical ability to listen to a song more than 20 times in a row. It was a time where I would get excited about music more than anything else around me. Looking back, I think I was starting to stick my nose out for some pop music to sing along to. My sister and I used to make so many CDs to put in the car, and we spent quite a lot on time online “crate-digging”. The only music I was learning and singing at that time was the music I was given in my classical choir, so Nelly Furtado on my way to school, or on my way to my singing classes sounded like freedom. My knowledge of English was just about good enough to catch the chorus, and I remember getting so frustrated with my blurred understanding of the song that I searched for the lyrics online and started translating word by word. I felt like such a hippie every time I was singing it. It’s such a good pop song!

3. St. Vincent – ‘Marry Me’
This is probably from one of my favourite albums ever! I love every track. It is so original; merging pop, classical music, alternative rock, enticing the ear of such a broad range of listeners, unified under the most beautiful melodies and arrangements. When I discovered St. Vincent, I felt musically ready to take all this beauty in. I really respect artists who write their own music and produce it, because I’m doing the same myself and it is of great inspiration to witness how much creativity and boldness is out there to be discovered. She is definitely someone I look up to when I think about my career.

4. Arthur Verocai – ‘Desabrochando’
Arthur Verocai is a Brazilian composer who started releasing music a bit less than 50 years ago. I discovered his music last year and I got massively obsessed with it. The piece I chose comes from his album No Voo Do Urubu, released in 2016. It is so peaceful and beautifully executed. It encapsulate my love for folk music, guitar and orchestration. It reminds me of my grandparents and the afternoons we spent at home listening to old opera cassettes, of my father spinning records from Italian songwriters 24/7 and of my strong connection with my own folklore. This is another example that proves music can speak to anybody, regardless of who they are and where they’re coming from.

5. Bjork – ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’
It was difficult to pick my last one, but I couldn’t leave this one behind. Bjork is a real visionary and I respect her so much to bring big band out for such an epic walk in the 2000s. I love how dramatic this performance is. You almost feel like being in a movie while listening to it. The interpretation draws you in so much that you really don’t feel like leaving in the end. It’s also such a good representation of how I feel when I fall in love, that I feel like claiming it as my personal soundtrack.

Thanks to Sans Soucis for sharing her favourites. Follow Sans Soucis on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates.

Photo Credit: Luca Perrin

Get In Her Ears: Solidarity & Love 19.03.20

Tash made it into the studio to spin out a full 2 HOUR show of new music and highlights from our playlists. Favourites came from Greentea Peng, Sabiyha, NAVA, Junie & TheHutFriends and Mentrix. Old faves worked their way in from ARXX, Planningtorock, X-Ray Spex and ESG.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage Up Yours!
Greentea Peng – Ghost Town
Millie Turner – Jungle
Fightmilk – I’m Starting To Think You Don’t Even Want To Go To Space
Something Leather – Farewell Fareworse
Sans Soucis – Make One From A Two
Sabiyha – Choorile
NAVA – Hold
Four Tet – Baby
Vulpynes – Silica
Indian Queens – Shoot For Sexy
Junie & The Hut Friends – Boi Cha Cha
Grizzly Coast – Forever
Olivia Dean – Crosswords
Ali – No More Trying
The Parkers – 15 Again
Big Daisy – Go Outside
For Breakfast – Mother
Forever Honey – Christian
Big Joanie – Fall Asleep
Milan Ring – Switch Off ft The Social Experiment
Cyote –  Red
Otta – Small Hours
Mentrix – Nature
Bang Bang Romeo – You & I
Kahlla – 4AM Lullaby
Arlo Parks – Cola
Nayana Iz – How We Do
Planningtorock – Beulah Loves Dancing
Shea Diamond – I Am Her
Arxx – Intervention
ESG – Dance

Five Favourites: Roaches

Swedish four-piece garage band Roaches have just released their new EP ROACHES! and we are loving it! They describe their sound as “Acid flop lollipop fuzzy pussy bug smash lash trash bubble slug hug” – need I say more…

We caught up with Linda & Åsa to tell us their ‘Five Favourites’ – five artists or albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. They both came back with so many great choices, we let them have five each because we’re nice like that. Check out their choices below, and make sure you give their new EP ROACHES! a listen at the end of this post!

Linda – I have been singing since I was a little girl. For me, it’s been really natural to identify with female singers. Mostly the ones who ”stood out”. Here’s a few of them:

Blondie – ‘Dreaming’
Debbie has been my number one since I was six years old. The first time I heard Blondie was through my father’s cassettes and I fell in love. I was completely fascinated that a girl could sing both in a beautiful and ugly way at the same time. And I still listen to her just as much today! It’s hard to find a favourite song but ‘Dreaming’ is captivating and never gets old!

Siouxsie And The Banshees – ‘Cities in Dust’
This video caught my attention first, not the music. I remember sitting in front of the TV screaming when it came on. Siouxsie has this dark appearance and voice that is really dramatic, and I loved it. ‘Cities in Dust’ is both dark and catchy and it’s about volcanoes! And I love volcanoes!

Kate Bush –  ‘Cloudbusting’
Kate Bush is multi-talented at mixing music, dance and her unique appearance and that really caught my attention at a young age. She is strange and I can relate to that because I feel the same. ‘Cloudbusting’ is my favourite song of hers, it just feels really ‘Kate’, and it resonates with me on a personal level too.

Björk – ‘Jóga’
I have followed Bjork since Kukl and Sugarcubes. It’s hard to describe in words how much she means to me. But, in short, she represents freedom. She has always done what she wants. She can be like a child and the next second a queen. I admire that ability. Björk is the artist I feel closest to myself. I choose Jóga for the love of Björk and the Scandinavian nature.

The Coathangers – ‘Hurricane’
The Coathangers are both inspirational as a band and people. I’ve had the privilege to open for them and got a chance to hang out with them; both their performance and their supportive attitude and words to me really struck a chord. They are cool, cuddly and gave me good advice. I choose ‘Hurricane’ because I love Rusty’s voice and the song is just like them, badass and corky!

Åsa – In taking on the task to list five personal anthems, I felt bound to retrieve some of the songs of my youth. Of course, this leaves out a lot of songs that hold meaning for me. However, my adolescent and young adult life framed my interest in music and woke my desire to perform on stage. So here’s my list, in no particular order – all holding equal weight in their meaning to me:

Dead Moon – ‘It’s O.K.’
Dead Moon are one of my favourite bands of all time. The song ‘It’s O.K.’ is, as for many others, the first song I ever heard of this iconic garage band. I can only hope to be as fierce on stage as Toody after the age of retirement.

Raooul/Skinned Teen – ‘Spirit of ’78’
As a young punk I of course listened to all the women and queers that had managed to “break through” within the scene. Several of whom would have made this list if I had gotten this quest of listings anthems as a member of one of my other bands. This band, however was truly life changing for me. I got the split record with Raooul and Skinned Teen at the age of 14 and it hit me with a blast.

Thee Headcoatees – ‘Wild Man’
One of the things I love with the genre of garage is the kind of sweet sound with rough edges. Girlsville was the first record of this end of the genre, it has this sound with a clear feminist vibe – of course my teenage self was hooked.

PJ Harvey –  ‘To Bring You My Love’
Let England Shake and The Hope Six Demolition Project are probably two of the records I have listened to the most in later years. However, as a young girl I was introduced to PJ Harvey through the records To Bring You My Love and Rid of Me. I truly believe she is one of the greatest musicians in rock music.

The 5, 6, 7 8s – ‘Motorcycle Go Go Go’
Before The 5,6,7,8s appeared in Kill Bill, my brother introduced me to this band, probably through one of the mixtapes that he gave me. They were my introduction to the surf part of the garage rock genres.

Thanks to Linda & Åsa for sharing their favourites! Check out their epic EP ROACHES!, which you can buy from Bandcamp now. Follow Roaches on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.

Get In Her Ears w/ Bad Honey 12.03.20

Tash was back in the studio this week with new music from bigfatbig, Toygirl, JFDR, Jett Kwong, Song Sung and C’est Karma.

Bad Honey were guests in the studio playing their latest single ‘Circles’ and chatting about their new EP Awake Tonight, which is set for release on 27th March. They also picked MEI as their fav new music artist.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
Jackie Shane – Any Other Way
Bigfatbig – Bored
Toygirl – Moonlight Velvet
Claire Pitt Wigmore – August Rain
Lexytron – Blue
The Black Mariah Theater – Got No Luck
Ellis – The Drain
Guitar Gabby and The Txlips – The Dead Pool
Alex Jayne – 90s Dream
Jett Kwong – Tokyo Bath
JFDR – Think Too Fast
C’est Karma – Girls
BLOM – Be Kind
Hunger Moon – Honey
Geiste – Dither
Okay Kaya – Habitual Love
MEI – Dance To Pain
AIKO – Down
LUVK – Dead Wrong
CLT DRP – Where The Boys Are
Song Sung – Come To The Water
Moon Panda – Rick F***in Dalton
Bryde – The Trouble Is
The Crystal Furs – Too Kind To Be Cruel
Annie Taylor – Under Your Spell
Peggy Lee – Fever