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

Introducing Interview: MONOGEM

Refinery 29 named MONOGEM a “trailblaizer of gender fluidity in the entertainment industry”, and we caught up with the ethereal alt-pop artist to discuss this, her latest single  ‘Shade’ and MONOGEM’s origins…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how MONOGEM came about?
In 2014, I decided to take a detour from my singer-songwriter/Jazz solo project and explore the realm of electronic music. A monogem ring is a supernova remnant which rang true in so many ways for me at the time. The largest monogem ring was found near the Cancer constellation, and being born on 22nd June, this felt like the perfect moniker for me to use to dig into another side of myself. I’m having the time of my life evolving with every release, every interview and show!

We’re loving your latest single ‘Shade’, which we’ve played on the radio show, can you tell us a bit more about this song?
Thank you for the love! I’m so happy this track is out in the world. This song is so me, the lyrics are some of the most honest I’ve written so far. I wrote it as a reminder to stop hiding my truths, even if they aren’t pretty. As an artist and a woman, I’ve felt the need to brush whatever I’m feeling under the rug, pull myself together and put a smile on my face for the big show. When I allow myself to be truly present in every moment, happy or sad, a better version of myself comes out to play. And that person showed up the day I wrote this song.

Listening to your newer music it feels like this has a much more complex layered feel to it, would you agree with that? Has there been a change in your writing/creating process?
Definitely. It’s all part of the evolution of this project and it’s so exciting to be at the centre of it. I studied Jazz at Berklee College of Music… for whatever reason I used to cover up that training and simplify my creative writing process. But now, I’m embracing it more than ever, and it feels really, really good.

Your have been described in such a variety of ways from “a soulful blend of the past and the future” to “a trailblazer of gender fluidity in the entertainment industry”… Do you feel that you fall into any of these descriptions?
I’m always honoured when someone takes the time to write about my music and what they take from it. It makes me feel like the art I’m making is being received in the way that I intended… What a beautiful thing.

LA, where you’re based, has a great music scene with so many artists who are emerging – do you feel part of a strong music community over there?
It’s taken time to develop a strong music community here, about 5-6 years for me, but wow do I feel it more than ever now. Especially after my headline show at School Night last night, I’m definitely home.

Amazing! How was the gig and how would you describe your live shows?
I am over the moon about last night’s gig. The live show features an all-female band – Neara Russell (keys/synthbass) and Valerie Franco (drums) – and they are ridiculously talented. I usually sprinkle in some special guests, like last night my long time friend and collaborator, Adam Tressler (guitar), joined us as well as my friend Hailey Niswanger on saxophone. I am so lucky to work with powerful and skilled musicians. The show is dynamic and sensual. I am very proud of where we are at in this very moment and am excited to keep improving.

And more importantly are you planning on coming to the UK anytime soon??
I’m dying to get to the UK!  Hopefully in 2019.

What’s the rest of 2019 got in store for MONOGEM?
More music and more tours!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Lately, I’ve been really into Maiah Manser, Doe Paoro and CLARA-NOVA. All LA-based female powerhouses I am lucky to call friends.

A big thank you to MONOGEM for answering our questions! Fingers crossed for that UK tour date in 2019!

‘Shade’ is out now and you can find more from MONOGEM via Soundcloud.

 

GUEST BLOG: Grapefruit

In a new guest blog feature, Angela from Maidstone-based, alternative band Grapefruit writes about what it means to take claim of being women in the music industry.

Sometimes I have mixed feelings about describing Grapefruit as a “female fronted band”. As someone who thinks of gender as a needless and suffocating concept, it can feel like we’re highlighting something irrelevant.

But, we can’t escape the fact that the music we create is intrinsically tied to and is product of our identities. And when that identity is female or femme or non-binary, I do think it’s important to highlight in an industry that continues to be dominated by cis-male identities.

You might not be fazed that our band is female-fronted but some young girl interested in the music magazines in the men’s section of the newsagents might be. Growing up I certainly clung to female-fronted bands; Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine was an idol; my girlfriend and our lead guitarist first picked up a guitar and spent hours learning and mastering it so she could play music like Kate Nash, PJ Harvey and Siouxsie Sioux did.

The point is that whilst inspiring female talent certainly exists in the industry, we’re still often the only female-featuring band on the setlist. We still have to assure some sound engineers that we know how to set up our own mic-stands, and have had to shrug it off when they make sex jokes whilst we’re focusing on getting the levels right. We still look at each other confused when we are compared to a bunch of (talented) bands we sound nothing alike except for that rare female voice.

Until it’s not so rare to see a woman in a band at your local pub, we’ll continue to proudly announce our female-ness and to get excited when we get to play alongside other female, femme, and non-binary musicians. It is our responsibility to make ourselves a space and to fill it to the point of overflow; your ownership of your identity and musical mastery is an important “fuck-you” to the “music has gotten too girly” types (thanks for the words of wisdom, Bono).

 

A massive thank you to Grapefruit for this piece. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Introducing Interview: Chinah

Fresh off the back of their latest single ‘Real Thing?’, we caught up with Copenhagen based Chinah in the run up to their London show at Bermondsey Social Club on 13th November.

Hi Chinah, welcome to Get In Her Ears! We’re loving your latest single ‘Real Thing?’, which we’ve played on the radio show, can you tell us a bit more about this song?
‘Real Thing?’ is a song about choosing to be lazy with your integrity because you long for intensity, and explores the feeling of experiencing a sense of “dominance within the submission”.

Your newer music has a much more evocative feel to it, each song creating its own individual atmosphere, with an almost hypnotic element… Is that something that you are consciously trying to create?
We try to make each song unique whilst still having something in its essence in common with the other songs on the album. The philosophy perhaps. But for everything beyond that, we like to allow ourselves to experiment and try different things out. We’re having fun with it. So yeah, the shifting moods and the different mixes of genres on the album are sort of an expected result of us staying curious and insisting on not limiting ourselves in terms of genre.

Previously you’ve spoken about seeing music in terms of contrast and dynamics, which is a refreshingly realistic way to describe the artist and the listener’s interaction with music, rather than by the constraints of labels. Could you expand on that a bit?
This last year we’ve been experimenting a lot with mixing genres, both within the length of a song and on the album as a whole. Likewise, we knew from the start of working with Anyone, the album, that we wanted it to be somewhat unpredictable. We prefer not placing ourselves into just one genre that has too narrow of a ruleset. In a sense, not defining our music too precisely prevents us from constraining our creativity, in that we might not try to “live up” to a made-up idea of what our music is or isn’t.

You’re about to embark on a tour of Denmark, but before you do you’re going to be stopping over here first at the Bermondsey Social Club on 13th November! Are you looking forward to playing London again?
Definitely! It’s been a year since we played in London, so coming back now with new music feels just right. We’ve played in London a few times before, and we always felt a very supportive atmosphere at our concerts and beyond. Hopefully the Londoners will dig the new music as well

Anyone, the upcoming album from Chinah, is out this Friday 9th November. Vinyl pre-order here. And you can check out Chinah live at Bermondsey Social Club on 13th November – tix available on DICE.

Introducing Interview: Martha Hill

Fresh off the back of her second single ‘Wallflower’ being released, we threw some questions to Martha Hill, and were happily introduced to her excellent playlist ‘Women Are Mint‘, which we have firmly on repeat!

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
Thanks for having me! I just kind of stumbled into it. First as a hobby, but then it became a lifestyle – I was travelling around quite a bit and busking was how I got by.

You are originally from Scotland but left at 17 to travel across Europe busking. That must have been quite an eye-opening experience at 17?!
It was great to mission about and do loads of different things. I also got to play in different countries with a wide variety of musicians like Italian jazz flutists or old Spanish drummers – it definitely shaped me and the way I approach music.

And you are now living in Newcastle, what were your reasons for moving there? What’s the music scene like there?
My cousins are from there; my cousin Wilf (Dansi) is a musician, and I’d grown up having wee jams with them. They seemed to have this lifestyle that was a million miles away from what I knew, so I moved to be closer to them. The Newcastle music scene is incredible! It’s proper underground – you hear about Manchester’s scene a lot, or even Leeds, but rarely Newcastle’s. I feel like we all look out for each other a lot and support each other. Check out my Spotify playlist ‘Women Are Mint‘. It showcases female musicians based in the North East.

We’re loving your latest single ‘Wallflower’, which we’ve played on the radio show, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
My inspiration for this track came when a friend jokingly called me a wallflower (I’m not the quietest on a night out). I remember thinking that just because I’m loud, it doesn’t mean I’m unobservant, and sparked off a want to explore the different characters people wear. ‘Wallflower’ is a tongue-in-cheek song about the introvert hidden within every extrovert, exploring the different characters that each of us invent for ourselves. It also touches on subjects such as conformity and social anxiety.

 

Your first single ‘Spiders’ was received really well getting played on BBC 6 Music – that must have been pretty great?
Yeah it was surreal! Massive thanks to Tom Robinson for playing it.

How has your year been on the festival front?
Amazing. I had a really great show on Solfest mainstage, also at Camper Calling and Big Feastival. I always love wee Lindisfarne Festival – just a bunch of geordies in a field! I used to play trombone in a few festival bands, and my girlfriend runs a stall called the Canny Bonny Boudoir, so festivals are home turf for me haha.

You’re about to embark on a tour all over the UK including the Hope & Anchor in Islington on 2nd November? Are you looking forward to playing London again and how would you describe your live shows?
Yeah I love playing live. I’m a live musician before a recording artist definitely. I particularly love playing in smaller, more intimate venues where I can engage with the audience on a personal level.

What’s 2019 got in store for Martha Hill?
I recently got granted some funding from PRS Foundations Women Make Music, so I’m going to use that to get back into the studio. Definitely more live shows! Who knows really. I’m gonna keep creating music and seeing where it takes me.

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Dansi are well worth a listen to. Also I know Me Lost Me is about to release her debut album and she’s incredible! As I said – check out my Spotify playlist ‘Women Are Mint‘ – a lot of hidden gems in there.

Huge thanks to Martha for answering our questions!

Check out Martha Hill live at the Hope & Anchor on Friday 2nd November!

Guest Playlist: Jo Quail

In the run up to acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail‘s new album Exsolve, we asked her to put together a playlist of the artists and tracks that have influenced her throughout the years.

Watch Jo Quail’s trailer for the album here, with an excerpt of the track ‘Mandrel Cantus’:

Artists / Tracks that have influenced me:

Dead Can Dance – ‘Song of the Sybil’
My cousins playing this whole album to me when I was maybe 12, sitting on the steps outside their flat on a warm summer night. This careful, simple yet wholly powerful arrangement has stayed by my side over the years.

G Tom Mac – ‘Cry Little Sister’ (from The Lost Boys)
I remember watching The Lost Boys for the first time as a kid, and immediately rushing upstairs to the piano to play this theme back. I still love this track today (and the movie!).

Jane’s Addiction – ‘Three Days’
Perry Farrel’s vocals are unbridled in an almost animalistic fashion and this gives such space, it removes boundaries of precision in a way, yet there is so much precision in the whole track. It creates a kind of virile rawness that pervades ‘Three Days’, and much more of their music too.

Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 – ‘Adagio (final movement)’
I have to listen to this periodically. There’s an incredible YouTube performance conducted by Myung Whun Chung that I often visit. The whole symphony is stunning but this movement especially has a place in my heart. I played this years ago and for the first time felt the true power of a symphony orchestra, and knew first-hand the absolute intention in the weight and heaviness wrought from the instruments and performers.

Saul Williams – ‘Twice The First Time’
Awesome track. He’s mesmerising in live performance and has a real breadth to what he does in terms of arrangement, as well as brilliant lyrics. Watching him open for Nine Inch Nails was a huge and profound learning curve for me.

Ratt – ‘Round and Round’
I love Ratt for several reasons but in this track it’s the drive and the kind of confident (hedonistic!) attitude that pervades the writing and the live show too, it delivers in droves!

Arvo Part – ‘Fratres’ (for strings and percussion)
When I first heard this in concert I was completely moved. The harmonic movement of the strings, the rhythmic unison, coupled with the constant pedal A sparse and profound percussion. This is pure beauty.

Manuel De Falla – ‘Asturiana’
Beauty, grace and elegance. I have played this arranged for cello and piano, and also arranged and performed it as a cello quartet in a concert a few years back. The harmonies are close, and there is a gentle almost omnipresent movement in the piano or guitar underpinning the voice which, when it pauses, creates the most powerful space in the music.

Lana Del Rey – ‘Summertime Sadness
At home people like the Cedric Gervais remix particularly! The whole remix concept has influenced me a great deal, especially in the way I’ve dealt with pieces like ‘White Salt Stag’ in live performance, bringing the pace up a bit and making fuller use of percussion to drive things along, cutting things out or apparently ‘splicing’ them sonically speaking – changing bowing or phrasing to get a very different feel from a track that I’ve felt has been less settled previously.

Huge thanks to Jo Quail for selecting these tunes for us! Listen to them in our Guest Playlist here: 

 

Jo Quail’s upcoming album Exsolve is out 2nd November. 

Guest Blog: Artist Manager, Ella Gregg

In a new guest blog feature, 20 year old Ella Gregg shares her experience of being an artist manager, and her journey to get there… 

I began my career as an artist manager at the age of 18, almost completely accidentally.

Since the age of 15, I have always had an interest in emerging artists – listening to music by artists who people had never heard before, like knowing a secret that no one else knew.  Through social media platforms such as Twitter, I was involved in a community where new  artists were fighting for your attention and craving your support, and I began heavily supporting the artists I had discovered who I knew were worth supporting and putting my time into. I would promote these artists on social media and, without really knowing, I became a semi-guru in new music; artists would then start asking me to promote them in the same way I had promoted other people.

At the age of 17, I had just finished my A Levels and, after being a police cadet for 5 years, I was adamant I was going to take a gap year before joining my local police force. However, this didn’t go to plan. In the Summer of 2016, I was approached by artist development platform Secret Sessions, run by Harriet Jordan-Wrench, to join the team as an unpaid intern for the Summer. My role would be to invite emerging artists to join the platform which gave them the opportunities to apply for live shows and sync deals that the platform had on offer. I would have input in curating the secret live shows and choosing artists who would be appropriate for the opportunities we had available. To be able to have such an immediate and beneficial part to play in artists’ careers was incredible and I was completely in love with my job. I stayed at Secret Sessions a lot longer than just the Summer, scouting and working with over 1000 artists in 18 months.

Working and discovering new talent every day meant that I was going to come across gold dust and I did so in a band called Blushes. Their music was incomparable and I spent hours watching videos and listening to their music in awe. The band put me in contact with their manager at that time, and I set up a meeting with him for the next day. I explained what Secret Sessions did in depth and how I would love to have got Blushes involved, but instead he asked me if I would like to begin working for his management company, working alongside himself and Blushes.

So, at the age of 18, I began working with Blushes as their booking agent. I had absolutely no experience or contacts in booking gigs, but I wasn’t scared to learn on the job and I booked the band numerous shows, as well as their first UK tour. Within the first 6 months of managing Blushes, they completed their first UK tour, they had been featured by NME and their track ‘To The Bone’ had been played on BBC Radio 1. The great publicity and support from NME didn’t end there, Blushes have been featured in 2 separate articles since the first, they have been featured in NME’s 100 Artists for 2018 list, and they have had a 4 page spread in their magazine. With this confirmation that, hey, maybe I’m not doing too badly after all, I decided to set up my own management company and officially manage Blushes under my own name, with my own company – 321 Artists.

I’d be completely lying if I said it had been easy. Being a young artist manager with no experience is HARD. I’ve never made a huge thing of my age or gender in the work I do, but there have been many occasions where I’ve stopped and thought “Would you be speaking to me like that if I was 40 year old man?” because sometimes I feel as if that’s what it comes down to.

I’m in an incredibly fortunate position to be in such an impactful industry at such a young age, and I know I have a very long way to go, and a lot to learn, and I was very lucky with how I ended up working in the music industry. If I hadn’t been scouted, I don’t know if I would have been able to navigate the different avenues to get into the industry. That’s why my aim with 321 artists is to work closely with colleges and schools, giving young people the opportunity to experience the music industry – helping the next generation
of photographers, journalists, producers and artist managers to find their way into
the music industry.

Huge thanks to Ella for sharing her experience with us! Find out more about her company 321 Artists here