Track Of The Day: Yvonne Hercules – ‘Wolf Cry’

London based singer-songwriter Yvonne Hercules has released a truly mesmerising video for her new single ‘Wolf Cry’. Gentle stripped back guitars underpin Hercules’ powerful yet vulnerable vocals, giving a platform for the lyrics to shine through.

The video’s play on shadows and light is the perfect accompaniment to this song that explores the vulnerability of honesty within relationships, and the risks that can bring. Just beautiful.

‘Wolf Cry’ is taken from her beautiful EP Gladiolus, supported by the amazing PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music award.

Yvonne Hercules will be playing at The Finsbury, London on 9th July.

 

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Interview: FemRock

Here at GIHE HQ we’re currently counting down the days to FemRock‘s DIY not-for-profit gig night in Brighton on 30th June. Kindred spirits of ours, they are all about putting girls to the front and promoting women in music. We caught up with FemRock to get the low down on what to expect this year, the meaning behind their manifesto and the artists they’re loving right now.

Hi FemRock!  Congratulations on your second annual female-fronted festival! FemRock is a PR company, so can you tell us a bit about how you began?  What inspired you to setup FemRock?
Thank you so much! So, FemRock began in February 2013 in response to a lack of women’s representation in the music scene. I’d grown up with a passion for going to live shows and eventually noticed a real lack of line ups that involved women, let alone bands that were fronted by women and especially bands fronted by women being higher on the line-up than an opening slot. I was sick and tired, and questioned why there was such a lack of diversity in these line-ups. At first I thought that maybe women weren’t as involved in music as men were, due to the sexist nature of the music industry, but soon discovered that it went deeper than that; women were involved in music but all male and male-fronted bands were prioritised. So, when I moved to Brighton I decided to create what I believed the music scene’s I had been involved in before were lacking. Thus FemRock was born!

And what kicked things off for the FemRock Fest last year?
By the time we decided to create FemRock Fest we had been running for 4 years. It was around this time that the lack of diversity in festival line-ups was in the spotlight, and I’d built up a strong team around me to run FemRock together. So rather than waiting for existing festivals to correct this problem, we decided to create our own festival with a line-up that showed just how many amazing bands had women members and frontwomen!

As part of the FemRock Manifesto you make an emphasis on being feminist, d.i.y. and unapologetically political – can you expand on these for us and what they mean to you?
Feminism runs through everything we do, as individuals and as a team running FemRock. It felt important to state that explicitly in our manifesto – not only are we creating spaces for women to make and share music, we’re also placing that within the broader world of activism and the significance of lifting up the voices of women and other oppressed groups. We invite feminist groups to display flyers and petitions at our events, and work alongside local campaigns whenever possible. At our festival we always fundraise for relevant causes and provide spaces for organisations to display their information and talk to attendees. We don’t shy away from our politics, and we work hard to ensure that an accepting and loving culture is created at FemRock for people of all identities while recognising that we are all learning and growing. We don’t tolerate hatred and harassment, and we hope that our girls to the front ethos helps to create a night where everyone feels safe, heard and can have a great time too.

Here at GIHE we have massive respect for all those D.I.Y. artists out there, so it’s great to see an organisation supporting them by putting so many of them on your line up!  A couple of our favs are on there – in particular Charmpit, Militant Girlfriend and The Baby Seals – how did you go about picking the bands for the final line up?
It was a combination of us approaching bands we’ve watched and admired from afar and inviting back bands who are FemRock favourites that we’ve worked with in the past. A festival is a great way of bringing together all those bands together to create one stellar line-up and we’re so excited to have them all on one line-up – we feel so spoiled to have them all!

How do you all feel about the general lack of female headliners at a lot of big festivals at the moment?  
I don’t think there’s any excuse for the lack of diversity or lack of adequate representation on big festival line-ups and I don’t think it’s good enough to make a promise of correcting this by 2020, as many festivals have pledged, when there are so many talented bands involving women out there right now and who have been there for a long time, and simply gone unnoticed. We have a long way to go, but hopefully we’ll get there soon.

The festival is not just about music either is it?  You’ve got 2 vegan food stalls and a feminist marketplace – can you tell us a bit more about that? 
We’re very fortunate to have Cactus Kitchen Gals and Vegasmic catering our festival! Cactus Kitchen Gals do super tasty vegan junk food which is the perfect festival-fuel! Vegasmic will be selling delicious vegan sweets and treats! Our feminist marketplace was a huge hit last year so we decided to do it all over again! The marketplace is held in the courtyard of the venue and is made up of stallholders selling artwork, illustrations and creations and community organisations and activist groups. We also have DJ sets outside throughout the day to give a real festival vibe.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any particular new bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Some of our favourite bands that you’ve not already mentioned include Sit Down (YES! We LOVE them!), who are a Brighton-based garage-punk two piece whose frontwoman is also their drummer, she is a force to be reckoned with! We’re also HUGE fans of The Nyx, The Menstrual Cramps, Bloom, Jellie Rolls, The Great Malarkey and CLT DRP among SO many more. We could keep going forever…

Huge thanks to FemRock for answering our questions! 

Femrock’s second annual female-fronted festival returns to Brighton on Saturday 30th June at The Green Door Store. There’ll 10 female-fronted bands, 2 vegan food stalls, a Feminist Marketplace full of creatives and activists and outdoor DJ sets throughout the day. Ticket info here.

Full FemRock line-up:

The Baby Seals
Sit Down
Militant Girlfriend
Bitch Theme
Hussy
Charmpit
Hexmaze
Suburban Death Twitch
Gullsband
Quim Smashers

 

Introducing Interview: M.I.

Hot off the back of her latest release ‘Euphoria’ we caught up with East London born DIY, alternative R&B artist M.I. to talk about living in Leeds, being a DIY artist and an excellent list of new music artists to shout out!

And what a pleasure it was…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit yourself – who is M.I and how did it all get started?
Hello! Thank you for having me (or featuring me lol). Where it started…? I’ve always loved the music since I was a kid. Mum played Motown classics all the time. I also went to theatre schools on the weekends throughout secondary school and then I decided I wanted to do it all day, everyday. So I studied music in college then came to Leeds to continue. When I initially started gigging it was under the name ‘Miss Idele’. I enjoyed it but I realised that it wasn’t a true representation of me. I wasn’t a ‘sassy soulstress’ all the time and I got a bit tired of trying to be that at every performance/appearance. So I created M.I.
M.I I would say is kind of a culmination of all the different aspects of me. So she’s got the sass of Miss Idele, but she’s also vulnerable, scared and anxious. With M.I there are no expectations or limitations.  She can be anything or everything she wants to be.

And you’re originally from East London (where GIHE HQ is!), what made you make the move to Leeds?
Yes, E17 all day everyday! Hahaha. I moved because of the choice I made to go to Leeds College Of Music (LCOM). It was a tie between there or Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). As soon as I got to Leeds it felt like a second home immediately, and it helped that three friends from college were coming to Leeds too!

Leeds has a great music scene, do you find it very different to London’s?
The Leeds music scene is great. Lots of talent all around. I have to give a whole heap of praise to DJ Lubi for giving a lot of us opportunities to gig around some of the best venues, line ups and promoters! I do think the London scene is a bit different – the music scene is huge with lots of different things happening. Unfortunately from what I know, I feel like the London music scene is kind of people saying the same thing over the same type of music. Something I really appreciate is coming to Leeds to find my sound and what I like and/or dislike, and what I have to say that can impact, that is honest. Having said that I do feel like the London scene would cater more to my sound than Leeds would. I think Leeds has a soft spot for Jazz, Afro Beats or singer-songwriters!

You are a DIY artist which we respect so much, was this a conscious decision to keep more control over your music? How do you find being a DIY artist?
I’m neither happy or sad to be a DIY artist. I don’t think I can see it any other way right now as I know what I want, I’m very involved in all aspects like the writing, arrangement and production. So, unless the perfect recording contract came along giving me that same amount of control, I’m happy to stick with being a D.I.Y artist! I must say though, it is sometimes easy to be a DIY artist because I don’t see music as a task or job. Sometimes I don’t even see it as a career. It’s my passion so it will always be a part of me whether I become a huge superstar or not. I think the only big struggle with being DIY is there isn’t a big company funding you so you kinda have to find ways to literally DIY, hahaha (sorry, bad joke).

We’re loving the new single ‘Euphoria’ at Get In Her Ears HQ and have played it on our radio show! Can you tell us a bit about the song and what inspired it?
Euphoria!!! The first song I ever wrote. It was surprisingly easy to write despite having never written before and not thinking I could. I just started improvising to an instrumental on youtube and boom! It appeared! I think what helped is that I needed to get something of my chest… I didn’t realise it at the time but writing was my outlet. My inspiration for that song was a guy I liked…! I wrote it as a kind of letter I suppose. We were both dealing with a huge change in our lives and I was kind of writing to myself as well.  Telling myself (and him) to try something new, to escape reality (funnily enough most of my songs became about escaping). I really enjoyed writing it as if it was a breath of fresh air, instead of making it direct which gives it a freedom to mean the listeners interpret it to be.

 

Am I right in thinking you are part of a vocal group called Leeds Contemporary Singers? Who have performed with the likes of Kelis? That must have been amazing!
Yes!  L.C.S!!!  I absolutely adore them! Yes we have! We also performed with Will Young who was one of our mentors on the show! We also got to see Jermaine Jackson, Nick Jonas, Seal and my number one idol CHAKA KHAN!!  Definitely the big highlight of 2017!!!

At Get In Her Ears we’re about promoting and supporting women in music, hoping for a day when people can talk about good music no matter what the artist’s gender is on an equal basis. Do you find as a woman that people label you as a ‘female’ artist rather than an ‘artist’? If so how do you feel about that?
Sadly I think my race is picked up on before my gender. So kind of a double whammy there.  Most of the time, despite my change in image/sound, I’m labelled as a “Soulstress” or “Gospel Singer”. It’s something I really struggled with in University, people just assuming what I do and limiting me to that. Most of the time I got labelled as a backing vocalist. I think a lot of the time people think because I’m a female, all I do is sing and if I play an instrument too an even bigger achievement. But yes I sing, I can accompany myself on a piano but I also write, arrange and produce my songs. I may not be the best producer but I know what I want and it was really hard finding producers who let you do you. I found a lot of producers try and force what they want for you, upon you and ignore when you disagree or try to have an opinion on your own songs! When speaking to male artists, they never seem to have that issue. I think that enforces my being DIY as well as I do not have the time or the patience to deal with it.

What’s 2018 got in store for M.I.?
2018!!  Reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time!!  I plan to ‘snatch wigs’, be the best version of me musically and personally, put in the work and leave the rest to GOD! I want to release a couple more tracks throughout the year and get some gigs in. But other than that, I’m gonna live my BEST LIFE!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
New music! I love supporting friends so here is a nice list! I’m mentioning producers, instrumentalists and writers because I think it’s important to shed light on people behind the spotlight – they’re all important too!! Becky Bowe, Loux, Park fires and Luna Pines recently released new singles. The compilation album by Sixteen Records compiled by Lotte Van Den Berg is full of loads of upcoming artists/bands in and around Leeds – Ofure Faith, Dija Bhlue, Mali Hayes and Jermaine Peterson – amazing artists! Chloe Rianna – best drummer I know! Kieran Williams – greatest songwriter I know, he’s written a couple of bops including BBC Radio 1’s Track Of The Week ‘I’m Not Ever Coming Back again’ (I’ve also got a couple of bops coming out with him). Akin Music – he co-produced ‘Euphoria’ and a couple of other tracks of mine, AND he’s opening for Lalah Hathaway in July in Leeds!  Monkey Harper – he’s a producer, he’s got some bops coming out too! And he co-produced ‘Euphoria’ and a couple of other tracks. I could actually go on but I think that’s enough!!!

‘Euphoria’ is out now, check out more from M.I. via her socials – Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Introducing Interview: Chymes

When I find myself describing a track as “so chill, I can’t even” I know it deserves a solid place on my current playlist, and that’s exactly what happened with ‘Dreaming’, the latest release from Sydney duo Chymes. We caught up with Kiersten – one half of Chymes – to talk about how it all began, Australia’s music scene and what equal billing is really about.

Welcome to Get In Her Ears!  Can you tell us a bit about Chymes and how it all started?
Thanks for having me! Chymes came about when I was writing my own music as a folk artist and needed a producer. I found Cameron through some mutual friends and we began working together. We started to turn what we were creating into something neither of us had explored before. We found we had similar ambitions and decided to pursue them together as Chymes.

So you are currently in Australia… Have you ever visited the UK?  If so do you think there is a difference between the two scenes?
I visited the UK two years ago just before Christmas to see my sister who was living there at the time. I wasn’t there long enough to check out the music scene. However it seems to have a really artistic and creative vibe and in the future I’d LOVE to go back and perform our music and write with other musicians.

Australia (Melbourne especially) has such an incredible music scene, with so many great artists emerging. Would you say there is much of a community among emerging artists over there?
There are some seriously talented people coming out of Australia and it is very exciting! All kinds of music too, which is great. In terms of a community… Not really. From what we’ve experienced, it is hard to get in touch with other artists because everyone is hustling and focusing on their own path. In saying that though, we have made really good friends with lots of people who we’ve met through doing shows and often invite each other back for more.
Also, Chymes HQ is an hour and a half away from Sydney and it makes it hard for us to be properly involved in a community if there was one.

We’re loving your latest single ‘Dreaming’ which we played on our radio show, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
Yay! We are sooo glad you like it. It’s about that euphoric feeling when you experience something that feels larger than life, like coming up with a new idea or falling in love and how you find yourself being whisked away into another world or a dream-like place. It’s how we feel when we make music.


Here in London there is a big movement to promote and support women in music, and increase the representation of women & non-binary people in the music industry. I was wondering what the scene is like in Australia?

We definitely feel like it’s growing. The last festival we played at had a designated stage for ‘female artists only’ which is cool. And there are a few “mini festivals” & shows popping up advertising female only line-ups.

Do you have any thoughts on what we can do to combat these issues in the music industry such as equal billing on festival and gig line ups?
Creating awareness around the value that these people have in the industry. Let’s just pay attention to the fact that a woman’s skill set is just as good as anyone else’s and that’s why there should be equal billing, not just because they are suppressed.

Many people I’ve talked to say that more often than not, being a woman is highlighted over the music you are producing. What has your experience been like?
We haven’t experienced too much of that ourselves. I can see why it would be frustrating because it actually has nothing to do with the music. In my experience, I often find an emphasis on how young a female artist is. Which is annoying! As if there wasn’t already enough pressure on women to stay or look young.

Do you have any plans to come to the UK in the future?  We’d love to see you live!
We would seriously LOVE to but unfortunately there aren’t any plans yet. Hopefully soon!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Omg yes, you MUST check out a band called Refs – my absolute favourite song is called ‘Fools’.

Chymes’ single ‘Dreaming‘ is out now, find out more via their socials Facebook | Soundcloud
Instagram

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Track of the Day: AyOwA – ‘Alt Det Du Ku’

AyOwA are without a doubt my favourite Danish act. I’m a true sucker for a claustrophobic synth jam, and these two more than deliver on that front, each and every time. This is their new single ‘Alt Det Du Ku’ released via Music For Dreams and taken from their upcoming EP Goodbye. This track is still a distinctly electronic track with the modular synths and old tape machines but there is also an exploration into the acoustic. A song about standing between break-ups and breakthroughs and in the abstract of looking forward to the future whilst being back in time simultaneously.

The rhythm is feverishly infectious and with those haunting vocals sung in Danish by Hannah Schneider, ‘Alt Det Du Ku’ kidnaps your attention and holds you captive right to the end.

 

‘Alt Det Du Ku’ is out now, check out AyOwA’s socials for more music and updates.

Facebook | Twitter
Instagram

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Introducing Interview: Candice Gordon

Candice Gordon is a Berlin based Irish artist who delivered a big slice of high-tension, trashy, garage rock with her latest single ‘The Kids Are Alt Right’. We talked about the mundanity of mainstream music and pop-culture phenomenons, before she signed off with an excellent list of artists that she recommends. Oh, and a shout out to a lost pair of her most valued black jeans.

Hi Candice, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
I don’t think there was one definitive lightning bolt of a moment for me. It was a part of my personality to be turned on by exploration and adventure. From when I was a kid I loved the freedom and independence that busking allowed me. I travelled with my guitar and later with a crystal ball. Songwriting as an artform also appealed to me from early on.

You are originally from Ireland but now living in Berlin, what were your reasons for moving to Berlin?
Before Ireland I lived in Botswana. I had been living in Ireland for long enough that I wanted to get the fuck out again. I was depressed and suicidal, and Berlin seemed to be a decent option, and when I first came here it felt really right. I like the grassroots movements that happen in Berlin. At the moment there is a fightback against Google moving into a neighbourhood. I don’t think that sort of thing is common in a lot of other places. In Ireland they welcomed Google, Apple, and Facebook with open arms and tax breaks.

What are the differences between the music scenes in Berlin and Ireland?
Both Germany and Ireland have terrible taste when it comes to mainstream music. But I’m in Italy at the moment and there’s that common thread of god awful music on most all the radio stations, so I don’t know if there’s a place in the world that’s immune. There’s a lot of talent in Ireland for such a small country, but it’s not getting nurtured and celebrated like it should. Berlin is comparatively huge so there’s a huge amount of artists. A lot of great artists live here. I think in Berlin there’s an effort to push boundaries and break standards. I like that.

We’re loving your latest single ‘The Kids Are Alt Right’ (great name) – can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
I was looking at modern culture and the alt-right movement. When there’s the idea that young people are progressive, looking forward, and open-minded, it’s a surprise to discover that they are conservative traditionalists, looking backward. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “alt” means “old” in German. Every time I see another pop-cultural phenomenon my expectations in humanity are lowered yet again. Be it ‘Gangnam Style’, or Nigel Farage. I think they’re all the same. It’s mob mentality and veneration. The chorus is a play on The Who song, but I don’t think they’re alright. I think they’re fucked. We’re fucked. But yeah, the song is roughly about data analytics and propaganda. On a deeper level, I think capitalism causes media to do shitty jobs – they can’t afford to have integrity, so they give Farage a microphone because he’s entertaining.


Am I right in thinking that it was aptly recorded in a basement in Texas soon after Trump’s inauguration? And you have been targeted by members of the alt-right online since it started streaming?

Yeah, I recorded it in Texas. We went over last year and the only food I could afford was tacos and donuts. Yeah, because of YouTube and Facebook algorithms, when I put the song up it got directed to alt-right people and they write comments and emojis, but it’s probably time sensitive because it was only during the first week or so. I feel if they are distracted by my video it’s serving a valuable purpose. The finished video is coming soon though, so fingers crossed I can catch some trolls.

The single was launched at Berghain in Berlin, how was the party?
It was a great gig. I lost a bag with my most valued black jeans and red Hawaiian shirt though, if anyone finds it.

Your music has been described in such a variety of ways from “gothic guitar-noir” to “garage rock raucousness” to “sweetly dark folk-tinged music” … Do you feel that you fall into any of these descriptions?
Yes, I think they’re all really good descriptions of elements of what I do. But I think genres are for marketers.

You are in the midst of your current tour, how’s that all going?
I am currently in Terni, Italy, eating cherries and drinking coffee in the sun. So it’s not bad. Great shows, great audiences, not enough sleep, too much car. Unsurprisingly incredible food.

What can fans expect from your live shows? And, more importantly, are you planning on coming to the UK anytime soon??
Let’s see… There’s drums, bass, synth, electric guitar. Sometimes there’s other instruments. I sing. I wear shoes. People clap. I sing some more. I was planning on a London show but now I’m booked up until I don’t know when!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
A.S. Fanning – lyrics and tone to die for.
Alice Dean – acid beat straight from the lab.
Louis Brennan – Sartorial quips in song form.
Nina Hynes – fourth dimensional.
Paddy Hanna – manufactures earworms.
Badhands – sensationally crafted songs.
Gordon Raphael – endlessly entertaining.
Medicine Boy – representing psychedelic desert blues from Cape Town.

Huge thanks to Candice for answering our questions! 

Track Of The Day: Zoey Lily (feat. Indigo Svn) – ‘Not There’

I’ve been a strong fan of Zoey Lily and everything she’s put out from the moment she popped into our inbox in 2015. Her music always delivers with its electro beats, catchy melodies and Zoey’s distinctive vocals. ‘Not There’ feat. Indigo Svn is no different. With her last single ‘Last Goodbye’ only released last month, she’s back already with her next release. And if there all as good as this… Then keep ’em coming Zoey!

‘Not There’ features American rapper Indigo Svn – him and Zoey were first brought together when she attended one of his shows in North London. The track defies the physical odds of living on the other side of the planet by recording the track within a day and Indigo SVN sending his contributions from his Brooklyn bedroom studio all the way over to the UK. Of the track Indigo SVN says, “In my eyes the project was the dominos falling in the most seamless way. I was in a great reflective mode when the song was brought to my ears and it was the therapy I needed, she helped me step out of my box a bit more too which is alway great when bringing new music to the people.”

I’m continually entranced by Zoey Lily’s hushed and at times haunting vocals and, combined with Indigo SVN on this track, I think it makes for a perfect union.

 

Check out Zoey Lily’s Soundcloud for more of her music and follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Tash Walker 
@maudeandtrevor