PREMIERE: Lewin – ‘Sorrow’

Ahead of the release of her upcoming debut album, songwriter and musician Jara Holdert, aka Lewin, has now shared her poignant new single.

Written while she was still in a relationship with her muse and producer Aaron Ahrends, ‘Sorrow’ imagines how her love might leave her. Filled with shimmering melodies and the impassioned rich tone of Holdert’s soaring vocals, it oozes a heartfelt delicate emotion, resulting in a truly stirring and thought-provoking slice of melancholic alt-folk, with shades of the blissful allure of Laura Marling.

Adding an immense poignancy, ironically a year after writing the song, the song’s prophecy seemed to come true; Ahrends moved away to Berlin without warning, thus ending their relationship and leaving Holdert heartbroken.

Releasing ‘Sorrow’, Lewin has shared a live rendition capturing the raw energy of her performance, ironically recorded by Ahrends who stopped filming before the end of the song, and so the video then switches to moving footage of the landscape seen on a train journey to Berlin.

Watch the beautifully heart-rending video here:

‘Sorrow’ is out tomorrow, 21st February.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Five Favourites: DRAMA

Following a recent sold-out show at London’s Heaven, Chicago duo DRAMA have just released their debut album and are fast becoming firm favourites here at Get In Her Ears.

Fusing together an eclectic mix of house production, jazz-infused hooks and catchy hip-hop beats, DRAMA create poignant offerings reflecting on every day emotion, propelled by the captivating soulful power of Via Rosa’s vocals.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Via Rosa, who has shared her “Five Favourites” – five albums that particularly resonate with her. Check out her choices below, and make sure you watch their new video for ‘Years’ at the bottom of this post.

Brandy – Brandy
I remember the day my mom took me to Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas. She asked this guy “My daughter wants to listen to hip-hop/RnB can you help me find something for her?” He sent us into the little listening room in the record store and played this album. The minute the first track dropped I looked at my mom like “Yes! I want this!” I played that tape front to back ’til it didn’t play anymore. I just loved it. Looking back, I think it had a lot to do with it being the first album I was allowed to have a say in owning. Before that I was only allowed to listen to what my parents listened to.

N SYNC – *NSYNC
This is obviously me rebelling. I spent so many years listening to my parent’s reggae and mo-town collection that I wanted something completely different. I fell hard for N Sync, later to find out I really fell for Max Martin who was writing everyone’s hits in the ’90s. I mean, how could a young girl not love those catchy heartbreak songs? I had never even been in a relationship and I still somehow felt that shit! Every song was like an open wound. I defended’s honour for many years, and for my 9th birthday my dad bought me tickets to their concert! That changed my life 100% because that show was flawless.

Sade – Live
My mom played a lot of Sade’s music. We would stay up together and watch her live shows on VHS, sometime even dance ’til the sun came up, listening to and watching this album and video. I memorised the set list and all the transitions. I memorised her outfit changes and what she would say between songs and the band solos. Not because I had plans of being on stage, but just ’cause I absolutely loved them. People have compared our sounds and while it wasn’t on purpose, it’s definitely not a coincidence either. If I had to pinpoint a moment and album in life that sparked the fan girl in me, it would definitely be this one.

Ludacris – Word Of Mouf 
This was the first rap album I bought with my own money. I thought the album cover was fantastic because it made me laugh. I’m pretty sure that’s why I bought it, because I definitely didn’t know who he was beforehand. It probably wasn’t the smartest purchase considering I was only about twelve or thirteen at the time. I felt like the coolest kid ever with that album in my collection. He was so animated and funny while still being honest, real and entertaining. It took my parents a long time to let me listen to mainstream rap music, but Ludacris was my introduction to that world, so I’ll forever be grateful for that album. I still think it’s one of the best ever made.

Weezer – Pinkerton 
I had a crush on a boy and he asked me if I had heard of Weezer. I instantly replied “Oh yeah, of course. I love them”, knowing damn well all I only really was NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. I guess I lied because I knew it would make me look cool. I must have been about eight years old or something. But then when I actually did listen to that album I liked it A LOT. The songs are amazingly written! The music is perfect! The cover!? AMAZING. Then there I was, a Weezer fan. The boy crush didn’t last, of course, but I went on to cherish this album for many years. I just think it’s really well put together from start to finish, which is not an easy thing to do.

Massive thanks to Via Rosa for sharing her Five Favourites! 

DRAMA’s debut album Dance Without Me is out now. Watch the video for new single ‘Years’ below:

Photo Credit: Zoe Rain

GIHE Behind The Scenes: Reckless Yes’ Sarah Lay

Here at Get In Her Ears, we’ve been committed to promoting female identifying and non binary bands and artists for a while now, so we thought it was about time we also focus on those amazing womxn working hard behind the scenes in the industry!

Following our feature with Alex and Phoebe from Southbank Centre , and with Kate and Frankie from PR company Stereo Sanctity, in the third in our ‘Behind The Scenes’ series, Mari had a chat with Sarah Lay from record label Reckless Yes. She’s works ethically with all the artists on their incredible roster, helping them to release and distribute their music, and so much more! So many of our favourite bands and artists are on Reckless Yes, and we’ve loved working with Sarah for a while now!

Find out about all the hard work she does, and her experience as a woman working in the music industry, below…

Hi Sarah, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how it all started at Reckless Yes?
I’m co-founder and head of creative at independent record label Reckless Yes, a music journalist (sometimes for Get In Her Ears among other publications), a former editor, a music PR, author, and a digital content strategist. I’ve been writing about music since I was a teenager and I think I was about 16 when I first said I wanted to run a record label. I loved not only discovering new bands but supporting them to get where they wanted to go, helping them work the business side so they could be creative. I did little bits of music management here and there over the years as well as putting on shows and having a whole separate career doing digital stuff, mainly in the public sector, but the timing wasn’t right until more recently to become a record label.

Reckless Yes is in its fourth year now and is a label which works ethically with artists, making sure they are paid and treated fairly, supported by a membership as well as music fans, and generally here to disrupt the industry. My co-founder Pete Darrington was a professional musician, and while we’re both from the same small city and knocked around the same scene for twenty years. The first time we really chatted was when he wrote an article for the publication I was editor at (Louder Than War) in late 2015. We quite quickly decided we were going to put on some shows together – with a bit of a difference – and that grew within a few months to becoming a record label.

It was a bit of a surprise when it happened. We’d talked about maybe doing it one day somewhere in the future, but it ended up happening much sooner than we thought. Reckless Yes is an attitude as much as a name – so when opportunities arrive which feel outside of your comfort zone, that’s when you say a ‘reckless yes’ and see where the adventure takes you. We did just that to starting up as a label. When we knew we were going to be putting out records there were a few bands I definitely wanted to chat to about working with. LIINES were at the top of the list. I’d been covering them for a while at Louder Than War and loved their sound and what they were about. We saw them play a tiny show in Sheffield in March 2016 and they joined us shortly afterwards alongside a raft of others. 

We’ve put out more than fifty releases since then and have had about twenty five bands through our doors. Our roster is like a family, definitely a community, so it’s amazing that so many bands have chosen to stay with us and see the benefit of being part of what we do. We’ve also done other stuff around releasing music; we’ve published books, put on shows, and managed bands including LIINES. We’re really starting to get into our stride as a label now with a membership supporting us and our releases reaching bigger audiences meaning brilliant opportunities open up for the bands. 

It’s really important to us both that we aren’t exploiting the artists  – they’re the only reason we exist after all – and are working on how the label can be a force for social good as well as a way to release and promote music. We have some really exciting things coming up for us and our roster over the next twelve months. 

Can you explain a little about what your job as a record label entails?
Overall as a label we’re here to support artists to release their music, find people who love it, and achieve whatever they deem is success. At a practical level it’s about manufacturing and distributing music, promoting it, and opening up opportunities for artists. As artists can do all of that directly for themselves we believe the value of a label is giving access to the bits which are harder to do DIY or take longer to build, help artists scale so the business of being a band doesn’t diminish the creativity needed. For music fans and our members we’re here to be a trusted source of curation. Reckless Yes is also here to challenge the bits of the industry which serve themselves before artists or fans, and to find ways to make new technologies work to the benefit of creators. 

We’re a really small team so my individual role within it is broad. It roughly separates into me looking after everything on the promotion and marketing side, including looking after our members, while Pete looks after the production side. We take a shared approach to A&R and make decisions about the roster together. We’re just starting to take on more team members to help us now everything is growing. 

My day-to-day can be quite varied: everything from strategic planning and financing for the label as a business, through to coming up with and delivering the PR and digital marketing, as well as looking after the membership community we’re growing, keeping the roster up to date with what’s happening beyond their own releases, looking after and developing the brand and our divisions, and trying to keep on top of the accounting. We’re very hands on and still true to our DIY roots so I also do all the mailing out of orders – I can be down the village Post Office one day, and negotiating a partnership with a supplier for something to happen on the other side of the world the next! 

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Without a doubt it’s working with the artists and other creatives, and being part of the community we’ve built. It’s absolutely a privilege to support such fantastic musicians who are also wonderful people to know. I learn so much from them all and it’s an honour when someone trusts you with the art they’ve made. I love finding ways to get it to people who might fall in love with it, for who it might become their favourite song or the band that gets them through something  – it’s magic and different every time. And I love working out with Pete how we keep Reckless Yes growing into a label which disrupts the industry but stays committed to working ethically, and lives our social and environmental values. We don’t want to be just another record label, or in this purely for our own personal gain. We don’t just want to say stuff is important but not follow up with action, or have ideas which don’t get implemented.

I guess it all boils down to my favourite part being connection, having the opportunity to turn possibilities into reality, and using my skills and experience to build something of value. 

And do you have a least favourite part…?
On a personal level, not really! There are definitely worse ways I could be spending my time or jobs to have. 

Anytime the respect turns out not to be mutual – while thankfully rare – is pretty horrible to work through. Right now there’s little personal financial reward (we put back into the label) so when someone is shitty, dismissive of the effort taken, or money-grabbing, that’s a real kicker and hard not to take personally. More generally it’s frustrating when an artist doesn’t reach as big an audience as we believe they should – not because they aren’t amazing or we haven’t put the effort in but because mainstream music is set up for such a narrow sound and type of artist. 

And it’s disheartening to see so many artists getting a bad deal and being undermined by an industry which relies on them. That might be on a wide scale, like streaming payments or live fees, or down to there being plenty of people around whose enthusiasm and skill starts and ends with taking the money. There are artists who are unscrupulous too and while they’re unlikely to have the reach to screw someone like Spotify over or even be someone we’d work with, it’s disappointing to see people with poor values or actions continue to get coverage and support. 

The industry will only change if individuals stand up against what’s wrong, so my least favourite part is seeing people turn away from the hard conversations, or the tricky work, and the status quo be maintained through inaction. 

Reckless Yes is home to some of our favourite bands and artists (including Bugeye, Captain Handsome, Eilis Frawley, Grawl!x  LIINES and more!), How do you normally go about choosing who to work with? Do you get in touch with them, or would they normally approach you?
We’re glad to hear you love so many of our bands – we do too! Our roster is more like a family than a business, and the records we’ve put out (or are working on now) are genuinely among our personal favourites. We’ve only signed a couple of artists after an approach to us, and the rest were artists we were aware of already and wanted to work with. A lot of those we discovered through my work as a music journalist, or through other bands nudging us toward them. 

We also love blogs like Get In Her Ears, for championing new music and introducing us to lots of ace artists and tracks. That DIY network is so important to bringing the right people together at the right time. Eilis Frawley found us through recommendations after asking on the Loud Women Facebook Group, Turkish Delight were recommended to us by a Boston label and blog Iheartnoise who just thought we’d love them based on what we were playing on our old radio show. We really value recommendations like that. 

We definitely tend to be more proactive than reactive in building our roster though. Pete was given some advice when he was a musician which has really stuck with us and been born out by our experience as a label: if you’re sending out demos you probably aren’t ready for a record deal. We’ve found this to be pretty true, especially when there is so much artists can do for themselves without a label these days. So, even with artists who’ve contacted us and we’ve ended up working with then we’ve been aware of their music beforehand as they’re out there doing things for themselves and are looking for a partner to help them grow, not a company to do it all the work while they reap the rewards. They’ve also looked at Reckless Yes and our roster and can see why they are a fit, and say something about why what we do appeals to them – we don’t ever want to be contacted as part of a blanket email to as many labels as they could find contact details for. 

We aren’t just looking for amazing music when we consider an artist – although this is a key factor! – but also their approach. Artists who are building something and making opportunities for themselves, and then are also a match with us in values. We only work with artists who hit all three of those markers.

It is also noticeable that a great percentage of the artists on your roster are female-identifying/non binary, which obviously we’re super pleased about! Is this a conscious decision on your part, or does it simply work out that way by chance?
A bit of both. We’re committed to supporting under-represented artists, and we both find that the most interesting music around right now is coming from non-male musicians. More than half of our current roster identify as female or non-binary. And it’s not been hard to build our really amazing roster at all so we know that when something like festival line-ups continue to be male-dominated, the issue isn’t non-male artists being too hard to find, it’s either laziness or sexism on the part of the promoter. 

We’re also committed to making our roster a safe-space so we’d hope that those who identify as something other than white cis males feel we make a good home for them (and that the white cis males who are on our roster or who work with us also feel at home, but know it’s part of their role to be an ally to others). We want to hear and support individuals’ experiences as well as release and promote their music. 

The roster could still be more diverse – in sound and in the artists making the music – and this is something we’re working toward and are completely open and welcoming to hearing how we can do better. 

How have you found being a womxn in the music industry? Are there any obstacles you’ve come across because of your gender?
I think my experience may be fairly typical for womxn in the music industry. We’ve found some people wrongly assume the power dynamic at Reckless Yes based on our genders. Some go right ahead and assume Pete is fully in charge and making the decisions, while I’m just here to do the admin and laugh in the right places to flatter egos. They address everything to him, and I become somewhat invisible (and that seems to only be getting worse now I’m over 40). It’s not an assumption we tolerate well and it’s something we both work together to challenge back on. 

As a music journalist I’ve faced the assumption I’m writing about male musicians because I want to fuck them, or that I can’t write about music with as much authority or knowledge as a man. I’ve had personal abuse over working as a journalist – way beyond disagreements with a viewpoint in a piece I’ve written, and that saying “even the least qualified man is a better choice than the most qualified women” has definitely rung true at times. Thankfully not often and it is a view less openly tolerated than it used to be.

The female experience of being a music fan is also often dismissed or diminished and a lot of men working in the industry seem oblivious to the hidden gender obstacles, or how patriarchal structures are bad for us all.

On a different level to that entirely – the #metoo movement was very personal. I’ve not spoken openly about my own experiences, but like so many others I’ve had them and the movement is vital. I was long overdue facing things which I’d experienced while working in the music industry when the movement came along and it was comforting and distressing at the same time to know I wasn’t alone. At Reckless Yes we’ll always support survivors of abuse. 

A lot of gender obstacles are quite subtle, so hard to challenge on while deeply felt. Sometimes it is proactive and hateful, but more often it is casual or ingrained. It’s not always on the scale of assault or abuse, but overtime those smaller obstacles and dismissals do add up. I find it pretty tiring to need to justify my place and my value because of my gender, before I can get to doing the job I’m here to do or sharing what I love, but I also recognise I have a level of privilege as a white cis woman. There’s perspective in understanding that.  

And it isn’t all struggle. I’ve found huge reassurance and support from other womxn in the industry, not just through shared experience but in supporting each other. She Said So, Loud Women, Get In Her Ears, the whole Reckless Yes roster, and individuals like Wendy Smith at Music Industry Speakers, author Jennifer Otter-Bikerdike, artist Catherine Anne-Davies… all these networks, connections, and mutual supporters are so hugely important generally and have been vital to me personally in learning how to navigate work, have the confidence to challenge back and be seen, and see other womxn out there being successful in the industry. It’s really important womxn raise others up and celebrate each success – we’re not in competition with each other after all – and make ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ irrelevant through being visible in what we do. 

Male allies too are important and can really help to make the change happen – I wouldn’t work with Pete if he wasn’t willing to give and share credit, to stand aside so I can come forward, speak out when he sees something wrong, and be open to learning how to be an even better ally. We’re both learning how to do better, be more supportive and take positive actions, all the time. 

Experiences in the industry come down to individuals and we need the supporting networks, the allies, and the challenge, if things are to change and get better for all of us. 

And what advice would you give to other female-identifying people wanting to get work in music management?
You are vital to the future of the music industry so don’t be afraid or not have the confidence to get involved, join or start discussions, and find ways to implement your ideas. Be brave and reach out to the networks that exist to support you and give back what you get from them. Find someone you can be inspired by – even better if you can connect with them and get their advice. Don’t feel you’re in competition with other womxn, or with anyone but yourself really.Don’t feel you have to ‘be’ a certain way to do what you want to. I’m a 40-year-old socially anxious mum of two living in Derbyshire running another business as well as a record label so probably as far away from any stereotype of a music industry professional as you can get. None of that defines me or is going to stop me from doing the work which I want to, or seeing the value in what I bring to the label and our community of artists. 

And look after yourself. Self-care is a radical act in these times; such a necessary one, yet the easiest to pop to the bottom of the to do list. I learnt the hard-way by burning out and I really don’t recommend it. 

Reckless Yes have also recently pledged to ‘Save The Planet’ and to be more environmentally friendly in all they do – can you tell us more about this?
We’re fully behind the Music Declares assertion that there is “no music on a dead planet” and are doing what we can to educate ourselves about the impact making and distributing music has. We’re moving toward better, greener, choices in what we do. Whether that is for for packaging – both the artistic and mailing kinds – the vinyl we press, reducing single-use plastics as much as we can (shrink-wrapping needs to go!), and looking at our distribution to try and cut down on air freight. 

We’re also supporting our artists to make sustainable choices around merch and touring, and pointing our followers and members at information about being a greener music listener. We try and find partners and suppliers who are as committed to our values as us. Our pressing partner DMS have been great as they’re already doing work to source green and sustainable options and it’s been ace to provide a joint membership with Last Night From Glasgow, a not-for-profit label with an amazing roster and an intention to disrupt the industry. 

There’s individual choices we can make too – for me that’s about being more mindful of the impact what I eat has on the environment, or how green my travel choices are, and making the Reckless Yes home office as green as I can. I’m learning all the time – Reckless Yes alumni Nash, of the band Mower, now has a great blog about all this stuff which I learn a lot from. 

We also give back from the label profits – each month we’re giving to tree planting charities or other good causes. That’s an example really of how our environmental commitments sit side by side with our social ones (you can find them here: http://recklessyes.com/about/social-environmental-commitments/), and our ethical approach to working with artists. We believe in collaboration not competition, looking after each other’s wellbeing, and that a record label can be a force for social good and so much more than a commercial enterprise. We’d love to see more labels and music organisations taking this approach and not just disrupting for their own ends. 

Reckless Yes probably can’t save the planet single-handedly and so much of the future of the planet is in the control of a few big corporations but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our bit, and find the right way rather than the just the easy way, to be a label. 

Finally, as we’re a new music website, are there any other upcoming bands or artists that you’re loving at the moment and would recommend we check out?
Of course I’m going to recommend checking out the artists on our roster – our next releases are from Grawl!x, GodNo!, Bugeye, and Fightmilk. Later in the year we’ve an amazing record from Order of the Toad people need to check out, plus new music from Chorusgirl and Eilis Frawley already confirmed – pretty sure there’ll be other stuff to announce too. 

Away from Reckless Yes I’ve been loving Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something, Sink Ya Teeth, Breakup Haircut, Charmpit, Slime City, and of course Dream Nails. I’ve started keeping a playlist of new music as there’s so much good stuff around at the moment – Gold Baby, Jeerleader, HANYA!. I’m a sucker for that bubblegum pop punk sound, so anything from Upset is a winner. I also love seeing what bands come from First Timers Fest each year. We signed Panic Pocket after they began there and we love everything about that festival from the ethos to the music which comes from it. 

I think most of the artists I love Get In Her Ears are already supporting – I’d love to hear more recommendations and particularly love to hear about artists outside of the UK who are doing something different. Guitar bands are great and my love for them is going nowhere but music is so much wider than that sound – if anyone wants to send me links to good stuff on social media, I am open to that! 

Anything else you’d like to mention?
We’ve opened our doors to a membership for the first time this year – as a way to help people discover new bands, save themselves some money in doing so, but still support independent artists. It’s an all round win – all our 2020 releases plus discounts and other bits. You can even do a joint membership with Last Night From Glasgow and get all their releases too. At the moment our membership is mainly men, so I’d love to see more women get involved, or have a chat about how they prefer to listen and buy music as I’m really keen we’re representative not only in our roster, but for music listeners too. 

More about the membership here: http://recklessyes.com/become-reckless-yes-member/

Massive thanks to Sarah for answering our questions! 

 

Catch two bands from the Reckless Yes roster play for us tonight at The FinsburyGrawl!x and Captain Handsome. Free entry, see you there!

 

Photo Credit:  I C Things Photography

PLAYLIST: Galentine’s Day 2020

Grrrls, it’s the best day of the year: GALENTINE’S DAY! Coined by Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) back in 2010, Galentine’s has since been recognised by girls across the globe, and used as a light-hearted platform to celebrate the girls and women who enrich our lives.

We’ve selected tracks from some of our favourite female artists and put them all together in one big celebratory playlist. We’re all about self-love & sisterly support today; so scroll down, press play, and share the Galentines love.

 

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
‘Dancing On My Own’, and what’s wrong with that!? Often I prefer to dance on my own. More space. Robyn is also an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights, and we all know romance isn’t just for the heterosexuals out there! So whether you honour Galentine’s, Valentine’s, or even Palentine’s Day; make sure you have a good old dance. (Tash Walker)

Le Tigre – ‘Hot Topic’
Pioneers of queer culture and ultimate faves, Le Tigre’s ‘Hot Topic’ is a celebratory ode to those who’ve inspired us. Paying homage to some queer feminist champions of the ‘90s and earlier, it’s an empowering and joy-filled protest in the face of adversity. This one’s dedicated to my GIHE gals this Galentine’s; Tash and Kate – you’re two of the most fantastic women I’ve ever met, and continue to inspire me every day! (Mari Lane)

Gold Baby – ‘What Party?’
We’re all big fans of Gold Baby here at GIHE, and I have to admit I’m a big fan of their vocalist & guitarist Sian. Not only is she a great songwriter, she’s as enthusiastic as we are about new music, and supporting other women in the industry. Keep your eyes peeled for Gold Baby’s new single ‘Japanese Racehorse’, set for release on 17th Feb. (Kate Crudgington)

ARXX – ‘Moments At A Time’
Is it even a GIHE playlist if I don’t include an ARXX track? The Brighton duo have truly taken off since Mari introduced me to them a few years ago, and us GIHE girls couldn’t be happier for them. Hannah & Clara also happen to be two of the loveliest people we’ve met in the DIY music scene. Absolute babes. (KC)

Alanis Morissette – ‘You Oughta Know’
I’m forever grateful to Alanis Morissette for showing 24-year-old me that being angry after heartbreak is totally normal. Even when I’m not in the midst of heartbreak though, this song makes me feel truly empowered. Taken from her iconic album Jagged Little Pill, which turns 25 this year, I am desperate to get my hands on a pair of tickets to Alanis’ anniversary gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 4th March. I’ll be singing this at the top of my lungs. (KC)

Personal Best – ‘This Is What We Look Like’
Headliners at our last Finsbury gig, Personal Best perfectly brand themselves as “classic rock for tragic lesbians”, and their frenetic riffs and pure-pop harmonies fill me with joy every time. Closing their set for us last month, front person Katie dedicated this track to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined in with “I wanna kiss you in the street / where everyone can see /’cause this is what we look like”, the poignancy of the lyrics in these uncertain times was overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity took hold as the crowd danced and sang in solidarity. A perfect anthem for love between anyone and everyone. (ML)

Chastity Belt – ‘Joke’
This was one of the bands I discovered at the start of GIHE, all those years ago, and it just reminds me so much of what it was like at the start of it all. All these years on here’s to my two GIHE gals Mari & Kate, and all of the jokes we’ve had along the way. (TW)

Taylor Swift – ‘Out Of The Woods’
Did anyone else cry multiple times watching Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary Miss Americana? (Just me? Cool.) Even if you’re not a big Swift fan, I recommend watching the film. It impressively highlights how badly the media treats young women in the spotlight, and how empowering it is when they decide to take back their own narratives. (KC)

Lizzo – ‘Like A Girl’
Turning the common derogatory phrase ‘Like A Girl’ on its head to create something wonderfully empowering, this is another ferociously fun offering from GIHE fave, Lizzo. With references to other powerful women of colour, including Lauryn Hill and Serena Williams, it’s the perfect ode to the power of being female and the power felt when women unite. So, this Galentine’s Day, I’ll leave you with the Lizzo’s words of wisdom: “If you fight like a girl, cry like a girl, do your thing, run the whole damn world”. An ultimate feel-good anthem for women everywhere. (ML)

God Colony (feat. Samirah Raheem) – ‘Girls’
You might recognise Samira Raheem from her 2 minute interview at Amber Rose’s Slutwalk in 2018. This video caught the attention of UK Producers God Colony, who approached Raheem to collaborate. The result is ‘Girls’; an encouraging call-to-arms laced with defiant lyrics, and industrial-tinged beats. I never get sick of listening to this. Shout out to my fellow ‘Girls’ Mari & Tash. I’d be lost without you. (KC)

TLC – ‘Unpretty’
Having had my love of TLC revived through watching Netflix’s brilliant Hip Hop Evolution documentary lately, I feel this ‘90s classic is the perfect Galentine’s anthem. Although it’s primarily about a guy making you feel shit, the message of getting past this and looking inside yourself to see your inner beauty is a perfect sentiment for any of your loved ones. And, set to that oh-so-catchy groove, it never fails to uplift and leave me feeling ready to face the world. (ML)

Ji Nilsson & Marlene – ‘Love You Anyway’
Released back in 2014 this was the first song that jumped to mind for this Galentine’s Day playlist, as ‘Love You Anyway’ is all about female friendship. The lyrics speak of solidarity, but with a slight note of sadness, combined with the enchanting quality to the music the whole thing intertwined together is mesmerising. (TW)

Chromatics – ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’
A great cover of a great track. ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ always reminds me of a story about this 60 year old Italian woman who walked into her local fire station as she was having trouble with her lock. When the firemen asked the woman where she lived, thinking she’d locked herself out of her house, she lifted her sweater and showed them her chastity belt. (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘White Leather’
Despite being a huge Wolf Alice fan, I only heard this track for the first time last year when my sister Holly sent it to me when I was having a tough time. She told me to listen carefully to the lyrics, because they reminded her of me. I had to bite back tears after hearing it; I felt loved, acknowledged, and genuinely hopeful. (Also, shout out to my other sister Sarah, who always holds my hand during ‘Bros’ when we see Wolf Alice live. God love ya both.) (KC)

Kate Bush – ‘This Woman’s Work’
I recently found out Kate Bush wrote this song specifically for John Hughes’ 1988 film She’s Having A Baby from the lead male character’s perspective, but I think her lyrics transcend the film’s premise. When I hear this track, I think of my Mum, and how hard she works to keep everyone in my family safe, healthy, and happy. Then I think about how mad it makes me that men and boys aren’t expected to perform the same kind of emotional labour. Then I worry that patriarchy dictates that men aren’t allowed to show emotion, so that must be a burden in itself. Basically, I spend a lot of time thinking about ‘women’s work’, and what that means to me, and this song helps relieve some of the tensions surrounding those thoughts. (Love you Mum. You too Dad x) (KC)

Bikini Kill – ‘Double Dare Ya’
This is the first Bikini Kill track I ever heard, and it still fills me with hope and defiance every time I listen to it. My cousin Rebecca (an original 90s Riot Grrrl) introduced me to the band, and along with the GIHE crew, we both went to see Bikini Kill live at Brixton Academy when they reunited last year. Words escape me when I try to sum up how much that night meant to me. Women are the fucking best. (KC)

LibraLibra – Skin And Bone 
Having recently blown me away at our December Finsbury gig, Brighton’s LibraLibra are one of my ‘Ones To Watch’ for this year. Listening to the incredible brutal power of Beth Cannon’s immense vocal delivery motivates me with each listen, the empowering force of this inspirationally strong and charismatic front woman makes me feel like we can conquer the world. But I’ve added this one to our Galentine’s list not only for LibraLibra’s mind-blowing sound, but because since they played for us, I’ve been speaking to Beth quite a lot, and feel that we’ve both been able to provide a bit of a virtual sounding board for each other when we’ve needed picking up, or just to have a good old rant about society’s inherent sexism! Just one example of the wonderful gals I’ve been lucky enough to meet putting on our Get In Her Ears events. (ML)

Chorusgirl – ‘Stuck’
You probably all know by now how much this song means to me. It will never fail to bring me cathartic comfort. Its poignant emotive power, and the way it builds alongside the shimmering hooks, gets me every time. Listening to its heartfelt sentiment, and knowing that there’s other ‘gals’ in the world feeling similar anxieties as I do, helps me feel a little less alone. Chorusgirl’s Silvi is not only a heartbreakingly magnificent songwriter, she’s a wonderful person, and I’m so grateful our paths crossed. (ML)

Kate Tempest – ‘People’s Faces’
There is so much that is so perfectly poignant in this song; the glaringly honest and completely relevant social commentary showcases Tempest’s unique poetic skill at creating relevant and hugely emotive social narratives. But a subtle glimmer of hope also shines through; the comfort we gain from those we love, and the comfort we can offer them just by being there. So, even when it feels like the world is ending, we can still find happiness in each other: “… then we smile at all our friends… Even when I’m weak and I’m breaking… I can see your faces. There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces.”
Also, as a belated Galentine’s treat, I’ll be seeing Kate Tempest live at the 6Music Festival on 8th March, as part of an incredible International Women’s Day line-up of her, Kim Gordon, Jehnny Beth and Nadine Shah at The Roundhouse. I cannot wait to catch some of the most incredible gals all in one place! (ML)

Shirley Ellis – ‘Soul Time’
I love this song, it’s just so much fun and completely infectious. Shirley Ellis often unfairly categorised as a novelty act by many music historians has a well earned place in the history of American soul. Funky, sophisticated and sassy. All the sisterly love for her! (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
I include this song on lots of our GIHE playlists, but that’s because it makes for such a smooth, upbeat listen. Canadian soul singer Jackie Shane was not only a talented vocalist, she was also a pioneer for trans rights in the 60s. Any chance I get to play her music, I’ll happily take. (KC)

Video Premiere: Johanna Glaza – ‘Exile’

Following 2017’s Wind Sculptures, Lithuanian artist – and former guest on the GIHE radio show – Johanna Glaza – has now announced a brand new album.

Taken from the album, she has now shared poignant lead track ‘Exile’. Showcasing the spellbinding sweeping power of Glaza’s exquisite unique vocals, it flows with an ethereal majesty as an immense soaring musicality flows, with shades of the twinkling splendour of Kate Bush. A truly enchanting listen.

Watch the beautiful new video for ‘Exile’ now:

Exile, the upcoming new album from Johanna Glaza, is out 28th February.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Kat Bumbul

Five Favourites: The Inspirations Behind Grawl!x’s ‘PEEPS’

Having previously received acclaim for their previous three albums, including last year’s Appendix, Derby-based Grawl!x, is now set to release their brand new album later this week.

To celebrate the release of their new album, Grawl!x will be playing our gig at The Finsbury this Friday, and we cannot wait to be captivated by their soaring cinematic soundscapes live. 

Hi there! My name is Maria & I’m in Grawl!x. We’ve got an album coming out called PEEPS. It’s about friends & how important they are in the face of impending doom, but it’s also fun – YAY!!! Here’s five tracks that influenced the making of this record.

Jon Hopkins – ‘Immunity’ 
A big impetus for this album was a trip I took a few years back with a friend a mine. We went and stayed over in North Wales for a night & just sortof hung out. On the way back we stopped by this beach which, given a spot of gorge weather, felt briefly like the hazy Mediterranean. I sat and had a ponder while my friend played with her dog. It was a lovely moment as I’d been having some mental problems and I just felt everything would be OK, despite all this doom & gloom in me bonce. On the way there, we listened to Immunity and the title track is my fave. It was such a eureka moment the first time I heard this; it was like “oh, dance music can be heart breaking, tender & beautiful in an almost classical sense”. Having just done a rather slow piano record, it seemed like a logical progression to pop a beat in there somewhere. He’s rate clever.

Deerful – ‘N1c’
Not sure how I got turned onto Deerful (probs through Haiku Salut who are lovely peeps!), but I absolutely love her voice and synth work. There’s so many from her first record Peaches I could pick but I just heart the vibe in this one. I gather she uses algorithms which blows my mind, but then I am a country bumpkin! Plus, it references The Postal Service, which is like one of my favourite albums ever. It was such an honour to have her sing on two of the tracks for PEEPS. We’ve still yet to meet, so it’s like my first online friendship if that’s rate to say? I remember getting the stems back one shift at work (I’m a projectionist), and I was just geeking out diving around in the dark projection booth. Proper highlight. So, thank you for that Deerful.

Yves Tumor – ‘Limerence’
This is such a beautiful track, and that it comes from such an enigmatic, challenging artist makes it all the more beautiful. It’s just one of those tracks that just makes me yearn for bygone folks & memories of loveliness. When the vocal sample comes in, it’s so unexpected but so playful; juvenile but perfectly encapsulates that sense of youth. It evokes a lot it me face brain.

Emma Kupa – ‘Katie NYC’
This is just one of my fave friend songs. When I was looking at songs about friendship, the most common tendency tended to be that they were a bit – dare I say – cheesy. This is a stark example to the contrary. It’s just so sad and heartfelt. You’re proper there with her and her loved one who’s suffering. I think we’ve all been there where you want to help some one, and you feel so helpless. Of course, sometimes just being present is enough. I might be reading into it too much. I just love Emma’s solo music & proper hope to hear some new stuff soon.

Animal Collective  – ‘My Girls’
I couldn’t not include this song for many reasons. It’s been such a huge influence on my life. If I could ever write a song halfway as good as this, I’d be happy. I’d been in mostly rock bands up to the point this came out, and it just reconnected me to the joy of electronic instrumentation. It’s catchy, beautiful, clever – it’s just so good, I’m listening to it again now! As well as all that, it’s been there in my life at such crucial points. I remember driving with my Dad one time going to the beach in my twenties, and just had a lovely day. I played it at a DJ night recently, and we all had a good grind. Plus, pretty sure me and my friend played it on the way back from that trip to North Wales. Friends are proper important, I think, but friends with music is like the best cake you can ever go swimming in. Quote for the ages I think you’ll agree.

Huge thanks to Grawl!x for sharing their five choices with us! 

PEEPS, the upcoming album from Grawl!x, is out on Friday 14th February via Reckless Yes. Pre-order on Bandcamp now. And catch them live to celebrate at our gig at The Finsbury that night, along with Piney Gir, Captain Handsome and I Am HER.

 

Photo Credit: Laura Mi

FIVE FAVOURITES: Bones Garage

Tel Aviv-based band Bones Garage have been making music together for the last 6 years. Formed of Ariel Pedatzur, Eden Atad, Yaniv Bin, Dor Harari, Yoni Deutsch and Raz Copperman, they’ve played stages at Glastonbury, SXSW, All Points East, and The Great Escape, and are set to release their third record in May this year. Influenced by elements of post-punk, surf rock and shoegaze, the six piece create intriguing soundscapes, but their latest single ‘I’ve Loved’ shows the band can also deliver stripped back, gentler tracks too. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Bones Garage to ask them about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their song writing techniques. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for ‘I’ve Loved’ at the end of this post.

1. John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band
Like many others, we grew up as Beatles freaks. The first show Eden and Yaniv ever played together was a Beatles covers show at their school. But somehow this album ended up resonating with us more than any Beatles record. It’s raw, personal, heartbreaking, broken, yet perfectly beautiful. The experiments and cleverness of The Beatles was replaced by bare-minimum arrangements. As a band of six people, our initial arrangements are rarely minimal, but this album is a great reminder that sometimes simple and raw is the most beautiful.

2. Elliot Smith – Either/Or
We’ve been called many things – post-punk, surf, shoegaze, and so on – and the aesthetics in our music are indeed influenced by many genres. But that’s all extra stuff on top of the most important thing – the songwriting itself. We admire too many songwriters to list here, but Elliot Smith stands apart as one of the most open, sensitive, talented and emotional songwriters in history. Either/Or is the peak of his career, an album that perfectly sums up the emotions we strive to achieve in music.

3. Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams
It all started when Timber Timbre were scheduled to play in Israel, and we were asked to cover one of their songs to help promote the show. Somehow, we ended up as their opening act for two shows in Israel, years apart. We’ve discovered this great band together, and their lush, dark and dramatic style have influenced us greatly. The gentle, meaningful drumming of Olivier Farfield has been a great influence on our drummer Dor (who used to be an insanely loud metal drummer), and we’ve discovered and experienced their great music together, as a band. And also, we think our cover turned out pretty well (listen to it here).

4. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
After a revolutionary debut album, Stephen Malkmus and Pavement delivered a masterpiece that’s everything rock music should aspire to be. It’s a nostalgic record, reminds us of hot summer days, makes you want to ride a skateboard with friends, listen to music and fall in love like when we were naïve teenagers. It’s full of humor and silliness, a reminder we shouldn’t always take ourselves too seriously, and still manages to be profound and meaningful. It sounds like it was made up on the spot and recorded in one take, yet every note and word is right where it should be. And besides, Stephen Malkmus really is something special.’Middle America’ is, hands down, one of the best songs we’ve heard in the last few years.

5. The Microphones – The Glow Pt 2.
When we were teens, Eden and Yaniv recorded a string of weird, ambitious albums on their own in a home studio. Most of them honestly weren’t great at all, but it helped us become who we are. So it’s great to see such a masterpiece like “The Glow Pt. 2” made in a home studio. Phil Elverum has combined raw, emotional, stark songwriting with experimentation and weird noises, taking us to an emotional journey that has deeply influenced our music, and they way we’ve learned to use noise to express ourselves.

Thanks to Bones Garage for sharing their favourites with us. Follow the band on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Eirad Netzer