FIVE FAVOURITES: Mira Lu Kovacs (5K HD)

Austrian experimental-pop group 5K HD shared their new LP, High Performer, in September earlier this year, and their feet have barely touched the ground since. They’re currently touring the new record across Europe, filling stages with a blend of their poppy, jazzy, prog-rock beats. Vocalist Mira Lu Kovacs is regarded by critics and peers as one of the most expressive voices in the scene, and with a team of multi-instrumentalists behind her, it’s easy to see why 5K HD are in such high demand. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Mira to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for for 5K HD’s track ‘Crazy Talk’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Ani DiFranco – Evolve / Educated Guess
With Ani DiFranco I grew up! I remember I was 11 and my step father at that time played a mixed CD (it couldn’t have been a tape, it was the late 90s). He put on Ani DiFranco’s ‘Marrow’ right after Tori Amos’ ‘Cornflake Girl’, what a mix! I didn’t understand much, cause my mother tongue is German, so the only thing I grasped was the phrase “And where did you put all those letters that you wrote to yourself, but could not address?” I don’t know if it was her finger picking (or should i say ripping?) on her steely guitars, or her edgy playful singing? I think it was the seriousness of her songwriting, I felt spoken to. It was really magical. Later, I listened to all her albums. Now I would say my favourites are Evolve and Educated Guess, but to me Ani DiFranco is such a poet and what she does must be evaluated as a whole and not just one album. She inspired me endlessly, even if her sound aesthetic isn’t the one that I am looking for today.

2. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief
Hail To The Thief is maybe an atypical Radiohead album to start with, no? I think I listened to this one at the age of 14 and then traveled back in time to learn about Kid A, OK Computer and The Bends (which I only appreciated later in my musical career). Most Radiohead Hardliners don’t understand why this album is so special to me. But I think, again, the songwriting is especially good on this one and there is a new shininess in their sound with this album. Also – ‘Backdrifts’, ‘We Suck Young Blood” and “I Will “ (to date the only song I ever publicly covered – acappella) – what great songs to speak to a depressed teenager!

3. Aldous Harding – Designer
This one is quite new, and has been such an inspiration to me this year. I just love the boldness and uncompromising softness in Aldous Harding’s music. I didn’t allow myself this kind of softness for a while, and now I feel like it’s coming back. The allowance, it’s something that I was scared of, because: how else to defend myself? I thought I needed to be loud and clear and aggressive. I am that, too, but I need to allow the softness to comfort me, as well. I feel like the beautifully weird old/new voice of Aldous Harding reminded me of that part of me. Thank you ❤

4. Beth Gibbons – Out Of Season
I can’t believe I only found this album 3 years ago. What a production! What songwriting! What truth, what openness. Sorry, there’s not much else to say. She’s a genius. The arrangements are sparse and pompous at the same time. I think this is where I wanna go in the future and who I wanna be when I grow up.

5. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
I think this was the album of a whole generation. It changed many things, not only musically, but also in the industry. The simplicity set new standards. The vulnerability in his voice was a new level of emotion. Whatever genius album Bon Iver made after this, this one is still one of the most brutally beautiful ones that there are.

Thanks to Mira for sharing her favourites with us. Follow 5K HD on Facebook for more info on their current tour dates.

Photo Credit: Ingo Pertramer

PREMIERE: Saachi Sen – ‘Dark’

Having been a resident artist at Camden’s Roundhouse, and performed at this year’s London Pride event in front of 10,000 people, Mumbai-born, London-grown artist Saachi Sen has now shared her poignant new single.

A song about accepting and celebrating your identity, ‘Dark’ flows with Sen’s beautiful fluid vocals alongside a delicate, twinkling musicality and heartfelt emotion. Building with an impassioned energy, ‘Dark’ showcases this artist’s ability to create stirring alt-pop anthems. Of the track, Sen explains:

From a personal and literal perspective, it’s about my brown skin – but playing it live at events like Pride reminds me that it’s for everyone, whose traits like their race, gender, or sexuality are looked down upon by so many in our society. The song says that though people may treat you differently than others, stereotype you… it’s imperative to remember that who you are is who you are, and you should never apologise for it.

Listen to ‘Dark’, for the first time, below:

 

‘Dark’ is out tomorrow, 11th October. You can also watch a special live performance of the track here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Five Favourites: ĠENN’s Sofia Rosa Cooper

Having completely blown us away playing for us at both The Finsbury and The Five Bells over the last year, we cannot wait for ĠENN (fka Cryptic Street) to headline The Finsbury for our gig there this Friday!

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking them what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with ĠENN‘s drummer Sofia Rosa Cooper to talk about her ‘Five Favourites’ – five songs that have influenced her playing and songwriting techniques, or simply take her back to a specific feeling or time. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to the band’s ‘Let’s Go Suki’, ahead of the gig this Friday, at the end of this post!

Kashmere Stage Band – ‘Kashmere’
Sounds varying from jazz to rare groove/funk have always been an inspiration source to me, no matter what style I play and this is just one example. The drums are tasty af and worth grooving to if you can keep up (I can’t!).

Angel Olsen – ‘Woman’
This song!!! I can’t be the only person to have stumbled across Angel Olsen and wondered why it took so long. It’s just so nice to see a rise of powerful and raw artists that are striving unapologetically. Writing music almost always serves as an outlet for me and I’ve found that part of putting pen to paper is being open and honest with myself. I can’t imagine the process being any easier without influence!

Funkadelic – ‘Maggot Brain’
I don’t need to say much! but Funkadelic have definitely played a part in my growth as a musician and I just love ‘Maggot Brain’. Unrelated to this song, one of my favourite drummers of all time Dennis Chambers played for Parliament/Funkadelic and this was the connection that brought me to them. If you’re unfamiliar with Dennis but a Santana fan like me, Dennis was also an asset to Santana’s never-ending supergroup and toured extensively with him. Watch some Dennis Chambers content today!

Yellowjackets – ‘Summer Song’
Yellowjackets are a band I revisited after listening to a bunch of my dad’s records and I instantly felt nostalgic. I love this song so much and it’s definitely my favourite of theirs. Also, I always associate these kinds of songs with nature and being outdoors, and they’re usually the type to get my creativity flowing!

Hollie Cook – ’99’
A sweet and tropical song to finish, and an easy choice really! I first saw Hollie Cook when she was supporting The Skints a while back and I’ve been following her ever since. It’s really cool to see artists really innovate with genres like reggae and dub whilst staying true to their foundations, and she’s done exactly that.

Big thanks to Sofia for sharing her Five Favourites! Make sure you catch ĠENN live headlining The Finsbury, this Friday 11th October, and listen to their immense track ‘Let’s Go Suki’ below!

 

Photo Credit: Maria Galea

Happy Birthday Us: GIHE Turns Two!

To mark two years since the birth of our baby website, we’ve decided to look back at a few of our personal highlights of the last 24 months. From fantastic gigs and memorable interviews, to informative guest blogs and the return of some of our favourite bands, it’s been amazing getting to share what we’re passionate about on our little platform.

So, we’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all who’ve supported us on this journey – to all the wonderful bands and artists who inspire us every day, and anyone who takes time to read/listen to us and spread the word about what we do. We’re super grateful for you all, and could not have done this without you! Here’s to the next two years and more, continuing to do as much as possible to promote and support female/non binary/LGBTQ+ people in new music.

Have a read about some of our highlights of the last couple of years, and listen to our special birthday playlist below…

Guest Blog: Dream Nails’ Janey – “What It Means To Be A Punk Witch”
One of the first ever posts to go up on the website, it was a real honour to have Janey from faves Dream Nails share with us what it means to be a punk witch; discussing the importance of sisterhood, feminism and direct action, and the need for women and non-binary people to come together in safe spaces. All things that we hold with great regard here at Get In Her Ears. Talking about the catharsis of channelling “the instinctive, magic energy of womanhood together”, reading this highlights just how necessary and powerful voices such as Janey’s are at times like this; why we need bands like Dream Nails more than ever – groups willing to combine activism and music to form a unifying force against the patriarchy.
– Mari Lane

Get In Her Ears w/ Big Joanie
It’s hard to pick favourites when it comes to guests we’ve booked for our radio show, but when Steph & Estella from punk band Big Joanie agreed to come in to the studio for a chat, I was genuinely excited. Their knowledge and experience surrounding the DIY music scene and intersectional feminism is so fascinating and so vital. The work they do on and off stage is incredible, so I’m glad we could support them on our platform.
– Kate Crudgington

Having Steph & Estella from Big Joanie as guests on the radio show was definitely a highlight for me! We barely needed to ask a question; as Kate says, they spoke with such knowledge and experience surrounding the DIY music scene and intersectional feminism, it was an honour to listen to what they were saying. And their music’s not too bad either…!
– Tash Walker

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ ARXX
To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we invited one of our most favourite bands to headline for us at The Finsbury. And what better way to celebrate womanhood than with the utterly phenomenal, ferocious force of the magnificent ARXX. Joined by the fun-filled empowering energy of The Baby Seals, the fierce post-punk of Scrounge and the twinkling soundscapes of Rainbow Corp, it was a truly special night; one which left me feeling all the feels and incredibly grateful for being able to do what we do.
– Mari

Introducing Interview: Helga
I really enjoyed interviewing Helga both because I love her music but also because it’s so important to us at Get In Her Ears to champion the artists we believe in. Publishing interviews, reviews and guest blogs from womxn and non-binary people across the music industry is what we’re about, and will always be about for all the years to come!
– Tash

Interview: Teri Gender Bender from Le Butcherettes 
I only discovered Le Butcherettes after they released their fourth album bi/MENTAL earlier this year – I must’ve been living under a rock. Shame on me! I saw them live at Moth Club and I was blown away by front-woman Teri Gender Bender’s formidable voice and captivating performance style. When I called her for a chat, I was worried my fan-girling would get in the way of my journalistic interests in her music, but luckily for me, she was incredibly friendly, charming and funny.
– Kate

LIVE (Photos): Cro Cro Land (Part 1) (Part 2)
As a fairly new Croydon resident, it was a real honour to be asked to help with the inaugural Cro Cro Land festival this year by friend and all round wonder woman Angela Martin (of Bugeye). A festival which ensures gender balance across the board – not only with those performing, but with all crew and staff behind the scenes – it was a fantastic day filled with incredible music from both widely known bands such as The Lovely Eggs, Nova Twins and Bang Bang Romeo, and personal favourites like Chorusgirl, Fightmilk and ARXX. Being able to be a part of it, and DJ on the day, was such a wonderful and informative experience, and we can’t wait for Cro Cro Land 2020… !
– Mari 

Playlist: 50 Years Of Pride
Supporting LGBTQ+ rights is at the core of what we do at Get In Her Ears 365 days a year. I’m so proud to be part of an organisation which takes the time to acknowledge this throughout everything we do, from gender neutral toilets at our gigs, to standing up in defence of LGBTQ+ equality. Our 50 Years of Pride playlist is a culmination of everything we believe in and represent, and a great way both to celebrate and take stock of what still needs to be done in the ongoing fight for equality for everyone.
– Tash

Get In Her Ears w/ ESYA
It’s an understatement to say that us GIHE girls were thrilled when ESYA (Ayse Hassan of Savages, Kite Base, 180 db) agreed to come into the Hoxton Radio show for a chat with us. There were a LOT of capital letters used in our group chat on WhatsApp. I’d seen her live and interviewed her at her gig at The Glove That Fits earlier in the year, and I was so happy to discover she rates Gazelle Twin’s music as highly as I do. Her attitude to going solo, and her general work ethic, are truly admirable. ESYA is proof that it doesn’t matter what level you’re at in the industry, doing things for yourself is a positive and honest way of working (even when you’re snowed under with emails/EP orders/life).
– Kate

Track Of The Day: Chorusgirl – ‘No Goodbye’
Three years after the release of their self-titled debut, GIHE faves Chorusgirl last year shared their poignant second album Shimmer and Spin via DIY label Reckless Yes. The return of a favourite band after a bit of a hiatus is always pretty exciting, but there was something particularly special about Chorusgirl’s come back. Chronicling a tense year, created during a period of crippling anxiety and a relentless string of bad luck and bad news, the album was the result of immense hard work and dedication from Silvi and co. ‘No Goodbye’ was the perfect introduction to the collection: a truly dreamy slice of scuzzy, sparkling garage-pop showcasing all there is to love about this band.
– Mari

Guest Blog: Grapefruit
I really loved this piece from Grapefruit’s Angela as part of our Guest Blog series. She chose to focus on what it means to take claim of being a woman in the music industry – it’s a great read! They also played a fantastic set for us at one of our Notting Hill Arts Club gigs, great music and great minds.
– Tash

EP: Petty Phase – ‘Petty Phase’
I love that our GIHE platform has allowed us to reach some of our established favourite artists but at its core, it’s about providing coverage for new musicians who deserve to be heard by all of our listeners/readers. Petty Phase are an Essex Riot Grrrl band who I’ve happily promoted over the last fews years on our website, and there are plenty more hard-working bands out there who are worthy of your/our attention too.
– Kate

LIVE: Indietracks Festival (Part 1) (Part 2)
With our ongoing disappointment at the lack of diversity on the majority of mainstream festival line-ups, I was particularly excited to have found out about Indietracks Festival last year – one that refreshingly, consistently, champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres. And it exceeded all expectations. With highlights including Sacred Paws, Colour Me Wednesday, Happy Accidents, Sink Ya Teeth and Ghum, it was so wonderful to be a part of. Indietracks is truly like a different world; a safe, joy-filled world, and one jam-packed with all the best music.
– Mari

LIVE: Hilary Woods, St Pancras Old Church
I’ve just re-read my live review of Hilary Woods’ performance at St Pancras Old Church from 2018, and it’s clear I was an emotional wreck during her show, and afterwards too. What a wonderful thing though – to be so moved by someone’s music that you hammer out 500 words about how insane you are.
– Kate

Get In Her Ears w/ Bengi Unsal
A radio show highlight for me was interviewing the Southbank Centre’s Senior Contemporary Music Programmer Bengi Unsal. She gave great insight to the work that she’s done at the Southbank Centre and throughout her career, including curating several Meltdown festivals, and the championing of electronic and world music.
– Tash

GIHE Behind The Scenes: Southbank Centre’s Alex & Phoebe
A recent feature we’ve started for the website, our behind the scenes feature focusses on all those amazing womxn working hard behind the scenes in the industry. It was a real honour to get to chat to Alex and Phoebe, the PR team behind promoting all the amazing events at my favourite space in London, Southbank Centre, for the first in the series. It was wonderful to find out about all the hard work they do, their dedication to accessibility and inclusivity, and all the Southbank Centre does for London’s culture.
– Mari 

Have a listen to our special birthday highlights playlist here:

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor

Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

FIVE FAVOURITES: Wallis Bird

Having just released her sixth album Woman via Mount Silver Records/Caroline International, modern folk singer Wallis Bird seems to be in a good place. The Irish songwriter uses her music to speak out against injustice, writing in a confessional style and blurring the lines between the genres of modern folk, roots and soul.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Wallis to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch her video for ‘As The River Flows’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Ani DiFranco – Living in Clip
Changed my life. I was 11, was really growing into my skin on the guitar and my lyrics, I was finding out who I was and Ani burst down my doors. She was a queer feminist in defiance of bureaucracy and sexism and it was so fresh and out of this world to me, I found my back straighten and my eyes clear. It was a turning point. They way she pounded the guitar as if it was a weapon, the depth of chord structure, the prolific output, the badass necessity for creativity – no one like her then nor now.

2. Björk – Vespertine
Björk married Avantgarde with pop and classical in this ethereal, emotional warm embrace of a record. It’s an absolute timeless classic where electronic and traditional instrumentation move horizontally across space and time, and she dances the linear by diving deep into langerous pregnant pauses, long sensual outros of choirs with purist choral, Icelandic landscape escapism… I visualise deeply when I put this record on. Lyrically she discovers a new side to her sex, which she describes it in a detailed, curious, positive and private way – celebrating vulnerability, dreams, intimacy, secrecy and this fragile flesh we’re all in.

3. There Magic Lantern – A World in a Grain of sand
I’ve listened to this record more than any other record I think. Possibly over 200 times. The emotive dynamic, the positive message tinged with some kind of despair. The musicianship, the instrumentation. It moves from English folk to exotic afrobeat to modern NY jazz. It sounds open, wide and luxuriously recorded, giving so much breathing space that the listener feels freed and cosy and listened to. I adore the clever drum timing, the breathy wind instruments and Jamie Doe’s unique vocal style and gently powerful lyricism. This album is a friend of mine.

4. Sam Vance Law – Homotopia
Sam is a friend of mine, but before I knew him I was a fan of his music. We played in the band together and I basically stole him so that I could spend time with the person who wrote what I consider an iconic modern pop record. He tells tales, long and short about narcism, sexual adventures and misadventures, coming out, social suicide, staying in the closet, faking a happy marriage, all wrapped in orchestral instrumentation, sometimes punk, sometimes indie pop, ambling bridges, satirical and snide lyrics, true love, true confusion in youth, pure dreams, mature and clever and unforgettable. Vidal Gore meets The Cure. An album like no other.

5. The Prodigy – Music For a Jilted Generation
My first foray into how beautiful and merciful getting fucked up and dancing your pain away can be. It is wild, concentrated progressive passionate hard and heavy and fucking fantastic dance music. My sister played loads of these tracks at her wedding and all the siblings just broke the dance floor open! it was a real source of relief for us as a family. If we were pent up, if we needed to wind down, this album always did the job for us, when it was playing you left each other alone and everything was all ok afterwards!

Thanks to Wallis for sharing her favourites with us. Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jens Oellermann

GIHE Behind The Scenes: Stereo Sanctity’s Kate & Frankie

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, for the second in our ‘Behind The Scenes’ series, Mari had a chat with Kate Price and Frankie Davison from music PR company Stereo Sanctity. They’re both responsible for sorting the press and spreading the word about all the artists on their incredible roster, and we love working with them on campaigns for so many of our favourites!

Find out about all the hard work they do, and their experience as womxn working in the music industry, below…

Hi Kate and Frankie, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you each tell us a bit about yourselves and how you got started working at Stereo Sanctity? 

Kate: I’m Kate. I first got involved in the music biz when I was a teenager and started writing for a few web sites and magazines. Eventually I decided I’d rather work in PR than be a journalist and worked at a couple of different music PR companies before starting Stereo Sanctity in 2012. After six months I started looking for someone to come on board and Frankie was put in touch with me through a family friend. I knew she was the person to hire when she talked excitedly about how much she loves CocoRosie,  who I was working with at that time. They are also one of my favourite bands and one who somehow embody a lot of the things I wanted this company to be about. It worked out rather well and Frankie is still here and soon to be an official partner in the company!
Frankie: Hiii, I’m Frankie. I moved to London after I finished studying at university in Leeds because I knew I wanted to work in music but didn’t know exactly what area of music I wanted to be in. I did an internship at Dummy magazine for a month and then after that I then did another internship at XL Recordings around the time The xx released their second album, which was pretty fun. It was actually my mum who gave me Kate’s email address via a friend of hers who knew someone who ran a music PR company and was looking to employ someone. I then came to London for a little chat with Kate and thankfully she gave me the job and then put up with me for the next six and half years! So thank you mum and thank you Kate. 

Can you explain a little about what your job as a music publicist entails? 

Kate: A lot of nagging! There are two sides to it really. There’s the setting up of album campaigns and advising on everything from press shots and biographies, to helping choose focus tracks and release schedules. And then there’s the actually going out and getting press – conveying the information to people in an appealing way, pitching coverage ideas that suit the artist, organising interviews and photo shoots, and then collecting all of the results and passing the feedback to the rest of the artist’s team.
Frankie: Haha, indeed a lot of nagging. And patience. And more nagging. On a more serious level, Kate has summarised it pretty well above here, we help with the set up so all the behind the scenes stuff before a campaign starts and then I think one of our main tasks is to figure out the talking points of a record, what makes it stand out to a point where people will want to write about it.

What’s your favourite part of your job? 

Kate: Music! We’re very lucky to get to work with artists we’re truly passionate about and getting to play a small part in their story is really exciting, especially when it really takes off. I also really love meeting so many different people. PR is a job where you’re talking to everyone – the artist, label, management, agents, promoters and journalists, and that’s something I really enjoy.
Frankie: I love the fact we get to work with so many people and lots of great, talanted people as well. As Kate said we’re in touch with everyone when it comes to releasing a record, the label, the artist, the booking agents, the distributors, the writers and it’s really nice feeling like a core part of all of this. I also feel very lucky as I get to work with some of my favourite artists – bands that I used to put on my playlists before I even started working in the industry – sometimes it feels quite surreal that I’m doing press for them now. It’s also really nice watching an artist’s profile grow and seeing them get bigger and feeling like you’re a part of that growth. 

And do you have a least favourite part…? 

Kate: It can be very stressful. A large part of the job is managing people’s expectations, and it can be really hard when the people hiring you have certain goals in mind, but the people at those publications aren’t interested. We can’t force anyone to write about our bands, we can only do our best to get the music and information to people who are likely to appreciate it. It’s hard not to take it personally when a press campaign isn’t going as well as everyone would like, but experience has taught me how to handle those situations and know that doing my best is enough.
Frankie: Sometimes a record we’re working on might not get the attention it deserves simply down to something like the time of year or week it comes out so this can be pretty stressful. I guess the key for us is to be persistent but not annoying. Sometimes it takes a little longer to build a response and it can be a little frustrating when that’s down to matters that are out of our hands. 

Stereo Sanctity is home to some of our favourite bands and artists (including Noga Erez, Chastity Belt, Tacocat, Skating Polly, Jenny Hval… I could go on!). How do you normally go about choosing who to promote? Do you get in touch with them, or would they normally approach you? 

Kate: Most of our artists come to us through the managers and record labels who we have a relationship with. We’re lucky that some people with great taste like working with us and come back to us regularly with the artists they’ve taken on. We both listen to everything we get sent and make a decision based on whether we like the music, how it works alongside the other artists we represent and if we feel that they’ll be of interest to writers.
Frankie: Yeah, as Kate said, we’re really fortunate in that we work with some really great people and some of our favourite labels who offer us work. If we do really like an artist, we’ll also reach out to them to see if they have a press agent already but most of the time, I’d say it’s normally people approaching us. 

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?

Kate: It’s not a conscious thing, but I guess it’s just the artists we’re drawn to, and the artists that are drawn to working with us! We don’t make decisions based on gender, but it just seems that lots of the artists we’re most excited about  are women and non-binary artists.
Frankie: Yeah this isn’t a conscious decision but just happens to be the case. In terms of choosing who we work with, we largely base it on whether we like and believe in the music – I feel we’re quite lucky in that we can choose what we work on so we’ll only take on something we genuinely like it.

As mentioned, you’ve worked with some pretty amazing bands and artists since we’ve known you, has there been a particular highlight/favourite client of your career so far? 

Kate: Ahh that’s really difficult, there are so many and I hate to pick favourites, but getting to work with heroes of mine like Babes In Toyland, John Carpenter, Wire, Bauhaus and Goblin has been truly amazing. Getting those calls or emails asking if you’d be interested in working with someone of that influence is truly exciting and humbling.
Frankie: I honestly would find it really hard to choose one or a few favourites out of all the people I’ve worked with. We started working with Italians Do It Better last year so have been doing press for Chromatics, Desire, Glass Candy and all their other artists which felt like a real dream come true. Other than that, I’d say working with people like Zola Jesus, Gold Panda, Jenny Hval, Hilary Woods, L.A. Witch & Orville Peck has been super exciting. Honestly, I could go on naming people, but I will stop here!

And is there a particular band/artist that you haven’t worked with yet, that would be top of your wish list to promote in future? 

Kate: Haha, wellllll the company name is a Sonic Youth song… I did actually get to work with them a little, back when I was starting out and interning. But yeah, their various projects are obviously top of the list for me – especially Free Kitten (if they ever do another record). There are so many artists I’d love to work with really. PJ Harvey, Bikini Kill, Nick Cave… Marilyn Manson, Robyn, Beyoncé… This could go on for a long time!
Frankie: Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna. I really love pop music and would love to do press for any of these three but I feel like whoever is doing their press at the moment is doing a pretty good job already, so they probably don’t need a new publicist, haha!

How have you found being a womxn in the music industry? Are there any obstacles you’ve come across because of your gender? 

Kate: Yeah, it’s something I’ve been aware of my whole career. It definitely feels like it’s got a lot better in recent years, but even so, being a woman, especially one who looks young, can make it much harder to get people to take you seriously. Being talked over in meetings, being patronised, other people taking credit for your work, people trying it on inappropriately, finding out male peers are being paid more for the same work, hearing people say that a publicist should be replaced because she’s had a baby so won’t be any good at the job anymore… I’ve experienced or witnessed all of these things and it’s bullshit. In my experience, it was more prevalent in the more business-based side of the industry, so a part of my decision to set up Stereo Sanctity was to get away from that. We’re very happy to work with lots of incredible labels, managers and others who are genuine music fans and, regardless of gender (theirs or ours), treat us with the utmost respect and care and never make us feel like we’re “just women”. I’ve only experienced a sexist attitude once in recent years, and I quit the project before the record was even announced.
Frankie: There’s only been a few times where I’ve felt I’ve been treated differently for being a woman and it’s just been a case of having to stand my ground a bit more. I think we’re quite lucky in that the area of music we work in, and the people we work with are not the type of people who would speak any differently to us based on our gender, but I imagine in some other parts of the industry it may be different. 

And what advice would you give to other people wanting to get into music PR?

Kate: I would say get as much experience as you can – both by writing for blogs and web sites, and by doing work experience placements. If you go to loads of gigs, get involved in the music scene, make yourself known to people who work in the industry, show that you’re passionate and proactive, then opportunities will come to you. The music industry and PR especially is very much about personal connections, and you don’t need to be employed to start making those connections.
Frankie: It’s all about experience and connections – I’d say get out there and meet people, go to gigs and make yourself known. Figure out what area of music you’d like to work in and apply for the jobs. A lot of people I know have had to intern before landing a full time job in music, so just keep an eye out for what opportunities there are and then be persistent. 

As well as promoting some already quite established names, Stereo Sanctity seems to do a lot for newer/upcoming bands and artists – are there any in particular you’d recommend our readers check out?

Kate: I’m really excited about a producer from Mumbai we’ve just started working with called Sandunes, and a Polish producer called Zamilska. We’ve also just started working with Katie Gately, who is known for producing serpentwithfeet’s records – I’m a huge fan of her last record so really excited that we’re going to be involved with the next one. Also, our no.1 cowboy Orville Peck who is on his way to taking over the world. And an LA punk band we’re working with called The Paranoyds. Loads!
Frankie: So many. Orville Peck is definitely worth checking out – 100% my favourite cowboy and just ridiculously talented. BABii is a Margate-based artist we work with who is really god and just released her debut album. Then we’ve got a new London-based artist called Hinako Omori we’re about to start working with who is also very good – expect lots of synth goodness. Also, Sea Change is a Norwegian electronic artist we’re working with at the moment, who is releasing a new album this November and worth listening to. There’s SO many! 

Anything else you’d like to mention?

Kate: Just that we love working with Get In Her Ears – you ladies do an incredible job and we really appreciate all the work you put into supporting up and coming musicians. Thank you!!
Frankie: Yes, thanks so much for having us and for supporting the artists we work with. We feel very lucky to get to work with and communicate with people like you ❤ 

Huge thanks to Kate and Frankie for answering our questions and taking part in our ‘Behind The Scenes’ feature! Find out more about Stereo Sanctity and their amazing roster here

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

 

EP STREAM: TABS – ‘Love Like This’

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

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

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

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

Speaking about the EP, TABS explains:

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

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

 

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