GIHE Tracks Of 2019

It’s that time of year again when we look back at some of our musical highlights. And what a year for new music it’s been – from empowering guitar-driven anthems and gritty electro beats, to dreamy indie-pop, our ears have been pretty lucky!

Over the next week, we’ll be sharing our favourite gigs, albums, events and Ones To Watch for 2020, but for now, here are our top tracks of 2019. Have a read, and a listen!

Clt Drp – ‘Speak To My’
Having completely blown us away live at The Finsbury in June, Brighton trio Clt Drp are one of the most exciting bands I’ve come across this year. With the immense, thrashing beats, fuzz-filled whirring hooks and soaring, gritty vocals of ‘Speak To My’, the empowered energy of their unique electro-punk sound is showcased perfectly. (Mari Lane – Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

Scrounge – ‘Badoom’
Savage guitar riffs and driving beats form the basis for South London duo Scrounge’s single ‘Badoom’. Taken from their debut EP Ideal, released via Fierce Panda, the track showcases the band’s ability to take relatable concepts such as feeling burned out, and turn them in to punchy, cathartic sounds. Check out the karaoke inspired visuals that accompany the track here. (Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder/Features Editor)

ILL – ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’
We’re all in agreement at GIHE that ILL’s track ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’ is a BANGER! These grrrls blend the best bits of punk, noise, and keys to create cathartic anthems about standing up for yourself, and not letting the bastards grind you down. ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’ is a “glittered middle finger” to anyone who’s tried to manipulate you, or who made you question your self-worth. (KC)

Lizzo – ‘Juice’
Bam! As soon as this piece of pure pop magic hit the radio, it got my attention. ‘Juice’ is perfectly constructed; its opening bars draw you in, and before you know it, you’re shouting along and belting out the ‘ya-ya’ chorus. I defy you to listen to this song and stay still. If you’re not running to – or already on – a packed dancefloor, you’ll be shimmying in your seat. It’s sunny, fun and so empowering. ‘Juice’ was my introduction to Lizzo and my love affair with her has blossomed throughout 2019. Her beautiful album artwork, fabulous statement outfits (two words: finger handbag!), and that Glasto performance sealed the deal. My four-year-old sometimes likes to sing along to ‘Juice’ in the car, thankfully neglecting the naughty words. When he does, it reminds me how lucky we are to have a popstar like Lizzo. Body positive, funny, filthy. She’s an inspiration.
(Vic Conway – Contributor)

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 of that collaboration is ‘Girls’ – an encouraging call-to-arms laced with fierce lyrics, and indutrial-tinged, progressive beats. Always remember: “Every dog has his day / and bad bitches too”. (KC)

Pallas Athene – ‘Through Hell’
One of my absolute favourite songs of the year, ‘Through Hell’ is taken from Pallas Athene’s debut self-titled EP. Exploring themes of man vs machine and the dissolution of self, this is the latest single from the EP which I’m so into – I just love its spaced out vocals and calming chords. Keep up the great work! Looking forward to the future of Pallas Athene.
(Tash Walker – Co-Founder/Digital Editor)

Grizzly Coast – ‘High Functioning’
A GIHE team favourite, ‘High Functioning’ by Grizzly Coast is a track that has got firmly into my head. It’s all about holding your life together in every place, but your own head. Of the track, Grizzly Coast explains: “I was going through a difficult time with my OCD choosing to power forward and work towards my goals”, but she found the purpose and drive to stay confident through it all, and we are very thankful for that. ‘High Functioning’ is a total tune, keep up the great work Grizzly Coast, we’re behind you 100%! (TW)

Amahla – ‘Dorothy’s Verses’
Having played legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and The Roundhouse, and garnered support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 Extra and 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Hackney native Amahla this year released the poignant ‘Dorothy’s Verses’. Exploring what truth is through the story of her grandmother, and reflecting on the power of female voices, ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ flow with rich, impassioned vocals alongside luscious sweeping hooks, creating a truly spellbinding – and deeply stirring – offering. (ML)

Grimes – ‘Violence’
It’s funny, looking back at 2019, I could swear this song has been out longer than a mere three months. Grimes has always been a bit beyond me up to now: too saccharine for my artsy side, too much of an art angel for my pop tastes, but ‘Violence’ hits the sweet spot. Haunting beats, an insistent hook and candied vocals that bitterly talk of a romance that’s damaging, controlling but satisfying. With 2019’s batshit political and cultural wars veering between poles, ‘Violence’ pins it all to the floor.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

Catbear – ‘Unrequited Love’
‘Unrequited Love’ is the second single from Catbear, and what a tune! Fully home-recorded, self-produced, and with a heavy helping of synths. In their own words Catbear say: “We make music for the enjoyment of it. We are two good friends that love each other and we love making music together. There is no other agenda. And with that attitude we want to inspire young women and LGBTQ people like us to not only go form a band, but to take control over every aspect of their music. You can be a guitarist, you can be a drummer. You can make beats, you can record and produce your own music. You can be anything.” (TW)

BEA1991 – ‘Loser Wins’
Amsterdam-based artist and musical polymath BEA1991 swept me away with this track, taken from her debut album Brand New Adult. I love her subtle, soaring vocals and there’s a beautiful accompanying video to this track that I recommend you check out too. (KC)

Sui Zhen – ‘Perfect Place’
Despite having now released three albums, I only heard Sui Zhen for the first time this year. And it was love at first listen. Inspired by how we exist in the digital age, ‘Perfect Place’ flows with glitchy beats and twinkling, ‘80s-inspired hooks alongside Sui Zhen’s quirky, honey-sweet vocals. An instantly infectious slice of sparkling alt-pop that I haven’t been able to stop listening to. The whole album, Losing, Linda, is pretty magical. (ML)

Despicable Zee – ‘Counting Cars’
Despicable Zee is an Oxford based musician, composer and performer. I am so very into this track of hers, ‘Counting Cars’. I cannot get enough of the samples and composition – so so good! Despicable Zee aka Zahra is also the director of the Young Women’s Music Project working alongside and guiding young female musicians. Her third EP, Atigheh, is self-produced and independently released, check it out now. (TW)

The Big Moon – ‘Your Light’
The Big Moon proved they’re as talented on two wheels as they are on two feet in the accompanying video to their superb single ‘Your Light’. With its catchy chorus, buoyant melodies and feel-good lyrics, it’s the perfect boost for anyone who’s feeling blue about the current state of affairs. The song is lifted from their upcoming sophomore album Walking Like We Do, which is set for release on 10th January 2020 via Fiction Records. (KC)

Captain Handsome – ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’
Having been a pretty massive fan of indie-pop superstars Fightmilk for a couple of years now, I was excited when Lily from the band shared the first single from her new solo project, Captain Handsome. A poignant exploration of every-day anxieties, ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ showcases Lily’s distinctive silky-smooth-yet-gritty vocals whilst oozing a touching raw emotion. With a twinkling lo-fi scuzz alongside the sensitivity of Lily’s refreshingly honest and consistently relatable lyricism, it’s a slice of effervescent indie-pop that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways. I can’t wait to hear more from Captain Handsome in 2020. (ML)

You can listen to all our favourite tracks now, in this handy playlist! We’ll be adding to the playlist as we share our other end of year features – keep your eyes/ears peeled!

 

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut
Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor
Vic Conway

John McGovern / @etinsuburbiaego

VIDEO PREMIERE: Hourglvss – ‘Dead Man’s Hand’

Brighton duo Hourglvss blend theatrical flair with their catchy experimental-pop tune in the visuals for their second single, ‘Dead Man’s Hand’. The gothic, Western inspired video is an ode to the band’s love of all things vintage.

Formed of Katie Benbow and Sophie-May Williams, Hourglvss bonded over a shared taste in music, fashion and art, soon discovering that Sophie had unknowingly been a regular customer of Katie’s online vintage store. It’s these unusual coincidences that form the basis of the pair’s musical creations, and ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ is the perfect example of this. It was produced by multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Christophers, who is known for his longtime collaboration with Bat For Lashes, having co-produced her 2016 Mercury Prize nominated album The Bride. 

Speaking about the track and the new video, the duo explain: “It follows the story of a villainous character who is wanting to destroy anything and everything in his path to come up on top. However, it doesn’t turn out that way and he ends up being shot and killed. We have both experienced different types of controlling natures in our pasts. This is essentially a metaphor for anyone who has ever been in a controlling situation, whether it’s personal or situational…for them to gain solace from the fact that they are stronger than what they are being controlled by.”

Hourglvss’s defiant attitude and thrilling visuals make ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ a theatrical gem. Watch the video below, and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Premiere: Tribes Of Europe & Barbara Stretch – ‘It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow’

Following previous singles such as ‘You Don’t Speak For Me’, and acclaim from the likes of BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 3, Fenland-based Tribes Of Europe have once again teamed up with former Feminist punk iconoclast Barbara Stretch for their latest single.

Written by Irving Berlin in 1938, ‘It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow’ was originally intended as an anti-war song in response to the the so-called Munich Betrayal when conflict with Hitler was avoided by allowing Germany to annex the Sudetenland region of western Czechoslovakia.

Loosely based on the version released by Vera Lynn to lift spirits during the Blitz, multi-instrumentalist Martin Elsey has put his own Tribes of Europe twist on this classic track. Starting off with glitchy soundscape, the track soon morphs into an angelic ode to hope, oozing Stretch’s smooth, rich vocals alongside blues-infused twinkling hooks and sparkling festive tones. A dreamy, heartwarming accompaniment to the Christmas season. 

Of the track, Elsey explains:

What happened to the ‘lovely tomorrow’ Vera Lynn was singing about? For a while things got better – decent affordable housing, the NHS, effective vaccination campaigns, building stronger ties with Europe to help keep some peace. Then, after years of austerity, and now the Brexit fiasco, the lyric just seemed to become more and more poignant.”

Watch the new video for ‘It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow’ now:

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Five Favourites: Tiberius b

Building upon the dream-pop melodies of the Vancouver duo known as Mu, that have taken us on various adventures in the tragedies of youth, Canadian singer-songwriter Francesca Belcourt now creates under a new musical moniker – Tiberius b.

Having now shared beautifully reflective, nostalgia laden new single ‘No Smoke’, they have showcased their ability to create utterly dreamy atmospheric soundscapes.

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 Francesca, who has shared their “Five Favourites” – five tracks or albums that particularly resonate with them. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to listen to latest single ‘No Smoke’ at the end of this post.

Nelly Furtado – Woah, Nelly!
I received this CD along with my first disc-man. I listened to it front to back for the first time over and over and over again on a road trip to Tofino with my family, and was entranced. To be honest, I never really understood what she was saying until revisiting the record recently, but I think her unabashed progressive lyrics mixed with her insane delivery/voice must have impacted me on a subconscious level… Everybody knows ‘I’m Like A Bird’, but everything she says across the whole record is so poignant and empowered. She also grew up on Vancouver Island which is very close to where I’m from.

SOPHIE – ‘Is It Cold In The Water?’
This was my favourite song of 2018. SOPHIE and Cecile Believe are both geniuses. I had the honour of working with Cecile on my upcoming album right before Oil Of Every Pearls Un Insides came out. When I heard ‘Is it Cold In The Water?’ for the first time after coming back from our residency, I was devastated by its tragic and gorgeous intensity.

Portishead – ‘The Rip’
I grew up listening to the albums Portishead and Dummy heavily. They were in the collection of CDs that my parents brought from London to Canada which soundtracked the lonely stretches of my childhood. I felt proud to embrace my creepy dark feelings when as I listened to them. Discovering ‘The Rip’ in adulthood helped reunite me with those early memories, and is my current favourite song by them.

Arthur Russel – ‘Close My Eyes’
I love this song because it is perfect, but also because it encourages me every time I hear it to be unafraid to explore whatever type of music that I’m inspired to create. I admire that Arthur never withheld himself from approaching and releasing a vast range of styles. 

Underworld – ‘Born Slippy’ (Nuxx)
One of my favourite songs off of the Trainspotting soundtrack, another album of the dad CD collection which I adored as a kid. We used to dance in the kitchen and make pancakes to this. Growing up listening to dance music made me feel quite free when I entered actual club environments, knowing how to express  myself with my body.

Massive thanks to Francesca for sharing their choices with us!

Listen to ‘No Smoke’, the captivating new track from Tiberius b here:

PREMIERE: Kate Stapley – ‘Hermit’

“I’ve been pissing like a racehorse” confesses Bristol-based songwriter Kate Stapley on the opening lyric of her new single, ‘Hermit’. It’s a blunt beginning, but her soft voice quickly draws listeners in to her poignant (slightly hungover) reflections on allowing yourself to be tender again in a new relationship.

Set for release via Breakfast Records on 6th December, ‘Hermit’ forms part of a Double A-side, with second track ‘Hours’. Produced by Oliver Baldwin (Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey), these tracks are the first that Stapley has shared since her 2018 EP, Centella, and they flow in her trademark vulnerable, yet optimistic vein.

“‘Hermit’ is a love song, celebrating those moments in a relationship when you finally have the bravery to embrace everything about yourself” explains Stapley. “When you stop trying to hide the painful, embarrassing bits – realising you never needed to hide them in the first place.” Observations like this make Stapley’s music so intimately disarming, and effortlessly relatable.

“You suit me so well / You be my hermit / And I’ll be your shell” she muses during the chorus, over gently plucked acoustic guitars, and soft percussion. The song’s patient rhythm feels reflective of the self-acceptance Stapley has discovered, and it’s wonderful to hear her lay bare her insecurities, transforming them in to new found confidence.

Listen to ‘Hermit’ below, and be sure to check out her second track ‘Hours’ tomorrow when they’re both released via Breakfast Records.

Follow Kate Stapley on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Simon Holliday

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

‘Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché’ Film Patreon Launched

Anglo-Somali artist and punk maverick Poly Styrene, of the band X Ray Spex, was one of the first women of colour to lead a successful rock band, and was a truly innovative figure both in music and for women generally. Chronicling her remarkable, and often troubled, life, Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché is directed by Paul Sng and Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell, and includes never-seen-before footage of Poly throughout her life, as well as interviews with other people in the industry including Kathleen Hanna, Pauline Black and Thurston Moore, about the great influence she had on them.

Now, to help them finish the film and bring it to international audiences, Bell and Sng have launched a Patreon campaign. Of the film, Bell explains:

“I set out with a clear goal to share my mother’s story as widely as possible because her story needs to be heard. In making this film, I have uncovered aspects of my mother I hardly knew before and also discovered that she made a huge impact on culture that is still being felt today. The fact that her legacy has not been properly acknowledged is something we are seeking to redress with this film.” 

Poly’s life was fraught with difficulties: poverty, racism, misogyny, and chronic mental health issues. After suffering a nervous breakdown at the height of her success, she left music to join the Hare Krishna movement. The film follows Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell as she examines her mother’s unopened artistic archive and uncovers the legacy of a woman whose lyrics were described by radical musician Billy Bragg as, “a slap in the face” to male artists and journalists.

Although rose-tinted spectacles are firmly off, the film looks to show Poly Styrene not only as the innovative figure for women in music that she remains to this day, but as a mother and a person.

The film follows Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story – a book released earlier this year by Celeste and author Zoë Howe.

Watch the trailer here:

Find out about the Patreon crowdfunding details here. Visit the film’s website.

And, make sure you tune in to our radio show tomorrow 5th December on Hoxton Radio 8-10pm, when we’ll have Celeste Bell in for a chat!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Introducing Interview: Sun Bloom

Having originally formed at college, London trio Sun Bloom have now shared their latest single ‘Take It Away’.

Filled with jangly melodies and the luscious swooning vocals of of front woman Viv Youel, it’s a sunny slice of dream-pop perfect for warming these dark winter days.

We caught up with Viv to find out more…

Hi Sun Bloom, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hello! We make upbeat, no-frills guitar music. We come as a pack of four from London. Sometimes we play as a more compact duo for the smaller gigs. We’re all about getting the crowd flailing around sticky floored venues and enjoying live shows.    

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
The two gals (Viv – guitar, Poppy – bass) met when we were 18 at college, and the guys (Troy – drums, Theo – guitar) met at Goldsmiths. Viv found drummer Troy after posting a Facebook advert… Essentially ordered him online!

Your new single ’Take It Away’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
It’s about what happens to love when it becomes long distance; how it survives in strange ways; how memory can take on a life of its own, and persist despite time and distance. You wouldn’t believe it, but it’s actually super upbeat and cheerful!

You’ve been compared to the likes of Alvvays and Best Coast, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I love Anna Calvi – she is so deft with her guitar work, she’s completely in control of it and owns the instrument on stage; serious (long term) guitar goals there!! Then bands like La Luz, Surf Curse and The Drums.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
My area is mainly populated by OAPs, so not much of a scene. I see bands I love when I can though! 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Drum beats to dance to, lyrics to yell along to, and hopefully some guitar parts to take you hair down for. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Gaygirl, Jelly Boy, Midnight Mouth, Lala Lala and Black Country New Road are a few of my current favourites. 

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
There are a lot of ways to get noticed. It’s the early stages that are hard to get past: when you are trying to build a following, so don’t have many people to bring to shows, but the promoters won’t book you unless you do… 

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Sun Bloom?
We’re recording a vinyl of six tracks through indie label Dog Tunnel records. We’re very excited to do it analogue style, and have a really raw, energetic recording of us all playing live together in one room. Hopefully we’ll get some gigs in the bag too! 

Huge thanks to Sun Bloom for answering our questions! 

‘Take It Away’, taken from Sun Bloom’s debut EP of the same name, is out now.