Introducing Interview: Tia Gostelow

Having supported the likes of Frightened Rabbit and The Rubens, Brisbane-based artist Tia Gostelow creates compelling, heartstring-tugging ballads, capable of taking your breath away with her soaring, rich vocals.

Gostelow has just released emotion-strewn new single ‘Blue Velvet’, so we caught up with her to find out more…

Hi Tia, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hey! Thanks for having me. I’m a 19 year old singer-songwriter from Brisbane, Australia and I’m currently touring Europe!

How did you get started creating music?
Well, I’ve been singing and playing guitar since I was seven and I started writing songs when I was about fourteen. I remember seeing Taylor Swift when I was really young and thought that I wanted to be exactly like her!

Your debut album Thick Skin is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the album?
I wrote Thick Skin between the ages of fifteen to eighteen, and for me it was honestly just about what I had experienced in those years. There is a major theme throughout most of the songs being a social issue called ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’, meaning a tendency to discredit those who have achieved great things in life. I felt like throughout high school I wasn’t supported by my friends in my music career, and it was nailed down to jealousy and bitterness and it really got to me. I felt like I didn’t have any friends, I felt like I wanted to quit music because what’s the point if even my best friends aren’t proud of the things I’m doing? I’m so glad I stuck it out and kept pursuing music, but it was a really tough thing to go through and I think the title ‘Thick Skin’ says it all.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Mallrat and Nina Nesbitt, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
What amazing ladies to be compared to! I’m not sure if I have any particular influences, but I do listen to a lot of Billie Eilish, The Growlers & BROODS at the moment.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
The Brisbane music scene is great, everybody is so supportive, and it’s small so if you need something or some advice you’re sure to find it! I see so much live music, when I’m not playing shows or at one, I work at a live music venue, so I’m always around it.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
A really diverse set and some dancing and sing-a-longs!  

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
I would definitely suggest I Know Leopard, their newest record is insanely good.  

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I think that it’s always going to be difficult to get noticed, this industry is hard and there are thousands of people trying to get to the same place, but I think were in an era where there is so many resources and so many people to help you get to where you want to be.

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Tia Gostelow
Lots of touring, writing and recording!

Huge thanks to Tia for answering our questions! 

Thick Skin, the debut album from Tia Gostelow, is out now.

PLAYLIST: May 2019

Another month, another playlist to share with you all! May has been as fruitful as ever when it comes to new music, so we’re excited to share our top picks with you all. Take some time to scroll through our words and make sure you hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
Our fave feminist punks Dream Nails released their EP Vagina Police last year, with all the profits donated to Abortion Support Network who are an organisation dedicated to supporting women & girl’s reproductive rights in the UK. With the news this month that the US state of Alabama has voted to outlaw abortion entirely – a law that offers no exception for rape or incest victims – it feels more important than ever to shout back. Here are some ways you may be able to help women affected by the new legislation(Kate Crudgington)

Montauk Hotel – ‘White Billboards’
A luscious soundscape with a poignant context; Montauk Hotel released this single via Reckless Records. The Dublin-based band say their new track is a “reflection on the power of advertising in our society and how models and [industry] standards influence our choices, happiness, and feelings of adequacy”. (KC)

Julia Shapiro – ‘A Couple Highs’
“When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything” explains Julia Shapiro about her upcoming debut solo album Perfect Version, which is set for release on June 14th via Hardly Art. Having taken a step back from life as Chastity Belt’s vocalist & guitarist after a difficult year, Shapiro has returned with this second single from her new record and it’s a breezy, soothing drop of aural medicine. (KC)

Trash Kit – ‘Horizon’
Having wowed us at one of our first nights at The Finbsury, Trash Kit have now shared the brand new title track from their upcoming album. Inspired by how people interpret the planet, ‘Horizon’ oozes a shimmering effervescent joy and swirling sparkling energy. Interweaving twinkling hooks, jangly beats and funk-fused bass lines, its cascading sun-filled vibes build to a wonderfully life-affirming climax and rejuvenating euphoric haze.
Horizon, the upcoming new album from Trash Kit, is out 5th July via Upset The Rhythm. (Mari Lane)

Show Boy – ‘Video’
Having built a reputation over the last few years across London for his dazzling, energy-filled live shows, artist and producer Show Boy has now shared a brand new single. Taken from his upcoming Surreal EP, ‘Video’ is propelled by throbbing beats and a whirring danceable energy. An instantly catchy, sparkling alt-pop gem that demands multiple listens. (ML)

Pongo – ‘Chora’
‘Chora’ the latest single from Caroline International signing Pongo (who is an Angolan-Portuguese electronic artist) means “cry” in Portuguese. The track is taken from her debut EP Baia which documents her turbulent experiences when she fled Angola in the country’s violent civil war. Through blending Portuguese lyrics and musical references to the Angolan genre of Kuduro, which assimilates soca and samba alongside western touchstones like techno & dancehall  – it’s an absolute tune! (Tash Walker)

Lizzo (feat. Missy Elliott) – ‘Tempo’
It wouldn’t be a GIHE playlist without the inclusion of total queen, Lizzo. I cannot stop listening (and dancing!) to her critically acclaimed new album, Cuz I Love You, and this track sees a total dream of a collaboration with the utter legend that is Missy Elliott. Another hugely empowering, body positive anthem, with each listen of ‘Tempo’ I just get more and more excited about finally seeing Lizzo live later this month at Kentish Town Forum (maybe Missy will make a guest appearance….)(ML)

Pinky Pinky – ‘Do Me Dirty (Charlie)’
The new single from LA trio Pinky Pinky, ‘Do Me Dirty (Charlie)’ is an infectiously uplifting slice of garage rock. With shades of the likes of Hinds, it oozes sunny hooks and honey-sweet vocals, creating the perfect, sparkling summer-love anthem. Pinky Pinky are over in the UK next week, and I cannot wait to witness their scuzzy energy live at The Sebright Arms on 22nd May. Full info on dates here. (ML)

CLT DRP – ‘Speak To My’
The breathtakingly immense latest single from Brighton’s CLT DRP, ‘Speak To My’ is the ultimate track to put two fingers up to the patriarchy, and a perfect accompaniment to what’s happening in the world today. Blasting out a unique cacophony of intense electro-punk, ‘Speak To My’ addresses rejecting the male gaze and womxm owning their sexuality; a wonderfully riotous anthem highlighting CLT DRP as the future of feminist punk. And we cannot wait for them to headline our next night at The Finsbury on 14th June! (ML)

Ghum – ‘Get Up’
Having wowed us on numerous occasions with their immersive live performances, GIHE faves GHUM have now shared a new track from their upcoming EP. ‘Get Up’ is a hauntingly anthemic offering, perfectly showcasing GHUM’s goth-tinged, sparkling majesty and bewitching charisma. The Coldest Fire, the upcoming EP from GHUM, is out 28th June via Everything Sucks Music. Catch GHUM live at the launch party on 13th July at The Shacklewell Arms. (ML)

Bamboo Smoke – ‘Stretchmarks’
The latest single from South Londoners Bamboo Smoke who played a fantastic set for us at our first ever Notting Hill Arts Club gig. The band describe ‘Stretchmarks’ as their most vulnerable song to date. (TW)

Izzy Bizu – ‘Lights On’
Taken from the newly released EP Glita, this is the latest single from Izzy Bizu “about throwing caution to the wind and going with what you feel rather than what you think.” Free spirits listen up! (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’
It’s my birthday on 25th May and if you’re a Wolf Alice nerd like I am, you’ll notice that’s the date on the poster of the dance competition Ellie Rowsell enters in the music video for this track. 29 years old and I’m still angst-ridden af and ready to dance to this song as soon as I hear the opening riff. HB2ME. (KC)

Guest Blog: SONA

Our latest guest blog feature comes from Sona, an Armenian DIY musician based in South East London. In conjunction with the recent release of her Pity Party record, Sona writes here about her experiences living in London as a foreigner and the impact that has had on her music….

 

24th June 2016. The day Brexit was announced. Britain divided into two, with hate crimes soaring within the first few days. And, tragically, my 20th birthday. A heaviness plagued the air, infecting the otherwise sweet summery breeze and smell of various lemon-flavoured drinks. Two years later, I began to truly realise how these events, and other experiences I had since moving to London, had affected me.

There are so many layers to being Armenian or an immigrant – I don’t want to declare anything I’m about as whole or concrete, and my experience won’t be the same as someone else’s. The fact that I pass as white gave me a degree of privilege from the discriminatory crimes resulting from Brexit, but I was still subconsciously ashamed of being Armenian in public. An irrational yet rational fear of being undermined, scrutinised, and my ancient language being mocked explicitly or behind my back. I came from an unapologetic and loud Armenian household, to somewhere, where self-expression and emotions were regarded as uncomfortable or only available when intoxicated – somewhere where docility was praised.

Being foreign isn’t new to me – I grew up in Prague -, but in a cosmopolitan city like London, my otherness was pushed to new levels. London is so diverse, yet so segregated at the same time, and the narrative around culture or race is still taboo. It was hard to find people who actively wanted to engage with my culture/foreignness and weren’t uncomfortable around it, which consequently made me fixate on what it meant to me. I started writing and recording music that reflected my culture shock.

Months later, as I scrambled for ideas for a university project, I realised I could merge what I love doing, which was recording music, with academia. What attracted me to DIY recording was its availability and portability. It’s evolution over time with DAWs and modern interfaces allowed me to craft all layers from scratch and witness their progress. Digitisation meant I could delete and restart and work at any pace. I found the basis of my analysis – the effect of current DIY recording technology on songwriting. As I researched, a time obscured in my memory by fruitless trips to the library and endless bagels, I came across “The Temporary Autonomous Zone” by Hakim Bey, a piece of writing about DIY culture that resonated with me. Bey claimed that the act of creative self-expression by minorities created a temporary autonomous zone; a literal or metaphorical space “like an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerrilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it”.

Soon, these songs became a coping mechanism against the disillusionment and isolation I felt whilst living as an immigrant in the UK. In my bedroom in Deptford, I was creating my own temporary autonomous zone, where instead of the British government and Queensbray estate agents, I was in charge. Whether consciously or subconsciously, minorities are constantly trying to create safe spaces for themselves in the virtual, in public spaces, or simply within their homes. Therefore, I chose to keep each recording imperfection – to document that space within the interstitial, to transport the listener to my most vulnerable and intimate space. I experimented with temporality, with the shortness of the songs, as a response to the fast-paced listening and recording culture of our time – our processes are non-linear, fractured, and immediate, transcending any notion of form or time. It was also an homage to the small everyday moments of my life that had their roots in my otherness. I felt strangely liberated by my self-imposed time and volume limits and it was my small rebellion of self-expression that I didn’t feel confident vocalising in real life.

In April 2018, after decades of extreme corruption and unspeakable crimes by the government, Armenia underwent a peaceful political revolution, overturning the previously authoritarian regime. Watching these events unfold from somewhere, where Armenia is either associated with the Kardashians or completely unheard of, was excruciating. I wanted to release this project to transcend us from popular discourse and contribute to my culture the best way I knew how. In a way, I regret sharing this as I feel that the beauty of music lies in our own personal connections. To say my whole project is about my cultural identity would be false – it was just the backdrop to what I was writing about. I invite personal connections, but I hope this gives my audience, whoever they are, some insight into what it represents to me.

Huge thanks to Sona for writing for us. You can check out her music via Bandcamp.

Video Premiere: Cat Mahatta – ‘Hymn To Dudes’

Started as a bedroom project in Oakland, to try and encapsulate her experience as a queer mixed-race multi-instrumentalist, producer and dancer Cat Mahatta creates collaborative electro-pop and innovative performance art. Having previously wowed our ears with her last single ‘Barely’, she’s now returned with a spellbinding new offering.

An anthemic message to the patriarchal powers that be, ‘Hymn To Dudes’ drips with glitchy beats alongside Mahatta’s swirling, sparkling vocals, creating a glistening slice of alt-pop, oozing a poignant majesty and sweeping splendour.

Accompanied by an artfully choreographed and beautifully thought-provoking video that portrays a mystical sleepover in which Cat is inducted into a coven of Feminist Art Goddesses, ‘Hymn To Dudes’ offers a dreamily bewitching electro soundscape filled with an empowering spirit that we need now more than ever.

Of the track, Mahatta expands:

“‘Hymn to Dudes’ is a message to everyone who’s ever underestimated, belittled, or oppressed me and my global community; it empowers us and reminds us that we have permission not to care what they or anyone else thinks of us.”

Watch the new video for ‘Hymn To Dudes’ here:

‘Hymn To Dudes’ is out on 20th May via Practical Records – an independent label that releases music by California’s queer, trans, and experimental music communities.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

VIDEO PREMIERE: Hana Piranha – ‘Waiting To Burn’

Bewitching vocals and moody monochrome visuals collide on Hana Piranha‘s new video for ‘Waiting To Burn’ premiering exclusively today on Get In Her Ears. Released via Fourglove Records on 17th May, the new song is a “carefully balanced mix of subtle strings, heavy guitar riffs” and compelling lyrics.

The single is the title track of the band’s latest album and the accompanying video was shot and directed by filmmaker and long-term collaborator Arron West. Frontwoman Hana Mari is the daughter of a Catholic priest who was born during a hurricane; so it’s no surprise her songwriting and the band’s aesthetic are turbulent and prophetic.

Formed of Jim Beck (guitar), Daniel Tompkins (bass), Andrew Lane (drums), and multi-instrumentalist Hana, the band work together to create a sound inspired by Bach, Nine Inch Nails and everything in between. They’ll be touring their new album in September, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on cities and venues.

Watch the video for ‘Waiting To Burn’ below and follow Hana Piranha on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Grace Savage

Grace Savage is a four-time UK beat-box champion turned electro-pop artist. With her ability to produce catchy beats and write witty relatable lyrical content, her live shows are an impressive spectacle; and her performance at Loud Women Festival last year made a mark in our musical memory. She’s set to release her new EP Cracks on 17th May and will pre-empt the launch with a headline show at Bermondsey Social Club on 15th May (tickets available here).

We caught up with Grace to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to her single ‘Snowflake’ at the end of this post.

Amy Winehouse – Frank
I heard this album for the first time when I was 14, hanging out in my friend’s bedroom. I instantly fell in love and knew this woman was something special. The tone of her voice, the sensitivity and intelligence of the lyrics, the infectious melodies..I didn’t know much about music technically at the time, but I just felt the soul of this album to my core and I still listen to it today as much as I did back then.

I learned the song ‘Fuck Me Pumps’ on the guitar and it was the first song I ever sang in front of another human being. It was a producer who’d seen me beatbox in a talent competition, and then invited me to her studio; she asked me to sing something for her and I was absolutely terrified. I sang Amy’s song and she must’ve seen something in me because we then worked together as a songwriting partnership for four years. So this album will always have a special place in my heart.

P!nk – Can’t Take Me Home
I cannot even begin to explain the level of obsession I had with P!nk as a young girl. Posters on the bedroom wall, dyed my hair pink at 13, got my tongue pierced at 15, my email address for most of my teenage years was pink_b!tch@hotmail.com – it was a LOT. She was this bad ass lady with bright pink hair and so much attitude and I just wanted to be everything she was. She was a great role model for me as a young girl who didn’t fit in with the ”girly girls” and this album (although when I listen to it now sounds SO dated) was a big part of my teenage years. I’ve followed her career ever since and I’m seeing her live for the first time this summer….I think I might explode with nostalgia and happiness.

Nirvana – Nevermind
This album inspired me to learn the guitar. I went through the classic “grunge girl” stage for about a year (black nails, big nose ring, nirvana hoodies, eye liner, really bad skate boarding) and it was all heavily influenced by this album and Kurt Cobain’s genius. I was always such a hip hop head/r&b and pop music girl, but something about Nirvana really got me. The guitar riffs, the husky tone of his voice, the weird lyrics and the “don’t give a f***” attitude of the whole band was really refreshing against the shiny manufactured pop bands I was exposed to in the 90’s and early 00’s. This album introduced me to a different kind of music and really let me indulge my emo side.

Ms Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Ahhh it was so close between Lauryn and Missy Elliot because both had a huge impact on me growing up, but seeing as this is about ALBUMS and not ARTISTS… I had to choose this one. I remember I was about 14/15 and my mate said he bought this album and didn’t like it so he gave it to me to try. I’m so glad he did, because BOOYYY it is ICONIC! I fell in love with her voice watching Sister Act and I fell in love with this album the moment I heard it. Triple threat: singer, rapper, writer. There were really no other artists around like her at the time and her voice is unparalleled in my opinion. I still can’t think of anyone who sings, writes and raps as fluently and excellently as she does. She is one of a kind. I saw her perform the 20 year anniversary of this album in London last year and it was a beautiful experience.

BANKS – Goddess
This is the only “modern” album on my list but no less impactful and meaningful to my life. This is my break up album. I must have listened to it and cried to it and ran to it and danced to it and slept to it and then cried some more to it almost every day for about a year. When it came out, the production was like nothing I’d ever heard before and her lyrics and tone were so unique and dark and sexy, I was immediately like “WOAH” who is this girl? I’ve seen her live a few times now and she never fails to disappoint. ‘Waiting Game’ and ‘Brain’ still continue to be some of my favourite songs in existence – the slow driving kick drum, the long builds throughout the whole song, the deep driving synths and the tribal feel to her vocals drenched in reverb. Beaut. Thanks for getting me over the worst break up of my life. I owe you one BANKS!

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Video Premiere: Varley – ‘Proof’

Formed on the way home after a night of bowling, Berlin-based Varley have amassed more than 1.6 million plays, with their debut single ‘Roamer’ peaking at #23 in the Spotify Viral Charts. Following the equally captivating ‘Lonely Were The Days’, and having enchanted us with their live performance at one of our Notting Hill Arts Club showcases, the trio have now returned with a sparkling new offering.

‘Proof’ flows with chiming waves of synth and bright, infectious beats, providing a sweeping backdrop to Claire-Ann Varley’s luscious rich vocals, with shades of Aussie songwriter Julia Stone. A truly dreamy slice of ethereal indie-pop, it oozes a twinkling uplifting splendour that’ll stick in your ears on first listen.

Of the track, Claire-Ann explains:

“‘Proof’ was written just as Summer 2018 was coming to an end and tells the story of two people, who both know that whatever they have together is coming to an end but they are not quite ready to let it go. It follows them on their last adventure, their last road trip and their last few minutes together. It’s actually a positive song because even though they aren’t going to be together anymore, they still care about each other and want their last moments to count.

Filmed while the band were on a trip to New York, watch the nostalgia-tinged new video for ‘Proof’, for the first time, here:

‘Proof’ is out now via Seahorse Music. Listen on Spotify. Catch Varley live at the following dates:

23rd May – Auster Club, Berlin
24th May – Freundlich + Kompetent, Hamburg

Mari Lane
@marimindles