Top 5 Playlist: ANNAVR

Berlin based avant-pop artist ANNAVR has just released her latest EP II: Vibration the second chapter of a three part trilogy series, which began back in the summer with I: Hallucination. This EP has been on repeat ever since it landed in our inboxes – an all encompassing, experimental, sonic soundscape that melts into your ears.

Hot off the back of this release we asked ANNAVR to put together her Top 5 Playlist for you all and what a Top 5 it is… Get listening, learning and loving.

Kelly Lee Owens – ‘More Than a Woman’ (Aaliyah cover)
It’s a shame, but I have to admit that I discovered Kelly Lee Owens’ work actually only through Spotify algorithms. Her name popped up in the ‘fans also like’ section on my artist page. I guess this is one of my favourite tracks from her, featuring the beyond beautiful voice of Aaliyah.

Lauren Auder – ‘these broken limbs again’
I can’t say that Lauren’s music influenced me (yet), as I just very recently discovered it – it reflects a certain musical wavelength that sounds and feels very familiar somehow.

Tirzah – ‘Gladly’
I don’t think it’s possible not to love this song. Also that Pitchfork quote: “‘Gladly’ is a warm embrace of a song that clocks in at a leisurely 65 bpm—incidentally, the resting heartbeat rate that indicates tip-top physical condition.”

Eartheater – ‘Peripheral’
The day I discovered Alexandra Drewchin’s music, I felt heavily relieved. At least for a moment. Which also happened with Dean Blunt for me. It’s like that rare moment when you experience someone making audible what partly goes on in your head, but you can’t even describe with words.

Dorian Concept – ‘Promises’
Oliver’s work always connected pretty much everything I look for in music. I was lucky to cross paths, with him in the role of a lecturer, at the Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp in Berlin 2017. His latest album was probably my favorite of 2018.

Listen to ‘Vitamins’ by ANNAVR below, and find out more via Instagram & Facebook.

FIVE FAVOURITES: Lia Braswell (A Place To Bury Strangers)

Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers have been launching sonic assaults on the eardrums of their cult following for over a decade. Driving the trio’s sound is drummer Lia Braswell; who plays with a raw, punishing, and unpredictable style that’s best appreciated live.

If you’ve never experienced APTBS’s live show, you now have access to the next best thing: London’s Fuzz Club recorded a live session with the band last year and have released the recording exclusively on vinyl (available for purchase here).

We wanted to know more about what drives Lia to be the expert musician that she is, so we asked her to share her “Five Favourite” albums with us. Check out her choices below, and make sure you watch the Fuzz Club recording of ‘Punk Back’ at the end of this post too!

1. The Slits – Cut
When I first listened to this album, it changed my perspective of how punk music could sound. Primal, evocative, sensual but also very feminine. Something like an album that either came out of an imaginative shower or a communal dance around a bonfire, both introspective yet objective and literate. Initially, it was the album that I was searching for all throughout my angsty and awkward junior high school years, but didn’t find until after I was out of school. Then again, it might have inspired me to drop out before graduating!

2. Scout Niblett – The Calcination of Scout Niblett 
Simple, jagged, heavy. This album CUTS. It’s the inner snarky child who takes back their power and runs with it as an awakened grown up. After my roommate and I discovered that we have a mutual love for Scout, we busted out this record and started interpretive dancing to all the motions of fuzzed out guitar bends and primal drum breakdowns. This album brings so much raw emotion into an empowering force of self-affirming vigilance. Hell YES.

3. Broadcast – Future Crayon
Enchanting, subjective, expansive. What a beautiful masterpiece of subtle psychedelia mixed with dreamscapes that continue to resonate in the mind long after listening to the record. Such looseness in the drums, atmospheric bliss all around, and one of the most controlled and calming voices that graced this planet for far too short a life. It dials my heartbeat into a harmonious wake of contentment.

4. Max Roach and Oscar Brown Jr. – We Insist! Freedom Now Suite 
This is the album that makes jazz what it means to me. Historical, melodic, passionate, and rhythmic. What a powerful album. It is rich with so much history and depth. No matter how many times you listen, you still can’t break into it. You can’t break it down. It is still alive. It is still so real and raw nearly sixty years after it was recorded. This is the kind of album that should be explored in educational institutions and should remain to be one of the most prolific records ever to have been recorded.

5. Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
A bit out of left field here, but this album was pretty essential to my life when it first came out. The melodies, the harmonies, the rhythm of the album catches me in a way that not many other albums have. It evokes a melancholy wrapped up in a waltz of dreamscapes along a tired river. I will most likely listen to this album when I am sixty years old and suddenly memories that were long forgotten will suddenly appear as if they were of the yesterdays.

Huge thanks to Lia for sharing her favourites. We’ve got some listening to catch up on! Follow A Place To Bury Strangers on Facebook for more updates.

Introducing Interview: Soia

In the run up to her new release, Where Magnolia Grows, we caught up with Viennese Soia to get to know her a bit better.

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
Thanks! I started my first band when I was 18 with my ex-boyfriend who got me into hip hop, before I was mainly into 60s and 70s fusion jazz and klezmer. When I met the producer Mez years later we started working on the Soia project. It was all accidental.

Are you currently based in Vienna? How do you find the music scene there – is there much collaboration?
Yes, I have been living in Vienna for almost 20 years now. There are a lot of high quality musicians in Austria, a lot of highly skilled jazz musicians that wonder off to NYC one at a time. I recommend artists like Lylit, Schmieds Puls, Ruff pack, Jahson the Scientist, Esches, Oliclusive and more.

We’re loving your latest single ‘Run With Wolves’, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
The song’s lyrics are about not minding so much what other people think of you and not letting yourself be categorised by others. For the video, we collaborated with the performance artist Mirabella Paidamwoyo Dziruni, as the lyrics reminded me of her unapologetic approach to queer and anti racist activism.

It’s taken from your upcoming album Where Magnolia Grows, out on 29th March – how was the making of the album and how best would you describe it in one sentence?
The album was a lot of work and somewhat challenging for everybody involved. I hope it all pays off with the quality we were aiming to provide. Once everything is finished you can reflect and appreciate it again, but in the process it can be wonderful and painful at the same time.

What can fans expect from your live shows, and more importantly are you planning on coming to the UK anytime soon??
I might come to the UK sooner than expected. Our live show is very intimate, and different every time. I love being on stage with the band! We try to make it a whole new experience so it sounds different than the production.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I’m not the hippest up to date music digger, but I love listening to Allysha Joy, Solange, Mac Miller and Georgia Anne Muldrow at the moment. Also always the NYC fam like Black Spade, P.U.D.G.E. or Cavalier. I’m super excited for Kiefer’s new album coming up. The rest of my current music mood is mostly gems like Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway.

Thanks Soia! You can check out more from Soia via Instagram and Soundcloud

 

Photo Credit: Ina Aydogan

Introducing Interview: Helga

What better way to jump into Spring, than getting to know Swedish artist Helga, who’s told us about the reasons for going solo, her latest EP Nebulous and a new favourite sweet treat she’s discovered called bananinha!

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how Helga started?
Thank you! Back in late 2016 I decided to go solo after having played in a rock band and an indie folk duo. It just felt natural to go solo, I enjoy working alone and I am more effective this way. Also, I think it was a time when I was starting to explore the dark side of my heart and mind. It felt very exciting.

You are described as an artist, activist and songwriter- do you feel you identify more strongly with one particular creative arm, or do all these aspects of your life influence the other?
I wouldn’t call myself an activist. I just have strong opinions about things sometimes. I’m just a human being who happens to create stuff, write songs. Writings songs is one of the best things in the world.

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from in Sweden? Is there a strong music community over there?
I’m from the region of Dalarna. There is indeed a strong folk music tradition here that I hope we can preserve. I appreciate it very much.

We’re loving your single ‘In The Wilderness’, which we’ve played on the radio show – in it you reflect on the state of the natural world from the perspective of someone that spends their life close to nature. Can you expand on this for us?
I’m glad you’re enjoying the song. I wrote it when I was hanging out by myself in the forest nearby. It was just so tranquil and peaceful there. It moved me, so I thought I should write a song about this forest. I wish it knew that I wrote a song for it. I love writing songs about nature, sometimes it’s even easier than writing songs about people. All my music doesn’t have to have a message. Sometimes I just want to feel the music, the melodies. That’s enough. Sometimes there are no words to be said. You just sit there in silence and feel things.

‘In the Wilderness’ features on your recently released EP Nebulous. We’re totally mesmerised by the reverb heavy, drawl of this EP and its dark, damp forest music. How did you go about creating this record?
You’re too kind. Thank you. I played and recorded some of the guitars and vocals here in Sweden, while the rest was recorded in a land far away called Brazil! They have this candy that you should try called “bananinha”. You will like it if you’re a banana fan. I hope you’ll find some in the UK. Anyway, the musicians I worked with were beyond amazing, I can’t thank them enough. I’m not a drummer nor a bassist, but I have a decent idea on how these instruments work, and obviously that helps a lot when producing your own music. Luan is such a groovy bassist. Pedro is also a groovy drummer, even if he can do furious blast beats as well. Luiz is a groovy guitarist, who also happened to be good at producing and mixing. These are versatile and groovy musicians! I loved our team work.

What’s 2019 got in store for Helga?
Hopefully being crazy on stage! There are some exciting things happening, some that I’ll probably talk about later. I’m working on new music as well. Liking it a lot so far, some really cool sounds we’ve managed to create! I need to shut up. I won’t say more… Let’s see how it all goes!

Have you got any plans to tour over the next couple of months?
Maaaaaybe!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I haven’t been listening to music much these past few years, especially not the new ones. But in the beginning of 2017 I stumbled upon this American artist while reading stuff on a Swedish digital music magazine called HYMN. I listened to one song and it impressed me, so I listened to more of her stuff. Really enjoyed it. The artist is called Haley Heynderickx.

 

Nebulous, the latest EP from Helga, is out now.

Premiere: Imi – ‘Margins’

Having received acclaim from BBC Introducing and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, and supporting the likes of Let’s Eat Grandma and Ghostpoet, Leeds-based artist Imi is set to release her atmospheric new EP this month.

Taken from the EP, new single ‘Margins’ offers a dark, ethereal soundscape. Propelled by pulsating beats, the sweeping splendour of Imi’s powerful vocals soars alongside glitchy electronic hooks, creating an utterly bewitching creation. With shades of the likes of the sparkling alt-pop of Goldfrapp, it oozes a haunting grandeur that’ll send shivers down the spine on first listen. Of the track, Imi explains:

Margins’ explores the peak of my frustrations, offering a mocking account of my past constraints, but over time my thoughts on this have evolved. While my ambition for change hasn’t faltered, my perspective has matured in a way that is more accepting and is able to find happiness in the everyday.”

Listen to ‘Margins’, for the first time, here:

 

Lines, the upcoming EP from Imi, is out 15th March.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Portia Hunt

 

GUEST BLOG: Grimalkin Records

Get In Her Ears is all about supporting, collaborating, and communicating with other womxen and non-binary people in the DIY music scene. So, when Nancy Kells from the USA got in touch to tell us about her work as Facilitator of Grimalkin Records, we wanted to know more! Along with ten other members, Nancy works to support and release music by womxn from all walks of life.

Together, Nancy & Elizabeth Owens put the following blog together to explain more about their work at Grimalkin. Read what they have to say below and follow Grimalkin Records on Bandcamp to keep track of all the music they’re releasing! 

 

Grimalkin Records originally started out as Friends For Equality after the November 2016 US election and passing of Brexit in the UK. What began as a small benefit compilation project between two friends has now evolved into Grimalkin Records, a benefit label and queer artist collective. Currently, we are ten members strong, scattered between Richmond and Hampton Roads, VA, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, PA, Springfield, MO, and Baltimore, MD. All of us are queer women, trans men, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or agender folx.

Our primary mission is to support queer people—especially queer artists of color— and encourage people to get more involved in their local communities, and we aim to get there by strengthening the bridge between music and activism.

Specifically, we:

  • Release limited edition cassette tapes and lathe cuts to fundraise for various local organizations and individuals
  • Organize benefit shows and release parties
  • Create zines and merch items to spread our messages and augment our fundraising efforts
  • Support each other artistically and emotionally as individuals and friends

We are not genre-centered and all genres of music are encouraged for submissions (yay, we love music!). While most of our releases are benefit releases intended to raise money for a non-profit or community organization of the artist’s choice, releases can also support the artist/band or any other individuals who are in need of financial support. You don’t have to be a “member” of (or “signed to”) the label to release with us, either. We dig flexibility and run on an independent, case-by-case basis.

For example, last year we did a co-release with Madison Turner and her label Close by Air. We made a small batch of cassettes for her latest album, A Comprehensive Guide to Burning Out, with the full album on side A and a live recording of a Grimalkin benefit show set on side B. She chose donate all proceeds from this release to support Health Brigade, a free local clinic providing service for marginalized and oppressed folks in Virginia.

We passionately feel that music, art, and collaboration provide vital fuel in the work of healing and restoring justice. We also believe that real change happens from the ground up, and so have a strong focus on helping people on an individual level and through grassroots support of local organizations who have already been doing important (and often unseen) social justice and civil rights work.

Logistically, everyone in the collective pitches in when they can with a variety of things in whatever ways they feel they can; whether that means helping other individual members or the label as a whole, it’s all part of the same body. There’s no pressure on how much anyone does–people do what they can when they have time for it. You can learn more specifically about everyone in Grimalkin and check out their projects here.

We have big dreams, and eventually plan to be able to pay artists and musicians stipends to help with releases and shows and provide cassette packages for musicians to promote and sell on their own platforms.

We are always looking for more folks to join our family and are especially in need of people who thrive on promotional/outreach work and social media (if anyone’s interested *hint hint*)! We are also always looking for more community organizations, artists, collectives, and labels to collaborate with and are always open to new ideas.

If you think you’re a good fit for our collective or would like to put out a release with us, please email grimalkinrecords@gmail.com.

We have several exciting releases and collaborations lined up for 2019 and we hope you’ll check us out and keep coming back. The best way to stay in touch is by following us on social media and subscribing to our email list. We also have a website in progress for more general info.

Keep up to date with Grimalkin Records
Website
Facebook
Instagram 
Twitter 

PREMIERE: Aunt Margaux – ‘Saint Frances’

If you’re aware of a sinking feeling and in need of some melodic reassurance, Aunt Margaux‘s new single ‘Saint Frances’ will be a welcome tonic. The Canterbury-based songwriter will release the track on 14th March via Easter Island Records.

A gentle exploration of conflicted love, on ‘Saint Frances’ Aunt Margaux combines delicate harmonies and buoyant rhythms to provide a sense of emotional escapism. She enlistied the help of a full backing band on this release, but the vulnerability of her songwriting is still maintained, characterized her style and first EP Trust Your Body.

Listen to ‘Saint Frances’ below and follow Aunt Margaux on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut