GIHE Celebrates International Women’s Day 2019

As you may be aware, at Get In Her Ears we celebrate wonderful female artists every single day! So, you may feel that there’s no real need for us to remind you on International Women’s Day to recognise them. But, as much as we try, days like today still seem necessary for society to take a minute and recognise not only the achievements of all the fantastic womxn in the world, but also to draw attention to the ongoing injustices and ingrained sexism that still sadly exists in 2019.

So, this International Women’s Day, we’ve put together some of the female/non binary artists that we feel have been pivotal in pushing forward womxn and equality in music over the last year. Read about why each of them inspire us, and listen to the super mega playlist below…

Aretha Franklin – ‘Respect’
I just couldn’t not include Queen Aretha, who the world sadly lost in August last year. She remains one of the most influential artists the world has ever known; a beautiful soul who changed music forever, as well as campaigning for civil rights throughout her life.
(Mari Lane)

Nova Twins – ‘Lose Your Head’
A lesson in cutting loose and walking on the wild side, South East London duo Nova Twins provided us with this mind-melter of a track earlier in the year. Last year, we were lucky enough to have Amy & Georgia come into the Hoxton Radio studio for a chat, and they blew us away playing live for Loud Women at The Lexington too. Their raw, abrasive, genre-defying tunes are consistent favourites here at Get In Her Ears, and I’m sure they’ll bring the noise again at Cro Cro Land next month!
(Kate Crudgington)

Noga Erez – ‘Bad Habits’
Tel Aviv renegade Noga Erez has been a favourite of ours ever since blowing us away with 2017’s Under The Radar. Last year’s ‘Bad Habits’ is a snarling tirade of anger, spoken through gritted teeth, exhibiting an intense defiance in both Erez’s lyrics and her music: “I’m no-one, but who the fuck are you? Huh?” she repeats, as the beats of Ori Rousso – her partner, co-writer, composer & producer – helps it mutate in to a “gritty, truth-seeking alt-pop” anthem – culminating in Erez’s vicious “Fuck you” at the close of the song.
(KC)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Bite’
We’re massive fans of Austrian artist Mavi Phoenix’s dreamy lo-fi electro offerings, and even bigger fans of all she does to promote LGBTQ+ rights. We were lucky enough to have a chat with her on our radio show last year, listen back here.
(Tash Walker)

Little Simz – ‘Boss’
I’ve been a little late to the Little Simz party, but now I’ve found her, I don’t know what I did without her immense power in my ears. Having released her debut album A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons in 2015 via her own independent label, she has continued to defy genres and receive acclaim over the last few years. And now, with her completely mind-blowing brand new album, Grey Area, she proves once again that she’s an incredible force to be reckoned with, with her ferocious, empowering anthems. She sums it up perfectly in this track: “I’m a boss in a fucking dress.”
(ML)

Pussyliquor – ‘MY BODY.MY CHOICE.’
Bringing their pure, uncensored female rage with a wild, punk-fuelled passion, Pussyliquor’s ‘My Body.My Choice’ gives an urgency to its explicitly important message. Having played for us at The Finsbury last year, they immediately filled the venue with the heaving bodies of an army of moshing fans, their intense riotous power, tongue-in-cheek wit and empowering messages of equality being delivered with a fierce energy and searing, colossal force.
(ML)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
The Menstrual Cramps pretty much sum up the current state of things with each of their topical, tongue-in-cheek offerings and empowering, feel good vibes. Taken from their incredible album Free Bleedin’, ‘The Smash’ blasts out the all-too-relatable refrain of “It’s time we took back the floor, kick the Tories out the door – we want a revolution”. Oozing an immense, politically-charged force as vocalist Emilia’s genuine, seething passion shines through, The Menstrual Cramps combine activism with musical prowess, providing an essential soundtrack for all womxn right now.
(ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Fall Asleep’
DIY punks Big Joanie released their debut album Sistahs last year, and it’s a mix of the personal and political; coupled with riotous rhythms and a sistah-hood ethos. Recorded at Hermitage Works Studio with producer Margo Broom, and released via Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz’s new label (The Daydream Library Series), Sistahs is a strong debut from a band who have been actively working on and off-stage within London’s DIY scene for years.
(KC)

Alice Bag – ’77’
Taken from last year’s poignant album Blueprint, punk legend Alice Bag brought together a dream team for her single ’77’. Featuring Riot Grrrl queens Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe, plus an appearance in the video from Shirley Manson, it draws inspiration from Dolly Parton’s 1980 proto-feminist workplace comedy ‘9 to 5′, commenting on the gender pay gap that still plagues society. Filled with seething, punk-driven riffs, the women not only rage that “I make 77 cents and it’s not right / It’s bad for women!”, but make the point that “it’s worse if you’re not white”. As Bag poignantly sneers “… don’t pretend that we’re paid equal… You wrote the script / But I’m writing the sequel”, ’77’ is an empowering, inspiring call to arms to unite against the patriarchy and make the changes needed for equality, in the workplace and beyond.
(ML)

Peach Club – ‘Boy In A Band’
I first became aware of Norwich Riot Grrrls Peach Club seeing them support The Tuts at The George Tavern a few years back, and they continued to blow me away headlining for us at The Finsbury last year. With a raw ferocity, thrashing hooks and driving beats, ‘Boy In A Band’ builds with a frenzied energy to a riotous anthem, blasting into the ears with a racing sense of urgency. And rightly so. We need voices like Peach Club’s now more than ever; a voice that gives motivation and inspiration to girls and women to speak out and be heard in order to prevent the damaging actions of certain boys in bands continuing to be swept under the carpet (or even accepted as the norm) within the music industry.
(ML)

Queen Zee – ‘Boy’
Making weirdness into wonderful, inclusive, explosive new tunes, GIHE favourites Queen Zee shared their debut self-titled album last month, and it was every bit as glorious as we’d hoped. Album highlight ‘Boy’ is an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be ignored, or oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes. “You can try and bury my head in the sand, but that won’t make the body at the surface a man’s” sings Zee, as manic guitar and heart-pounding drums smash out for just shy of five minutes. A poignant offering that gleefully cuts down any of the forces that attempt to stand in the way of equality.
(KC)

Lizzo – ‘Juice’
Another utterly empowering and ferociously fun offering from GIHE favourite Lizzo, ‘Juice’ is filled with all the refreshing wit and funk-filled grooves that we’ve come to know and love from the Minneapolis artist. With Lizzo’s joyous, body-positive spirit and its immensely infectious, ’80s reminiscent hooks, ‘Juice’ is the ultimate feel-good anthem for women everywhere.
(ML)

Tirzah – ‘Gladly’
Beautifully understated, gently hypnotic and lyrically touching. I cannot get enough of Tirzah right now, and you know what, it’s not just this track, but the whole album Devotion. What can I say… I am hopelessly devoted. Cringe statements aside, please go listen if you haven’t already, your life will be better for it.
(TW)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Hobby Horse’
A unique artist with razor sharp vision and uncompromising creativity; Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) combines glitchy beats, menacing samples and an uncanny new costume on her latest album, Pastoral. Gazelle Twin delivers her Pastoral vision through grinning but gritted teeth. Her altruistic style is one that can’t be mimicked – even though she herself is a master at adopting the traits of others, and transforming into a new species of performer who offers brutality and intrigue in equal measure.
(KC)

Pitou – ‘Give Me A Glass’
So gentle, so beautiful, and so delicate. ‘Give Me A Glass’ by Pitou is taken from her EP I Fall Asleep So Fast, released via Mink Records. I think this track is just mesmerising, and it probably helps that it was the first song I listened to after meeting my niece for the first time. So here’s to raising that glass to the new addition in my family!
(TW)

HAVVK – ‘Glass’
Last year, GIHE faves HAVVK (formally HAWK) marked their rebrand with the re-release of their bewitching single ‘Glass’. Originally written in 2015, and released in the run up to the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum, ‘Glass’ addresses themes of conflict and resolution. Oozing an eerie subtle power and magnetising grace, it showcases HAVVK at their most exquisite – doing what they do best; combining activism with their unique musical prowess. And front-woman Julie doesn’t stop there; she has also co-founded SelfMade – a platform to explore DIY music in Ireland through performance, discussion, and art, and last year launched Female Fronted Drawn Together – a project through which she has created a playlist of admirable female bands/musicians and created an illustration to accompany each song.
(ML) 

Courtney Barnett – ‘Nameless, Faceless’
Courtney Barnett is probably my favourite, and most relatable, lyricist. She has a unique ability to tackle everyday life with a perfect wit and raw honesty; that, combined with her woozy vocals and infectious jangly melodies, makes for an utter dream. Taken from last year’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, ‘Nameless, Faceless’ is a refreshingly honest take on male chauvinism; with lyrics inspired by Margaret Atwood – “Men are scared that women will laugh at them, women are scared that men will kill them…” – it perfectly sums up why we still need International Women’s Day.
(ML)

Wolf Alice – ‘Yuk Foo’
Seeing Wolf Alice perform under the sparkling mirror-ball lights at their Alexandra Palace headline gig in 2017; I swooned so hard I thought I might drown in my own heart-shaped tears. And I couldn’t be happier for them winning the 2018 Mercury Prize this year; extremely well deserved from Ellie Rowsell and co., and a promising step in the right direction for female bands and artists at award ceremonies.
(KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” our favourite Feminist Punk Witches rage in last year’s ‘Vagina Police’. A formidable offering from the band that proved once again just why we need Dream Nails in our lives; a group willing to combine activism and music to form a unifying force against the patriarchy; a group who create sparkling, energy-filled tracks that succeed in inspiring and motivating girls everywhere to get to the front and make our voices heard.
(ML)

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’
We don’t need to say how inspirational Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill and the whole Riot Grrrl movement are to us. But what we will say is that we’re are over the moon excited to all be going to see Bikini Kill live this June! Literally dreams can come true…

Listen to our International Women’s Day playlist on Spotify, and catch us for our IWD party tonight at The Finsbury. We’ll be joined by ARXX, The Baby Seals, Scrounge and Rainbow Corp, and will also be raising money for fantastic charity The Outside Project.

PREMIERE: HEARD Collective – ‘Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution’

Newcomers HEARD Collective have covered Tracey Chapman’s iconic track ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution’ to celebrate International Women’s Day, and we’re proud to be premiering the song ahead of its official release. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, the cover features instrumental and vocal performances from 11 diverse female artists from the folk, pop and indie music world.

HEARD was co-founded by multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriters Daisy Chute and Cerian after they met in the studio recording vocals for Radiohead’s latest album A Moon Shaped Pool. The collective was born out of a desire for more female representation in the music industry and to create a community who would tour together, support one another, and inspire a new generation of female musicians.

Joining Daisy & Cerian on their new mission are; Roxanne de Bastion, Kal Lavelle, Fabia Anderson, Lin Hamami, Jelly Cleaver, Elisabeth Flett, Jessie Reid, Susie Blankfield and Rosie Bergonzi. Their new single will be launched in an all-female showcase at The Slaughtered Lamb, London on Thursday 7th March and profits will be donated to charity (RSVP here).

Daisy and Cerian met Denny Fongheiser – the drummer on Tracy Chapman’s original recording of ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution’ – on an American tour, and he encouraged them to record and release their own version. Although released over 30 years ago, ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution’ feels just as relevant now as it did in 1988. The track was also mastered by engineer Katie Tavini. With statistics showing that 97% of music industry engineers/mixers are male, Tavini’s work on the collaboration feels extra significant here.

Daisy & Cerian added: “So often we were finding ourselves in the studio or on a lineup as the only female voice. We read in online magazine Pitchfork that only 14% of acts in American festivals in 2017 were female, and according to PRS only 16% of all songwriters/composers registered were female. Rather than viewing this as a competition between each other for that small space, we wanted to redress the balance and ‘open’ the window of opportunity, creating a collective of women not working against, but with and for each other.”

We’re big fans of what the HEARD Collective are doing. Listen to their cover below and follow the group on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Siemon Baker

kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Introducing Interview: RUNAH

Having received support from the likes of Clash, as well as wowing crowds at Sofar Sounds sessions, Irish artist RUNAH creates truly dreamy, emotion-strewn offerings, with shades of the majestic splendour of Laura Marling.

Ahead of the release of her debut album in May, we caught up with RUNAH to find out more…

Hi RUNAH, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! I am a musician originally from Manchester, now spending my life between Manchester and Dublin. I have an alter with herbs and offerings on it and my favourite place is anywhere outside.

How did you initially start creating music?
I was originally a dancer and for various reasons could not continue. It was a strange experience, and a necessary one – I had placed all of my perceived identity onto that being who I was and then I wasn’t. I wrote a lot, and my brother offered me his guitar to borrow, and here we are. I couldn’t stop.

Your new single ‘Ground’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
It is the story of a woman caught between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. She longs to fully experience the liveliness of the living, but sees their recognition that she is not from this realm. But equally she cannot rest with the spirits as she is in body. The song is about power, frustration and all that she wishes to know. It is also a nod to our growing gap between understanding the world we live in and its cycles, and our tech fuelled society, which I don’t think my spirit was made for.

 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Lana Del Rey and Cat Power, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Lisa Hannigan and Laura Marling are two of my favourite artists, I’m not sure how my influences come out in my work, but I know they do. I’m just not overly conscious of those choices. But I love the way they both tell stories in their music.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I do! I try to see more, but I also teach Yoga so sometimes my evenings are full. But I love live music. Both in Manchester and Dublin there is so much magic to be heard. I am new to the Dublin scene but it’s been fun so far.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
A lot of stories about wild women, interesting creatures and how much I love crystals. But they are mainly stripped back at the moment, it all tends to be quite mystical and dreamy, whilst I take you with me to the realms in my head.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Oh, I LOVE this question. Izzie Walsh, Megan Dixon-Hood, Lindsay Munroe and Chloe Eleanor are just a few of my favourites. But there are so many fantastic musicians, it’s magical.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It is difficult but I just love making music and if a few individuals feel like dancing around or listening to my stories then that’s the magic, isn’t it? It’s wonderful to have people write or come up to you and say “wow, this made me feel this” or “I felt like I’d been to a different place”. I love music for this reason – it’s an offering, so if anything comes that is wonderful.

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for RUNAH?
Magic, and my debut album Strange, out May 5th – it’s all about the wild woman archetype and my journey with her. In love, loss, sexuality, vulnerability, anger, passion and all the magical changeability, that what is women are. It is a love letter to all who identify as women but also the divine feminine that is in us all. May there always be magic with you.

Huge thanks to Runah for answering our questions! 

Strange, the debut album from RUNAH, is out 5th May via Beardfire.

 

Playlist: LGBT History Month

To mark the end of LGBT History Month, we dedicated our 28th February radio show to highlighting some of our favourite LGBTQ+ artists. We’ve put together a LGBT History Month playlist of all the tracks we played, plus some extras we didn’t have time for on the show, because LGBTQ+ history is part of all of our history and should be celebrated every single day!

Read about why we picked some of the tracks here, and then make sure you listen to the full playlist!

Hercules & Love Affair‘Blind’
This track is so important me, taken from Hercules & Love Affairs’ self-titled album released in 2008, which I was obsessed with. Growing up I don’t remember any out famous LGBTQ+ women in music, so seeing Kim Ann Foxman who was part of their line-up on the album -so confident in her sexuality – it made the biggest of impressions on me. The music isn’t bad either. ‘Blind’ is without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life.
– Tash Walker

Shamir‘Straight Boy’
I’ve had a massive love for Shamir since seeing him at Visions Festival a few years ago, and then again last summer at Camden Assembly. A step away from the uptempo playful pop of his debut, ‘Straight Boy’ is a real beauty laying bare a heart-rending raw emotion. Shamir explains: “(it’s) about how frustrating it was for me to have my whole identity picked apart at a young age just to see straight white men use it as an aesthetic choice.”
– 
Mari Lane

Frank Ocean‘Chanel’
Such a great song. As you may or may not know Frank Ocean came out back in 2012 to mixed, but mainly positive, responses. Although he’s not technically a hip-hop artist, he is very much part of the community and this was a positive step for LGBTQ+ artists not only in hip-hop, but also on a much wider scale.
-TW

Syd ‘All About Me’
This is one of my favourite tracks from Syd who is openly LGBTQ+, and you may know from the excellent collective The Internet.
– TW

Blonde Maze‘Awake/Asleep’
Ever since first hearing New York artist Blonde Maze a few years ago, I’ve been completely and utterly addicted to her luscious atmospheric offerings. This beautifully twinkling track is taken from her 2015 Oceans EP – a collection of songs reflecting her long distance relationship with her girlfriend, who at the time lived in England.
– ML

Mykki Blanco (feat. Princess Nokia) – ‘Wish You Would’
This is a song from an artist who I feel needs no introduction, a queer pioneer who is doing amazing things for LGBTQ+ rights as well as being open about their positive HIV status. Mykki Blanco is also such an incredible artist and his music is just oh so gooooood.
– TW

Jackie Shane‘Any Other Way’
I was sad to learn of the recent death of trans rights pioneer and musician Jackie Shane last week. Jackie has remained largely unknown outside of Toronto, where her career flourished in the 1960s, but with the 2017 reissue of Any Other Way – the first approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work featuring highlights from her sessions at the Sapphire Tavern – I think that’s about to change. She lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated towards those who identified as trans. Though she has a classic sound, her obvious talent and her championing of equality will forever remain contemporary.
– Kate Crudgington

King Princess – ‘1950’
Something that I am really proud of here in the UK is the latest generation of LGBTQ+ people, who continually amaze me with their openness and their acceptance of how others identify in their sexuality and gender identity; so different from when I was growing up. ‘1950’ by King Princess is an excellent example of the progression we have made throughout the last 60 years.
– TW

Suggested Friends ‘I Don’t Want To Be A Horcrux For Your Soul’
I can safely say that Suggested Friends are one of my most-listened to, and most thoroughly loved, bands, so I’m super excited to hear that they’re currently working on a new album to follow their self-titled debut. This track in particular showcases their perfect, immensely infectious queer punk-pop to a tee. Filled with racing, catchy hooks and luscious harmonies, Faith Taylor’s witty charm and exquisite vocals fill me with pure joy on each listen.
– ML

Dream Nails ‘DIY’
Collective GIHEs faves Dream Nails are renowned for making women and non-binary people feel safe at their live shows, and they tirelessly campaign on and offstage for LGBT rights too. DIY is an anthem that reminds me time and again that all that’s needed to inspire change is a pro-active attitude, some self belief, and a healthy bit of collaboration. Long live Dream Nails!
– KC

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something‘Someone Else To Blame’
Non-binary London artist Jemma Freeman creates wonderful psychedelic creations that’ll take your ears on a sonic, spacey journey on each listen. We’ve been wowed by their immensely captivating live show on more than one occasion, and we highly recommend you do the same.
– ML

Sleater Kinney ‘Jenny’
A song written by Corin Tucker reflecting on her past relationship with bandmate Carrie Brownstein, ‘Jenny’ is an underrated gem from one of my all time favourites, and pioneers for women in rock, Sleater Kinney.
– ML

ARXX‘Intervention’
Having blown us away with their immense energy at their live shows, and supported bands such as Dream Wife, ARXX are one of our ones to watch for this year. They just keep getting better. This track, ‘Intervention’, taken from last year’s EP Daughters Of Daughters, oozes a ferocious spirit, as vocalist Hannah talks of social injustices, giving a shout out to the LGBT charity Stonewall, exclaiming that “you don’t get to say who we fall in love with”. It’s a perfect, raging anthem for equality. And we cannot wait for ARXX to headline for us at The Finsbury for our special International Women’s Day gig next Friday, 8th March.
– ML

Queen Zee‘Boy’
‘Boy’ by Liverpool’s Queen Zee is an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes. ‘Boy’ is taken from Queen Zee’s debut self-titled album which is available now, and I’m so happy to see Queen Zee doing so well, refusing to be melted in to a “masculine mould”.
– KC

Bugeye ‘Is This Love?’
Fellow Croydonites, Bugeye, have been lifting my spirits with their colourful disco-punk for some time now and this track – a twisted play on the theme of love, taking inspiration from Donna Summer’s ’80s club anthem ‘I Feel Love’ – is a perfect example of what they do best. Having got the whole crowd dancing at last year’s Croydon Pride festival, Bugeye are flying the flag for LGBT women in music south of the river, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
– ML

Le Tigre‘Hot Topic’
I just couldn’t not include total faves and pioneers of queer culture, Le Tigre. An unabashed celebration of (mostly) female and LGBT artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers, ‘Hot Topic’ remains one of my all time favourites, as it never fails to inspire and motivate me to get up and achieve my dreams.
– ML

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
Robyn is an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights. I think it is important to recognise the role that allies play within LGBTQ+ history and the movement’s continued fight for equality. Being an ally is about educating yourself, it’s about listening, being visible, challenging inequality and helping to educate others. Being an ally isn’t just about LGBTQ+, it applies to any under-represented, marginalised section of society worldwide. As Stonewall says “If we want to live in a world where people are accepted without exception, we all need to be part of the solution.
– TW

Janelle Monae (feat. Grimes) – ‘Pynk’
A brash celebration of creation from the powerhouse that is Janelle Monae. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power! Need I say more.
– TW

Planningtorock ‘Non Binary Femme’
This track summed up 2018 for me, a year that gave with free abundance in good music, in particular Planningtorock’s album Powerhouse. Throughout the whole album, Powerhouse has such an uplifting sound, the music is under the skin catchy and any album that uses the language ‘Non-Binary Femme’ in the title of the song is unarguably paving the way for not only a greater/better understanding of what these words and this sort of language means, but also for it to become a fully accepted part of everyday conversation.
– TW

Shura – ‘2Shy’
I just love this track from London artist Shura, who has been consistently challenging stereotypes since she came out as a lesbian a couple of years ago and helping to ‘queer the mainstream’. Bring on the blurring of gender and sexuality in pop!
– TW

St. Vincent – ‘Fast Slow Disco’
A believer in gender fluidity, pioneering pop artist Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent’s, 2017 Masseducation album was an utter joy from start to finish. With an accompanying video featuring Clark dancing through crowds of men at a gay club, ‘Fast Slow Disco’ is a perfect, uplifting anthem.
– ML

Perfume Genius‘Hood’
At just two minutes long, ‘Hood’ from Perfume Genius is a perfectly heartbreaking song. Taken from his 2012 album Put Ur Back In2 It, which is start to finish heart-string tugging perfection, it’s accompanied by a video featuring Mike Hadreas and gay porn actor Arpad Miklos embracing each other, which was deemed ‘unfit for family viewing’ by YouTube. But it’s actually just truly beautiful and powerfully poignant, and should be viewed by everybody. Of the track Hadreas explains: “The song’s about how if someone knew you 100%, they would go away… So, in the video, I didn’t acknowledge [Miklos] until I was fully done-up in all my gear and my wig. That’s how I feel in general. That freaky shit underneath — that’s kind of who I am, really.
– ML

Antony and the Johnsons ‘For Today I Am A Boy’
A stirring and powerful ode to the journey of transitioning. With the immense passion of Anohni’s distinctive, soulful vocals, ‘For Today I Am A Boy’ is a simply exquisite creation.
– ML

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
Released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat. Outside of Get In Her Ears I am the Co-Chair for Switchboard – the LGBT+ Helpline which turns 45 years old this year. It is an incredible organisation that is rich with LGBTQ+ history, but it got me thinking and made me look at all the different events that Switchboard’s volunteers have supported people with throughout its 45 years. From the numerous police raids on LGBT+ venues in the 70s, the HIV and AIDS crisis in the 80s, as well as Section 28 which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality (only revoked in 2003). It also went on to support people after the Soho Nail Bomb which it is the 20th anniversary of this year. More recently we’ve seen such events as the Orlando shooting, along with an increase in hate crime towards members of the LGBTQ+ communities specifically targeting transgender people, which is completely unacceptable. But it hasn’t been all bad, there have been a lot of positive changes throughout our recent LGBTQ+ history. Changes in legislation such as equal marriage and educational guidance in schools (hot off the press this week), and changes in societal and cultural views. What we’ve got to keep remembering is that we’re still on that same journey. A journey for equality. A journey for full acceptance… of everyone, no matter how they identify.
– TW

Listen back to last night’s show to hear more about our chosen tracks, or give the full extended playlist a listen on Spotify now:

FIVE FAVOURITES: Mint Field

A soothing tonic for minds that are scarred from the stresses of modern life; Tijuana-based psych trio Mint Field have shared their new EP Mientras Esperas via Innovative Leisure. Translated roughly as “While Waiting”, their new release focuses on themes of connection with the modern world, and how our own well-being is affected by it.

Following the success of their 2018 debut Pasar de la Luces, and now with bass player Sebastian Neyra on board; Amor Amezcua and Estrella del Sol Sánchez continue to make thought provoking music with a shoegazey, dream-pop feel. We asked the band to share their “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you listen to Mientras Esperas at the end of this post.

1. Beak – <<
We have no memory of coming across this album or how we discovered it, it’s as if it magically appeared in our files. We heard this album together so much last year while we were touring and we got to see Beak for the first time in Desert Daze, such an epic show. They’re definitely one of our biggest influences.

2. Kikagaku Moyo – House in the Tall Grass
We first heard Kikagaku Moyo when we were recording our debut album, Pasar de las Luces, in Detroit. Chris Koltay, our producer, has a big wall and drawers foiled with vinyl collections and one of the LP’s he put one day was this one. Ever since then, we became big fans of them. We got to see them in Desert Daze last year too and it was such a great show – they’re such a good live band.

3. Ulrika Spacek – Modern English Decoration
Ulrika’s new EP is so nice, we loved their last album as well but this one is more significant because of the fact that we got to tour with them across America last year after they released their EP. We became good friends with them and it was a gift to see them play every night, they’re a really great live band.

4. Helvetia – Helvetia’s Junk Shop
We discovered this band and album when we were touring with Ulrika Spacek, it was in one of their road trip playlists and we’ve been listening to them ever since. It has such good drums and melodies.

5. Lorelle Meets the Obsolete – De Facto
We have been fans of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete for quite some time now and this is their new album. We really loved it, specially the two last songs – they’re so good, as is the whole album really. We definitely recommend this band that also happens to be from Mexico.

Thanks to Mint Field for sharing their favourites with us! Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Adriana Tangassi

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: FRIEDBERG

Alt-indie outfit FRIEDBERG – The brainchild of Austrian singer-songwriter Anna Friedberg – came together as a result of frustration at the wider industry and being in the right place at the right time. Originally discovered by Lenny Kravitz, Anna spent much of her time as a songwriter travelling between Europe and America, gaining influence from the spaces she was surrounded by – particularly the Joshua Tree National Park in the Californian desert.

Inspired by her time writing and recording in the wilderness, Anna moved to London where she teamed up with a group of musicians – Emily Linden, Eilidh McKellar and Cheryl Pinero. In the summer of 2018, the girls began playing a handful of secret shows which then led to a singles deal with London indie label LGM Records (Goldheart Assembly, Amaroun) and Free Trade Agency (The National, The War On Drugs). Thus, FRIEDBERG was born. The band have just shared their debut single ‘Boom’ and will be releasing more new music in the near future.

We asked Anna, Cheryl and Eilidh to name their “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you listen to ‘Boom’ at the end of this post!

1. ESG – ESG
The hottest band and album in the world (still). I still cannot believe I discovered ESG and their ’91 album only a few years ago. What have I done all my life before I knew ESG?! To me, they are coolness personified and much more than that: So groovy and hooky and minimalistic, just everything I love combined on one record. What I found most inspiring is the incredibly unique drumming. I really have never heard a tastier, more special way of drumming. I could endlessly just listen to that record. It just never gets old, probably even fresher every year. (Anna)

2. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit
It was probably the best time in my life: 2015, driving through California, into the desert of Joshua Tree, windows rolled down and singing along to Courtney Barnett’s debut album. It was at that time when I also started to write the music for our new album and Courtney was just like the gentlest and freshest breeze carrying me on that special journey. I just cannot express how much I love her lyrics. Her stream-of-consiousness style, the way she tells her stories is simply sublime. So smart and beautifully written, that you just cannot escape. Not to forget her super laid-back vocals and phenomenal guitar playing. (Anna)

PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
I almost cannot listen to that album without seeing PJ Harvey in my mind’s eye performing those songs at the Primavera Festival in Barcelona a few years ago. Whenever I listen to that record I’m back there, standing in the middle of thousands of people, by the sea, totally overwhelmed by her jaw dropping performance and presence. Polly’s haunting live-show is to blame, why this became one of my favourite albums of the past years. (Anna)

Warpaint – The Fool
I’ve listened to this record probably a million times since it came out. It has such an uncompromised sound to me, because each individual song shows so many facets, with such effortless dynamic. I love the raw, dreamy and deep feel to their music. What an amazing band! (Cheryl)

Radiohead – Ok Computer
I first discovered this album when I was about 13, but truly came to love it when I was 17 when I performed the whole entirety of the album at university. ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Let Down’ are my two favourite tracks. Thom Yorke’s vocals are trippy and haunting. Listen to it while walking in the rain (Eilidh)

Photo Credit: Max Parovsky

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Premiere: HEZEN – ‘Bring Your Alibi’

Reflecting on themes of femininity, strength, and vulnerability in her work, London-based French artist HEZEN has previously charmed our ears with the spine-tingling sounds of ‘Oil Fire’, and is now back with a powerful new offering.

Inspired by an imaginary meeting between The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo protagonist Lisbeth Salander and the grim Harvey Weinstein, ‘Bring Your Alibi’ is a reflection on the #MeToo movement and the sense of justice and social upheaval it has hopefully brought. Propelled by glitchy beats and twinkling hooks, it flows with sweeping, honey-sweet vocals, oozing a soaring majestic power. Deeply poignant and resonant in tone, HEZEN has created an utterly infectious alt-pop anthem with stirring, dark undertones.

Of the track, she explains:

The #MeToo movement had a profound effect on me. It felt like an incredible shift – I remember feeling so much admiration for the people who found the courage to tell their story. I was inspired to channel that resilience and courage – it’s like a feminist retelling of David vs Goliath.

Listen to ‘Bring Your Alibi’, for the first time, here:

 

‘Bring Your Alibi’ is out tomorrow, 22nd February. And you can catch HEZEN live on 27th February at SET, Dalston.

Mari Lane
@marimindles