PLAYLIST: September 2019

Festival season is over, but new-album-release-season has only just begun! We’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of new music we’ve heard in the first few weeks of September, so we’ve selected a fraction of the finest tracks for you to delve in to. Take some time to scroll through our track choices and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the bottom of the page…

The Big Moon – ‘Your Light’
With its catchy chorus, buoyant melodies and feel-good lyrics; ‘Your Light’ is the perfect boost for anyone who’s feeling blue about the current state of affairs. The band performed their synchronized cycling in the accompanying music video in the Essex countryside, and they look at ease singing along to their brand new tune. Their new album Walking Like We Do, is set for release on 10th January 2020 via Fiction Records. (Kate Crudgington)

She Drew The Gun – ‘Trouble Every Day’
Having blown our minds earlier this year at Cro Cro Land, The Wirral’s She Drew The Gun have now shared a new re-interpretation of Frank Zappa’s ‘Trouble Every Day’. Propelled by a raw emotion and impassioned grit,  Louisa Roach’s smooth, distinctive vocals blast out the all-too-poignant, poetic lyricism. With a seething energy and politically-driven tension that builds with each note, it’s a sincere, empowering anthem for our troubled times. (Mari Lane)

Ski Lift – ‘Comfortable Here’
The debut single from London’s Ski Lift, ‘Comfortable Here’ offers an angst-driven diatribe railing against the perceived mundanity of adulthood, while simultaneously surrendering to it. With the distinctive, crystalline emotion of Benji Tranter’s vocals alongside the twinkling harmonies of Anna Vincent (Heavy Heart), it’s an utterly infectious alt-pop anthem for our times. (ML)

SASSY 009 – ‘Thrasher’
“​My music has never been a reflection on happiness​” explains SASSY 009, but her sound is far from melancholy. On ‘Thrasher’ she combines enchanting vocals, jagged synth textures and dense beats to create a transient, anti-party anthem. (KC)

Ella – ‘Esmé’
I am sooo into this track! Fusing modern electro and historic jazz into a dream soundscape, Ella is absolutely killing it. There is also an acoustic video version of this track which is definitely worth checking out. (Tash Walker)

Joviale – ‘Struggle Cuddle’
The wonderful Joviale released her debut EP Crisis via Blue Flowers earlier this month, and like all of the tracks that feature on it, ‘Struggle Cuddle’ is wonderfully sweet and poignant. Her headline show has been re-arranged for Folklore in Bethnal Green on the 12th December, with support from Laura Groves and Fauci. Grab your tickets here. (KC)

Keren Ilan – ‘Take Her Down’
I cannot and will not stop talking about Keren Ilan who is one of my favourite artists at the moment. Her EP This Morning, Yesterday dropped a month or so ago and I just love it, already a big fan of the title track, for this month’s playlist I’m choosing ‘Take Her Down’ also from the EP but almost the inverse of This Morning, Yesterday but just as good. (TW)

Jorja Chalmers – ‘Human Again’
Australian multi-instrumentalist Jorja Chalmers has played with Bryan Ferry for the past decade, and now she’s sharing her solo LP Human Again on 20th September via Italians Do It Better. The eponymous single is an intoxicating affair, with Chalmers’ charming vocals floating above cinematic synth textures. Bliss. (KC)

Chelsea Wolfe – ‘Deranged For Rock & Roll’
Chelsea Wolfe released her new album Birth Of Violence earlier this month, and I spent an entire evening fan-girling over its haunting beauty (read my review here). It features this track ‘Deranged For Rock & Roll’, which smolders with moody confidence. “These songs came to me in a whirlwind” explains Wolfe about her new music, and what a turbulent, devastating whirlwind it must have been. It’s a privilege to be able to weather the storm with her. (KC)

Nova Twins – ‘Vortex’
Amy & Georgia have unleashed this belting new single ahead of their sold out show tonight (18th September) at Sebright Arms. Full of their trademark thunderous, distorted bass lines and in-your-face lyrics, ‘Vortex’ will be the live highlight of their set. (KC)

Breakup Haircut – ‘Why Can’t I Be Cool Enough To Move To Berlin?’
Taken from their brand new EP What Did You Expect, I Got It Off The Internet?, Breakup Haircut’s ‘Why Can’t I Be Cool Enough To Move To Berlin?’ showcases perfectly what this band are all about. Having formed just a few months ago at First Timers Fest, they deliver joyous lo-fi punk with witty lyrics that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Catch them live for us at The Finsbury on 11th October(ML) 

Chartreuse – ‘Three Days’
Chartreuse a four-piece band from the Black Country and this track, ‘Three Days’ was my Track of the Show on Hoxton Radio a couple of weeks back. What a great start with this debut loose-limbed, country kissed soul music. Just lovely. They’ll be playing at EartH in London on 30th October, get down there. (TW)

Mexican Radio – ‘Night Of The Nihilist’
With their third album due out later this month, Berlin-based Mexican Radio pride themselves on their visceral energy and quirky unique, ‘uniformed’ style. Complete with pumping beats and glitchy electro hooks, latest single ‘Night Of The Nihilist’ is an intense, energy-fuelled synth-punk anthem with shades of the likes of LCD Soundsystem. (ML)

GHOST CAR  – ‘Awkward’
‘Awkward’ by Ghost Car is such a strong slice of garage rock, from right here in East London, made up of Clara, Laura, Maria and Maeve. It is their latest single and they tell us to expect a whole load more of that bubblegum badassery from their upcoming album! (TW)

Rapsody – ‘Ibtihaj’
My current obsession. North Carolina artist Rapsody recently released her album Eve, a poignant collection with each song dedicated to a different influential black women. Featuring Wu Tang’s GZA, ‘Ibtihaj’ is probably my favourite track from the album and is named after Ibtihaj Muhammad, a fencer who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, and was the first American Olympian ever to compete while wearing a hijab. I just love this song’s immersive groove and all it represents! (ML) 

INTERVIEW: Boudica Festival

With a female-focused line up, Boudica Festival (named after the warrior queen thought to have stood her final battle against the Romans just north of Coventry) is a unique event that gives a platform to, and celebrates, the wealth and diversity of womxn and non-binary talent in the music industry both on the stage and behind the scenes.

Womxn and non binary artists have always been underrepresented in all aspects of the music industry. Low womxn representation is an industry wide problem, with a growing awareness seeing many festivals being called out for their male dominated lineups. Boudica Festival, however, seeks to change this opinion by showcasing womxn and non-binary musicians from across a wide spectrum of musical genres across three stages, including a local artists stage, showcasing the best up and coming talent in Coventry. Alongside the live music there will be DJ and music coding workshops for budding musicians as well as stalls filled with arts and crafts from local artists. A long term aim, as well as having a stellar female line-up, is to form an all womxn events crew, using the expertise of womxn sound engineers, lighting technicians and stage managers.  As well as providing a platform, Boudica Festival wants to highlight the opportunities available to womxn within the music industry other than performing.

Taking place on 19th October in Coventry, we obviously strongly agree with all that Boudica Festival stands for, especially with some of our favourite bands playing there this year! So, we caught up with the team to find out more…

Hi Boudica Festival, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?

Ellie Ball: Boudica Festival is an annual celebration of women and non-binary people in music both on and off the stage. The festival features specially curated live music over three stages celebrating inspirational female and non-binary performers from a variety of genres, alongside music workshops and stalls from local artists. In addition to showcasing female talent, we have also built an entirely female & non-binary events crew. Meaning everything from the sound to the marketing has been provided by womxn.
Sarah Morgan: For the past couple of years the festival has been supported by PRS Foundation. This year through their Talent Development Partnership Programme. 

2019 will be Boudica Festival’s third year – congrats! Can you tell us a bit about how it all started out?

EB: The festival was born out of a shared frustration towards the state of the music industry, particularly in the live sector. Our first edition took place back in 2017 in a sort of warehouse type space in Coventry City Centre. It was great! We had a selection of local and up-and-coming performers play. Last year we moved to our new home, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum which has offered up the exciting opportunity to programme more artists across different stages. 

It’s fantastic that you’re hosting a festival specifically for women and non binary bands and artists – what triggered you to do this?

Michelle Bailey-LeLong: I got involved with Boudica as I was tired of being “the band with the women in it” or going to gigs where there weren’t any female and non-binary artists on the bill. Boudica Festival is our battle cry against that kind of programming. It’s an old problem which has yet to be fixed, so we want to be part of the solution rather than the problem.
Sarah Scouller: We have had enough of the music industry being male dominated, being the only woman at a gig, going to all dayers and seeing no women on stage. We decided to create a music festival that showcases the best up and coming female and non-binary artists across a wide range of genres. If we can host an entire festival of female artists, what’s stopping the rest of the music festivals from upping their female representation on their lineup?
SM: I run a music venue and programme events in the city and had experienced sexism whereby guys had asked to speak to my ‘manager’. I was really keen to show that there are no restrictions with what womxn can do within the industry.

And how do you feel about the general lack of female headliners at a lot of big festivals at the moment?

MB: It’s frustrating, but it fuels are mission to prove that female musicians deserve the recognition. Primavera did a 50/50 lineup this year and I spent one night seeing 5 female acts back to back, it was one of the best festival experiences I’ve ever had! It’s a great example that if one of Europe’s biggest music festivals can close the gender gap then why can’t the rest? It’s proof that it can be and should be done.
SS: While it is good that womxn representation at festivals is currently a hot topic, I haven’t seen much evidence of this being rectified this year at the top UK festivals. The response from some of the festival organisers was that there are simply not enough womxn musicians out there to book couldn’t be further from the truth. The amount of womxn talent out there right now is HUGE. We are in really exciting times for music, I hope we will see this reflected in lineups soon.

Over the last couple of years, you’ve hosted some amazing bands and artists including Queen Zee, Let’s Eat Grandma, Nova Twins and Nightflowers, but has there been a particular set that’s stood out for you as a personal highlight over the years?

MB: Each act brings something so unique to the festival its really hard to say. Nova Twins smashed their set and I somehow ended up dancing on stage with them, so I obviously loved that! One of my favourite memories is the Savages DJ set where everyone was pulling out their best moves at the end of the night. Great way to end the festival!
SS: So true, the energy in that space when Nova Twins closed the festival was incredible, the whole room was moving and it was a beautiful moment seeing gals in the crowd being invited on stage to party and having the BEST time!
EB: For me, it would have to be a toss up between Hejira in 2017 and Mich Cota in 2018. Both brought really special and moving performances.
SM: Yep, every year brings something different to the festival so it’s really quite hard to decide which act stood out amongst the others. However, it’s always really great to see local artists perform alongside more established acts.

And this year you’ve got some GIHE faves playing – Ghum, Los Bitchos, Tusks… Curating such awesome line ups must be a lot of work – how do you normally go about it? Is it all based on bands/artists that have got in touch with you, or do you approach them?

SS: We have a big dream list of all the bands and artists we’d love to play. The amazing thing is that the list keeps on growing, as more and more womxn are being inspired to start bands! We all have our own musical tastes as well, which helps as we want to keep the festival diverse in musical styles, so we will meet up and share acts we are into, and if we all dig it we invite them to play! However, we are totally welcoming to acts approaching us too! 

And for any upcoming bands/artists looking to apply for festivals next year, do you have any tips?

MB: I love bands/artists who have shit loads of attitude, stand up for something and who aren’t afraid to try different things. Last year Mich Cota did amazing dancing which involved a rickety step ladder and fabric, and it was amazing and beautiful!
SS: Boudica festival is about showcasing as wide a variety of acts as possible, so we are very much looking for all types of music!
SM: Be really proactive and make sure your social media is kept bang up to date. Good music videos really help programmers to understand what a live performance might feel like.

This year you’re also launching your Music Video Competition, which invites filmmakers/musicians to submit music videos that they have worked on which celebrates womxn in front of and behind the camera – can you explain a bit more about this idea?

MB: The film and music industry are very similar and have the same struggles. As part of our film programme this year we wanted to showcase the talent of female/non binary artists in both these two male dominated industries and the music video is the bridge of the two. Music videos notoriously sexualise and objectify women who are in them, and with the rise of female music video directors we’re seeing a more authentic creative representation of female acts. Music videos are a great opportunity for filmmakers and musicians to collaborate, to have fun and to have your say. We’ve had amazing entries from all around the world and look forward to screening the top 5 during the festival.

How do you feel the music industry is for new bands and artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?

EB: It’s hard to say whether it’s better or worse than it used to be! There’s many more avenues for bands to go down in terms of getting noticed, be that online, live, through sync deals. However this has in turn levelled the playing field to a point where there’s almost an oversaturation of talent to compete with! I think it’s become a lot more about image than in previous years, it almost feels like artists need to have a really strong ‘brand’ in order to make it.
MB: Social media has definitely changed the game of the music industry. It’s a big part in how we programme. If you have a good online presence then it’s a great calling card.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any particular new bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?

SS: All of the acts playing this year’s lineup! We have curated a festival of artists and bands we think are the next hot things! I would say am most excited to see the witchy post-punk gals GHUM and the garage rock/cumbia vibes of Los Bitchos, but we hope with the range of artists playing this year there is something for everyone!

Massive thanks to all at Boudica Festival for answering our questions! Get your tickets for Boudica Festival here.

Photo Credit: Adele Mary Reed

FIVE FAVOURITES: Heather Gabel (HIDE)

Fine Artist and inimitable front woman Heather Gabel forms one half of Chicago-based electronic duo HIDE. Alongside percussionist Seth Sher, the pair create abrasive, industrial sounds and are renowned for their intense live performances. Their new album – Hell Is Here – was released earlier this year via Dais Records, and it seethes with their trademark fury against social injustice.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Heather to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five tracks/albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you catch HIDE live at The Shacklewell Arms (w/ Kontravoid) on 3rd October (event info here).

 

1. CRASS – ‘Reality Asylum’
This track slays in every way. Eve Libertine’s vocal delivery still gives me chills after having been listening to it for 25 years. I love that she isn’t singing. It’s a total assault on Christianity, noise and pure poetry, spat out with palpable contempt. I read that the record plant workers refused to press this track and instead left a three minute silence, so the band released it themselves as a single for 45p – half the going rate for a 45 at the time. I love so much about this band and ‘Reality Asylum’ sort of encapsulates all of the reasons why.

2. ANNIE ANXIETY – ‘Viet Not Mine, El Salvador Yours’
This song is so sad and heavy and scary. It plods and creaks and leers. It has the feel of sea sickness to me, like an inescapable situation you are just coming to grips with realizing is happening. The vocals are fucking wild; they layer, stifled, mocking, taunting, threatening, to create a real terrifying cacophony. The subject matter, violence against women/sexual assault, and makes the line “It’s not forever it’s not forever” sung frantic and childlike, ramping up and repeating, well, it’s especially horrifying. It’s such a powerful song.
Fun fact: Eve Libertine did the artwork for this record and the insert is a collage made of two pages from Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon, which shows the trashed San Francisco hotel room where Fatty Arbuckle raped fellow actress Virginia Rappe to death in 1921.

3. BORN AGAINST – ‘Well Fed Fuck’
I love this band. They were one of the best political bands going when I was growing up. They were so fucking sassy about it though, like way smarter than other hardcore bands or whatever from the 90s in my opinion, they were antagonistic. We’ve covered this song a couple times, it’s sick to sing, there are hardly any lyrics and it repeats, like a mantra, which is a lot like how I write lyrics as well. It’s “are you a good team player, remember your boss is your best friend, remember the bullshit they taught you, kill your head” over and over. It’s really simple but totally exhilarating.

4. INK AND DAGGER – Drive this 7″ wooden dagger through my Philadelphia heart (Album)
I happened across this band by accident in the late 90s. I didn’t know who they were, but they were playing in one room and I was in the bar in the next room. I was like, what the fuck is going on out there, went to see and stood there with my mouth hanging open for the rest of their set. The singer was a total force, later I found out their reputation preceded them, they had infamously egged Hare Krishnas and threw yogurt at Earth Crisis for example, silly stuff in hindsight but it was refreshing to see a band that ripped and brought real energy wearing vampire make up and the shittiest fake blood ever bucking the tired east coast “hardcore tough guy shit” that was so popular back then. I could kind of see myself in them the way they didn’t fit the genre, having been (still am to be honest) someone who feels like they don’t fit in with any particular group of people.

5. Rudimentary Peni – Death Church (Album)
I bought this record in high school solely based on the artwork but quickly sought out all their albums after listening to it. I loved how short and raw the songs were, all direct pointed attacks on societies ails, but the record sounded exceptionally good. I used to always buy this when I saw it at the record store and have multiple copies to just give people who hadn’t heard it because it really made an impression on me. I still would if I ever saw it anymore.
Side note: It was especially cool when Chelsea Wolfe did a Tribute to Rudimentary Peni Covers EP on Southern in 2012.

HIDE UK Tour Dates 2019 
01/10 – UK Bristol Exchange
02/10 – UK Manchester Soup Kitchen
03/10 – UK London The Shacklewell Arms

Photo Credit: Nicola Kuperus

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Ren (Petrol Girls)

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Ren, frontwoman of the brilliant Petrol Girls, to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have kept her going whilst she’s been busy fighting & fundraising for a defamation case against a man in music industry for statements she made concerning his treatment of women.

Ren has written an intro to her favourite tracks, and we urge you to donate to the Solidarity Not Silence campaign – whether it’s £1 or £100 – every penny counts!

Ren: I’ve picked five tracks by artists that I really respect for the way that they’ve handled the issue of sexual abuse within the music industry. Many of them also faced defamation cases very similar to the one we are currently fighting as Solidarity Not Silence. We are still trying desperately to cover our legal costs and appreciate any donations that people can give, or awareness that people can raise of our crowd funding campaign

We are determined to win this case because the use of defamation law to silence survivors and their allies is yet another deeply unjust part of a legal system that is utterly stacked against survivors. In the wake of #MeToo this is more important than ever.

1. The Tuts – ‘Tut Tut Tut’
The Tuts are the other band involved in Solidarity Not Silence. During 2016 both bands spoke out about the behaviour of the man that is suing us, in solidarity with the survivors that we were aware of at the time. We received the first letters from his lawyers just before Christmas that year, and have been fighting it ever since!

I have so much respect for how outspoken the Tuts are about inter-sectional feminist issues and left politics more broadly, and super grateful for the huge amount of hard work they’ve done during this legal case, including organising a huge benefit gig at the end of last year! I’m so proud of all of us for how well we’ve been able to work together and support each other through this.

2. Taylor Swift – ‘Shake it Off’
I remember sticking on 1989 and leaping around the room when I heard about Taylor winning her case against David Mueller. She alleged that he groped her whilst they posed for a picture and consequently got him fired from his job. He then tried to sue her but she counter sued for a symbolic $1 and won following an incredible testimony in court, where she refused to take any bullshit: “I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is in any way my fault, because it isn’t.”

3. Alice Glass – ‘Cease and Desist’
Alice Glass left Crystal Castles in 2014 but as #MeToo gathered momentum she gained the confidence to speak up about her reasons why. In a post on her website she described horrific and sustained sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her former bandmate Ethan Kath. He then sued her for defamation but the case was dismissed in February 2018. When he appealed it in May 2018, he was ordered to pay Glass almost $21,000 in legal fees.

4. Venom Prison – ‘Immanentize Eschaton’
Vocalist Larissa Stupar wrote a public statement in support of survivors that spoke out about her former bandmates in Wolf Down. In her post she detailed some of her own experiences and ended with: “Enough is enough. I stand with the victims.”

5. Kesha – ‘Praying’
Kesha’s legal case against her former producer Dr Luke and record label Sony has been long, drawn out and bitterly unfair. It was overseen by a Judge that is married to a partner in Sony’s legal firm. Somehow Kesha pulled herself back to her feet and was able to release some hard hitting new music including ‘Praying’, which came out in the summer of 2017, just before #MeToo started gaining momentum.

Huge thanks to Ren for sharing her favourites with us. Follow Petrol Girls and Solidarity Not Silence on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Leggy

Having recently shared stages with The Spook School, Personal Best and Pile, angular punks Leggy  have been functioning at full speed. Formed of Véronique (lead vocals/guitar), Kerstin Bladh (bass) and Chris (drummer), the band released their album ‘Let Me Know Your Moon’ via Sheer Luck Records this year, as well as playing a run of shows at SXSW and completing a successful US tour.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Véronique & Chris to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you listen to Leggy’s track ‘Taffy’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Eisley – Marvelous Things
Veronique: Discovering this EP while watching some type of late night Subterranean MTV channel changed my life. I remember it was right before Christmas 2013, and I put this on my Christmas list and my cool Dad, who loves music, got it for me. The vocal melody in Marvelous Things is true art and hearing it the first time ran shivers down my spine! It’s so simple and yet so unique, brilliant and dark . Also, discovering this band which was being led by young womxn, MY AGE (13!!!!) was inspiring. I felt like I could picture myself doing it too. Some of the first tabs I ever learned were super early Eisley songs . I named this EP because it was the first one I discovered, but I delved deep into the back catalogue after that, and all of it was highly influential in my first several years of songwriting.

2. Kesha – Cannibal
Veronique: This album was the anthem of my 21st year. I have so many fun feelings associated with it. I also have a lot of depressing memories tied to it (21, amiright??) The album is amazing – the lyrics were extremely relatable to me at that point in my life, and still continue to be relevant. Kesha is a damn boss bitch. I love pop music and simple but super dope beats, and I especially think it can be super beautiful when a rock band incorporates that sound a bit. I have certainly been influenced by her songwriting style.

I’m also 10000% over “music people” or “punks” or “intellectuals” hating on pop stars. I know it hasn’t been the case recently (thank you LIZZO, Carly Rae, Lana Del Rey) but Kesha was underrated in her first years. Fight me.

3. Joanna Newsom – Milk Eyed Mender
Veronique: Milk Eyed Mender made me feel knock kneed and tongue tied. The fact that she was singing in such a bare bones and peculiar way felt like complete anarchy to me. It kinda felt like she had declared “anything goes” – you didn’t have to be the standard to make music. That mindset totally inspired me to start writing a bunch of weirdo songs when I was in high school. Some of them evolved and eventually made it onto our first two EPs. Her whimsical and narrative heavy style of lyrics (similar to Eisley’s in this way) was really wonderful for someone like me, who was obsessed with fantasy at the time and spent a good deal of my waking day dreaming about random mystical shit (Lord of The Rings, anyone?) Also, Joanna Newsom was definitely a crush of mine before I knew what it meant. That’s just a bonus though.

4. Mika Miko – C.Y.S.L.A.B.F
Chris: True concrete floor dance party anthems. Big rowdy punk heavy hitters with a relentlessly dancey rhythm section, shout along until your out of breath. It has on point bopping guitar, and swing from the chandeliers energy. Still slams in 2019. Remember getting this the day my suburban record shop got it in stock and it’s been on rotation ever since. Soundtrack to a lot of fun times and long late drives. Wall to wall banging fun with undeniable hooks. Fuckin sick. KRS classic imo. Not sure if this has been long enough of a review so I’d also like to add The Blow’s “Paper Television” to this favorite album. Similar reasons I guess, same kinda era etc. Way different but y’know both are influential, make me happy and totally rock!

5. Best Coast – Crazy For You
Chris: Front to back contemporary classic. Every song is a hit. Love everything about it. The guitars and vocals and lyrics and drums and videos and everything. One time like years ago, my roommate and I were tripping in different parts of our place down on 12th Street and when I went to her room to see what was up, she was wearing shades, drinking a cocktail, blasting this record and lounging on her bed under a heat lamp because it was like 4am in the dead of winter. This album is like that y’know, a warm sunny day in summer, or a stoned heat lamp on a cold winter night, whatever you need it to be. Still really heavy hitting emotionally though, not just all fun in the sun. But also yeah. Just great. Love this album!

Thanks to Véronique and Chris for sharing their favourites with us. Follow Leggy on Facebook for more updates.

Premiere: Faultress – ‘Beating Heart’ / ‘Marilyn’

Having just announced her new EP, set for release in November, innovative artist Faultress (an extinct word for a female criminal) explores themes of mental health, power and desire through a female lense. And now we can hear not just one, but two, seductive tasters of the new release.

First up, exploring the role of the human bonding hormone oxytocin, ‘Beating Heart’ flows with crystalline vocals and a dark, gritty energy. As its pulsating, tribal beats whirr with a carnal groove, it builds to a stirring, glitchy anthem oozing a subtle, poignant majesty.

 

Deconstructing the masculine idea of femininity and inspired by the Hollywood star, ‘Marilyn’ showcases the raw power of Faultress’ vocals perfectly. Propelled by a soaring, visceral energy and soulful splendour, it’s a sparkling and impassioned reflection on being female under the ever-present pressure of the male gaze. Of the track, Faultress explains:

“I read that Marilyn Monroe could ‘turn off’ her persona to such a degree that she could walk through LA with no-one recognising her. After coming out of a gaslighting and controlling relationship, I similarly felt that I was done putting on an act just to feel an approximation of love.”

Watch the compelling brand new video for ‘Marilyn’ here:

Produced by Joshua Davenport, 5 Myths, the upcoming new EP from Faultress, is out 8th November. Catch her live at the following dates:

26th October – Union Chapel, London (supporting Eska and London Contemporary Voices)
8th November – The Laylow, Ladbroke Grove (headline)

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Introducing Interview: Mexican Radio

With their third album due out later this month, Berlin-based Mexican Radio pride themselves on their visceral energy and quirky unique, ‘uniformed’ style.

Complete with pumping beats and glitchy electro hooks, latest single ‘Night Of The Nihilist’ is an intense, energy-fuelled synth-punk anthem with shades of the likes of LCD Soundsystem.

We caught up with Dyan from the band to find out more…

Hi Dyan, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hello Get In Her Ears! We of Mexican Radio are a synth punk trio out of Berlin. We wear uniforms at all times, limit ourselves to our setup of synths, vocals and drums (no stringed instruments), and pride ourselves on our high-energy music and performances. We celebrate our weirdness and want to connect with others who do the same.

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Nathaniel (lead vocals/synths/effects) and I moved over to Germany from California with our old band The Blood Arm in 2011. Hannes (drums/vocals), originally from Berlin, was playing with his band The Mokkers and we all met through the rock scene here in around 2016. Nathaniel and Hannes are obsessed with The Fall. They formed a German-language Fall cover band (Der Sturz, German for “The Fall”) and roped me into playing keys with them. It was mostly just for fun, but we played a few wild shows. The guitarist and bass player of Der Sturz had other projects on the go, so after a couple of months they decided to move on. Hannes, Nathaniel and I looked at each other and asked, “can we keep going?”. We had learned so much from playing The Fall’s unique brand of intensely repetitive music with powerful vocals and bizarre lyrics, we wondered what would happen if we took that inspiration and tried making something of our own. And so, out of the ashes of Der Sturz, Mexican Radio was born.

Your new single ‘Night of the Nihilist’ is out – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the track?
The song was inspired by the Russian nihilist movement from the 1860s and makes reference to the assassination of Tsar Alexander II. The narrator of the song also takes influence from the nihilist character Bazarov from Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons. The song is about rejecting everything, wreaking righteous havoc and still managing to have a good time in the process. Out of all our songs, this one is the most closely tied to techno music. Berlin is world-renowned for its club scene, and this is the closest we’ll probably get to it. Anyone who has been to a club here has seen a special kind of reckless abandon that can only come when people completely let themselves go in an environment with almost no limitations – so referencing this musical style when singing about hedonism, chaos and destroying everything seems to make sense. There’s also a conspiratorial vibe to the song – it’s almost like a manifesto written behind closed doors by people who are eager to unleash their “holy hate” on the world outside as soon as the sun comes up, once they’ve finished dancing the night away.

 

You’ve been compared to the likes of The Fall and Chicks On Speed, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Well, since we started as a German-language Fall cover band, I would consider us to be fairly high-level Fall obsessives. Mark E. Smith and crew have definitely been a big influence on us – in fact, we went on a band field trip to what ended up being the last ever Fall show in Berlin, and Hannes and Nathaniel ran on stage to kiss Mark E. Smith on either side of his face, I suppose in an attempt to absorb some of his magic. I was meant to photograph the incident, but in my excitement the picture ended up being very blurry (which the boys have not let me forget since!), but I think there is some video of it online somewhere. Other than that, we take a lot of inspiration from Neue Deutsche Welle bands and bands from Berlin in particular. When Nathaniel and I first moved here nine years ago, I was eager to follow in the footsteps of other musicians who have come here to find inspiration – David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, etc. However, in the last few years, I’ve been discovering more and more of Berlin’s homegrown musical history. Bands like Malaria!, Ideal and of course Einstürzende Neubauten came out of 1980s West Berlin, and have been hugely influential for us as a band. 

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Berlin is primarily known as a techno city, but there are actually a lot of very exciting punk and rock bands playing around town. The city has a tradition of fostering innovative music – punk and rock venues like SO36, Kirche von Unten, and Schokoladen give space to all kinds of emerging talent. The city’s countercultural DIY aesthetic encourages everyone to work together and get involved in each others’ projects – the goal is not commercial, but rather to create something interesting and inspiring.We’re also very eager consumers of new music – so much so that we host a monthly radio show on KCRW Berlin called The Mexican Radio Radio Show, on which we play our favourite bands, old and new, and feature interviews with musicians we think are cool. We go to a lot of shows to find new bands and to interview people on tour – we’ve had Ian Svenonius, Surfbort, Alex Kapranos/Franz Ferdinand, IDLES, Ezra Furman and many other cool musicians on the show so far, with future episodes featuring Amyl and the Sniffers, Death Valley Girls, John Dwyer/Thee Oh Sees, Stereo Total and more exciting guests!

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Our shows are like a psychotic radio broadcast from another planet – I am the hostess of the show, and I try to run a tight ship that relentlessly charges through until we hit the last notes. We wear uniforms at all times (the stage uniform is a red jumpsuit with a white lightning bolt emblazoned on it, and we have separate uniforms for offstage). We are a gang, and want to inspire the audience to join us.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Nathaniel just sent me the new Dry Cleaning EP Sweet Princess this morning, and I loved it. There is a very cool modern Anne Clark vibe to them, and they wrote the only post-punk song about Meghan Markle that I am aware of, which makes them great in my book!

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Yes and no. Obviously the internet allows everyone to put their music out there, it’s just a question as to whether anyone will listen to it. Streaming platforms are getting more and more sophisticated about connecting listeners with new music they might like, so hopefully that will allow the little guys to get a bit more exposure than they may have in the past. Ultimately though, you just have to play a lot of shows and go to a lot of shows if you want people to hear your music and meet people who might be able to help you get a foot in the door. It’s all about hard work, diplomacy, stealth and charm!

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Mexican Radio?
Our album Destruction / Reconstruction comes out on 20th September, so we’ll be working hard to promote that with press and as many shows as we can play. We’d like to play outside of Germany and make it over the UK either this year or the beginning of next year, and in addition to producing The Mexican Radio Radio Show, we plan to start writing the next record. Our first album Mexican Radio (2018) was our white album, Destruction / Reconstruction is our red album, so now it’s time to write the black one to complete the trilogy.

Massive thanks to Dyan from Mexican Radio for answering our questions! 

Destruction / Reconstruction, the upcoming album from Mexican Radio, is out 20th September via R.I.P. Ben Lee Records.