Track Of The Day: Lala Lala – ‘Destroyer’

Originally from London, Chicago-based artist Lillie West – aka Lala Lala – initially starting the project as a means to process emotions and communicate things that she felt she could never say out loud. Now, following 2016’s debut Sleepyhead, she’s quit drinking, books her own DIY tours and has now announced her second album The Lamb. A reflection on finding strength in vulnerability, it addresses issues such as her fraught insecurity, struggles with addiction, and the loss of several people close to her.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Destroyer’ is a perfect slice of dreamy, lo-fi scuzz. Oozing West’s gritty, raw vocals and building to a sublime, twinkling chorus, it’s an infectious and affecting offering that leaves us longing for more of Lala Lala’s immersive creations.

Of the track, West explains:

“… (it’s) about retroactively realizing your feelings and trying to figure out what happened to get you where you are. Feeling out of control and like you’re stuck in a feedback loop.” 

Directed by West and Brielle Brilliant, the accompanying video finds Lillie protecting herself in an ongoing fight against destroyers. Watch it here:

The Lamb, the upcoming album from Lala Lala, is out 28th September via Hardly Art.

Mari Lane

EP: Bad Sidekick – ‘Bad Sidekick’

A fistful of brooding indie noise: London trio Bad Sidekick have shared their debut self-titled EP. It follows their previous singles ‘Circus’ and ‘Crook’ (which you should definitely check out) and proves the band are at the beginning of a promising music career.

“Everything I touch, it gets destroyed” sings front-woman Cooper Rose with powerful intonation on opening track ‘Run Boy’. Guitarist Joe and drummer John create loops of fast, fuzzy, furious sound as she warns of the storm that’s coming. It bleeds in to the snarling ‘I Ain’t Sick’ on which Cooper oozes more of her enviably cool vocals, supported by a cacophony of guitar noises and more heart-thumping beats. If you think these tracks sound impressive on record, wait until you hear them live.

Bad Sidekick’s stellar song-writing skills are showcased on the gentler ‘Lost Cause’, which broods with quiet intensity before the drop-in. It’s not long before ‘Romeo’ comes spiraling along though, and the band rev things up to full throttle again here. Penultimate track ‘Think About It’ is cut from the same cloth; full of visceral riffs and driving percussion that urge you to contemplate Cooper’s invitation.

A glitchy sampled recording opens final track ‘If I Were The Devil’, on which Cooper sings: “I don’t wanna be like the others, trapped inside these dead eyes, waiting for the flames to turn me to ashes”. With her superb vocal intonation, there’s no danger of her burning out anytime soon, especially when paired with Joe’s razor sharp guitar riffs, and John’s knockout drumming.

Bad Sidekick are masters at making manic, mind-buzzing sounds; and their debut EP is a shining collection of infectious, gritty indie anthems. Invest immediately.

Listen to Bad Sidekick’s debut EP on Spotify.
Follow Bad Sidekick on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Talking Violet – ‘Sparjammer 67’

Sonically, shoegaze demands a delicate balance between sweet-natured, often murmured vocals, blazonic romantic lyrics and the swoop, whine and crunch of multiple guitar lines. Those elements are found to great effect in the music of Canadian band Talking Violet, and their latest track ‘Sparjammer 67’.

Formed in Windsor, Ontario in 2016, the group were initially a duo of Jill Goyeau and Jay Turnbull, with bassist/vocalist Nate Blackton and drummer McKenzie Burrows joining last year to fully round out the band’s sound. The lead to TV’s first single ‘Aspen’ last January and their debut EP Round Dreams in February. ‘Sparjammer 67’, also taken from the EP, sees the band go full visual in a video whose hazy purple lighting effects certainly live up to their colourful name.

Of all the tracks on Round Dreams, ‘Sparjammer 67′ is probably the closest to dream pop. Jill’s vocals are most reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser, with Jay’s up-stroked guitar chords giving the tune an opening shimmer.

Soon after, that shoegazey contrast pops up with McKenzie’s pounding drum flurries coming to the fore, announcing a gentle shift into a chorus. The guitars start to croon a little longer, Jill’s vocals get more warped and distorted and there’s just time for a five second stop before the song’s final thirty seconds sees her ask “What’s it like to feel alive?” and its guitar notes fade into the purple ether.

In a recent interview about ‘Sparjammer 67’, the band have said they want the song “to feel like a glimpse of light after an era of darkness”. And, with its bright shimmers and shiny hums, Talking Violet have created an ethereal, joyous track – but one that’s so thick and warm you can almost bathe in it. The band say the song’s lyrics are “largely inspired by… good friends and the way life can feel so easy with special people”. It’s appropriate, then, that Talking Violet are here to make your nights a little bit brighter.

Round Dreams, the latest EP from Talking Violet, is out now.

John McGovern

Track Of The Day: Anna Kairos – ‘Twilight’

Dark but delicate: Anna Kairos is a pianist and songwriter who creates atmospheric, pop-noir sounds. Her new track ‘Twilight’ – taken from her debut EP Hosting Time – sounds as elusive as the time of day it’s named after.

Wavering vocals and rich piano textures communicate Anna’s feelings about broken relationships, freedom, and pain in a delicate but powerful way. These explorations are not solely limited to ‘Twilight’, Anna’s debut EP (released via Berlin label Snowhite records) is laced with these sensibilities too. It’s a promising first offering from this talented newcomer.

Take a listen to ‘Twilight’ below and Follow Anna Kairos on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

ALBUM: Asylums – ‘Alien Human Emotions’

Released via their own label Cool Thing Records; fun and frustration fuels Essex rockers Asylums‘ brand new album, Alien Human Emotions. The band’s sophomore record is a turbulent, tenacious collection of tracks; buzzing with enthusiasm and self-awareness.

After the success of their critically-acclaimed debut Killer Brain Waves in 2016, the indie rockers have embarked on another aural adventure. Presented differently, the tracks on Alien Human Emotions would shrink your heart with sadness; but Asylums’ DIY ethic and riotous delivery makes this record a hopeful, heart-swelling affair.

The album kicks off with ‘Day Release To The Moon’, documenting a grand, but turbulent emotional journey that will “pull us closer to the sun, annihilate everyone”. Jazz’s manic guitar riffs mask the dark side of front-man Luke’s pessimistic wish, before Drummer Henry’s relentless percussion punches through on second track ‘When We Wake Up’.

The song assaults the senses from start to finish, and fans are guaranteed to mimic the mosh-pit that features in the accompanying video when they hear it live. Luke’s anthemic lyrics invite listeners to take a “front row seat for Armageddon”, which sounds tempting against a back drop of manic guitar noise. ‘Bottle Bank’ follows with more of Jazz’s trademark spiraling riffs and Mike’s thundering bass lines, leaving listeners sweaty and short of breath three tracks in.

The eponymous ‘Alien Human Emotions’ comprehends emotional black holes via dense bass lines and thoughtful lyrics, before the gentler ‘Millennials’ provides a moment for reflection. Named after a social label that’s doused in negativity, Asylums have reclaimed the term and turned it into a thought provoking, comforting tune.

Just as you’re on your way back down to earth, the toxic punk blur of ‘Napalm Bubblegum’ blasts you back in to the band’s sonic atmosphere. Luke’s visceral Essex accent and Henry’s savage drumming provide the ultimate punk infused sound to bounce around your bedroom walls to. ‘Pause’ is an aptly named interlude track – because even Asylums need to take a second to catch their breath sometimes.

‘Graveyard Tourism’ is a distraction from “morbid fascination”, whilst ‘Critical Mass’ urges you to “keep pushing along, because the force is strong” amidst more manic guitar noise. The timely ‘Homeowners Guilt’ dissects feelings towards “characterless buildings” and the unfair reality of having to always make sure ends meet, before the penultimate ‘Sexual Automation’ starts the gentle descent down to earth, whilst resisting the “impulses you can’t castrate”.

The simple but raw honesty on ‘The Company You Keep’ closes the record on an optimistic but realistic note. An ode to true love and friendship, and a poignant reminder to appreciate the people around you – it’s a track that remains rooted in your consciousness long after it’s stopped spinning.

‘Alien’ in the sense its sound blasts you in to an unknown sonic universe, but ‘Human’ in its quest to make sure no listener feels left behind – Asylums’ Alien Human Emotions is an intense, joyful second record that kicks and comforts in equal measure.


Order your copy of Alien Human Emotions here.
Follow Asylums on Facebook for more updates.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kana Waiwaiku

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Gaffa Tape Sandy – ‘Meat Head’

Having recently charmed crowds at The Great Escape, as well as playing at Glastonbury last year, Brighton-based Gaffa Tape Sandy are becoming fast favourites here at GIHE. And we can’t get enough of new single ‘Meat Head’.

Propelled by jangly hooks and the honey-sweet vocals of Catherine Lindley-Neilson, building to the raw, angst-driven power of the chorus, ‘Meat Head’ addresses the assumption some people feel they have over other peoples’ bodies. Addressing rape culture head on (“My body is my body it’s not yours to confiscate… I can’t live in a world where you can break somebody and get away with it.”), it’s a massively infectious, energy-fuelled anthem that carries with it a poignant, and pointedly relevant, message.

With ‘Meat Head’, Gaffa Tape Sandy have shown themselves to be not only creators of fun-filled summer delights, but a necessary voice at a time when as many people as possible need to be encouraged to speak up against all that’s wrong with the world.


Mari Lane

Track Of The Day: New Optimism – ‘Jetsetters’

Playful electronics and pop hooks galore: NYC’s New Optimism has shared her latest track ‘Jetsetters’, taken from her upcoming EP Amazon To LeFrak, which will be released via Phantom Limb on 27th July.

A co-founder of Cibo Matto and a collaborative partner of Gorillaz, The Beastie Boys & John Zorn – it’s no wonder New Optimism’s (aka Miho Hatori’s) sounds are sharply produced and catchy as hell.

Miho’s time as a Gorillaz member (she was the voice of Noodles) offers a window into the intelligent, mischievous pop songwriting heard in her infectious singing voice. This experience has informed the strange, all encompassing experimental pop music she creates now under her new moniker.

The name New Optimism “is a response to the post-postmodernist term “New Sincerity” explains Miho: “pertaining to contemporary anti-cynical and anti-ironical earnest creative expressions. New Optimism, as a title, means the opposite of this”. We’re intrigued by Miho’s unusual new project. Listen to ‘Jetsetters’ below and follow New Optimism on Bandcamp for more updates.

Photo Credit: Kimisa.H

Kate Crudgington