Track Of The Day: Francis of Delirium – ‘Ashamed’

A hectic blend of grungy guitar riffs and insecure thoughts; Francis of Delirium have shared their latest single, ‘Ashamed’. Released via Dalliance Recordings, the track is lifted from the Canadian-American duo’s upcoming EP, All Change, which is set for release on 19th June.

Formed of 18 year old songwriter Jana Bahrich and collaborator Chris Hewett, Francis of Delirium create swirling guitar tunes that centre around Bahrich’s personal experiences. “‘Ashamed’ is about navigating how much of yourself you should be giving out to other people and then second guessing yourself, feeling like what you’re giving out isn’t enough, feeling inadequate, being ashamed of that” Bahrich explains. It’s this sensitivity that makes ‘Ashamed’ feel so relatable. With its indecisive lyrics – “I still stopped short of what I wanted” – and frenzied guitars, the track rushes through moments of concern in search of moments of clarity.

The single is accompanied by a colourful video, created by Bahrich during self-isolation. She explains the themes and ideas behind the visuals further: “There’s one moment where I hit my head and a red circle followed by white rings appears. It’s a visual representation of both the mental self-harm that the narrator is experiencing, and a mirroring of the Talking Heads’ video, ‘Once in a Lifetime’. I’ve always interpreted the song to be about achieving commonly accepted societal goals – the beautiful house, the beautiful wife etc. – and in ‘Ashamed’ I’m beating myself up for failing to achieve that idealised version of success”.

Watch the video for ‘Ashamed’ below, and follow Francis Of Delirium on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Lynn Theisen

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Madame So – ‘Generation Y’

Having previously blown us away live at The Finsbury, and with acclaim for her last two EPS It’s Not Even A Colour and Sell By Date, Paris-born London-based artist Madame So has returned with a poignant new single.

Bathing in a discordant sea of scuzzy riffs, ‘Generation Y’ builds the tension with a raging sense of urgency. As her vocals ooze a gritty power with a blazing raw emotion, Madame So reflects on how millenials’ youth culture is perceived by older generations, and how this cycle of judgement is snowballing into generations to come. With shades of the frenzied cacophonies of Kim Gordon’s solo material, it’s a soaring slice of immense punk-pop; an impassioned and compelling listen for these times.

‘Generation Y’ is out now. Listen on Spotify.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LISTEN: Amaroun – ‘Rise’

Having received support from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and BBC 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins, GIHE fave Jay Brown – aka Amaroun – returns to grace our ears with the fifth in a string of new singles she is releasing each month.

Flowing with shimmering hooks and glitchy beats alongside Brown’s rich, emotion-strewn vocals, ‘Rise’ continues the theme of being a queer woman, which has run throughout each of the tracks she’s released this year. Oozing a stirring, effervescent power, juxtaposed with a gritty energy, it’s a truly poignant reflection on rising up against oppression.

Of the track, Amaroun explains:

When you fall or get knocked down, do not stay down, do not let them hold you down,  rise up, rise up against oppression. If you are marginalised, if you are queer, it’s hard out there! Tell your story proudly, see yourself, your change and your journey as beautiful and as growth. You are an ever changing authentic being so just be exactly that.

 

Co-written with Boris Labant, ‘Rise’ is out now.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Sophomore – ‘Social Distancing’

Grunge may not traditionally be the most uplifting genre, at least not in its earliest ’90s incarnation. But pandemic-related times call for pandemic-related responses. And where else could they come from but the epicentre of Australian cool, Melbourne, and one of its more recently emerging groups: Sophomore. A four-piece that combines members of Valentiine and Get in Her Ears faves Mannequin Death Squad, ‘Social Distancing’ is only the band’s second single, following debut ‘Sally’ and a raft of shows across their home country, which have earned them heaps of praise from the local press.

‘Social Distancing’, as the name would suggest, was written at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic which perhaps belies its, ultimately, optimistic message. Making perfect use of lead guitarist Vanessa and rhythm guitarist Elly’s Celebrity Skin-era Hole-style harmonies, its lyrics talk of “the lonely getting lonelier” and the “penniless stay[ing] poor”, amidst “lies in the news” but promise that, as a people, “we will rise again”. 

Linking the unrelenting pressure of media panic to a condition that leaves its victims unable to breath is a neat touch, as the song encourages its listener to pull back from misinformation and, by extension, consider others. To this end, its video also serves as a smart combination of Max Fleischer-style cartoons, public information movies about disease – both in black and white – and DIY shots of friends, family and fans of the band in colour, harking back to what the band refer to as “simpler times”.

Although it’s said to be a curse to live in “interesting times”, Sophomore are certainly making the best of it, and by repurposing the Pixies quiet-loud-quiet template, they’ve refashioned an old genre into something relevant. For so many bands, being stuck inside and unable to gig could be damaging, but, judging by their socials, the Aussies seem to be just as committed to getting their sound out as ever through online gigs and interviews. And, on the strength of the two singles to date, a post-pandemic world keen to hear some new music could be just the right springboard for the effervescent foursome. Don’t keep your distance from this band.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

WATCH: Moon Palace – ‘Who You Are’

Gratitude, acceptance, and a beautiful message of hope underscores Moon Palace‘s latest single, ‘Who You Are’. Created during lockdown, the Seattle-based band have shared an accompanying video for the track which shows how they’ve been supporting each other during this uncertain time.

“Do you ever share who you are?” they tentatively ask throughout the song, cautiously challenging listeners to be vulnerable and to let others connect to their thoughts and feelings. “‘Who You Are’ is about navigating difficult or volatile relationships” the band explain. Moon Palace navigate this difficulty via direct lyrics and tentative guitar sounds.

The single’s accompanying visuals act as a “Quarantine Time Capsule” for the band, who came up with the idea during isolation. They explain further: “Prior to the pandemic we were listening to a lot of Sonic Youth, The Gossip, Talking Heads, Duran Duran, Big Thief and sending each other text messages with their songs so that we could listen to sounds that inspired us at practice together. Social isolation has brought a new challenge in collaboration. Cat, Jude, and one of their best friends and video editor Lindsay Martin sat around on a sunny spring day during a socially distanced backyard hang, and talked about creating a video to show their experience in Seattle during the pandemic.”

“We asked our friend group to send 10 second video clips that portray their experience in isolation. We hoped to gain clips documenting our collective reality to show joy and bring comfort and delight to viewers. We also felt nostalgia for playing live in our favourite music venues such as The Tractor Tavern, Clock-Out Lounge, The Wildrose and so many more. Shut down venues and the incredible murals have centre stage in this video.”

Hopefully, Moon Palace will be able to return to these Seattle venues to play their optimistic, shimmering sounds for a live audience soon. Watch the video for ‘Who You Are’ below and follow Moon Palace on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Ishani – ‘Unkind Vibrations’

Having previously released songs that are cerebral, deeply personal, and ethereal, up-and-coming singer, songwriter and producer Ishani has now shared her latest single. 

‘Unkind Vibrations’ mood and vocal stylings are reminiscent of ’90s alt-pop band Sneaker Pimps – gritty, feminine vocals over sinking beats and trippy melodies. Repeating the words “this is my reality”, Ishani sings of breaking through the daze of overwhelming news and going on a “visual diet” so she can focus on her music; the one thing that gives her clarity. Steezo jumps in with a few bars on his destiny as a musician, having epiphanies after lucid dreaming.

With minimal accompaniment from quintessential trip-hop snares and spare bass lines, Ishani uses a cacophony of her layered vocals to create an atmosphere of anxiety before finally resolving in spinning and glitchy echoes. A soulful and poignant anthem for the times we now find ourselves in. 

‘Unkind Vibrations’ is the first single from Ishani’s upcoming EP, co-produced with Zaflon, which will debut in late summer. Listen now on Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud

 

Aisha Kasmir
@aisha_vocal

LISTEN: Sunflower Thieves – ‘Hide and Seek’

Charming vocal harmonies and soft guitar sounds blend delicately together on Sunflower Thieves‘ latest single, ‘Hide and Seek’. Self-released by the Leeds-based duo, the track is a nostalgic musing on what it was like to be a small child, blissfully unaware of the troubles of the wider world.

Sunflower Thieves’ musical offerings blossomed out of Amy and Lily’s sixteen year friendship. The pop-folk duo craft tentative tracks with personal narratives, and ‘Hide and Seek’ is another example of their ability to create reassuring sounds.

“‘Hide and Seek’ was written on a little writing trip we took to Norfolk in January” the band explain. “We stayed in a little beach-side house with a log fire and had a lovely, creative time. That definitely influenced the song. ‘Hide and Seek’ is about childhood memory and ignorant bliss. We all wish we could escape back to a time when we felt safe and other people would take care of us, when life becomes a little difficult.”

“Most of the instrumentations (guitars, strings, bass, etc) have been recorded remotely during lockdown. Lily produces all of our music, so we’ve taken advantage of the concentrated creative time lockdown has given us to get it sounding exactly how we wanted it to. Production and songwriting are both hugely inspired by Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Rose for this song, and we feel it’s our best yet.”

Listen to Sunflower Thieves’ new single below and follow the band on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut