LISTEN: Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – ‘Feel The Sun’

A swirling haze of sultry vocals and fuzzy guitars and synth textures; London-based psych outfit Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation have shared their latest single ‘Feel The Sun’. The track is taken from their upcoming album Sacred Dreams, which is set to be released in April via Rocket Recordings.

The band have seen a dramatic rise to prominence since the release of their debut EP Diamond Waves in 2014, which led to a nomination for a Swedish Grammy for “best newcomer”. Since then, Josefin and writing partner Fredrik have relocated from Stockholm to London and have created a new Liberation around them.

The new band consists of; Maki (Go Team), Patrick C Smith (Eskimo Chain), Matt Loft (Lola Colt) and Ben Ellis, who’s worked with both Iggy Pop and Swervedriver. They recorded the new album Sacred Dreams at Press Play studios run by Andy Ramsay of Stereolab, who also produced and programmed his non synced drum machines for the record.

With talented individuals surrounding them, Josefin and Fredrik are on track to release another altruistic record. Listen to ‘Feel The Sun’ below and follow Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order your copy of Sacred Dreams here.

Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation UK Tour Dates 2019
23 Apr – Oxford, The Bullingdon
24 Apr – Leeds, The Brudenell Social Club
25 Apr – Manchester, The Deaf Institute
26 Apr – London, Islington Assembly Hall
27 Apr – Bristol, Thekla
30 Apr – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Art School Girlfriend – ‘Come Back To Me’

A delicate blur of dreamy sounds designed to pine over; ‘Come Back To Me’ is the latest single from Margate-based producer Art School Girlfriend. It’s her first release of 2019, and draws a full circle to her debut ‘Bending Back’, which she describes as its “lyrical inverse”.

Art School Girlfriend is the moniker of Polly Mackey; a producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Wrexham, North Wales. Since moving to the British seaside town of Margate and opening her bookshop “Spine Books”, Mackey has spent most of her time creating new recordings that reflect the space and clarity she has found since her move away from the crowded city to the coast. Speaking about ‘Come Back To Me’, she explains: “The song is quite transparently about lust and being out of control of your own desire. It’s about wanting someone to come to you and how that yearning can be simultaneously enjoyable and torturous.”

Mackey performed at this year’s SXSW festival and will be joining The Japanese House on her April & May US tour dates too. She’ll be playing some UK shows before she sets off (see dates below) so make sure you catch her when she’s in town. Listen to ‘Come Back To Me’ below and follow Art School Girlfriend on Facebook for more updates.

Art School Girlfriend 2019 UK Tour Dates
02/04 – Bristol, Louisiana
03/04 – Leicester, Cookie
04/04 – Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club
05/04 – Newcastle, Cluny 2
06/04 – Glasgow, Hug & Pint
07/04 – Manchester, Soup Kitchen
09/04 – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
10/04 – London, Omeara

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: HunBjørn – ‘Who Are We To Love’

Danish electro-pop artist HunBjørn – which roughly translates as “small bear” – has shared a new element of her musical universe in the form of single ‘Who Are We To Love’. It’s a dreamy combination of synths, distorted guitars and sweet melancholic vocals.

HunBjørn (aka Ulla Pihl) was the former lead singer and songwriter in the experimental pop band Lima Lima, but now she’s recording as a solo artist. She released her debut EP In Vacuo in September of 2018, and began growing her fan base on social media by using a messenger-bot called the “She Bear Bot”. It’s an interactive behind the scenes experience for her EP that fans could join, and includes personal vlogs about every song and the story behind it.

Now, HunBjørn is ready with a new set of stories on her second EP Next Summer. She produced the record herself and it was mixed by previous collaborator Brian Batz (aka Sleep Party People). ‘Who Are We To Love’ is the first single, and it’s a love song to the environment, written to remind us that taking care of it is the responsibility of all of us.

Combining both organic and digital synth textures, HunBjørn has created a twinkling track full of her soothing vocals. Speaking about the single, she explains: “For a long time, I had been wanting to write a song about the environment expressing my concerns about where we’re heading. But I didn’t want the song to be sanctimonious or a lifted finger. So instead I tried to express the double standards that I myself apply. I was planning to fly to the other side of the world, well knowing how big my CO2 footprint would be. At the same time I see myself as environmentally conscious person. So I’ve tried to express those opposing feelings in the song. How much is just words and how much do we really act? How much do we leave for our decision makers or even worse – for our kids?

The official music video for the song is directed by Daniel Charluck Garrelts from Karma Film. HunBjørn’s pregnant body is painted in gold as a picture of the earth, which is marred by black oil as a symbol of how we treat the earth and what our children are born into. Take a look at the footage below and follow HunBjørn on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Gurr – ‘Fake News’

Gurr‘s latest track ‘Fake News’ is a poignant observation on the world’s indifference to the opinions of others. The single is taken from the band’s upcoming EP She Says, which is set for release on 5th April. It will also be accompanied by a video shot by visual artist Shelby Sells.

The German duo – formed of Laura Lee & Andreya Casablanca – were inspired to write the song by the current political climate, as well as a recent trip to London. The pair explain further: “‘Fake News’ was a direct response to what was going on (and still is) politically at the time, and the growing gap I feel between people leaning both left and right. I think with press and algorithms, we are only fed the kind of news we already believe in and agree with, which is super dangerous”.

“The song then connects that to an experience I had when we visited the the BBC for an interview with Huw Stephens. We went inside and there was this gigantic newsroom with so many screens but no windows at all. I found that a bit disturbing: Like here’s the people making the news and they can’t look outside.”

Gurr are currently in the middle of performing at SXSW, followed by tours in Germany and USA next month. We’re looking forward to hearing their new EP, and hope the rest of the tracks are just as cutting and well-crafted as ‘Fake News’. Listen to the track below and follow Gurr on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Miriam Marlene Waldner

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Jackie Mendoza – ‘Seahorse’

An ethereal ode to the symbiotic nature of the creatures her new track is named after, Jackie Mendoza has shared her latest single ‘Seahorse’ taken from her debut EP LuvHz (Love Hurts). Set for release on April 26 via Luminelle Recordings, Mendoza has said this track “encapsulates the EP sonically and thematically”, and it’s atmospheric beats and dreamy vocals make for an intriguing listen.

Born and raised in the border city of Chula Vista, California, Jackie Mendoza blends the cultural influences of her hometown and her motherland of Tijuana, Mexico, creating eccentric pop, Latin-driven dance beats and vibrant soundscapes. It wasn’t until she took a course for Ableton in college that she became interested in producing her own beats. These skills have taken her to SXSW this year and have assisted her in the creation of her debut EP.

Mendoza’s LuvHz is an exploration of love and relationships. She’s used her personal experiences to unravel the feelings of online unrequited love, the indecisiveness of a new romance, and the toll that being away for long periods of time has taken on her relationship with her home. The EP was recorded with Rusty Santos (Panda Bear’s Buoys), a collaborator that Mendoza quickly realized she had many parallels with. Both have lived in Los Angeles, New York, and Mexico and have an appreciation for Latin producers and Reggaeton artists.

Listen to ‘Seahorse’ below an follow Jackie Mendoza on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order Jackie Mendoza’s EP LuvHz here.

Photo credit: Tayo Okeyan

Kate Crudgington

Get In Her Ears w/ Bengi Unsal 14.03.19

Tash and Kate were back in the Hoxton Radio studio this week with all the new music, including tracks from Stainwasher, Dwen, Mammoth Penguins and Annavr.

They were joined in the studio by the Southbank Centre’s Senior Contemporary Music Programmer Bengi Unsal, who talked about their upcoming Meltdown festival, her re-branding of Friday Tonic and their success with Concrete Lates.

Listen back:


PREMIERE: Aunt Margaux – ‘Saint Frances’

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

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

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

Kate Crudgington