PLAYLIST: St. Patrick’s Day 2020

We began drafting this St. Patrick’s Day Playlist before we were fully aware of the extent of the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland, and before the Irish government called for the mass closure of pubs and clubs, thus removing any chance to publicly celebrate on the 17th. We debated whether it was appropriate to mention St. Patrick’s Day at all – especially after the numerous gig & parade cancellations both in Ireland and here in London – but seeing the resilience of our Irish friends and musicians on social media motivated us in to completing it.

We all need a distraction during these uncertain times, so dive in to our St. Patrick’s Day playlist! You’re going to find a new favourite artist among our choices. We’ve included links to each artist’s social media, Spotify and/or Bandcamp accounts, and we urge you to stream or purchase their music if you have the funds to do so. Make sure you scroll all the way down for the playlist, and for a note about our allies at the end too…

Æ MAK – ‘Dancing Bug’ (Spotify)
A solid fan of Æ MAK otherwise known as Aoife McCann, I’ve followed her since the beginning of 2019, fresh off her recent support of both tUnE-yArDs and Warpaint. ‘Dancing Bug’ is her latest offering which speaks to her chaotic electronic beats and primitive vocal rhythms. (Tash Walker)

Cosha – ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ (Spotify)
A previous favourite of mine known as Bonzai, who released an old favourite of mine Where Are U Now, came back in 2018 under the name Cosha, teaming up with producer Rostam for this single. I’ve been keeping my ears and eyes peeled for their new music ever since. (TW)

New Pagans – ‘Admire’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Filled with urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history, and gender; New Pagans‘ debut EP Glacial Erratic is a powerful blend of alternative sounds. The Belfast band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge, and indie rock and transform them in to abrasive, yet melodic noise. ‘Admire’ is my favourite track from the EP. (Kate Crudgington)

HAVVK – ’52’ (Spotify)
HAVVK have been long term favourites here at GIHE; a band who continually combine activism with their unique musical prowess, their exquisite, spine-tingling splendour resonates now more than ever. Although written about the extreme political dynamics in the run up to the Brexit vote in 2017, their track ‘52’ remains a poignant soundscape with all that’s happening in the world right now. Oozing a stark, stirring emotion, alongside the soaring, celestial splendour and gritty raw emotion of front woman Julie’s vocals, it’s filled with a glistening musicality juxtaposed with a frenzied, angst-driven climax. (Mari Lane)

The Cranberries – ‘Ode To My Family’
I couldn’t really not include The Cranberries on an Irish playlist. With the heartbreaking crystalline vocals of the late Dolores O’Riordan alongside a delicate twinkling musicality, each of their offerings sends shivers down my spine every time. I’ve chosen this particular track as, during these extremely troubling and anxiety-inducing times, I’d like to give an ode to MY family, and all loved ones – we need each other now more than ever, even if for some us it means not being able to physically see one another right now. Solidarity and good vibes to you all; we can get through this together. (ML)

REWS – ‘Monsters’ (Spotify)
I never fail to be impressed by the power of Shauna Tohill’s vocals, and they’re out in force again on this new REWS track. ‘Monsters’ is an aural challenge to self-doubt, and a bit of fiery pop-rock encouragement to persevere in the face of anxiety. (KC)

Vulpynes – ‘2 Cents’ (Spotify)
Propelled by the gritty, impassioned vocals of guitarist Molly, ‘2 Cents’ rages with a seething energy and sublime raw power as scuzzy punk-fuelled riffs are blasted out alongside intense pummelling beats. Reminiscent of the riotous force of the likes of L7 or The Distillers, it’s a storming, empowering offering from my favourite Irish duo. We’re sad that we’re no longer able to host Vulpynes at The Finsbury on 3rd April, but we do hope to reschedule the gig for as soon as possible! (ML)

Bitch Falcon – ‘Prime Number’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Mari booked Dubliners Bitch Falcon the penultimate act for one of our GIHE gigs at The Finsbury a few years ago, and I was totally blown away by their live set. Such a raw, powerful sound. ‘Prime Number’ is a personal favourite, but I’d recommend listening to their latest single ‘Damp Breath’ too. (KC)

Party Fears – ‘Money’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Party Fears are based in Berlin, but Maggie Devlin is originally from Northern Ireland. The band have been consistent favourites at GIHE since Mari first gave them a spin on our Hoxton Radio show, and this track ‘Money’ is one of my favourites. Keep your eyes peeled for their new single ‘All Is Good’, set for release on 27th March. (KC)

PowPig – ‘Pretty Woman’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
PowPig are Irish DIY at its best, I was totally blown away when I found out that they were still at school. ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Mayday’ are their most recent releases jam packed with indie harmonies and grizzly guitars. Loving it. Here’s to hearing more from them in the future. (TW)

Hilary Woods – ‘Orange Tree’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Dublin-based Hilary Woods creates abrasive, primal, charged soundscapes that blur industrial and orchestral elements. She uses sound and image to navigate emotional territories, and I feel intensely comforted when I listen to her music (I also cry to it sometimes, but that’s okay too). “My body knows I can’t make it out” sings Hilary Woods on ‘Orange Tree’, tentatively trying to make peace with her physicality and her surroundings. This need to face her inner fears underscores her latest record, Birthmarks, which is an unsettling, but genuinely liberating listen. (KC)

Fears – ‘Blood’ (Spotify)
Fears is the moniker of London-based, Irish musician Constance Keane. I first heard her music while listening to The Irish Jam, and I’ve tried to keep tabs on her ever since. I love her dark, minimal electronic sounds. Definitely a bit of me. (KC)

SOAK – ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ (Spotify)
I came across SOAK last year when she released her sophmore album Grim Town, which is most definitely worth a listen. This however is SOAK’s cover of The National’s ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, tender and gentle and a pleasingly fresh rendition. (TW)

Aoife Nessa Frances – ‘Here In The Dark’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
‘Here in the Dark’ is taken from the very enjoyable debut Land of No Junction by Aoife Nessa Frances. Her voice evokes so much emotion, you’ll soon find yourself falling into the songs reflective melodic musings. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘july’ (Spotify)
Alt-folk artist Maria Kelly’s ‘july’ looks inward, exploring the idea that we are ultimately in control of how we feel, and must take responsibility for what we choose to dwell on. Another truly beautiful offering from the Irish songwriter, it flows with her silky smooth, emotion strewn vocals and a stirring, bewitching musicality. Oozing a heartbreaking sense of vulnerability, it sparkles with a mystical grandeur, creating something truly mesmerising. (ML)

Rosie Carney – ‘Bud (Rose)’ (Spotify)
This is the last track to close Rosie Carney’s album Bare. ‘Bud (Rose)’ is a beautiful instrumental which mixes birdsong with piano. The piano is one of my favourite instruments to hear on record especially when it is played with such tenderness, as it is here. (TW)

B*witched – ‘C’est La Vie’
One of the first cassette singles I bought, when I was about twelve, I just wanted to include this one from the Irish girl group to put a smile on our faces – so, turn up it up, sing along and try to forget about everything for three sweet minutes! (ML)

 

We’d also like to give a shout out to GIHE allies, and Irish born London-based musicians Niall Jackson and Matthew Sutton. Niall co-hosts The Irish Jam (along with Mel, Kealan & Rob) on Riverside Radio, which celebrates Irish music. Kate often contributes to their ‘New Music Sunday’ section.

Matthew fronts his own outfit called TAYNE, and is currently creating new music with his tattoo machine equipment. They both play together in Sweat Threats too. Both are trying to stay creative in a time of uncertainty, so if you can stream/purchase their music or merch, it would be greatly appreciated. (TAYNE bandcamp here. Niall ‘Swimmers’ Jackson bandcamp here).

PLAYLIST: August 2018

The British heatwave rages on with its blue skies and scorching sun, and us Get In Her Ears girls are here to help you through the head-melting heat with a mixture of cool new tunes. Take some time to scroll through our track selections, and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Dream Nails – ‘Merkury’
Fast becoming known for their sparkling combination of activism and catchy tunes, GIHE faves Dream Nails are back with a new disco-punk banger. Perhaps less political than previous hits, ‘Merkury’ is a tongue-in-cheek take on the adverse effects of the planets misaligning and causing havoc in our everyday lives when Mercury Retrograde strikes. Flowing with sweeping honey-sweet vocals and shimmering melodies alongside groovy basslines, it’s a truly infectious intergalactic delight. Watch the wonderfully spacey, psychedelic video for ‘Merkury’ here. (Mari Lane)

WHITE RING – ‘Nothing’
Warped, watery vocals and thumping percussion combine in densely hypnotic style on WHITE RING‘s latest single, ‘Nothing’. Taken from their recent album Gate Of Grief, the track is accompanied by a video which shows the pair immersed in their own sound. Watch it here(Kate Crudgington)

AyOwA – ‘Sommer’
I couldn’t not include ‘Sommer’ by AyOwA in August’s playlist. Having seen these guys for the first time last week at our Notting Hill Arts Club event, they totally stole the show for me!  Seeing AyOwa peform Sommer was a highlight for me – more heady and more haunting then I could have wished for. (Tash Walker)

hear – ‘OYSTERS’
I’ve found a new addiction and it comes in the form of new musical project hear with their dark, hypnotic, lyrically enchanting music. ‘OYSTERS’ in particular stood out for me with it’s poetically pertinent messages of sexual perversion, discovery, frustration, desire… ‘did it please you well? to see her hanging there’. It’s hard for me not to draw parallels to early Savages, however hear are of course distinct in their own version of post-ponk. hear is a musical project from Jorinde Croese and Natalie Connlly who aptly say “We’re not quite sure how to classify – labels perhaps feel a little old, and the music doesn’t quite come from obvious reference points, at least not for us.” Without a doubt hear are now firmly on my ‘Ones to Watch’ list, fingers crossed for some live dates soon. (TW)

Something Leather – ‘Disappear On Me’
I saw Brighton’s Something Leather live for the second time at The Lock Tavern last weekend at We Can Do It’s all-day gig, and they didn’t disappoint! The trio’s sound ricochets between loud and quiet, up and down, mad and melancholy – and I can’t get enough of their marvelous noise. (KC)

Æ Mak – ‘Love Flush’
‘Love Flush’ is the latest single Æ Mak (pronounced “Eh Mack”). Having just played Latitude with what sounded like an incredibly energetic show, I think it makes sense that so much of the media are drawing comparisons to early Bjork. Of the track she says “‘Love Flush’ is a twisted love song. It’s about choosing your own ambitions over a true love, pushing that someone away to embrace this higher vision you have of yourself, even though that’s what made you happy. Ego’s a bitch.” I could not be more into how this track starts and then breaks into an alt-pop tune! Enjoy. (TW)

Temples Of Youth – ‘Darker Places’
This duo have been firm favourites of the GIHEs team for a while now, and new single ‘Darker Places’ is another electronic treat. Paul’s trademark atmospheric guitar sounds combine with Jo’s jaded beats and beautiful vocals to create this sultry pop-noir gem. (KC)

Princess Chelsea – ‘I Love My Boyfriend’
What a sweet sentiment from New Zealand’s retro-futuristic pop artist Princess Chelsea. She might be mocking romance, or she might be promoting it – either way – I love her strung-out bass lines and sugary vocals. The single is taken from her upcoming album The Loneliest Girl, released on the 7th September via Lil’ Chief Records (KC)

Value Void – ‘Babeland’
‘Babeland’ by London trio Value Void is taken from their upcoming debut album, set for release on 26th October via Tough Love. They’ve described the record as “a luxuriantly deep, shag pile-warm, analogue proto punk collection”, and ‘Babeland’ is a track about one night in a pub when everything looked grim except for two very attractive men kissing. I love the hazy dreamlike sound to that track which seems the perfect accompaniment to the hazy warmth of this endless London Summer. (TW)

H.Grimace – ‘In The Body’ 
Following last year’s debut album Self-Architect, GIHE faves H.Grimace have returned with a gritty new single. Inspired by poet Vivienne Griffin and reflecting on society’s pressure on the individual, ‘In The Body’ is filled with the band’s raw post-punk sound and scuzzy, seething power, alongside the deep, sweeping vocals of Hannah Gledhill; creating a dreamy, Sonic Youth-reminiscent haze. (ML)

Happy Accidents – ‘Free Time’
Taken from their latest album Everything But The Here And Now, ‘Free Time’ is the perfect example of Happy Accidents’ instantly uplifting pop-punk. Oozing luscious harmonies and an infectious buoyant energy, I fell in love with their shimmering creations when coming across them at Indietracks Festival last weekend, and now I’m truly addicted. (ML)

Le Tigre – ‘TKO’ 
With it being LGBTQ+ activist and artist J.D.Samson’s birthday on Saturday, I couldn’t not include a Le Tigre track in this month’s playlist. She holds a very special place in my heart, and the memory of dancing the night away in total euphoria to tunes that she hand-picked at M.I.A’s Meltdown Festival last year is still one of my life highlights. Really, Le Tigre’s ‘TKO’ should be on every playlist ever – it’s an instant blast of empowering energy on each listen. (ML)

Introducing Interview: Æ Mak

Æ MAK‘s otherworldly soundscapes and creative visuals are utterly bewitching, making them one of GIHE’s current faves.

Having played festivals such as Electric Picnic and Liverpool Sound City, and supported big names such as Warpaint, Django Django and Tune-Yards, Æ MAK are now back with new single ‘Love Flush’; another truly captivating, genre-defying creation.

We caught up with front-woman Aoife McCann to talk influences, live shows and gender imbalance in the music industry…

A huge welcome to Get In Her Ears! We’re big fans of yours, so firstly we want to just say keep doing what you’re doing!
Ah, thanks guys!

Can you tell us a bit about how Æ Mak came to its current formation in 2018?
Last summer myself and Daniel McIntyre started collaborating. He’d been playing synth in the band for a while. He’s an amazing producer and song-writer in his own right. We discovered a unique creative spark between us that’s really worked. With each new tune we create we get more and more excited about the sound we’re honing. ‘Love Flush’ is the second single we’ve created and released out of this partnership. For recording and our live set-up we’ve two beautiful drummers who’ve been a core part of Æ MAK since the very beginning: Peter Kelly and Dylan Povey.

And you are still based in Ireland?
We’re based in Dublin. I live in Carlingford where I do most of my song-writing, it’s real beautiful there. Sea and mountains galore. Dan has a gorgeous home in Stillorgan where all of the songs are produced, so we’re happy creating in Ireland. It works for us. It’s home!

We’re loving your latest single ‘Love Flush’ at GIHE HQ, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
What’s happened a lot over the past year when writing is that, in hindsight with a bit of time away from it, I realise what the song is really about and where my head was at at the time. ‘Love Flush’ is basically a twisted love song, steeped in ego. At the time it was inspired by a need to self-protect and create a world where I’m solely a strong ambitious individual. I AM all I need.

Your music has already been likened to the beginnings of Bjork and the electronically enchanting Fever Ray – are you happy with these comparisons?
Yeah, myself and Dan are chuffed, especially with the likes of Fever Ray. We’re massive fans of The Knife too. Before we started collaborating I came to Dan with references of The Knife’s and Little Dragon’s synth sounds, beat sounds, electronic music with a darker pop vibe; a sound that resonates with the vision I have as a performing artist.

It seems that the artwork and visuals that accompany your track are integral to the overall piece, would you agree with this? Do you see yourselves as performance artists as well as musicians?
Definitely. I started Æ MAK, started song-writing, so I could be a performing artist. The artwork and visuals go hand in hand with and embody each song, reflect the colourful, visceral visual concepts I get from or before the music is created. It enhances the music and lets it live in its fullest form. Gives it its own world to breath in.

We’ve seen you talk about gender imbalance in the music industry, specifically being the first act chosen for Festival Republic’s ReBalanced programme – congratulations! This is a new initiative that will address the gender imbalance in the music industry, can you tell us firstly what your thoughts are on this, and what this initiative will be doing?
Thank you! We were ecstatic to have been chosen for the programme and they’ve been brilliant over the past 6 months, giving us guidance and some amazing opportunities. Festival Republic and PRS Foundation are using their resources and position within the music industry to enhance and push the professional careers of female composers, bands, engineers and artists. ReBalance offers studio time with professional female producers in the U.K, festival republic slots and introductions to labels, management companies, booking agents. They help you find your people. They offer a supportive platform basically – what you do with it is up to you and what your goals are. I think it’s a brilliant initiative. It champions women in music at a time of positive change and growth in gender equality. Women represent only 16% of UK composers and songwriters and there’s a scarcity of females in other roles across the industry as well.

What do you think other people in the music industry and fans can do to help push this movement forward?
Just keep listening, promoting, booking, representing the music you love and are excited about. I wouldn’t want to be chosen for something for the sole fact that I’m a woman, but on the merit of the songs and music I make. I think the mindset that men rule the music industry is fading. Great music is great music and it should stop there regardless of gender. The ReBalance programme is promoting talented and forwarded thinking female writers and performers which is fantastic. PRS Foundation have launched its International Keychange initiative, which aims to improve greater equality in festival line-ups. 50/50 male and female bands and artists by 2022. This is coming from the best of places and with good intentions. However, it’s so important that we focus on the quality and unique authenticity of art being created, not simply which gender created it. Personally I think there’s a risk of it becoming patronising and degrading. The opposite of the intended effect.

It’s great to see you playing so many different festivals and gigs! You recently played the beautiful Latitude Festival, how did you find it? Did you take a dip in the pond?
Latitude is beautiful. Really cool festival. Don’t think we’ve ever been treated so well at a festival before. We played the Sunrise Arena on Sunday afternoon to a massive crowd of hungover, enthusiastic heads. Didn’t take a dip in the pond unfortunately. It was the last show of our stint in London, so we got to chill and see some of our favourite bands – Wolf Alice and Alt-J. Amazing.

How’re you finding the most recent tour that you are on? It must be quite the experience
being ferried around in a van during this insanely hot summer??

A nice van would be luxury. Planes, trains and automobiles over here. The heat is crazy. Burn, peel, white, repeat.

How would you describe your live show?
High energy. Emotive. I hope it creates a separate world that the audience can escape into and lose themselves. A space where they think ‘this is odd’, I’m odd too.

You’ve supported some great acts like Warpaint, Tune-Yards and Django Django – have you had a favourite so far?
Tune-Yards. They are amazing and the nicest people. I’d been a massive fan from early on so getting to chat with Merrill about music was very very surreal and fuzzy. The Nikki Nack album massively influenced me as a songwriter when it came out in 2014. Inspired me to create freely without the restraint of what I thought a pop song ‘should be’ and find that primitive rhythm we all have deep down in our core. We were chuffed to have been given the opportunity.

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
We’re big fans of Wastefellow, he produced a few of the earlier Æ MAK songs. He’s a brilliant experimental electronic producer. I’m also loving Mongoose at the moment, an Irish indie folk band. Check them out!

Huge thanks to Æ Mak for answering our questions!

Track Of The Day: Æ MAK – ‘Glow’

If you’re looking for “dance music with a bite”, then Irish art pop outfit Æ Mak are the band for you. They’ve released new single ‘Glow’, full of “tribal rhythms, soaring synths and lush vocal harmonies” – all of which burn with vibrant aural intensity.

2017 saw their distinctive style showcased to receptive audiences at their first headline shows, as well as supporting Warpaint in Dublin; and performing at a number of acclaimed festivals throughout the UK and Ireland including Liverpool Sound City, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, and Hard Working Class Heroes.

2018 looks like another promising year for the band. They’ve been confirmed for Latitude, and they’ve been chosen for both Festival Republic and PRS Foundation’s ReBalance programme, which was introduced last year. Listen to ‘Glow’ below and follow Æ Mak on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut