GIHE: Albums & EPs Of 2021

After sharing our Tracks of 2021 last week, the GIHE team want to shine a light on some of the brilliant Albums & EPs that have been released during the last 12 months. These records kept us dancing around our bedrooms/living rooms/home offices, miming underneath our face-masks and distracted us momentarily from the uncertain world we’re currently all living in.

So, in alphabetical order, here are our top Albums & EPs of 2021 (with some honorable mentions at the end…)

ALBUMS

Adult Mom – Driver
Consistently my most listened-to artist over the last couple of years, Adult Mom aka Stevie Knipe creates the most beautifully heartfelt music. Although I had thought it would be hard to follow the perfect relatable emotion of their debut Momentary Lapse Of Happily, and 2018’s Soft Spots, this year’s Driver does not disappoint. With the lilting musicality and raw emotive splendour of each track, the album has been in my ears on literally a daily basis since it came out in March; I have sought comfort in the luscious depth of Knipe’s vocals and found myself fully immersed in the album’s twinkling grace. I’m sending extra love to Stevie at the moment, as they were diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and are currently having to undergo treatment. I can’t wait to hear more gorgeous music from them when they’re ready. (Mari Lane – Co-Founder)

Blonde Maze – Something Familiar
I’m honestly not sure how I would have got through the last two years without the sound of Blonde Maze in my ears daily. Even before her debut album Something Familiar came out in Autumn, I had been completely addicted to her utterly dreamy creations – ever since she’d been a guest on our radio show about five years ago. To have a full LP filled with her exquisite soundscapes has been just what I’ve needed recently. Bathing the ears in shimmering ripples of dreamy reflection, each luscious track is a perfect cathartic tonic. My album of the year – it’s been the beautifully calming and delicately uplifting soundtrack I’ve so needed. (ML)

Divide & Dissolve – Gas Lit
Released via Invada Records in January, instrumental activists Divide and Dissolve’s second album Gas Lit continues their sonic mission to erode the foundations of colonialism and white supremacy. Produced by Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the record is an aural purging of injustice, fuelled by the diversity of Takiaya Reed’s doom-ridden saxophone sounds and Sylvie Nehill’s phenomenal percussion. It flows with a unique gargantuan grace that unsettles and soothes my cells every time I hear it. I had the pleasure of interviewing Takiaya about the album earlier this year too, which you can read here.
(Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder)

Du Blonde – Homecoming
With Homecoming, Du Blonde gave us the DIY stadium rock record we didn’t know we needed. After becoming disillusioned with the music industry, they wrote, recorded and produced this album of swaggering, empowering anthems for outcasts. A bag of contradictions, it’s both silly and serious, wonderfully weird yet radio friendly. A powerful record, I love the way Homecoming embraces self-destruction and self-love. It has a proper punk energy and inspires you to get shit done on your own terms – after you’ve had a dance, of course.
(Victoria Conway – Contributor)

Fears – Oíche
An intuitive artist who has transformed her darkest moments into graceful electronic soundscapes, Fears aka Constance Keane shared her poignant debut album Oíche (meaning “night” in Irish) in May. Released via her own label TULLE, the Irish-born, London-based musician balances her intense ruminations on trauma alongside delicate synth loops and tentative beats to shine a light on a personal metamorphosis. Much like the coarse fabric she used to create her altruistic dress on the album’s artwork, Fears allows her lived experiences to take up space and permeate this record, which swells with unflinching honesty and elegance. Oíche is a collection of shadowy lullabies that span five years of emotional territory, and the result is a truly immersive and enlightening body of work. (KC)

Fightmilk – Contender
Following 2018’s Not With That Attitude, this year total faves Fightmilk released their second album Contender via Reckless Yes, and it was everything I could have hoped for. With new bassist Healey and a perhaps more ambitious musicality than previous releases, this year’s album marks a maturing in sound for the band, whilst maintaining their trademark anthemic power-pop energy. Filled with the perfect balance of jangling melodies, an endearing, refreshingly honest lyricism and shades of a raw tongue-in-cheek wit, the album covers themes from space travel and capitalism, to love, heartbreak and self-loathing, all the while oozing a raw emotion and the band’s distinctive, quirky charisma. With all the scuzzy musicality and shimmering energy we’ve come to know and love, Contender showcases a band that are continuously refining their sound and, in the process, consistently continuing to win my heart.
(ML)

Gazelle Twin & NYX – Deep England
Inspired by the tracks that formed Gazelle Twin aka Elizabeth Bernholz’s 2018 album Pastoral, Deep England is a dark fable that serves as a warning to listeners not to get swept up in national apathy. Whilst Bernholz’s unique vision of Britain’s past was brought vividly to life on her original record, with the support of the NYX drone choir her vitriol is able to take its fullest, most nerve-shredding form. Together, they present their altruistic vision of Britain in its “post-truth” sphere, embroidering a new tapestry of sound for these jarring and uncertain times. Deep England is a phenomenal artistic accomplishment; a shadowy, graceful collection of sounds that radiate with unease – truly unlike anything you’ve heard before. (KC)

LINGUA IGNOTA – SINNER GET READY
“And all that I’ve learned / is everything burns” laments Lingua Ignota aka Kristin Hayter on ‘Pennsylvania Furnace’, the fourth track on SINNER GET READY – an apt sentiment for a record that blazes with a unique orchestral agony. Released via Sargent House, Hayter’s fourth full length offering is an emotional exorcism inspired by the severe brand of Christianity in rural Pennsylvania where she currently lives. Its strictness permeates her vision to the core, with her sensational vocals remaining the lifeblood of SINNER GET READY. She uses her voice to devastating effect, harrowing up the soul with her effortless ability to switch from a soft, divine cry to a cord-ripping, desperate plea. A stunning record that I’ve returned to many times this year. (KC)

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is an outstanding album, ambitious and sprawling while maintaining the punchy immediacy of expression synonymous with Little Simz’ earlier work. She confidently glides between styles, from epic Scott Walker-style arrangements to afrobeat grooves, which form mere backdrops to the artist’s lyrical acrobatics. Simz enumerates the anxieties, troubles and triumphs of her life and career throughout the album’s 19 tracks – this album already has an undeniably classic quality. It is a singular expansion of the possibilities of hip-hop, of pop music more generally, and an unrepentantly fantastic album of Baroque ambition and fabulous execution. (Lloyd Bolton – Contributor)

Lunar Vacation – Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp
The latest album from Atlanta-based Lunar Vacation, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp oozes a shimmering allure throughout. As each track treats the ears to whirring hooks and a sparkling musicality, I just fall more in love with Grace Repasky’s honey-sweet crystalline vocals on each listen. Floating seamlessly with an ethereal splendour, a stirring melancholy ripples on a seemingly serene surface, creating a perfectly dreamy collection. With shades of Alvvays or Best Coast, Lunar Vacation have fast become one of my most favourite bands of 2021. (ML)

New Pagans – The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All
An intuitive rumination on the personal and the political, New Pagans’ debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All is a gritty, deeply poetic consideration of inequality and social injustice. Released via Big Scary Monsters, the Belfast band’s first full length record dives into the paraphernalia surrounding religion, romance and women’s pain, and resurfaces having transformed these tired archetypes into aural talismans of strength and defiance. I’m such a big fan of everything they’ve released so far and I’m hoping to hear these songs live at some point in 2022. (KC)

Noga Erez – KIDS
The GIHE team collectively adore Tel-Aviv producer & pop renegade Noga Erez’s second album, KIDS. It’s a stylish, swaggering collection of songs that explore personal growth, morality and what it means to disconnect and reconnect with the world around you. Erez has worked closely alongside her collaborative & life partner Ori Rousso to create a razor sharp, intensely catchy record that proves she’s got the musical mileage she sings of. Through her witty lyrics, slick production and commanding beats, she blazes a unique musical trail that pulses with authentic energy, spotlighting her talent as a producer, vocalist, MC and performer. What a star. (KC)

Nova Twins Presents: Voices For The Unheard
Driven by their desire to spotlight the work of underrepresented artists of colour in the heavy music scene, Nova Twins aka Amy Love and Georgia South put together this blistering collection of alternative anthems with the help of Dr Martens to showcase this eclectic range of talent. Featuring tracks by Big Joanie, Khx05, Loathe, Oxymorrons & LutSickPuppy, the record is a fun, furious blur of noise from a group of artists who have been galvanized by their individual experiences of discrimination, but who are now united in their attempts to create the music they wish they had heard growing up. A proper gem of a record that’s introduced me to some brilliant artists this year. (KC)

pink suits – political child
Having completely blown us away with their riotous, seething energy at our first gig at The Shacklewell Arms earlier this month, queer Margate duo pink suits released their debut album political child, in the Spring. With just drums, a guitar and the riotous force of their voices, Lennie and Ray offer an inclusive feminist rebellion to bring about radical change – with each powerful track on the collection, they deliver a seething, all-too-poignant social commentary on the increasingly terrifying state of the UK right now. Throughout political child, pink suits offer a perfect riotous catharsis; an immense formidable force, coated in a rousing cacophony. The duo have provided an utterly necessary soundtrack for these times; a rallying cry to make our voices heard and fight for an upheaval of a neoliberal society. (ML)

Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
Each time I’ve tried to write about Wolf Alice’s third album, Blue Weekend, I’ve fallen short of the words to describe how profoundly comforting I find it. Emotional, but with a few grunge ragers thrown in there too – plus a lyric that everyone should adopt as a mantra “I am what I am and I’m good at it / and you don’t like me? Well that isn’t fucking relevant” – Ellie Rowsell’s magnificent, elastic vocals and poignant lyrics effortlessly stretch across the record. I listened to Blue Weekend twice a day for over a month, discovering something new every time I let its cinematic sounds wash over me. Pure musical escapism that’s rooted in real fucking feelings. Properly sublime stuff. (KC)

EPs

Ailsa Tully – Holy Isle
Long term favourite of GIHE, Welsh artist Ailsa Tully released her EP in Autumn this year. Offering four exquisite slices of stirring folk-strewn indie, Holy Isle showcases Tully’s ability to reflect on feelings of vulnerability and loss with a gently uplifting, sparkling grace. As the collection flows with a shimmering, stripped-back musicality, the juxtaposition of Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals and the gentle lilting melodies creates a delicate, captivating majesty. As the beautifully rippling instrumentation glistens with a heartfelt splendour, I can’t help but become utterly immersed in the raw emotion and poignant, resplendent charm of Holy Isle in its entirety. (ML)

Aisha Badru – The Way Back Home
Having previously charmed our ears with the soothing sounds of last year’s ‘Soil’s Daughter’ and 2018’s poignant debut album Pendulum, singer-songwriter Aisha Badru released her EP The Way Back Home earlier this month. Flowing with twinkling, folk-inspired hooks alongside Badru’s rich, soulful vocals, each track oozes an immersive, heartfelt emotion. With a gentle, lilting energy and shimmering grace, a sweeping majestic splendour soars throughout this beautifully stirring collection as it soothes the mind with its gently uplifting allure. (ML)

Bitch Hunt – Shapeshifter
Having formed at First Timers Fest in 2017, London based non-binary band Bitch Hunt have since played live for us and been lovely guests on our show on Soho Radio. This year they released their debut EP Shapeshifter, via Reckless Yes. A shimmering collection of five lo-fi, yet heartfelt, offerings, it reflects on themes ranging from nostalgia and relationships, to gender and identity, delivered with a wonderfully scuzzy musicality and twinkling energy. Treating us to their effervescent, stirring brand of unique punk-pop, Bitch Hunt have crafted a collection that is beautifully poignant, whilst offering a welcome glimmer of optimism and solidarity. (ML)

BLAB – Word of Mouth
Formed of three previously released singles and a brand new track, Southend-based BLAB‘s debut EP is the sound of a songwriter fully embracing their own choices and leaning into the raw power of each moment. Released via Cool Thing Records, BLAB aka Frances Murray combines direct lyrics with infectious guitar riffs to push past personal and political frustrations, providing her listeners with sharply observed judgements on both. (KC)

Deep Tan – Creeping Speedwells
With acclaim from the likes of NME, So Young and BBC 6Music, Hackney-based trio deep tan have been favourites here at GIHE for some time now, and we’ve been very much enjoying their debut EP Creeping Speedwells, which was released this summer. Propelled by glitchy beats and whirring, twinkling hooks, each track captivates the ears with the trio’s compelling seductive allure. Flowing with fuzzed-out shades of ’90s trip-hop, whilst maintaining a unique sparkling edge and gently haunting majesty, the whole collection offers a spellbinding, rousing splendour that’ll immerse you in its dark, psychedelic haze. (ML)

Hilary Woods – Feral Hymns
I saw the title of this EP, listened to 30 seconds of it and downloaded it IMMEDIATELY. Released via Sacred Bones, Feral Hymns by Irish multi-instrumentalist Hilary Woods captures a relatable sense of gloom across five instrumentals that she worked on with collaborator Lasse Marhaug. Woods describes her ambiguous sounds as “A collection of hymns set at dusk…Unspoken bonds, primal pain, cyclical patterns, unsent love letters.” I find her melancholy, fleshy sounds intensely moving and I can’t wait to hear the new full length record she’s currently working on. (KC)

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business – He Earns Enough
Featuring members of Trash Kit, F*Choir and Bamboo, Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business are a six-piece choral punk ensemble who released their debut EP in October. A poignant collection covering themes such as the struggles of living in a patriarchal, capitalist society and the fears women and gender minority people face when walking home alone, He Earns Enough showcases the soaring, harmonious power of voices coming together in unity. With each track propelled by an anthemic, mystical energy, the collection offers a simple, yet stirring, message, oozing a sweeping, celestial splendour that’ll bewitch the listener instantly with its eerily enchanting allure. (ML)

M(h)aol – Gender Studies
I was blown away by the power of Irish post punks M(h)aol when I saw them perform their debut EP live at The Shacklewell Arms in November. The brooding, shadowy sounds on Gender Studies vehemently reject outdated attitudes and social constraints concerning gender, identity and equality. It’s a vital, much needed antidote to toxic patriarchal standards, providing listeners with a cathartic exhale of fury and freedom. (KC)

TOKKY HORROR – I Found The Answers And Now I Want More
GIHE writer Jay Mitra penned a great review of dance-punk trio TOKKY HORROR’s debut EP earlier this year, branding it “a cyber goth masterpiece that hits you as hard as MDMA” – and they’re not wrong. Packed full of manic electronics and pounding beats, I Found The Answers And Now I Want More is a whirlwind of EDM energy that’s impossible to sit still to. (KC)

Honourable Mentions

Alex Loveless – Phone Keys & Wallet (EP)
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
BISHI –Let My Country Awake
CHERYM – Hey Tori (EP)
Elodie Gervaise – Syzergy (EP)
Elsa Hewitt – LUPA
Grace Petrie – Connectivity
Halsey –If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
Maria Uzor – Innocence and Worldliness (EP)
Me Rex – Megabear
Naoko Sakata – Dancing Spirits
Nun Habit – Hedge Fun (EP)
Okay Kaya – The Incompatible
Penelope Trappes – Penelope Three
SPELLLING – The Turning Wheel
Tirzah – Colourgrade
YAY MARIA – OYEZ
WILLOW – Lately I Feel Everything

Five Favourites: Ailsa Tully

Following acclaim for previous singles ‘Greedy’ and ‘Parasite’ from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Clash Magazine, Welsh artist and GIHE fave Ailsa Tully has now announced the release of her upcoming EP, Holy Isle – due out in September. Taken from the EP, recent single ‘Sheets‘ insightfully reflects on those first moments of waking, as your senses gradually start to stir whilst limbs stretch amid the crisp white linen. Combining lilting melodies with Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals, it oozes an immersive, delicate emotion and sparkling grace. With a heartfelt splendour, it offers an exquisite slice of folk-strewn indie, resonating with a glistening allure and subtle, yet stirring, sentiment. We can’t hear to the EP very soon!

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the upcoming EP, we caught up with Ailsa to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that she loves the most. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to the uniquely captivating ‘Sheets’.

Rozi Plain – ‘Conditions’
Let’s start with this one because it’s a sonic masterpiece. I love how relaxed it is, how fluttery and flighty the synth parts are, the simple directness of the lyrics, and the grounding repetition of the bass riff. It has a wondrous quality like you are an (extremely calm) child on a day out, observing a blustery day by the beach.


Hildegard von Bingen – ‘Spiritus Sanctus Vivificans’
Hildegard von Bingen was a German Benedictine Abbess around in the 10th century and is one of the best-known composers of sacred monophony as well as being a respected writer, philosopher and mystic. I am so intrigued by her, a prolifically creative woman in the Middle Ages who was actually recognised for her work. Her music has an incredible purity and is so evocative of an ancient sacredness which I often feel I need to tap into. It reminds me of walking in the mountains in Wales where I grew up.


Joni Mitchell -‘Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow’
I listened to the album Hissing of Summer Lawns countless times with my Dad in the car. This was where I first fell in love with Joni’s lyrics and her ability to paint these incredible pictures of people and social situations. The power of her emotion and her voice just cut right through, coupled with these incredibly unusual arrangements. Every element is good enough to have made it amazing by itself. Me and Dad would talk about it on many journeys, extremely fond memories.


Sudan Archives – ‘Come Meh Way’
I am a cellist and spent a while trying to work out how to incorporate the cello into my live set up… In the end I gave up and turned to the bass. Sudan Archives made me wish I hadn’t. How she performs with a violin and how she uses it to accompany her voice is so unique to her, very mesmerising. She gets a really cool scratchy, earthy tone and puts it through loads of pedals. Catch her live if you can!

Caroline Polachek – ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’
I listened to this song all the time when I started dating my boyfriend. It reminds me of feeling all that crazy joyful excitement. It’s just a great pop song!


Thanks so much to Ailsa for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Listen to latest single ‘Sheets’ below:

Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 1st September via Dalliance Recordings.

PLAYLIST: July 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our July Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of alternative tunes, synth-pop bangers and raucous guitar anthems for you to enjoy. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Amy Winehouse – ‘Me & Mr Jones’
“What kind of fuckery is this?” – one of my all time favourite lyrics, courtesy of Amy Winehouse. This month marked ten years since her untimely death and gave us all a chance to reflect on her iconic musical legacy. Charming, intelligent and rib-achingly funny, but simultaneously plagued by addiction, alcoholism and bulimia, Amy Winehouse’s altruistic talent is one that simply can’t be rivalled. RIP Amy. (Kate Crudgington)

Babeheaven – ‘Lovefool’ (The Cardigans Cover)
Babeheaven are a band who do wonders with their covers and this one is no exception. Singer Nancy Andersen’s voice just beautifully falls over the music every time, the perfect accompaniment to this sweltering summer where we just have to slow down. (Tash Walker)

Abra – ‘Roses’
This song has been spinning its way around all of my playlists over the last month. Released back in 2015, I always have space for a return listen for Abra. The way a song sounds six years later is part of the beauty of it, especially the lyrics on this one – “You taste best when you are in full bloom” – turn up your dials for a big slice of distilled electro pop. (TW)

Evil House Party – ‘Head Held High’
I love this captivating synth-pop tune from Copenhagen-based duo Evil House Party. Taken from their debut EP Grand Theft Audio, which is set for release on 24th September via Third Coming Records, the track is a heady, bittersweet reflection on personal uncertainty and laments the struggle of trying to survive in the real world whilst also trying to fulfil your dreams. (KC)

Maria Uzor – ‘Innocence’
The latest solo release of Maria Uzor (also one half of GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth), ‘Innocence’ offers an other-worldly soundscape propelled by glitchy electronic hooks and drum ‘n’ bass reminiscent beats. Interweaving a whirring ethereal splendour with shades of the likes of Grimes with a unique soul-fused drive, I just can’t get enough of its blissful, euphoric energy and bewitching allure. Innocence And Worldliness, the upcoming EP from Maria Uzor, is set for release on 27th August. (Mari Lane)

John Glacier – ‘Icing’
This song! Coming in at 1.44 a song has never left me desperate for more, obsessed is an understatement. East London’s John Glacier released this as a teaser from the forthcoming 12-track project SHILOH: Lost For Words, due on 30th July. (TW)

Moor Mother ft. lojii – ‘Shekere’
Having released her debut album Fetish Bones back in 2016, musician-poet-artist-workshop facilitator Camae Ayewa – aka Moor Mother – has now announced her upcoming new album, Black Encyclopedia Of The Air. Taken from the album, latest single ‘Shekere’ features Philadelphia rapper lojii and is propelled by a stripped-back, jazz-infused musicality as it oozes a swirling, stirring allure and immersive, soulful drive. As poetically poignant lyricism is set against the captivating flow of the instrumentation, an exquisitely enthralling, and undeniably necessary, battle-cry is created. Black Encyclopedia Of The Air, the upcoming album from Moor Mother, is set for release on 17th September via ANTI-. (ML)

Witch Prophet – ‘Makda’
I have Tash to thank for introducing me to the majestic sounds of Ethio queer hip-hop fusion artist Witch Prophet. ‘Makda’ is a celebration of the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba and the accompanying video for the track is all about showcasing “the power of Black women and mothers.” (KC)

Piroshka – ‘V.O’
Taken from Piroshka’s brand new album, Love Drips and Gathers, ‘V.O’ offers a poignant tribute to 4AD’s late in-house art director and graphic designer Vaughan Oliver. A swirling, ethereal soundscape, sparkling with a captivating, shoegaze-tinged splendour, the track reflects not only on Miki Berenyi’s memories of Vaughan, but also her experience of attending his funeral last year – with many of the lyrics inspired by speeches that she heard on the day. Find out more about Piroshka and their new album in our recent interview with Miki here. (ML)

Praises – ‘A World On Fire’
This shadowy track by Toronto-based Praises is such a hypnotising listen. The new project of Jesse Crowe (formerly one-half of Beliefs), ‘A World On Fire’ “imagines a diaspora and a war, whilst tackling other ideas of mortality, identity and love.” The track is taken from Praises’ upcoming EP, EP4, which is set for release on 5th August via Hand Drawn Dracula. (KC)

Tirzah – ‘Tectonic’
Anyone who knows me/has asked me what I’m listening to over the last couple of years will have given you one answer: TIRZAH. She’s recently announced the release of her new album Colourgrade which I am counting down the days to. This song ‘Tectonic’ is totally hypnotic, starting with a conflicting drone before her vocals arrive, rougher than we’re used to, all adding to the music’s intensity – and don’t even get me started on the lyrics. Needless to say, this track gives me FEELS. (TW)

Täpp – ‘Aquaria’
The latest release from Jazztronica/hip hop/ classical collective Täpp, led by classically trained jazz violinist Rebekah Reid. This track is lifted from their debut album, named after the winner of Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race – ‘Aquaria’ is an anthem created to empower women, transgender/gender non-conforming people and the LGBTQ+ community, encouraging them to step into their light and “shine like the gifts they are to the world.” Can’t argue with that. (TW)

Tiiva – ‘Bones’
Is it even a GIHE playlist if I don’t include a Tiiva track? I’m a big fan of all their releases so far and ‘Bones’ is no exception. The London-based producer has crafted another captivating soundscape full of atmospheric beats, hushed vocals and summery synth sounds. (KC)

Planningtorock – ‘Gay Dreams Come True’
This song gives nothing but pure gay joy, a pleasure to hear it pouring out of any speakers. Planningtorock has to be the most consistent creator of absolute dance tunes right now. I LOVE IT. What vibes, what fun. (TW)

cheeky – ‘SPADES’
cheeky is a classically trained pianist, queer non-binary producer based in Philadelphia. This track ‘SPADES’ is taken from their recent EP The Tower. Constructed of mostly percussive sounds sampled from their piano, cheeky says this song is “about struggling with self love.” Definitely check out their new EP, it’s a bittersweet exploration of their musical influences and includes a bewitching cover of ‘Nightingale’ from Disney’s Cinderella. (KC)

FLOSSING – ‘SWITCH’
FLOSSING is the new project from Heather Elle, formerly of Bodega and The Wants. I love her candid, moody sound on her debut single ‘SWITCH’, which explores her own sexuality and “the deviant nature of men.” I can’t wait to hear her new EP Queen Of The Mall, which is set for release on 10th September. (KC)

Ailsa Tully – ‘Sheets’
Ahead of the release of a new EP next month, Welsh artist Ailsa Tully recently shared poignant single ‘Sheets’. Flowing with a shimmering, stripped back musicality, ‘Sheets’ combines lilting melodies with Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals. Oozing an immersive, delicate emotion and sparkling grace, there is something uniquely captivating about the juxtaposition of the vocals and the rippling instrumentation; the gentle build up and crescendo evoking images of waves delicately crashing against swathes of sand. Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 20th August via Dalliance Recordings. (ML)

CMAT – ‘2 Wrecked 2 Care’
Irish pop sensation CMAT says this song is based around the idea of what “would have happened if Sheryl Crow ever had to work in a TK Maxx” – absolute lols. I love everything CMAT creates and I can’t wait to see her live for the first time at her sold out show at The Troubadour in November. (KC)

Bad Waitress – ‘Strawberry Milkshake’
The latest single from Toronto based Bad Waitress, ‘Strawberry Milkshake’ blasts into the ears with pulsating hooks and thrashing beats, as Kali-Ann Butala’s seething vocals soar with a riotous power. Propelled by a gritty energy and frenzied, empowering drive, it’s a wonderfully sinister – hell-raisingly raucous yet fuzzily catchy – punk-fuelled anthem. Of the track, the band comment: “Strawberry Milkshake’ is saccharine sweet, milky pink terror. On the surface it’s sexy and enticing – but there’s a poisonous sludge bubbling just beneath.” No Taste, the debut album from Bad Waitress, is set for release on 3rd September. (ML)

Pretty Happy – ‘Sudocream’
Centered around the Cork-centric story of a girl who is suffering from alcohol poisoning in the Mercy Hospital whilst her partner sits across the road in the Franciscan Well pub, Pretty Happy’s ‘Sudocream’ kicks and screams with the kind of frustration, panic and anxiety that can’t be soothed by the childhood medicinal staple it’s named after. It’s a frantic, witty, cathartic burst of art punk noise from the Cork trio, lifted from their recent EP Sluggers Bridge, released via Art For Blind Records. (KC)

My Idea – ‘Stay Away Still’
The latest single from New York duo Nate Amos and Lily Konigsberg – aka My Idea – ‘Stay Away Still’ is a perfectly jangly slice of lo-fi, indie-pop. I’m a big fan of this track’s luscious, sunny melodies and the way it juxtaposes a deadpan wit with a dreamy, twinkling energy. ‘Stay Away Still’ has been released with accompanying single ‘That’s My Idea’ ahead of the duo’s debut EP, set for release on 30th July. (ML)

Softcult – ‘Spit It Out’
I’m a big fan of this lush, swirling guitar tune from Canadian duo Softcult. Formed of Ontario-based twins Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn, this new single gently encourages listeners to face up to, and reject their unconscious bias. Check out the accompanying video for it here. (KC)

Meggie Brown – ‘Dusty Smells’
The first song to be taken from London-based Meggie Brown’s upcoming new EP, ‘Dusty Smells’ is a nostalgia-inducing anthem for anyone struggling with their identity. With shades of the likes of Aussie fave Courtney Barnett, it juxtaposes Brown’s deadpan-yet-poetic reflections with a sparkling musicality as scuzzy hooks flow with a lilting energy, offering an uplifting glimmer of hope. Of the track, Brown – who has recently come out as transgender – explains: “Coming to terms with one’s gender identity has been both beautiful and challenging during this lockdown. When I wrote and recorded ‘Dusty Smells’ I wanted it to match through sound how non-binary those emotions and realisations were.” HOME, the upcoming EP from Meggie Brown, is set for release later this year. (ML)

th’sheridans – ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’
The latest single from indie-pop duo th’sheridans, ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’ is taken from their upcoming career-spanning compilation. Propelled by scuzzy hooks, jangly drum-machine induced beats and a swirling, danceable energy, it reflects on the tentative anticipation of possibilities as restrictions start to lift. With shades of the stripped-back hype-pop/dance-punk of Le Tigre, it offers a perfect smattering of effervescent euphoria – something that is much needed in these uncertain times. Pieces Of General, the upcoming compilation album from th’sheridans, is set for release on 10th September via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Death Valley Girls – ‘Sanitarium Blues’
A refreshingly honest reflection on mental health struggles, Death Valley Girls’ latest single ‘Sanitarium Blues’ was inspired by vocalist Bonnie Bloomgarden’s stay at a professional institution amidst a serious battle with her own mental health. Propelled by the soaring, gritty power of Bloomgarden’s vocals, it’ll soak you in its fierce, reverb-strewn riffs that rage with a frenzied, angsty drive. Oozing a sludgey, grunge-fuelled fuzz with a swirling psychedelic allure, it’s an instantly bewitching and eerily immersive creation. Street Venom, the re-issued album, is set for release on 30th July via Suicide Squeeze Records. (ML)

Ms White – ‘Fuck Men’
I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of Ms White until recently, when Belfast artist F.R.U.I.T.Y thankfully introduced me to her by including this track in their recent Five Favourites feature for us. A wonderfully empowering anthem from the Trans artist, the name really speaks for itself: I challenge you to listen to this and not feel motivated and ready to face the world. (ML)

Track Of The Day: Ailsa Tully – ‘Sheets’

Following acclaim for previous singles ‘Greedy’ and ‘Parasite’ from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Clash Magazine, Welsh artist and GIHE fave Ailsa Tully has announced the release of her upcoming EP next month. Taken from the EP, she has now shared a brand new poignant offering.

Flowing with a shimmering, stripped back musicality, ‘Sheets‘ insightfully reflects on those first moments of waking, as your senses gradually start to stir whilst limbs stretch amid the crisp white linen. Combining lilting melodies with Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals, it oozes an immersive, delicate emotion and sparkling grace. There is something uniquely captivating about the juxtaposition of the vocals and the rippling instrumentation; the gentle build up and crescendo evoking images of waves delicately crashing against swathes of sand. Of the track, Tully explains:

 “’Sheets’ is about restlessness and trying to let yourself be still. It’s about waking up and feeling the anxious urge to be productive, to wash your clothes, to make your bed, but forcing yourself to slow down in order to share a moment with someone.”

With a heartfelt splendour, ‘Sheets’ offers an exquisite slice of folk-strewn indie, resonating with a glistening allure and subtle, yet stirring, sentiment. A simply beautiful creation that tugs at the heartstrings, leaving us eager to hear Tully’s upcoming EP in full.

 Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 20th August via Dalliance Recordings.

Mari Lane
@marimindles