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

PLAYLIST: November 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed more new music gems for you to listen to on our November Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of indie anthems, gritty guitar tunes, alt-pop tracks & immersive electronic sounds. 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.

 

Problem Patterns – ‘Terfs Out’
Headliners of our gig at The Shacklewell Arms this Friday 3rd December, Northern Irish punks Problem Patterns are total faves with the GIHE, and the immense ‘Terfs Out’ is a sentiment we fully endorse. As the song says, “LGB is nothing if not for the T / So show up with some real solidarity.” I cannot wait to host the band’s first ever London gig and witness their impassioned, frenzied energy live, along with support from pink suits and GUTTS. Get your tickets on DICE now. (Mari Lane)

Agender – ‘No Nostalgia’
The latest release from LA post-punk band Agender. This is the title track from their upcoming album which is set for release in February next year, and it has just the right serving of dysmorphic desire to get your heart beating faster. Enjoy. (Tash Walker)

Momma – ‘Medicine’
A melodic reflection on the intoxicating power of new romance, this single from New York City four-piece Momma is so, so good! Released via Polyvinyl Record Co. & Lucky Number, the track is an aural headrush centered around the passionate emotions that come with an all-consuming crush, full of hazy vocals and infectious guitar riffs. (Kate Crudgington)

VERO – ‘Beg!’
A seething guitar anthem fueled by the anger that’s left behind by a flawed relationship, ‘Beg!’ is the debut single from Stockholm-based trio VERO. Released via PNKSLM and one half of an upcoming 7″ single that’s set for release on 14th January, the track is saturated with brooding bass lines, swirling riffs and stinging vocals. I LOVE it and can’t wait to hear more from the trio next year. (KC)

The Golden Age of TV – ‘What I’ve Been Through’
Leeds art-rockers The Golden Age of TV have shared this loud and vitally important track which, as vocalist Bea Fletcher explains, is “a statement, of sorts, from the perspective of someone who’s experienced sexual violence.” Permeated by raging riffs and Fletcher’s powerful vocals, the track simply asks “for nothing more than to be heard and believed.” (KC)

Sister Ghost – ‘Buried Alive’ 
Derry based duo Shannon Delores O’Neill and Maeve Mulholland – aka Sister Ghost – have just released their brilliantly titled new EP Stay Spooky. Taken from the EP, latest single ‘Buried Alive’ oozes their distinctive swirling, gritty power as soaring impassioned vocals and catchy hooks rage with a seething energy. A perfect slice of sparkling rock ‘n’ roll, exuding a much-needed empowering raucous spirit. Read our recent interview with Shannon here. (ML)

Proper. – ‘Red, White & Blue’
I’m new to Brooklyn punks Proper. but I’m a big fan of this track, which is the first taste of the sound of the band’s upcoming album set for release in 2022. Vocalist & guitarist Erik Garlington explains the context of ‘Red, White, & Blue’ further: “A lot of millennials in my life share the sentiment that being American feels like being in an abusive relationship that you can’t find the courage to leave. I knew I wanted to focus on looking at what makes this country what it is, and how hopeless I feel to stop it.” (KC)

Dutch Mustard – ‘What The People Want’
“‘What The People Want’ is about playing the system, a realisation that you can do anything, give the people what they want, and still stay truthful” explains Dutch Mustard, aka Sarah-Jayne Riedel, about her latest single. Full of lush vocals and rolling rhythms, the track is an infectious slice of alt-rock, lifted from her upcoming EP which is set for release early next year. (KC)

JASMYN – ‘Find The Light’
JASMYN – aka Jasmyn Burke former frontwoman of Weaves – has signed to ANTI- and embarked on her new solo project and released this brilliant single. “This song was loosely written during the Fall of 2020,” she explains. “The world was feeling pretty heavy, and I felt myself wanting to write music that created a mood of happiness and space to grow. It feels like we’re living in this sort of in-between space, where life is altering. I wanted to explore finding comfort and hopefulness through uncomfortable change.” JASMYN achieves this via her relatable lyrics, distinctive riffs and charged beats. (KC)

LibraLibra – ‘Candy Mountain’ (ML)
The latest single from total heroes LibraLibra, ‘Candy Mountain’ showcases their knack for creating immense, swirling soundscapes, propelled by the magnificent, angst-driven power and gritty splendour of front woman Beth Cannon’s impassioned vocals. Another wonderfully genre-defying cacophony from the band. Kate and I were lucky enough to catch LibraLibra live at their single launch the other week – they really are one of the most exciting bands to see; fizzing with a captivating charisma and riotous energy. (ML)

The Klittens – ‘Canned Air’
The first single to be taken from Amsterdam’s The Klittens’ debut EP, ‘Canned Air‘ captures the band’s self-described air of “happy songs and sad sentiments” perfectly. Propelled by shimmering hooks and a raw, scuzzy energy, it builds with a fizzing whirr to an impassioned climax, before winding back down with luscious vocal harmonies, oozing a gentle, stirring emotion. I can’t wait to hear more from this Dutch band; new ones to watch for sure! (ML)

Brimheim – ‘Hey Amanda’
I can’t get enough of this track from Danish musician Brimheim. Taken from her upcoming and excellently titled album, can’t hate myself into a different shape, which is set for release on 28th January, ‘Hey Amanda’ is a celebration of platonic love and an ode her best friend, brimming with nostalgic lyrics, warm guitar sounds and tender vocals. There’s a very cool accompanying video that features members of Baby In Vain too. (KC)

Kills Birds – ‘Married’
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to mention The Great Escape, but LA punks Kills Birds were recently announced as one of the First Fifty artists who will be performing at the Brighton-based festival in 2022! I’m hoping to be back by the seaside screaming about how much I love new music then. (KC)

O Hell – ‘Down’
After years spent touring and recording music in alternative bands around the UK, Projector’s Lucy Sheehan is venturing into fresh sonic territory under their new moniker O Hell. Influenced by a love of eclectic, brooding soundscapes and aspirations for pure self-autonomy, their debut single ‘Down’ is an “exercise in refusing compromise” brimming with Sheehan’s distinctive vocals and jagged electronics. (KC)

Circe – ‘Mess With Your Head’
I’m a moth to a flame when it comes to Circe’s sultry pop creations. Co-produced by Emre Turkmen (formerly Years & Years), this new track is a crushed-heart-banger, a dazzling blend of distinctive vocals, Kate Bush inspired beats and jagged electronics. There’s even a Shakespeare inspired lyric worked into it too – “You gave me your heart / and I gave you a pound of flesh.” (KC)

Dyan Valdes – ‘Fade Away’ (ML)
Having been involved in the music industry for twenty years, Berlin-based Cuban-American artist Dyan Valdés has played in esteemed bands such as The Blood Arm and Die Sterne, and has now released her first solo material. Taken from her upcoming debut solo album, ‘Fade Away’ offers an immersive shimmering soundscape; propelled by layers of synth and driving beats alongside Valdés’ luscious vocals, it’s a poignant, twinkling message of hope at a time when things can feel hopeless. Read our recent interview with Dyan here. (ML)

Flowerkid – ‘I Met The Devil At 4 Years Old’
This track is taken from Sydney-based Flowerkid’s much-anticipated debut EP, Everyone Has A Breaking Point. The EP covers many personal issues and topics from gender dysphoria, mental health and misogyny – seeking true self-expression beyond ever-restricting heteronormative constraints. Cannot argue with that. It’s also a tuneee. (TW)

BISHI – ‘Let My Country Awake’ (The Anchoress Remix)
Multi-instrumentalist, producer and GIHE fave BISHI has shared a collection of remixes for the title track of her recent album Let My Country Awake, and this version by The Anchoress is my favourite. Check out Samantha Togni and Hannah Holland’s remixes of the track too. (KC)

Shamir – ‘Cisgender’
I’m just totally addicted to this song right now. I’ve been a fan of Shamir for years and really admire how they’re constantly developing their sound and not shying away from being their true self. I just think this single ‘Cisgender’ is a beautiful and moving reflection on their non binary identity. I don’t think anything I say about this track will do Shamir justice, so I’ll leave you with the lyrics: “I’m not cisgender / I’m not binary trans / I don’t wanna be a girl / I don’t wanna be a man / I’m just existing on this god forsaken land.” Solidarity and love to you Shamir, always. (ML)

Baauer, Tirzah – ‘Way From Me’
I love Tirzah, there is no denying it. I got to see her perform at the Oval Space a couple of weeks ago, fully immersing myself in their wonderful, mesmerising sounds as part of Pitchfork Festival. She didn’t play this track on the night but it’s a recent collab I’ve come across and I’m vibing it. (TW)

fanclubwallet – ‘That I Won’t Do’
Ottawa-based artist fanclubwallet aka Hannah Judge has shared this wonderful alt-pop tune about recovering and re-emerging back into the world again, a relatable sentiment in these unusual times. “When I wrote this song, I was recovering from a year long illness and re-entering into the socializing world (like so many others post pandemic),” Hannah explains. “The song is about dealing with a new relationship/friendship where you aren’t sure whether the person is good for you or not, and you’re not feeling like yourself. It’s about trying to break bad habits while not wanting to break them at all.” (KC)

Prima Queen – ‘Chew Your Cheeks’
Released via Nice Swan Recordings and produced by The Big Moon, this fab single from London-based duo Prima Queen – aka best friends Louise Macphail and Kristin McFadden – explores the swirl of emotions that come when you have an unhealthy infatuation with someone unobtainable. The pair explore their ailing fascination via soft vocals and sultry guitar twangs, giving the track its buoyant, relatable charm. (KC)

Why Bonnie – ‘Galveston’
The latest single from the Texas quintet, ‘Galveston’ is a much-needed slice of sunshine for these chilly, dark days. Oozing a heartfelt twinkling grace and warming, shimmering emotion, it offers a wistful, nostalgic reflection – harking back to memories of childhood visits to the island city of Galveston. Flowing with lilting melodies alongside the soothing allure of Blair Howerton’s vocals, it’s an irresistibly uplifting slice of sparkling indie-pop. (ML)

Aisha Badru – ‘Rooted’
The latest single from Aisha Badru, ‘Rooted’ offers a comforting, dreamy warmth. Flowing with a shimmering grace, a sweeping majestic splendour ripples throughout this beautifully stirring ballad as its poignant lyricism swirls throughout. A simply exquisite, evocative creation that’ll soothe the ears with its resplendent, uplifting allure. The Way Back Home, the upcoming EP from Aisha Badru, is set for release on 3rd December. (ML)

Jackie Ward – ‘Chlorine’
West London-based non-binary artist Jackie Ward makes music inspired by an eclectic range of influences, including Car Seat Headrest to Frank Ocean to Xiu Xiu. This track ‘Chlorine’ is full of their soft vocals and dreamy guitar sounds, exploring their own identity and experience of coming out. Jackie is due to release their debut album later this year. (KC)

KIN – ‘The Runaways’
Consisting of Grace, Adam and Ritu, GIHE faves KIN have previously played live for us and continue to charm our ears with their glistening alt-pop. Reflecting on the mixed feelings of leaving a settled life and starting afresh somewhere new, ‘The Runaways’ showcases the distinctive celestial allure of Grace’s vocals alongside chiming hooks and a shimmering energy. ‘The Runaways’ is accompanied by a really beautiful self-directed video which you can watch here. (ML)

MIRI – ‘Trends’
East London artist and friend of GIHE MIRI has previously charmed our ears with poignant offerings such as ‘Electric Vibes’ and has now shared a powerful new single. A reflection on coming together and uniting in the face of adversity, using our imagination and creativity to fight political corruption, ‘Trends’ is propelled by MIRI’s distinctive soulful vocals that flow with a raw, gritty energy and catchy, empowering spirit. Prior to its release on mainstream platforms, ‘Trends’ was shared exclusively on the pay-as-you-go platform Sonstream. MIRI has been outspoken in her support for the “fair play” platform, which offers independent artists an ethical alternative to the miniscule royalties as little as £0.007 or £0.0028 per stream offered by platforms like Tidal and Spotify. (ML)

Belot – ‘Harmless Fun’
This track is bursting full of pop-bopping beats and maybe even a cowbell… what more could you want to get your toes tapping in those chilly winter evenings? (TW)

 

Track Of The Day: Aisha Badru – ‘Rooted’

Enchanting folk-strewn new-age dreaminess, Aisha Badru’s latest single ‘Rooted’ is a therapeutic exploration of the feeling of home. It’s reassuring and comforting as if she was speaking directly to you, drawing you into the song. A truly stunning new offering.

‘Rooted’ is spacious and its simplicity gives the song a calming effect. Electronic and folk elements are combined to create an ethereal ambiance. Like rays of sunlight shimmering through the trees, you can hear nature seeping through the track. The atmospheric synth sounds function as a drone, creating a meditative sense of stillness. As I listen, the sweeping textures of the drone awaken an awareness of my body, giving me goosebumps. 

It feels as though the song creates a space for reflection and healing. The instrumentation is carefully layered to create calming soundscapes. Furthermore, Aisha’s voice is soft and soothing, her lullaby-like lilting melodies feel intuitive and natural. The vocals sound intimate as though it’s whispered into your ears. The simplicity enhances the heartfelt lyrics and allows you to reflect on each phrase. Aisha sings “plant your trees upon the earth, know your value, know your worth”, in a way that radiates sweet positivity. Alongside its positivity, the track seems to be both dripping with emotion whilst also being subtle and restrained in a way that is really impactful. Aisha, who has spent much of her time travelling around the world, explains that she never really had roots, but now – living in Orlando with her partner and twin toddlers – “We’re planting seeds and starting a garden. This is home. I’ve never felt this sense of home”.


Aisha Badru’s The Way Back Home EP is set for release on 3rd December via Nettwerk Records – it’s going to be a perfect way to reflect on the end of the year. You can pre-save the EP via a donation to the One Tree Planted non-profit organisation.

Jaz Kelly
@surfjaz

Photo Credit: Jeffery Trapani

PLAYLIST: August 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our August Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of electronic bangers, swirling shoegaze tunes, gritty guitar tracks and alternative alt-pop sounds. 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.

Grandmas House – ‘Golden’
The GIHE team collectively ADORE this single from Bristol queer punk trio Grandmas House. Taken from their upcoming self-titled debut EP, which is set for release on 15th October via Brace Yourself Records, ‘Golden’ is a gritty, thundering reflection on the apathetic outlook of the organisations that profit from the suffering of others. (Kate Crudgington)

ARXX – ‘Not Alone But Not With You’
The latest single from our total faves, ‘Not Alone But Not With You’ continues to cement ARXX as consistently exciting and forever honing their sound to become even more amazing. A gritty, yet reflective, and unapologetically honest offering, I just love this track’s driving emotion and anthemic singalong energy. Another swirling slice of rousing power-pop from the impressive Brighton duo. There’s also a fab Comic Review of this track up now, courtesy of illustrator Sally-Anne Hickman. (Mari Lane)

HighSchool – ‘Sirens’
Full of moody vocals, buzzing bass lines and playful riffs, Melbourne trio HighSchool have shared this sultry lo-fi banger accompanied by a very cool music video. Check out their previous single ‘De Facto‘ too. (KC)

Basement Revolver – ‘Skin’
Inspired by guitarist & vocalist Chrisy Hurn-Morrison’s thoughts and struggles about her own body image, Basement Revolver’s ‘Skin’ is a swirling, reassuring ode to self-acceptance. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming album Embody, which is set for release later this year. (KC)

Slow Crush – ‘Hush’
Hazy guitars, lush vocals and heavy beats combine on this beaut new single from Belgian shoegaze outfit Slow Crush. ‘Hush’ is also the title of their upcoming album, which is set for release on 22nd October via Quiet Panic. (KC)

Lost In Your Mind – ‘Restless’
Dublin-based newcomers Lost In Your Mind have shared this new single today, along with an accompanying video. Inspired by their love of Riot Grrrl, post punk and dark wave, Aoife McMahon, Tracey McEvoy, Elisa Kuhl and Andrea Lambe make music that makes them feel good, and latest single ‘Restless’ does exactly that. (KC)

Berries – ‘The Expert’
The latest single from GIHE faves, London trio Berries, ‘The Expert’ takes down all those patronising know-it-alls with a spiky punk energy. Tackling imposter syndrome with a ferocious, grunge-fuelled drive, Holly Carter’s distinctive sweeping vocals ring out with a rippling power alongside frenzied riffs, showcasing the band’s trademark raw passion. (ML)

Barry – ‘Neolithic Homosex’
Following their eponymous 2019 album, South London based Barry have now shared a new double A-side release. First of the tracks, ‘Neolithic Homosex’, ponders the all-important issue of what gay sex was like in ancient times. Propelled by breezy beats and joyously jangly hooks, whirring keys flow alongside brazen vocals and added cheering hand claps, oozing an uplifting, sunny energy with a fizzing, playful charisma. ‘Neolithic Homosex’, alongside double a-side ‘No More Boys’, is out now. Download from bandcamp. (ML)

Beorma – ‘Her’
I love this track from Birmingham-based duo Beorma. Mixing R&B and indie pop sensibilities with a Prince inspired guitar solo, ‘Her’ is a smooth, melancholy-tinged reflection on absent love. (KC)

Sans Soucis – ‘On Time For Her’
London based artist and one of our faves Sans Soucis has released ‘On Time For Her’ as the lead single from their highly anticipated EP of the same name. Speaking of the track, Sans Soucis says it’s a life changing statement: “It means that I am finally here for myself and I’m ready to seek happiness in life rather than being stuck in my past trauma.” (Tash Walker)

Emma Bradley – ‘I’ll Be Outside’
22 year old Emma Bradley’s ‘I’ll Be Outside’ is a song I find incredibly calming, written about being the person who shows up for yourself. Of the track, she explains “I hope that when people hear my songs, they can feel less alone in their own experiences and also empowered in some way. I think sensitivity gets a bit of a bad reputation, but everything that we feel someone else somewhere has also felt.” (TW)

Bleach Lab – ‘Real Thing’
This Bleach Lab melts me every time I listen to it. Definitely check out their recent EP A Calm Sense Of Surrounding if ‘Real Thing’ makes you a big ball of feelings too. (KC)

Anna B Savage – ‘Since We Broke Up’
Lifted from her upcoming EP These Dreams which is set for release on 24th September via City Slang, Anna B Savage’s latest single ‘Since We Broke Up’ tentatively celebrates the joy she experienced after an emotional break up. If you like the sound of this, you should definitely check out her debut album A Common Turn. (KC)

Aisha Badru – ‘The Way Back Home’
The latest single from Aisha Badru, ‘The Way Back Home’ offers an endearing reflection on relationships and the age-old realisation of “if you love something, set it free”. Propelled by a lilting energy and shimmering grace, it’s a beautifully stirring ballad, with a poignant lyricism swirling throughout. A simply exquisite, evocative creation that’ll soothe the ears with its resplendent, uplifting allure. The Way Back Home, the upcoming EP from Aisha Badru, is set for release on 3rd December. (ML)

Olivia Dean – ‘Slowly’
‘Slowly’ is a lovely piano ballad from Olivia Dean showcasing a different, more intimate side to the London artist. Taken from her recently released EP, Growth. (TW)

Siv Disa – ‘Toxic’ (Britney Spears Cover)
Having recently announced the release of her upcoming debut album, Siv Disa has now shared a wonderfully unique cover of a Britney Spears classic. Propelled by a shimmering musicality and chiming beats, Disa’s rendition of the 2001 anthem oozes its own majestic ethereal haze as the bewitching, sweeping allure of her vocals flows throughout. A beautifully captivating ode to our favourite pop queen. Siv Disa comments on her decision to release this cover: “Now that the abuse of Britney’s conservatorship has been exposed I hope we’re all taking a minute to think about how she was publicly judged ten years ago, and how that played into the nightmare she had to live in. I hope she gets back everything that was taken from her. We love you, Britney!!” (ML)

Alex Loveless – ‘Brixton’
East London based musician Alex Loveless’ new single ‘Brixton’ captures a moment of romantic indecision with its lo-fi beats and strung out vocals. This is Loveless’ first release that features a guitar, which they managed to borrow from a friend. (KC)

BEBELUNA – ‘Drunk’
BEBELUNA is an artist I’ve played before on our radio show and I’ve been following them ever since. This track ‘Drunk’ is a very enjoyable mash up of jungle and electroclash. My only criticism of is that it is TOO SHORT, but there’s nothing wrong with being left wanting for more. (TW)

CREATRX – ‘experience’
Non-binary, LA based rebel CREATRX declares they are “Not a boy / not a girl / baby I’m an experience” on this savage new single. “This song is a reflection of how I view my gender,” CREATRX explains. “I feel that my spirit (and many others) transcends the limited ideas of gender in Western society and this is a song celebrating that – encouraging us all to take up space, explore and push more.” This single is taken from their upcoming EP dirt. honey. glitter. water, which is an exploration of “what it means to be Black, young, ratchet and spiritual” in today’s world. (KC)

DROWND – ‘Sinner’ (KANGA Remix)
I’m a big fan of KANGA’s industrial, pop-tinged sounds and I am obsessed with her remix of DROWND’s new track ‘Sinner’. Full disclosure – DROWND is the new project of my older brother Joe – and I am thrilled that she’s remixed this track for him as he is also a big fan of her work. You can check out the slick visuals for the original track here. (KC)

Nilufer Yanya – ‘Day 7.05093’ (keiyaA Remix)
I can’t get enough of this track with its synthy sizzles, insect tapping beats and of course Nilufer Yanya’s dreamy vocals. So good. Check out their recently released Feeling Lucky? Remix EP out now. (TW)

John Glacier – ‘Icing’
This song comes in at under 2 minutes and leaves me gagging…gasping for more! It comes from elusive East London vocalist John Glacier, taken from her recently released 12-track project SHILOH: Lost For Words. You can all send me your thanks for the recommendation later, but for now enjoy ‘Icing’ because this track is over almost as soon as it starts. (TW)

BABii – ‘Shadow’
As is always my want, I’m going to slip a little bit of UK garage influenced music into this playlist. ‘Shadow’ from BABii nods to those club sounds we’re all desperate to be immersed in right now, with an edge of electronics. (TW)

JOON – ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ (Depeche Mode Cover)
A cover of the Depeche Mode classic, JOON’s rendition of ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ offers a playful, twinkling soundscape, whilst maintaining all the colourful energy of the original. Joon is Yasmin Kuymizakis, a Maltese musician and producer who ten years ago survived a life-changing car accident, and since then has seen making music as a necessary part of recovery. She’s recently released her beautiful album Dream Again and is also co-founder of the Maltese Sound Women’s Network – an organisation connecting, supporting, mentoring, promoting and educating women and girls in electronic music and sound. Find out more about her in a recent interview we had with her. (ML)

YAY MARIA ft. Franx – ‘Template’
Having previously captivated our ears as the front person of Grawl!x, Trans and queer artist YAY MARIA has now announced the release of her debut solo album, Oyez. The first of three tracks to be shared from the album, ‘Template’ is an empowering slice of poignant power-pop. Made in collaboration with Nottingham based queer artist and musician Franx, it’s a blissfully euphoric anthem celebrating being your true self in the face of adversity. You can buy ‘Template’ on bandcamp now – and all proceeds are going to the QTIBIPOC Therapy Fund; an initiative of the Radical Therapist Network, to create access for Queer & Trans People of Colour to safe therapeutic spaces & services. (ML)

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business – ‘He Earns Enough’
Featuring members of Trash Kit, F*Choir and Bamboo, six-piece choral punk ensemble Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business have been captivating our ears for some time. Latest single ‘He Earns Enough’ reflects on shamelessly money-grabbing men who increased their fortunes to the tune of billions during the pandemic, while millions around the world struggled and suffered. As the swirling layers of vocals trickle alongside each other and grow with an empowering energy, a sweeping, celestial splendour is created. And, ending with a sea of voices exclaiming “Enough!” in unison, it perfectly captures the rage and sense of hopelessness of living with the continuing injustices of a patriarchal capitalist society. He Earns Enough, the upcoming new EP from Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business, is set for release 8th October via Lost Map Records. (ML)

Bas Jan – ‘You Have Bewitched Me’
Formed of songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Serafina Steer, alongside Rachel Horwood (Trash Kit, Bamboo, Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business), Emma Smith (the Elysian Quartet, Jarv Is, Seamus Fogarty) and Charlie Stock, London experimental collective Bas Jan have now shared their first music in three years. Propelled a swirling ethereal majesty, ‘You Have Bewitched Me‘ offers an effervescent reflection on the mesmerising power of first attraction and new love. With the delicate grace of its sparkling harmonies, ‘You Have Bewitched Me’ showcases the subtle power of crystalline voices coming together in unity to create a truly euphoric soundscape. (ML)

MEI – ‘Let Dusk Welcome Me’
Taken from London artist MEI’s latest EP, ‘Let Dusk Welcome Me’ provides a welcome pool of tranquility. Reflecting on a refreshing evening walk she took after having been ill with COVID, it interweaves a lilting jazz-infused groove and funk-fused beats, rippling with the smooth allure of MEI’s lush, soulful vocals and a gently empowering spirit. The Hard Way Around The Sun, the new EP from MEI, was created with an all-female team and is out now. (ML)

Blonde Maze – ‘Being Pulled’
The latest single from total favourite, New York based artist Blonde Maze, ‘Being Pulled’ is inspired by “the conflicting feelings of wanting to move forward while being pulled backwards by your memories”. Bathing the ears in shimmering ripples of dreamy reflection and oozing a woozy, hypnotic splendour, Amanda’s vocals flow with a blissful haze, creating the perfect soothing tonic. A beautifully calming and delicately uplifting soundtrack that I so desperately need right now. (ML)