Introducing Interview: Izzie Walsh

Having received acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio Two’s Bob Harris and BBC Introducing Manchester, alt-folk artist Izzie Walsh has just released her eclectic new EP, Ideals. Flowing with a twinkling, uplifting energy, the EP showcases Walsh’s emotion-strewn rich vocals and a soaring, catchy musicality.

We caught up with Izzie to find out more… Have a read!

Hi Izzie Walsh, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I love to perform on stage and create music that I hope connects with people. I like to try new food and go for a beer or two. And occasionally go running to balance my calories out!

How did you initially start creating music?
I was quite late to the game and only started creating music when I was 17. It all came about when I started learning the guitar and then I realised I could hold a tune singing as well. 

Your new EP Ideals is out today – congratulations! Can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the EP?
This EP is about how ideally the world could be a different pace to what it is now – for both others and myself. It addresses themes of class escapism, and the impact of modern-day capitalism. 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Wallis Bird and Lisa Hannigan, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
My main influences at the moment are Margo Price and Stevie Nicks, but I also love big band sounds, ranging from the likes of Arcade Fire to Slipknot. 

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Yes! The local music scene in Manchester is great. It can sometimes be bogged down by the next reincarnation of The Stone Roses typical indie boy band scene, but there is always an alternative and culturally different act to go and see if you take the time to find them. The open mic scene is great as well! 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
They can expect brand new songs as well as the classics – I want to bring high energy and high musicianship to lay the foundations of my touring show for years to come. I think the best artists at the moment have the ability to translate their recorded medium into an entertaining show and that is what I aim to do!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Yes, definitely! Check out Toria Wooff, Harriet Rose and Chloe Foy. All incredibly talented females creating some amazing music and making their mark on the industry.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It is extremely difficult to get noticed, especially if you are different to the norm. In the past it seemed the more unusual you were the more you got noticed, but now I feel as if the industry are just looking for really safe bets. As you would expect money plays a huge factor as well in terms of the advertising side of things. 

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for Izzie Walsh?
Besides the tour I am going to hunker down and finish writing off an album – hopefully I can get it into production, ready for a massive 2022!

Massive thanks to Izzie for answering our questions!

Ideals, the new EP from Izzie Walsh, is out now.

Track Of The Day: Koppies – ‘Hospital Song’

A gorgeous contemplation on passing through the motions of life, indie-folk band Koppies have released their new single ‘Hospital Song’. Koppies, the South African-British collective of five long-term friends and collaborators, all musicians with their own acclaim, are finally united on record and the result is utterly captivating.

There is a spaciousness in ‘Hospital Song’. Victoria Hume’s commanding vocal leads the piece, with soft and arpeggiated piano playing accompanying. The effect is beautifully stark, freeing space in both the higher and lower registers that other artists may feel they need to fill. The choice to keep this composition simple is a sign of confidence in the songwriters – an instinct to hold back and preserve the raw emotional core of the song. Later, minimal, droning, synthesizers appear as well as stuttering, driven drums. These later additions create a sense of urgency, pushing the tempo and pace of the music (perhaps reflecting the growing anxiety of hospital visits) – though that sense of space remains. The rhythm sections seem to become the heartbeat of the song, bringing a new sense of life to the music. 

Koppies blending of traditional folk instrumentation with synthesizers creates a unique ambiance which is both parts nostalgic and contemporary. This combination beautifully represents memories of the past fusing into present experiences, just like when Hume sings “I think of being twenty-one, we were all stoned, everything blows…” 

The vocals are hypnotic and convey a sense of detachment from the music and reality as Hume sings “… a storm broke on your house” with an eerie sense of calm. This creates a beautiful contrast. Though the lyrics are deeply personal, when Hume sings, you may hear your own stories and experiences reflected back at you, providing reassurance. 

Of the track, Hume explains: “It’s a pretty literal song about a period of time when my mother was unwell, and the strangeness of driving to and from the hospital along these beautiful Dorset roads that I’ve driven since I was a teenager, heading out to see friends.”



Once you give ‘Hospital Song‘ a listen and inevitably want to hear more, don’t worry – you won’t have to wait long! Koppies’ self-titled debut EP is set for release on 2nd July via Lost Map Records.

Jazmine Kelly
@surfjaz

Photo Credit: Jacqui van Staden

Introducing Interview: The Deep Blue

Releasing their debut single, ‘The Jealous Sea’, today, Manchester-based band The Deep Blue create wonderfully uplifting, shimmering offerings. Flowing with glistening harmonies, the new single showcases Georgia, Sophie, Niamh and Katie’s beautifully rich vocals and an endearing heartfelt sentiment, reminiscent of the likes of HAIM or The Staves.

Despite only forming last year, The Deep Blue have already secured bookings at festivals such as Liverpool Sound City and Focus Wales, immediately cementing themselves as firm ones to watch. We caught up with the band to find out more…

Hi The Deep Blue, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Hello! Thanks for having us. We are an all-female indie-folk band based in Manchester. This city has a special place in our hearts but our homes are far and wide; Georgia is from Scotland, Sophie from Wales, Niamh from Ireland and Katie from Down South (official term). We spend our weekends blending weird and wonderful vocal harmonies with Sophie’s punchy beats and Georgia’s catchy guitar lines. If we’re lucky, Sophie cooks us dinner after rehearsal (her cooking is out of this world). ‘Jealous Sea’ is the debut single from The Deep Blue, released under Liverpool-based indie label Snide Records. It was produced by the talented Alex Quinn.

How did you initially decide to start creating music together?
Niamh, Sophie and I used to be in another band named Café Spice but in 2020 we began making new tracks that didn’t fit with our old sound, so we decided to start something new. Katie joined us in the summer lockdown 2020 and The Deep Blue was born. It’s been so joyful painting on a fresh musical canvas with this wonderful group of women! A key component of our music is three-part harmonies and with Katie’s voice, the mix was luscious. Silky, warm and velvety. 

You’re about to release your debut single ‘Jealous Sea’. What inspired this track? Are there any particular themes running throughout it?  
The never-ending onslaught of airbrushed social media has been giving us all motion sickness these past few years. It’s both spectacular and terrifying, but we can’t deny that it often leaves us feeling a little green with jealousy. We wanted to capture that in an honest, hair-down, mask-off song. We reached for a gritty rawness and paired it with our soft folky singing and out popped ‘Jealous Sea’. 

We love your uplifting, shimmering sound, which brings to mind the beautiful alt-folk of The Staves, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
What a compliment! Thank you. It’s a tricky one. For this song in particular we listened to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers and ‘Emily’ by Clean Cut Kid. HAIM’s album Women in Music Part II had just come out and we all became obsessed with it. We played it in the car all the way to Giant Wafer Studios in Wales (where we recorded ‘Jealous Sea’). We have a good mix of favourites among us. Everything from Arlo Parks to Jessie Ware, Big Thief to Katy Kirby. We love it all! 

You’re from Manchester – in ‘normal’ times, one of the best places for live music! What have been some of the best gigs you’ve ever been to?
Well, obviously it attracts some big names. Some of our top gigs include Maggie Rogers at the Ritz, Parcels at The Academy, Everything Everything at the 02 Apollo, Honeyfeet at Niamos – all mind-blowing. Some of the best live acts we’ve seen are the more local ones. Rocking up to Matt and Phred’s or The Whiskey Jar on a Tuesday night, you’re bound to hear something brilliant. Those music nights are intimate and special. Manchester’s local musicians are unbelievably talented.

And what can fans expect from your live shows? 
Our gigs are quite intimate even with a lot of people in the room – we like it that way. We want people to feel things and we also want people to dance. Dance their feelings – there’s time for stories, but also time to just move to the music and have a wee boogie! Expect vocal lusciousness, catchy guitar riffs and four-to-the-floor grooving; expect to laugh and maybe cry; expect to be lost and then found again, and then, by the end, expect to be our new friend and have tired feet.

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
I’d love to say we’ve been writing our fans letters and serenading people on their door steps but the fact of it is, we’ve been doing the usual social media dance. We’ve had fun covering some of our favourite female artists – Sorcha Richardson, Aurora, Caroline Polachek. I guess we’ve mostly been focusing on ourselves, building The Deep Blue and writing songs.

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
We all have sisters and I feel like we’ve become a surrogate sisterhood in replacement of our absent sisters. Having each other has been hugely supportive, I can’t even find words. The Deep Blue has been our family when we couldn’t go home.  Now for the serious stuff: Sophie’s cooking, HAIM, chocolate digestives, Niamh’s poetry phase, the thought of releasing this song.

How do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Yes, it certainly is hard to get noticed but I think if you’re out there just to “get noticed” there are far easier routes to success than being a musician. It’s tricky not to stray from your path of passion and we’ve all had bizarre ideas like “Oh maybe if we just start a cooking channel on TikTok where we sing and toss pancakes we’ll double our fan base in 30 seconds”. Making the music we love is the most important thing and that keeps us grounded. It’s difficult to be heard, there are so many new bands and artists all the time. It takes a hell of a lot of organisation and hard work to even get one song written, rehearsed, recorded and released. There are seven of us in this team working to make it work! But it started with one and grew over time. My advice to new acts would be: take your time, figure out who you are and what your sound is and let that be the centre of your universe. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming bands that you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! Morgan Harper Jones, Nina Cobham, Quiet Houses, MYTBE.

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for The Deep Blue?
Write, record, release and finally play some live shows! We cannot wait to perform, we’ve got so many songs we want to share with the world. We’ve been working hard in the studio so keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned.

Massive thanks to The Deep Blue for answering our questions!

Produced by Alex Quinn and recorded in Giant Wafer Studios in Wales, ‘The Jealous Sea’ is out today, 13th May, via Snide Records.

Track Of The Day: Clara Byrne – ‘To Rome’

A soft, nostalgic tribute to her hometown of Bray in County Wicklow, Irish musician Clara Byrne has shared her latest single ‘To Rome’. The second single from her upcoming album Handstitched, the track reflects on Clara’s trip to the ancient city and documents the thoughts she had about her hometown whilst wandering amongst its famous ruins.

“Bray, this seaside town has been there to meet me at all the different stages of my life. From my first day of school, to my first love, to my first gig, each patch of the town holds a memory,” Clara explains. “During a particularly bad slump in inspiration, a dry patch in creativity, and even a lull in passion for music, I received a lump sum of emergency tax back. Though I was a struggling student at the time I decided to head off and explore the city of Rome as a stark contrast to my little town. I brought a pen and paper for company and this song is the result of that trip.”

‘To Rome’ is the result of Clara’s journey to Italy, full of gentle alt-folk guitar sounds and her rich vocals. “The evidence of the cities previous empire is scattered on every street corner in the form of these beautiful ruins. In a strange way, it gave me hope,” Clara continues. “Those living during that time must have seen their world as I see mine; seemingly impossible to change and difficult to imagine the end of all they’ve ever known. I think the contenders for the biggest impact in your life feel like they could go on forever. Whether it’s a relationship, the current political system, a pandemic or a great empire, nothing lasts.”

Watch the accompanying video for ‘To Rome’ directed by Bray artist Ed Cleary below.

Follow Clara Byrne on bandcampSpotifyTwitterFacebook & Instagram for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut