INTERVIEW: Amaroun

We were first introduced to the sultry beats of London-based artist Amaroun in 2017, and we’ve been following her ever since. Her personal, instinctive song-writing and her blurring of musical genres has kept us intrigued with each new release. Tash Walker caught up with Amaroun to ask about her latest single, how she’s coping during the current lockdown, and her cathartic song-writing process…

Hello Amaroun, it’s been awhile since we last caught up. How have you been?
I’ve actually been great considering the times we are in. Music is the ultimate escape and it’s been keeping me balanced and grateful just like it always does in hard times.

We’ve been fans of yours here at GIHE for a while now, and we’re loving your new sound! Can you tell us more about the music you’ve started releasing?
I’ve always written music that just follows my instincts and isn’t about over thinking, so I’m taking that attitude with my releases. This new sound is a new found confidence I have in trusting my own decisions, and putting loving what I do at the heart of the creative process.

You’re releasing a track a month this year. Three months in, how’s that going?
I love it! If I had it my way I’d release weekly. I love to capture the feelings of any given moment. Like a musical photograph. It’s an absolute buzz for me to make music and share it as the moment unfolds. It’s deeply cathartic.

We love your track ‘Perish’. Its stripped back style reminds me a bit of Tirzah. What would you say has been influencing this slightly different direction?
Along with trusting the sounds that a pouring out of me is a process of pure experimentation and feeling a vibe.

Your music is very personal, would you say the writing process is almost cathartic?
It it total catharsis. I write for fun, for therapy, for the people I love and it’s actually habitual now.

Can you tell us a bit more about the themes that we can hear in your music and what you draw from your own experiences?
My writing draws from my experiences of growing up in a fiercely religious environment where being queer was not acceptable, and explores the challenges I faced and continue to in establishing what it means to be an out queer black British Jamaican woman. I come from a long lineage of courageous women that have found ways to share their story and I feel very passionate about sharing mine.

Your releases so far have been picked up and played by Radio 1, 6 Music, and you’ve been to a countless number of festivals! How’s that been? Quite the whirlwind?
It’s exactly what brings me joy so it’s been great. I did have a break from the whirlwind over the past couple of years. I went through a process of hibernation and development to get where I am now, the team around me has changed, I have changed and so has the sound. I’m really glad to be back to releasing music, I played a my first sell out gig of the year back in February, and I can’t wait to perform some more once we are out of isolation.

Do you have any particular highlights so far?
My highlight will always be Glastonbury. The energy there is electric. Cant wait for it to make a come back in 2021, and I need to get back there!

We saw the raw version of your latest release ‘Rosey’ on your IGTV (which was beautiful). How did that moment come about?
I met one of my good friends Adam Cleaver (Dyvr) to do a collaboration and catch up. Boris Le Chaixe joined us, who I worked on ‘Rosey’ with. We ended up at Peckham Levels, it used to be a car park, the acoustics are unreal. My girlfriend found the perfect spot and started filming. Adam and I covered ‘Losing You’ by Solange, and Boris and I just felt the vibe and had to let ‘Rosey’ flow out too. The whole thing was really relaxed and natural, I love when things just fall in to place like that.

We’re really looking forward to hearing what’s to come, music is our survival at the moment. How you are feeling about the lockdown situation right now?
It feels music is more important now than ever. Music connects us, it’s how we communicate, it’s how we unite. People all across the music industry are being so heavily impacted, but it’s amazing to see how people are getting around these with live streams and sharing the music they’ve already made. It’s a really tough time for the industry, but seeing how people have responded as reminded me what I love about the spirit of musicians.

For me, it’s really fueled my writing. I’ve channeled all my anxieties and fears into creating, and with extra time on my hands I feel like I’ve been really productive. Being or feeling isolated in one form or another has often pushed me on to a path where I do my best writing. All this being said, my heart goes out to everyone affected by the global crisis. I really hope we can come together and overcome this tough time.

Thanks to Amaroun for answering our questions. Follow her on Spotify & Instagram for more updates.

#ThrowbackThursday: GIHE w/ Indian Queens 16.11.17

Due to the current lockdown/coronavirus situation, we’re unable to make it in to the Hoxton Radio studio to broadcast our live new music show from 7-9pm for the foreseeable future.

We have plenty of past shows to share with you though! We’re going to start sharing some #ThrowbackThursday sessions, so you can still enjoy 2 hours of new music, and chats with some of our favourite artists each week.

Today, we’ve picked our November 2017 show with Jennifer O’Neill from Indian Queens. The band are set to release their debut album God Is A Woman tomorrow (3rd April) via Cool Thing Records, so we thought now would be a great time to re-visit our chat with Jen.

Music highlights from Bikini Kill, Average Sex, Gold Baby, MALKAEdits and…Jennifer Paige #crush

Listen back to the show here:

INTERVIEW: New Pagans

Filled with urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history, and gender; New Pagans‘ debut EP Glacial Erratic is a powerful blend of alternative sounds. The Belfast band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge, and indie rock and transform them in to abrasive, yet melodic noise.

Formed of Claire Miskimmin, Cahir O’Doherty, Conor McAuley, and Lyndsey McDougall, the band have cut their teeth playing in different outfits over the years (Girls Names, Rupture Dogs, Fighting With Wire, Jetplane Landing). Together under the New Pagans moniker, they sound louder and more confident, creating a sonic space to explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution. We caught up with Claire to ask about the band’s EP, their recent UK tour, and what bands she’d recommend listening to right now…

 

Hello Claire, How are you holding up at the moment?
All good, I think we are all managing to keep it together at the minute. Keeping fit and keeping our brains ticking over. Absolutely bizarre for everything to be so different yet so normal, seeing this out in our homes, familiar surroundings. Absolutely surreal. Worst sci-fi film ever.

For anyone who doesn’t know, can you explain how New Pagans came together? We know each of you played in different bands before…
The majority of us have been in bands since our teens with the exception of Lyndsey, this is her first band, unbelievably. We’ve been playing for 3 years. Cahir and Lyndsey had talked about starting to write music together for a while but I don’t think they necessarily had a band in mind. Conor was a good friend of theirs and is an unbelievable drummer, so that was a no-brainer. As for me, I was messing about on a bass set up in their kitchen one night, recorded a rough sketch and thought nothing of it again until it was sent back to me a while later fully fleshed out by Cahir and with Lyndsey’s vocals; and it blew my mind. So that was me in! Allan was the last part of the jigsaw. He came in on guitar when we started to have bigger ambitions for the songs and he rounds of the sound off perfectly.

You released your debut EP Glacial Erratic in March. What are you most proud of about this release?
I think we are most proud that it’s a physical release. We had been releasing singles digitally over the last three years and it’s amazing to be able to find a home for them and there’s nothing like holding your own record in your hand and thinking “we made that”. It’s a beautiful object. I can see why people obsess and collect them.

Many of your songs blend the personal with the political, and I think that’s especially clear on ‘Lily Yeats’ and on ‘It’s Darker’. Can you talk me through the contexts of each song, and how they transformed into these affecting, memorable tracks?
This is more a question for Lyndsey to answer as she’s our lyricist, but I would say that she mines everything around her for inspiration. Her studies for her PHD led her to discover Lily Yeats, day to day experiences like an argument at a party with a man trying to exert his dominance over a female opinion like on ‘It’s Darker’. Everyday conversations overheard on a bus strung together into a Dadaist poem as with ‘Charlie Had the Face of a Saint’.
‘Admire’ is about learning to navigate a long term relationship once the initial spark of newness has gone & appreciate what you have. Politics, history, nature, human fragility, forgotten female voices told from an Irish perspective.

Do you have a favourite track on the record? If so, why?
I think my favourite track is ‘Admire’. Maybe it feels freshest. Or it’s the change of pace it brings on the record. It’s a mature track. I think it really sets a precedent for what we are doing next. Saying that, they are all bangers.

You’ve recently returned from touring the UK promoting the record. What were the highlights from your trip? Favourite venues/moments you’d like to talk about?
It was great for us to get out on the road together and actually great timing, another week and those shows would have been cancelled amid the chaos. Stand out venue would be the Flying Duck in Glasgow for me. They really looked after us and it makes such a difference to arrive at a venue and everything to be easy. Believe me this is a rarity for UK shows. Anyone reading this who has toured the UK will understand. As for the highlight, those drives to the hotel after the shows when we are all a little tipsy or running on adrenaline from the gig are the best craic. Makes you forget you are crammed in a tin box hurtling from one end of the country to the other.

We know it’s an uncertain time right now for musicians, especially in Ireland. How are you looking after yourselves? What’s the reaction from the music community in Belfast been like?
There’s always a real sense of community between bands in Belfast, it’s so small you know everyone. I’m just really loving the online presence that’s keeping us all connected right now until we can all play shows together again.

I don’t know how this goes when we come out the other side, but at the minute there’s a lot of positivity. We are using this time to try and write the album although we can’t get in a room together yet. We just need to ride it out.

Finally, what bands or artists would you recommend we listen to?
Careerist, Problem Patterns, Gross Net, Altered Hours. In fact, do yourself a favour and find an Irish music playlist on Spotify and give that a go. A lot of bands making a lot of great music on this island, as there always has been.

Thanks to Claire for answering our questions. Follow New Pagans on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

INTERVIEW: Hilary Woods

A creator of fleshy, poignant, industrial-orchestral sounds; Irish artist Hilary Woods has been a firm favourite at GIHE since the release of her debut album Colt in 2018. Her most recent album Birthmarks is equally as captivating, and we wanted to find out more about what inspired Woods to create it. Read below to discover her processes, her vision, and her favourite track from the record…

Congratulations on releasing your second album Birthmarks earlier this month. What are you most proud of about this record? Do you have a favourite track?

Ah, thank you. I’m most proud of the process from which this record was made. I think ‘Tongues of Wild Boar’ is my favourite track. I love the drum processing and the presence and character of Okkyung’s cello playing, and I enjoyed exploring, layering and recording a lot of bass analogue synths for this one. It was a sensorial process. I recorded this song many times since its inception many moons ago, and I like where it has journeyed to in sound and feel.

You collaborated with Norwegian experimental noise producer & filmmaker Lasse Marhaug when you were recording the album. Talk us through how you worked together to create Birthmarks‘ dark, shadowy sounds.

Myself and Lasse spoke of the colour palette, atmospherics and the nervous system of the record from the outset. We were both interested in creating textures and what ways we could record and use different instrumentation to achieve such sounds. Saxophone plays an important role on the record, not so much because of what saxophone lines I wrote, but more to do with how Dag plays those parts and how we wanted his breath work through saxophone to be woven into the mix. Field recording, drone and noise all helped create the sound world of the record too. I recorded a lot of the synths, piano, electronics at home in my lil studio, and whilst I was with Lasse working at his studio in Oslo, we recorded guitar parts and some vocals together. Lasse would process a lot of what I had already recorded at home, he recorded cello with contact mics, Kyrre Laastad recorded imaginative textural percussion, and we went from there.

You wrote the album over the course of two years, and whilst heavily pregnant, which is impressive in itself. On your record, there are themes of growth, germination, and feeling either detached or attached to one’s body. Without sounding too invasive, do you think you were more aware of these feelings during your pregnancy? Did it influence your writing in any unexpected way?

I actually wrote this record before I got pregnant. I also had the title Birthmarks decided upon from the get go, which is a little uncanny but true. However, I recorded the album whilst heavily pregnant in the Autumn of 2019. So the writing of this record really was never consciously in a direct way influenced by physical pregnancy, although it was certainly very much focused on themes of self-hood, gestational growth, the birthing of one’s self and processes of becoming. I wanted to write a record that was of the body, one that registered in and with the body, a more physical record than my previous work.

Your visuals and artwork beautifully accompany the music you’ve created. Talk us through how you put these together – from your photographs and videos with Josh Wright, to the album’s artwork…

I feel as both a music and visual artist, my work in both disciplines is very intertwined. I think visually, and when it comes to making videos and artwork there is an ease there, I enjoy that side of things, it comes naturally. The visual ideas arise from within, almost simultaneously sometimes to the writing of the songs themselves. The artwork and videos are for me an innate and important part of the album; although the LP stands alone and is separate in form, I feel the visuals come from the same place. In terms of making videos, I always make and direct my own as opposed to outsourcing them to another filmmaker as an extra thing to do to tailgate the main thrust of the project, if you know what I mean! Josh and I have been working together for a long time, and there is a beautiful communicative short hand there with Josh working the camera, which is cool. He’s also a dab hand at software that I find frustrating and we are friends – which always helps particularly when a video requires us to spend so much time together editing and grading etc. Re the album artwork; the front cover photo of me was taken by friend Emma Martin. It seemed apt to have a picture of my pregnancy on the cover. It’s a strong image and embodies metaphorically what the album addresses; birth, rebirth, hidden growth, unknowing, making redundant the old and a dawning of the new. It is also an image that communicates that this record is heavier and more physical than its predecessor.

Birthmarks is noticeably heavier in sound compared to Colt, but are there elements you feel are similar to your first record?

Yes. At the end of the day I initiate writing melody on the piano or guitar. I also work within my own limitations vocally, as a musician and work with whatever resources I have around me. So there are those similarities. Also, lyrically I have my own patterns with which I lean in to, and I think there are similarities in that regard between Colt and Birthmarks for sure. Overall however, I feel the big difference between the two albums besides the latter being far more sonic and a lot heavier, is that Colt is more a collection of songs, whereas Birthmarks was intended as a piece to be received as a whole, a journey to be listened to from beginning to end in one sitting.

You’re signed to Sacred Bones, along with some of our favourite artists (Zola Jesus, Blanck Mass). They released a compilation album on Bandcamp – I Fall In Love With The Light – to help their artists make a profit during this uncertain time. Your track ‘Mouth To Mouth’ features on it. Talk us through why you chose to include this track.

The label suggested that ‘Mouth to Mouth’ go on the compilation. I’m a fan of the distortion and the mix that Lasse did with it, so on it went!

Thanks to Hilary for answering our questions. You can buy her latest album Birthmarks here. Follow her on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Joshua Wright

LISTEN: For Breakfast – ‘Mother’

A cacophony of melodic, jazzy, post-punk inspired sound; North London six-piece For Breakfast have shared their latest single, ‘Mother’. Released via DIY label Glasshouse Records, the track is lifted from the band’s debut EP Songs In the Key of O, which is set for release later this year.

Formed of Will Eckersley (drums), Joe Thompson (guitar), Sam Birkett (bass/backing vocals), Omar Zaghouani (guitar), Gail Tasker (flute), and Maya Harrison (vocals/keys), For Breakfast create spacious, alternative soundscapes. ‘Mother’ is a shining example of this; with its caressing vocals, psych-infused guitars, and manic breakdown at the close of the track. The song is inspired by “adolescent anxiety in the family home”.

The band will be celebrating the release of their new track at their headline show at The Windmill, Brixton on 19th March (event details here), so make sure you head down if you like what you’ve heard. Listen to ‘Mother’ below, and follow For Breakfast on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Leggett

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Hilary Woods – ‘Birthmarks’

Both an aural purge of insecurities, and a powerful exploration of self-autonomy; Sacred Bones signee Hilary Woods‘ second album Birthmarks is due for release on 13th March. Darker and sharper in sound in comparison to her debut album Colt, the Irish musician has collaborated with Norwegian experimental noise producer & filmmaker Lasse Marhaug, and together they’ve crafted a new set of cohesive, shadowy soundscapes that smolder with quiet intensity.

Written & recorded over the course of two years between Galway and Oslo whilst Woods was heavily pregnant, Birthmarks feels like her most personal and powerful record to date. Inspired by field recordings, the images from post-war Japanese & wet-plate photography, and the secret life of trees; Woods’ far-reaching influences are what make her art so transcendent.

Opener ‘Tongues Of Wild Boar’ is a foggy, captivating exploration of intense discomfort. From its scratchy, dense opening, to its gentle blend of orchestral and electronic elements, it’s a primal, intuitive track that scars and soothes in equal measure. “My body knows I can’t make it out” Woods sings on ‘Orange Tree’, tentatively trying to make peace with her body and her surroundings. This need to face her inner fears underscores the record, making it an unsettling, but genuinely liberating listen.

The tender ‘Through The Dark, Love’ feels like an intuitive guide through an ambiguous, tumultuous relationship, whilst the sparse instrumentation and the rhythmic humming on ‘Lay Bare’ both feel intensely comforting. Woods’ songs feel confessional, yet meditative in nature, ranging from gentle to gritty all within a few short seconds. ‘Mud and Stones’ is much like this; with its stretched out saxophone sounds, changing tempo, and whispered lyrics.

‘The Mouth’ is one of the boldest, most confident tracks on the album. A fleshy, twisted lullaby about personal hesitation; it’s a somber yet powerful listen, laced with melancholy strings, saxophone, and distorted drone noises. Though fueled by uncertainty, it’s a carefully constructed song that provides space for healing and acceptance. The denseness of ‘Cleansing Ritual’ is unexpectedly soothing too. Purely instrumental, its layers of drone noises and distortion could cauterize the deepest of wounds. The eerie, persistent tapping of one key alongside Woods’ hushed voice on ‘There Is No Moon’ could feel desolate, but instead it feels restless; as if she is keeping herself awake with the urgency of that repeated note.

Though quiet in terms of volume, Birthmarks is an abrasive, primal, charged offering that allows Woods the space to navigate emotional territories, and prove her strength and resilience as an artist.

Pre-order Hilary Woods’ new album Birthmarks here (released 13th March via Sacred Bones)
Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Joshua Wright 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: International Women’s Day 2020

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s a day to highlight and bring awareness to the issues facing women around the globe, and it’s also a time to celebrate the women we love too. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual – encouraging all of us to collectively help create a gender equal world: because an equal world is an enabled world.

At Get In Her Ears, we have only one definition of a “woman”, and that is inclusive of ALL women. Inclusivity is at the core of what we do. It’s the reason we started, it’s what drives us, and it’s something we will consistently strive for as long as we exist. To be explicitly clear, we always have and always will stand against transphobia – it is unacceptable. We send our love, support and solidarity to ALL women out there.

We’ve created a playlist of all the wxmen artists that continue to inspire, entertain, and motivate us into action. Take some time to scroll through our choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’
An obvious, but essential choice for any IWD Playlist. Annie Lennox & Aretha Franklin are a dream vocal team, and I never get tired of listening to this classic. (Kate Crudgington)

Planningtorock – ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’ 
I’m forever grateful to Tash for introducing me to the lush electronics of Planningtorock. This track is all about their sister, Beulah, and her love of house music. When Planningtorock played this live at their gig at Southbank Centre last year, Beulah was in the audience, and when the two siblings embraced each other after the song, I had a tear in my eye. (KC)

The Julie Ruin – ‘Girls Like Us’
It’s no secret by now that Kathleen Hanna is the woman who has inspired me the most and pretty much the reason we started GIHE, and so it seems only right to include a track of her’s on our playlist celebrating amazing women. And this track from The Julie Ruin is just a perfect ode for womxn of all kinds this IWD. A unifying anthem for all us misfit grrrls, with relatable empowering lyrics such as “… girls like us pick up the hot handles and burn our hands and we get over it”, it never fails to pick me up and leave me feeling ready to face the world. (ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Used To Be Friends’
I think all three of us would firmly place this band on any International Women’s Day Playlist. We could not be more behind everything Big Joanie are about, having seen them countless times over the last year – their headline gig at The Moth Club was an undoubted highlight, this band just keep the good music coming. Their politics and music are inseparable, using their platform to speak to their experiences as a black, queer, punk band and the importance of intersectional feminism, it is a privilege to have had them on our radio show. (TW)

Nova Twins – ‘Bullet’
Consistent GIHE favourites Nova Twins have released their breath-taking new album Who Are The Girls, and this track is lifted from it. It’s a powerful statement against street harassment, and the myth that women are “asking for it” if they dress or act in a certain way. Amy’s lyrics are the ultimate weapon against such insults, making it crystal clear that those who touch without permission are not fucking welcome. (KC)

Jehnny Beth – ‘I’m The Man’
Though Jehnny Beth has said that ‘I’m The Man’ is “a poetic work first and foremost. Its aim is to make you feel, not think”, for me it seems to address the anger and ruthlessness surrounding toxic masculinity and the damaging effects it can have. IWD, I feel, should not only be about celebrating the brilliant women in our lives, but informing our male allies so that they can support their female peers as much as possible, and also be reassured that to be a “man” does not mean having to be aggressive or physically powerful. A poignant and powerful offering from this immense force of womankind, who I cannot wait to see live today at The Roundhouse as part of BBC 6 Music’s Festival (along with other awesome women Kate Tempest, Kim Gordon and more). (ML)

Deux Furieuses – ‘Year Of Rage’
GIHE faves Deux Furieuses last year dropped their immense album My War Is Your War – a collection of poignant, impassioned and all-too-relevant rock anthems. Taken from the album, ‘Year Of Rage’ is a seething offering addressing the #MeToo movement and the anger felt by women everywhere trying to seek justice. Delivering a message of empowerment through the raging riffs and soaring vocals of Ros Cairney and frenzied pummelling beats from Vas Antoniadou, it’s a hugely powerful and distinctly necessary listen this IWD. (ML)

The Joy Formidable – ‘The Last Drop’
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve told people how much I adore The Joy Formidable. I’ve been following them for a decade now, and I am still in awe of their ability to create heavy, magnetic, alternative tracks like this one. (KC)

ARXX – ‘Intervention’
Another playlist, another ARXX track. But we make no apologies about this. ARXX have been faves for a while now, and with their “unapologetically loud”, ferocious raw power, they continue to blow us away with their unrelenting raucous sounds. This track, ‘Intervention’, taken from 2018’s EP Daughters Of Daughters, talks of social injustices, giving a shout out to the LGBT charity Stonewall, exclaiming that “you don’t get to say who we fall in love with”. A perfect, raging anthem for equality. Two of the coolest women we know, ARXX also headlined our IWD gig last year at The Finsbury, and it really was the best way to celebrate. (ML)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’
Previous guest on our radio show Amaroun has recently jumped back into the limelight with several new tracks, inclusive of this one ‘Perish’. I’m loving this next step in Amaroun’s musical journey – the beats, the vocals, the stripped back simplicity, sublime. Drawing from her experiences as a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality and the importance of emotional honesty in music, these themes stand strong throughout her songs. I can’t, and don’t want to stop listening. (TW)

Nayana Iz – ‘How We Do’
What a tune1 ‘How We Do’ is possibly one of the best debuts I have ever heard. Indian born, London raised Nayana Iz has arrived and she’s taking you with her. Eyes wide open people and get watching. (TW)

Missy Elliott – ‘She’s A Bitch’
One of the coolest, most inspiring women in the business, Missy Elliott delivers the most empowering and entertaining of offerings, just by being her incredible self. Proving that a woman can conquer a previously male-dominated genre, whilst consistently unashamedly oozing self confidence, she never fails to motivate me and put a smile on my face. Showing women that it’s ok to not fit the “feminine” stereotype that the industry so often seems to demand, and just be who you are and wear whatever the f*** you feel comfortable in (whether that’s an inflated bin bag or a scarecrow costume – check out last year’s performance at the VMAs to see this in action), she continues to push boundaries and remains a colossal force of nature. ,(ML)

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Tears
One of my favourite tracks from Nilüfer Yanya, a slight move away from her guitar heavy tunes, ‘Tears’ released early last year captures and takes you along with its bouncing beats and sad reflective lyrics. It’s been great to watch this artist reach the acclaim she so rightly deserves, with my personal highlight seeing her play at Primavera 2019. It was the definition of sun-drenched guitars. (TW)

Shea Diamond – ‘I Am Her’
As early as transgender singer Shea Diamond can remember, she identified as a girl – and was punished for it. At age 20, she robbed a convenience store at gunpoint – desperate, she says, to fund her gender-affirming surgery. Behind bars (in a male prison), Diamond found her voice as a songwriter, and wrote this track ‘I Am Her’. I wanted to include this track today, not only because I just love its poignant, soulful groove, but because Trans Women are of of course women too and should be celebrated on International Women’s Day (and every day)! (ML)

Lido Pimienta (feat. Li Saumet) – ‘Nada’
Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Canadian-Columbian musician Lido Pimienta has penned this beautiful song ‘Nada’. Taken from her upcoming album Miss Colombia, Pimienta ruminates on the pain women experience – from debilitating period pains to giving birth – and how strong we are despite being unfairly dubbed the “weaker sex”. Watch the accompanying video for the track here(KC)

FKA Twigs – ‘sad day’
The master and the muse; FKA Twigs continues to dazzle my eyes and ears with each new release. This track is taken from her second album, Magdalene, a record which blends vulnerability and raw power in equal measure. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how much I love the music this woman makes. (KC)

Pumarosa – ‘Lose Control’
I interviewed Pumarosa’s front woman Isabel Munoz-Newsome last year for The Line Of Best Fit (read here), and she said this was her favourite track from their latest album Devastation. She spoke candidly about how she wanted to change the narrative around “love” or “breakup” songs, and her words have stayed with me ever since. This track is a slow-burning banger. (KC)

Arlo Parks – ‘Cola’
Watching Poet, rapper, singer & producer Arlo Parks grow over the last couple of years, receiving the absolutely deserve notoriety and success that an artist of her calibre should has been our pleasure. ‘Cola’ her debut single has kept a solid place on many of my playlists, a tender, confessional and mesmerising track. If you haven’t heard of Arlo Parks yet, go check her out now. You can thank me later. (TW)

Sleater Kinney – ‘Modern Girl’
Having been left completely speechless by seeing total heroes Sleater Kinney live last week, I couldn’t not include a track by this group of inspirational women. Seeing Carrie Brownstein perform this song, with all her infectious charisma and musical magnificence, was a definite highlight. And the lyrics “anger makes me a modern girl” seem particularly poignant this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Amahla – ‘Old Soul’
Hackney-Native Amahla blew us away with this song ‘Old Soul’ at the beginning of 2019 and has just kept getting better. An artist who uses their platform for greater good talking about women’s issues, race and current political climates, has an unquestionable place on our IWD2020 playlist. (TW)

Antony and the Johnsons – ‘My Lady Story’
“My womb’s an ocean full of grief and rage.” I can’t listen to that lyric without my heart breaking a little. A strong advocate for trans rights, feminism and climate action, Anohni (formally of Antony and the Johnsons), is a necessary and powerful voice this International Women’s Day. On identifying as transgender, Anohni once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man… It’s a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it’s one of nature’s best ideas. What an incredible impulse, that compels a five-year-old child to tell its parents it isn’t what they think it is. Given just a tiny bit of oxygen, those children can flourish and be such a gift. They give other people licence to explore themselves more deeply, allowing the colours in their own psyche to flourish.” (ML)

Dolly Parton – ‘Here You Come Again’
With the recent release of the Dolly Parton podcast and BBC documentary, I’ll take any chance I can to lap up any more content from this one. Dolly, what a woman. I don’t think I need to say anything more. (TW)

Merry Clayton – ‘Love or Let Me Be Lonely’
I recently watched 20 Feet From Stardom and to my shame learned so much about this amazing woman’s history that I did not know. A long established American soul and gospel singer, she provided backing vocal tracks to so many notable performing artists, the most famous being the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’. Take her voice out of that and what are you left with? Here’s a shout out to the often forgotten or overlooked backing singers from some of the best hits out there. An established and amazing recording artist in her own right, it’s never too late to get into Merry Clayton. What a voice. (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
A Get In Her Ears playlist would not be complete without Jackie Shane, I think this track ‘Any Other Way’ has featured on so many of our playlists and radio shows, but for good reason. Kate introduced me to this artist a couple of years ago and I was sold on first listen. Jackie Shane lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated to those who identified as trans. A pioneer for trans rights in the 60s, who very much lives on in our memories today. (TW)

Girl Ray – ‘Friend Like That’
GIHE faves Girl Ray have recently released their uplifting second album, Girl, and I cannot get enough. Taken from the album, ‘Friend Like That’ is an ode to friendship flowing with the trio’s colourful energy and funk-filled, pop-inspired hooks. Of the track, the band explain: “This is a friendship anthem. In music, friend love is often overshadowed by romantic love and IT’S JUST WRONG. This one goes out to the mates of the world.” Basically a perfect, shimmering anthem to celebrate all your fantastic female peers this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Shari Vari – ‘New York City’
Since hearing their debut album, Now in 2019, I still cannot get enough of the Hamburg based alt-electro/punk/producers Shari Vari. Now out via Malka Tuti, it’s packed full to the brim of brutalist delights. From ‘Dance Alone’, which takes me back to those dark, freezing, sweaty warehouse raves to this track ‘New York City’ with warped vocals, heavy reverb and cinematic crescendos. One of my albums of 2019, I consider myself still completely hooked. (TW)

Mentrix – ‘Nature’
Born in Iran but now based in Berlin, Mentrix (aka Samar Rad) blends her experiences of eastern and western culture, along with traditional Sufi instrumentation to create her beguiling, bold soundscapes. Her extensive travels and multiple influences – from Latin and French Literature, to The Qu’ran and traditional Persian poetry – give her music a diverse and fascinating edge. I can’t wait to hear her album My Enemy, My Love, which is set for release via her own (female-led) record label, House of Strength, on 3rd April. (KC)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Anti-body’
“I’m credibly unknown, and incredibly ok with that” wrote Elizabeth Bernholz – aka Gazelle Twin – in response to a fan who suggested she should be added to the Reading Festival lineup to fill the obvious void of female bands/artists on the bill. Bernholz’s pioneering sound and vision is best experienced elsewhere though, as her avant-garde, haunting electronic soundscapes demand your full attention. This track is lifted from her second album Unflesh, and although Bernholz has said she will never return to this material (having crafted her spectacular third album, Pastoral), I always come back to it when I’m feeling restless. (KC)