EP: Softcult – ‘Year Of The Rat’

A culmination of their thoughts on and experiences of sexism, misogyny and objectification, twin sisters Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn aka Softcult have crafted a bittersweet collection of lush, grunge-infused songs on their debut EP, Year Of The Rat. Pushing through pain and reflecting on their hard earned emotional resilience, the Canadian duo have written an ultra-cool aural manifesto of resistance designed to help relieve the pressures that come with existing in a patriarchal world.

Informed by their love of 90s guitar bands like Bikini Kill and My Bloody Valentine, as well as the bubble-gum grunge of Beabadoobee and Soccer Mommy, Softcult blend atmospheric guitars, energetic percussion and hazy vocals to create their softly antagonistic sounds. Working from their home studio for most of 2020, Phoenix and Mercedes were able to take stock of what they really wanted to achieve under their new moniker, and Year Of The Rat is a polished, mature offering that highlights the duo’s instincts for creating heady, alternative soundscapes that soothe the sting of a painful past.

“It might seem like we’re just super angry but it comes from a place of wanting to make positive change, which always starts with a conversation,” explains guitarist & vocalist Mercedes. This anger and empathy manifests itself in different ways throughout the EP, which kicks off with the gritty, melodic ‘Another Bish’. The duo find catharsis amidst their swirling riffs and frantic beats, arriving at the humbling realisation that even though you can’t always change someone else’s perception of you, you can refuse to be “tamed” by their reductive views.

The melancholic ‘Gloomy Girl’ provides listeners with a glimpse behind the veil of depression. It’s a tentative, hazy musing on the ominous feeling that you’re “wasting away” whilst going through a period of poor mental health. ‘Take It Off’ aches with a subdued anger that’s directed at catcallers, but the track also doubles up as a care-free dismissal of ridiculous trophy wife standards. The pair continue to shrug off the emotional labour that’s routinely pushed onto women’s shoulder on the shimmering, restless ‘Young Forever’, before closing the EP with the cutting, yet tender sounds of ‘Bird Song’.

Fuelled by their desire to instigate change in their own circles and further afield, the Softcult grrrls have fused observational lyrics, smooth vocals and atmospheric riffs together on Year Of The Rat to punctuate their personal statement against injustice, and to provide their listeners with a brooding, polished, yet unexpectedly light listen.

 

Follow Softcult on SpotifyInstagramFacebook & Twitter for more updates

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: March 2021

It’s been another long month of lockdown here in the UK, but the end is in sight with lighter evenings and the chance to see more than one friend in public on the horizon. The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our March Playlist. It’s an eclectic mix of indie anthems, alt-pop gems, intriguing electronics and raucous guitar tunes. 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 – ‘Small Talk’
This thumping new track from Bristol-based punk trio and GIHE faves Grandmas House speaks for itself. ‘Small Talk’ explores the times when you’ve had to unwillingly engage in idle conversations with strangers at the bar, when all you want to do is sit and have a pint with your friends. (Kate Crudgington)

ARXX – ‘Deep’
The new single from GIHE faves ARXX, ‘Deep’ offers an empowering ode to leaving behind all your anxieties and getting what you want. Propelled by a sweeping, impassioned energy, it interweaves an electro-infused, glitchy sound with the duo’s signature ferocious drive, instantly hitting you with its raw, anthemic rush and gritty, sensual prowess. A swirling slice of rousing power-pop. (Mari Lane)

CLAMM – ‘Liar’
Melbourne punk trio CLAMM are gearing up to release their debut album Beseech Me on 9th April, and single ‘Liar’ is a crash course in what to expect. “The song is about mental health,” the band explain. “It’s about wanting to break through a pattern of thinking that isn’t necessarily positive. It’s about dealing with an internal monologue that isn’t always telling the truth.” Through their thrashing guitars and relentless percussion, the band beat back their doubts on this raucous offering. (KC)

Gender Chores – ‘Night In The Woods’
A slice of fast-paced punk-pop, and inspired by a video game of the same name, ‘Night In The Woods’ reflects on slum landlords and the high costs of living in the city. As the Belfast band ooze a swirling, playful energy, the track builds to an immense whirring cacophony. A raging punk anthem, truly of our times; despite being coated in a buoyant, quirky charm, it’s no less powerful in its explicit enraged message. (ML)

CYNICS – ‘Idiots’
This high energy single from London-based four-piece CYNICS is lifted from their recent EP, restless in comfort. The band will be releasing a second EP in April, so keep your eyes peeled for that. (KC)

Du Blonde and Ezra Furman – ‘I’m Glad That We Broke Up’
Du Blonde joins forces with Ezra Furman on latest track ‘I’m Glad That We Broke Up’ which is an absolute tune released ahead of Du Blonde’s upcoming LP Homecoming, due on 2nd April. “It’s our take on a 60s girl group/glam rock explosion,” Du Blonde explains. “I feel like Ezra and I have been travelling towards a duet for years and we finally got our shit together.” (Tash Walker)

deep tan – ‘camelot’
Taken from their upcoming debut EP, deep tan’s ‘camelot’ is propelled by the majestic whirr of sparse hooks and throbbing beats, building with a quirky hypnotic splendour and fizzing tension. As swooning vocals glide across the angular soundscape, it creates another truly captivating sonic delight from the post-punk trio, leaving you longing for more of their exquisite stirring allure. (ML)

People Club – ‘Take Me Home’
The title track from their upcoming EP which is set for release on 7th May, this single from Berlin-based indie outfit People Club is about the realisation of mortality in old age. It’s an upbeat offering, but it explores the cynicism that often plights the elderly after losing their loved ones and being left alone with their regrets. (KC)

ĠENN – ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’
Taken from their upcoming EP Liminal, ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’ is the latest single from Brighton-based ĠENN. Propelled by a quirky, playful energy and eccentric, colourful charisma reminiscent of the likes of The Orielles, it races with scuzzy hooks alongside the raw, gritty vocals of front woman Leona. Building to a fuzz-filled, psych-infused cacophony, it showcases all there is to love about ĠENN – a band set on continually developing their compelling sound and enrapturing our ears with their unique fantastical spirit. Liminal, the new EP from ĠENN, is out tomorrow 30th March via Everything Sucks Music. (ML)

45ACIDBABIES – ‘Mommy’s Favourite 1’
Following the success of last year’s ‘3 (Walk With Me)’, ‘Mommy’s Favourite 1’ is the latest single from Dutch band 45 ACIDBABIES. Propelled by a vibrant, playful energy, it races with swirling layers of sound creating an instantly infectious, danceable cacophony. As scuzzy, electro-driven hooks race alongside the soaring sultry power of Sophia De Geus’ vocals, a psychedelic haze ripples, creating an uplifting sonic fusion. (ML)

Boudicca’s Bass Service – ‘Egypt’s Over There’
This is the latest single from Somerset based 19-year-old Georgina Cotteril aka Boudicca’s Bass Service. I love her laid back vocals, trippy synths and the feel-good vibes of this track. Speaking about ‘Egypt’s Over There’, Georgina explains: “This song is about realising you’re doing fine, all things considered…this song brings with it the new growth of spring and provides a resting spot, a much needed escape, amongst the craziness of your mind – and the current world in which we live in.” (KC)

Notelle – ‘Doctor Sign’
Nashville-based, nightmare-pop artist Notelle’s latest single ‘Doctor Sign’ was heavily influenced by the intense, shadowy sounds of Nine Inch Nails. Writing the track was a form of emotional exorcism for Notelle, who gave herself permission to “lean into some unattractive emotions” on this new offering. (KC)

Debby Friday – ‘Runnin’
Vancouver-based audio-visual artist Debby Friday blends intoxicating rap verses, trippy beats and snaking rhythms together on this eccentric anthem about self-expression. Full of commanding rhythms and jagged synths, ‘Runnin’ marks a new musical direction for Friday, moving away from her abrasive earlier work into more sultry, effervescent territory. Dripping with unfazed confidence, Friday’s synth-rap tune smoulders with autonomous vibes. Love, love, love it. (KC)

Loraine James – ‘Simple Stuff’
This is the first single from Loraine James’ new album Reflection, which is set for release on 4th June. ‘Simple Stuff’ is a minimal, cathartic plea for equality and acceptance as a black, queer woman. I love the criss-crossing drums and Loraine’s straightforward vocals on this track. (KC)

Mykki Blanco – ‘Free Ride’
The latest single from queer pioneer and musician/rapper extraordinaire Mykki Blanco, ‘Free Ride’ was written back in 2018 after Blanco had just ended their first long-term relationship. Co-produced by FaltyDL and Hudson Mohawke, it oozes a funk-fuelled uptempo musicality and glistening soulful refrains alongside Blanco’s trademark flowing lyricism. Appearing less brash and perhaps more sentimental in sound than some of their previous offerings, it loses none of their distinctive wit and poignant spirit. The video for “Free Ride” was directed by Hannah Rosselin, produced by DIVISION, watch it here. (ML)

Ci Majr – ‘Guillotine’
This is the latest track from Atlanta-based, emerging non-binary artist Ci Majr. Taken from their upcoming debut EP Side Effects, set for release on 16th April, ‘Guillotine’ is a shimmering pop anthem about cutting off your own ego in order to grow in a new relationship. (KC)

Sofia Kourtesis – ‘La Perla’
One of my absolute favourite songs at the moment! Inspired by the sea and her father (written when he was dying of leukemia), the result is a kaleidoscope of synths and deep house. Kourtesis describes the song as about feelings that can’t be captured with words – ‘La Perla’. (TW)

Gemma Cullingford – ‘Wide Boys’
Known as one half of GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth, musician and songwriter Gemma Cullingford has now announced the release of her debut album this summer. Taken from the album, ‘Wide Boys’ reflects on the need for us to wake up and take back control from those in power. Driven by a racing energy and interweaving immense hooks, including a fiercely flowing flute solo, it’s an instantly catchy funk-fuelled call to arms for these desperate times. (ML)

Elsa Hewitt – ‘Inhaler’
This new single from London-based, experimental electronic producer & GIHE favourite Elsa Hewitt soothes my tired mind. It’s taken from her upcoming album LUPA, which is set for release via Cargo Records on 30th April. (KC)

Fears – ‘vines’
Another poignant meditation on some of her darkest hours, Dublin-born London-based musician Fears aka Constance Keane penned her latest single ‘vines’ before she experienced a breakdown. Through her tentative beats and soft vocals, Fears taps into her pain and offers listeners a chance empathise and heal alongside her. I’m excited to hear her debut album Oíche when it’s released on 7th May via her own label, TULLE. (KC)

Penelope Trappes – ‘Nervous’
A graceful, evocative soundscape that tentatively traverses the inner thoughts of an anxious woman, this single from Australian-born Brighton-based artist Penelope Trappes is taken from her new album, Penelope Three. Set to be released on 28th May via Houndstooth, the track ripples with a sense of mystery and disquiet, both of which are beautifully reflected in the accompanying video. (KC)

Beckie Margaret – ‘FF’ 
Inspired by the Bob Marley quote “I don’t have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever,” ‘FF’ is the latest single from Essex songwriter Beckie Margaret, released via Cool Thing Records. Her voice melts me every time I hear it, and this lush, atmospheric new offering is no exception. (KC)

Ailbhe Reddy ft. Sacred Animals – ‘City Unfolds’
Dublin alt-folk artist Ailbhe Reddy and producer Darragh Nolan aka Sacred Animals have teamed up for this atmospheric new offering ‘City Unfolds’. Lyrically based on Ailbhe’s own experience of being close to a panic attack in the back of a taxi on her way to play a festival in Barcelona, the pair blend tentative keys and atmospheric beats to work through this heightened state of emotion. (KC)

Shamir – ‘DsharpG’ (Sharon Van Etten cover)
Shamir’s cover of Van Etten’s ‘DsharpG’ is just beautiful and will appear on Epic Ten, a special 10th anniversary edition of Van Etten’s second album, Epic. (TW)

Flock Of Dimes – ‘Hard Way’
Taken from her second solo album Head Of Roses, ‘Hard Way’ is the latest single from Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner aka Flock Of Dimes. Reflecting on the power of the subconscious to hide truths from ourselves, it combines glitchy elements of modulated synths with a lilting musicality and the smooth, emotion-rich splendour of Wasner’s vocals, creating a truly exquisite enchanting soundscape. (ML)

Hanya – ‘Lydia’
Having previously captivated our ears playing for us live on more than one occasion, Brighton band Hanya have now shared a brand new single. Flowing with shimmering hooks and an effervescent, ethereal grace, ‘Lydia’ showcases the stirring emotion of Heather Sheret’s rich, glossy vocals alongside a swirling musicality, creating a beautifully dreamy slice of shoegaze-tinged indie; a soothing soundscape oozing a blissful tranquillity. (ML)

Thallo – ‘Mêl’
This is a lush offering from Welsh songwriter Thallo, sung in her native tongue. Of the track, she explains: “‘Mêl’ which is Welsh for ‘Honey’ is about fearing inevitable heartbreak, but only making a feeble attempt to avoid it and resist temptation.” Check out her latest single ‘The Water’ too. (KC)

Naz & Ella – ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’
Having just announced a new EP set for release this Spring, Naz & Ella have now shared a poignant new single. Reflecting on the all-too resonant theme of sexual harassment, ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’ oozes a gritty, grunge-infused aura alongside the duo’s traditional folk-inspired musicality. Tinged with an eerie majesty with shades of grunge pioneers Alice In Chains, it’s a beautifully stirring offering, exuding a subtle, stark power. Find out more in our recent interview with Naz & Ella. (ML)

Ayoni – ‘Unmoved (A Black Woman Truth)’
‘Unmoved (A Black Woman Truth)’ was released last year, but I only heard it for the first time recently. Described as her most vulnerable song to date, the song is about her journey and the struggles she’s endured as a Black woman growing up. In Ayoni’s words “This song is my every uttered whisper and prayer. It is every heartbreak, micro-aggression, breakdown in the bathroom, and every swallowed fit of rage. But most importantly it is every single moment I remembered the walking poems that are my Black sisters, the breathing reasons to continue fighting to forge a path forward. So here I remain unmovable and unmoved.” (TW)

Clever Girls – ‘Stonewall’
“I wrote ‘Stonewall’ about the distribution of emotional labour in relationships and what is often asked of us AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals based on our perceived gender identities,” explains Clever Girls’ front person Diane Jean. “It’s really my own anthem of rebellion – against my own perfectionism and against the constant inner monologue that tells me to adapt to others’ needs and expectations.” I love this track, which is taken from the band’s recent album, Constellations. (KC)

Johanna Samuels – ‘Single File’ (Elliott Smith Cover)
Iconic riot grrrl label Kill Rock Stars turns 30 this year! To celebrate, they’re releasing a string of cover singles under the title Stars Rock Kill (Rock Stars), where several artists from around the world will cover tracks from the label’s expansive back catalogue. This dreamy cover of Elliott Smith’s ‘Single File’ by Johanna Samuels is their latest celebratory offering, full of lush vocals and soft guitars. (KC)

Amy Ellen – ‘This Life’
Dublin-based indie musician Amy Ellen says ‘This Life’ is about “loosing someone who meant something to you, but also appreciating those who come into your life and stick around.” She embraces life’s bittersweet nature via her clear vocals and rich guitar sounds on this single. (KC)

Vox Rea – ‘Dufferin Ave.’
Always a sucker for some silky sax, this latest track ‘Dufferin Ave.’ from Vancouver-based Vox Rea delivers with an abundance of ambience. As we look to warmer and lighter evenings, I’m looking forward to listening to this song glisten out over those hazy nights. (TW)

Nadine – ‘Hair Up’
An aspiring singer & rapper from Sudan who’s currently based in Cairo, Egypt, Nadine wrote this R&B-tinged offering after she spent a week living in sweatpants during quarantine. It’s a chilled tune that celebrates feeling confident in your natural state. (KC)

PLAYLIST: St. Patrick’s Day 2021

We know the option to publicly celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Ireland and here in the UK is currently not an option, but the Get In Her Ears team would like to help keep the virtual party going by spotlighting tunes from some of our favourite Irish artists on this epic playlist!

From slick rap verses, to dream-pop choruses, to post-punk bangers; our track choices provide a snapshot of just some of the talented Irish women and non-binary artists creating eclectic and exciting music right now. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of our Irish friends!

Take some time to scroll through the tracks below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

 

HAVVK – ‘Home’
The first single to be taken from the new album (produced by Rocky O’Reilly) from GIHE faves, Dublin-based HAVVK, ‘Home’ is a stirring reflection on appreciating those closest to you. Propelled by a shimmering ethereal fuzz, the track showcases the soaring celestial majesty of front woman Julie’s vocals, as they float with an impassioned splendour over scuzzy hooks and a gritty, driving energy. Oozing the band’s own unique poignant grace, it’s a truly captivating soundscape. (Mari Lane)

Bitch Falcon – ‘Gaslight’
Is it even a GIHE playlist if I don’t include a Bitch Falcon track? The Dublin trio shared their immense debut album Staring At Clocks via Small Pond Records last year, and ‘Gaslight’ is my favourite track on the record. (Kate Crudgington)

New Pagans – ‘Yellow Room’
Inspired by the short-story The Yellow Wallpaper, by American feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Belfast’s New Pagans penned this track to highlight the need for a specialised parent-and-baby mental health unit in Northern Ireland. Through the medium of Gilmans’ text, the band channel their frustrations via clear, cathartic vocals, crashing percussion and charged, powerful riffs. I’m so excited to hear New Pagans’ debut album, The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All, when it’s released on 19th March. (KC)

M(h)aol – ‘Laundries’
A brooding reflection on the grim realities that “fallen women” faced in Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries, this track from inter-sectional feminist post-punk band M(h)aol is a poignant reminder to Ireland and to the rest of the world that challenging oppression and misogyny is a collective responsibility. (KC)

Grave Goods – ‘Juice’
Sarah, Lois and Phil aka Grave Goods were kind enough to speak to me on our GIHE radio show last year about this track ‘Juice’, which features on an incredible compilation album of Irish artists called A Litany Of Failures: Vol. IIIDefinitely check it out. (KC)

Percolator – ‘Freshin’
Some serious noisy, shoegazey, alternative goodness from Dublin trio Percolator here. ‘Freshin’ is also featured on A Litany Of Failures: Vol. III. I should’ve just added the whole album tbh. (KC)

Pretty Happy – ‘Salami’
A raucous, wise-cracking anthem about the complexities of processed meat, ‘Salami’ is the latest single from Cork art-punk trio Pretty Happy. Full of sardonic lyrics, gutsy vocals and crashing percussion, it’s a ridiculously good off-kilter banger that rambles through the band’s many absurd thoughts and feelings about the pork-based snack. (KC)

Sprints – ‘Swimming’
Big thanks to The Irish Jam team for introducing me to Sprints! This is the latest single from the Dublin four-piece and I love its thumping beats, no nonsense vocals and raucous riffs. (KC)

Problem Patterns – ‘TERFs Out’
Mari & I absolutely love Belfast’s Problem Patterns, who happen to be some of the cutest and most ferocious punks we know. They’re dedicated to raging against inequality for all women and gender non-conforming people, and ‘TERFs Out’ is one many anthemic tracks showcasing their passion for this. When it’s safe to do so, we’re definitely going to book them for a GIHE gig! (KC)

Gender Chores – ‘Fuck The Patriarchy’
With a swirling, grunge-infused twang, this track from Belfast’s Gender Chores reminds me of DIY Riot Grrrl cassettes of the ‘90s, which is no bad thing. Taken from 2019’s immense, and fantastically entitled EP Womansplain, it’s short and sweet, but explicitly clear in its snarling, unashamed message to ‘Fuck The Patriarchy’. This track features on The Fight Is Not Over, a collaborative record addressing the need to continue pushing for more inclusive and diverse spaces in Northern Ireland. (ML)

Strange New Places – ‘Mr Gumble’
Propelled by a quirky, playful energy, ‘Mr Gumble’ addresses issues of gender dysphoria and the misconceptions that often surround sexuality. A catchy slice of power-punk from the Belfast band, they explain: “Mr Gumble is a uniquely transgender-tinted track, riffing on gender dysphoria and how it stops the narrator from having the confidence to pursue romantic relationships. This track also features on The Fight Is Not Over, a collaborative record addressing the need to continue pushing for more inclusive and diverse spaces in Northern Ireland. (ML)

Vulpynes – ‘Sister’
Having shared a stage with the likes of Sleaford Mods, Dublin duo Molly and Kaz – aka Vulpynes – have been firm favourites for a few years now. Last year’s ‘Sister’ is driven by swirling, reverb-strewn hooks, pounding primal beats and a raging energy; a fantastically fierce, empowered slice of ferocious rock magnificence. (ML)

Sister Ghost – ‘Bruised Fruit’
Previous winners of ‘Best Live Act’ at Northern Ireland’s Music Prize, Sister Ghost excel in creating scuzzy riffs with an impassioned, seething energy. With an underlying gritty power and the soaring raw power of the vocals, ‘Bruised Fruit’ is a wonderfully raucous example of what this band do best. This track features on The Fight Is Not Over, a collaborative record addressing the need to continue pushing for more inclusive and diverse spaces in Northern Ireland. (ML)

REWS – ‘Today We’re Warriors’
REWS’ Shauna Tohill was one of the first people I met when I started working in London six years ago. I was blown away by her incredible voice when she performed live on the first GIHE radio show I co-hosted, and I’ve been an avid REWS follower and friend of hers since then. Shauna is one of the kindest, most passionate people I know and I feel very lucky to have her in my life. Go and listen to her second album, We Are Warriors, it’s a cathartic burst of energetic pop-rock. (KC)

Kynsy – ‘The Elephant In The Room’
This is one of the four superb tracks that make up Dublin-based multi-instrumentalist Kynsy’s debut EP. Her succinct lyricism and jagged riffs offer fresh perspectives on everything from heartbreak, to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, to partying too hard. I had a lovely chat with her for GIHE earlier this year and I was so impressed by her humble and direct approach to making music. (KC)

NewDad – ‘Slowly’
Galway-based dream-poppers NewDad are gearing up to release their debut EP Waves on the 26th March and I’m excited to flood my ears with their lush vocals and lucid guitar riffs. (KC)

Smoothboi Ezra – ‘My Own Person’
Smoothboi Ezra is an 18 year old songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Greystones. This song is about “not being happy but not being able to do anything about it” which is the over-riding sentiment for most of 2020/21. (KC)

Dott – ‘Extra Introvert’
A tender, buoyant guitar tune designed to playfully shake off the “Lockdown Anxiety” many of us have been dealing with throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Galway-based dream-poppers Dott provide a breath of fresh air on ‘Extra Introvert’. (KC)

Big Daisy – ‘Bee Mine’
A fuzzy guitar ode to those who embrace emotional labour in a relationship without hesitation, this track by Belfast four-piece Big Daisy features on charity compilation album Bangers & Breakups. It’s is a lo-fi appreciation of the selfless acts of love and support we receive in a relationship, even if past trauma makes us feel like we don’t deserve them. (KC)

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

Ailbhe Reddy – ‘Between Your Teeth’
A tentative rumination on the struggle to communicate your true feelings in a relationship, I love this track from Dublin alt-folk artist Ailbhe Reddy. Lifted from her beautiful debut album Personal History, she blends soft vocals with atmospheric guitars to overcome feelings of frustration and sadness on ‘Between Your Teeth’. (KC)

Aislinn Logan – ‘Never Stay Low’
An a lush little pop gem from Belfast-born, London-based artist Aislinn Logan here. ‘Never Stay Low’ is a breezy offering full of smooth vocals and shimmering synth sounds, designed to gently dismiss the weight of unfair expectations. (KC)

SPIDER – ‘Water Sign’
Dublin-born, London-based twenty-one year old SPIDER blends sultry electronics and brooding guitar riffs with her distinctive vocals to create her evocative sounds. Her focus is on how a track makes you feel – whether that’s a feeling of power, fluidity or chaos – and on ‘Water Sign’ she weaves these emotions into a cohesive, stirring electronic soundscape. Filled with atmospheric synth textures and heady beats, the track is inspired by the Goddess Olokun of the Nigerian bini tribe, who presides over the darkest depths of the ocean. (KC)

Elaine Malone – ‘You’ (1000 Beasts Remix)
A blissful lo-fi offering from two of Cork’s freshest talents, ‘You’ is a beaut collaboration between songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Elaine Malone and electronic artist & producer 1000 Beasts. Led by Malone’s original beguiling vocals and lullaby-esque lyrics, 1000 Beasts has tentatively transformed the track with his distinctive percussion, and the result is a magnetic soundscape that acts as an aural tonic. (KC)

Loah, Bantum – ‘NGLA’
A collaboration between Irish-Sierra Leonean songwriter Loah and Cork-based producer Bantum, ‘NGLA’ flows with sweeping rich vocals and a twinkling uplifting energy. Featuring on last year’s EP Sweet Sorrow, it fuses together elements of hip-hop, scuzzy electronica, and funk-fuelled neo-soul, creating an enlivening, smooth groove. (ML)

Cosha – ‘Do You Wanna Dance’
A previous favourite of mine Bonzai, now known as Cosha, teamed up with producer Rostam for this single ‘Do You Wanna Dance’. I’ve been keeping my ears and eyes peeled for their new music ever since. (TW)

Malibu Shark Attack – ‘Better Off As Friends’
An oldie but a goody, I just couldn’t not mention this completely infectious track from one of my favourite ever albums when thinking about the Irish music scene. A side project of Rocky O’Reilly’s, Malibu Shark Attack are a real ‘super group’ offering their own unique brand of transatlantic indie-rap. Consisting of Rocky, American rapper Tribe One, Belfast-based Bee Mick See and vocalist Yellowbridge, they’re responsible for one of the most joyous and memorable nights of live music I’ve ever had at The Windmill back in 2014.
Rocky O’Reilly has helped produce and elevate so many of our faves (including HAVVK, Problem Patterns, Queen Zee), offering a special space to record in his Belfast-based Start Together Studios, and is a real legend in the DIY Irish community. (ML)

Æ MAK – ‘Hey Driver (!)’
I love this single from Queen of lockdown kitsch-pop bangerz Æ MAK. ‘Hey Driver (!)’ is a vibrant, catchy tune made with “100% childsplay and solo belly laughs” with a dance routine that’s a joy to mimic. (KC)

CMAT – ‘Another Day (KFC)’
I think I fell in love with CMAT when she declared “I’d rather drink piss than drink Pepsi Max” during an Instagram Live challenge where she consumed 80 pieces of popcorn chicken. She’s released banger after banger over the last year, and I’m praying it’ll be safe to go and see her live at The Troubadour in November with Mel from The Irish Jam! (KC)

Denise Chaila – ‘Anseo’
Since falling in love with Denise Chaila’s unique style of hip-hop last year with the eclectic sounds of her debut album GO Bravely (which has since been nominated for Ireland’s Choice Music Prize), I have been pretty-much addicted. With flowing keys accompanied by her distinctive spoken-word vocal, ‘Anseo’ oozes a completely infectious groove and vibrant empowering energy, with an additional healthy serving of playful wit. The Zambian-born Limerick-based artist reflects on identity, borders and misogyny in her work, and – having recently been featured as ‘One To Watch’ by The Guardian – looks set for further success in 2021. (ML)

CAMI x LEEM – ‘Inside Out’
Working alongside producer LEEM, Dublin-based rapper CAMI has crafted this super trippy, laid back tune. Tash & I love this track and recommend that you check out CAMI’s latest single ‘Tipsy’ too. (KC)

Celaviedmai – ‘Reckless’
This BANGER from rapper Celaviedmai sets my ears on FIRE, it’s such an ANTHEM! I heard it for the first on The Irish Jam when Mel was interviewing Celaviedmai about her involvement with the Black Lives Matter movement in Galway last year. She’s an incredible artist and activist, and I can’t wait to hear more from her in the future. (KC)

YINYANG – ‘Bloodhound/Earthbound’
With her previous single ‘Black Mamba’ being awarded the title ‘Best Song In The World’ from Across The Line with BBC Radio Ulster last year, Irish hip-hop artist Lauren Hannan – aka YINYANG- has now blasted into our ears with immense new tune ‘Bloodhound/Earthbound’. With shades of GIHE fave Noga Erez, the track oozes a gritty energy as the angst-driven power of Hannan’s vocals seethe alongside attitude-fuelled glitchy beats, building with a soulful, soaring splendour. (ML)

Rachael Lavelle – ‘Perpetual Party’
Like many of the artists on this playlist, I discovered composer & Rachael Lavelle through listening to The Irish Jam radio show. ‘Perpetual Party’ sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to it. (KC)

Rising Damp – ‘Cannibal’
A creator of brutal yet captivating soundscapes, Dublin based artist Rising Damp contributed this track ‘Cannibal’ to A Litany Of Failures: Vol. III. Her dystopian visions are fleshed out with hypnotic electronics, dense drum beats and deadpan vocal delivery. (KC)

Hilary Woods – ‘Orange Tree’
I’m a big fan of everything Hilary Woods releases and was moved to distraction when I saw her perform live at St Pancras Old Church in London in 2018. This track ‘Orange Tree’ is taken from her incredible second album Birthmarks, which she released last year via Sacred Bones. (KC)

Fears – ‘vines’
Another poignant meditation on some of her darkest hours, Dublin-born London-based musician Fears aka Constance Keane penned her latest single ‘vines’ before she experienced a breakdown. Through her tentative beats and soft vocals, Fears taps into her pain and offers listeners a chance empathise and heal alongside her. I can’t wait to hear her debut album Oíche when it’s released on 7th May via her own label, TULLE. (KC)

Sive feat. Dowry – ‘Storybook Moon’
A collaboration between songwriter Sadhbh O’Sullivan – Sive – and string musician Éna Brennan – Dowry – ‘Storybook Moon’ is a twinkling slice of alt-folk. Written during a time when Sadhbh was suffering with insomnia, it’s a stirring offering that’ll captivate the ears with its delicate exquisite grace and deep, shimmering melancholy. (ML)

Maija Sofia – ‘Flowers’
Taken from a split 7” with Kerry Devine (The Baby Seals) that was released via Trapped Animal, ‘Flowers’ oozes an uplifting sparkling energy. With a nostalgic, lilting musicality it’s a truly enchanting listen propelled by beautiful folk-strewn melodies and Sofia’s rich, luscious vocals. (ML)

Tolü Makay – ‘Don’t Let Go’
This is an understated, beautifully soothing listen from Tolü Makay. The Nigerian-born, Ireland-based artist gently reassures her listeners to let go of their fears through her smooth vocals, tender lyricism and jazz inspired instrumentation. (KC)

Clara Byrne – ‘Conflict Bound’
A poignant reflection on the pressures and contradictions we encounter living under capitalism, ‘Conflict Bound’ is the debut single from Bray songwriter Clara Byrne. Lifted from her upcoming debut album Handstitched, Byrne finds refuge from these overwhelming thoughts via her atmospheric alt-folk guitar sounds and patient vocal delivery. (KC)

Party Fears – ‘Time In Space’
A gentle, hazy musing on trying to stay afloat in an unpredictable time, Northern Irish born, Berlin-based artist Party Fears aka Maggie Devlin is a firm favourite here at GIHE. Released via Babywoman Records, ‘Time in Space’ is an other-worldly offering that stretches the boundaries of self-perception, but in true Party Fears style it remains charmingly optimistic. (KC)

The Cranberries – ‘Dreams’
I couldn’t really not include The Cranberries on an Irish-themed playlist… In addition to being consistently moved by the heart-breaking, crystalline vocals of the late Dolores O’Riordan, throughout the past year’s many lockdowns, I have sought comfort in watching Derry Girls for the umpteenth time, which is perfectly soundtracked by the majority of The Cranberries’ back catalogue! (ML)

#ThrowbackThursday: GIHE w/ The Baby Seals (06.04.17)

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown in the UK, we’re unable to make it into the Hoxton Radio studio to broadcast our weekly live new music show from 7-9pm. Instead, we’re sharing previous GIHE radio show recordings as #ThrowbackThursday sessions, so you can still enjoy 2 hours of new music tunes & chats with some of our favourite artists each week.

Today, we’ve picked our April 2017 show with Cambridge riot grrrls The Baby Seals. Kerry, Jasmine and Amy joined Tash & Kate in the studio to talk about playing their EP launch at The Shacklewell Arms, getting glittered in the face at a Brighton gig and peeing wherever the hell you want to. They also performed live versions of their tracks ‘Nipple Hair’ and ‘Yawn Porn’.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
Sink Ya Teeth – If You See Me
Mavi Phoenix – Adventurer
Nirvana – Dumb
Swine Tax – Chronic
GHUM – Shallows
Dead Lavender – Seasons Change
The Big Moon – Formidable
HAVVK – Ghosts
Carl Luis & Froder – Come With Me
ShitKid – 666
Kaleida – Think
PINS – Bad Thing
**The Baby Seals Interview & Live Session**
ESG – Dance
Champdogs – The Whirl
Look Blue Go Purple – Cactus Cat
Sakima – What I Know Now
Dream Wife – Somebody
Noga Erez – Off The Radar
J. Bernardt – Wicked Streets
Usless Cities – New Feelings
Aye Nako – Nightcrawler
The Wild Things – Tell Me Why
Nirvana – About A Girl