ALBUM: Indian Queens – ‘God Is a Woman’

Described by lead vocalist & guitarist Jennifer O’Neill as “a late night record”, London trio Indian Queens‘ debut album God Is A Woman is a sublime offering, designed to dissolve uncertainty and soothe anxious minds. Set for release via Cool Thing Records on 3rd April, the band have written thirteen dizzying tracks that are equal parts driving and delicate; shimmering with cinematic flair.

Formed of sisters Jennifer (guitar/vocals) and Katherine (bass) O’Neill, and lifelong friend Matthew Dudan-Bick (drums), Indian Queens were born and raised in Hackney Wick. Influenced by the restless city that surrounds them, the trio’s soundscapes reflect both the darkness and the light on a personal, and a universal scale. This is epitomized on opening track ‘Bubblewrap’, a beguiling lament about the state of the planet. It smolders with dense beats, atmospheric guitar and Jennifer’s captivating vocals. “We were born in plastic bags / conveniently stored / bubble-wrapped indoors”, she muses, conjuring up images of over-protection and suffocation. Despite the track’s haunting context, Indian Queens still manage to lull their listeners into acceptance, and hopefully into action too.

Based on a childhood memory of the O’Neill sisters’ grandparent’s house, the nostalgic ‘Pretty Little Thing’ rings out with warmth and understated joy. Jennifer’s extended vocals in the chorus and the rose-tinted guitar sounds make this a truly uplifting track. The eponymous ‘God Is A Woman’ is a tentative, elusive exploration of tolerance, hope, and faith. “Who wants to start a revolution?” sings Jennifer, with a sharp awareness and those “fingers crossed”. The band’s ability to tap into both the personal and the political with the flick of a guitar pedal is extra impressive here.

‘Some Kinda Blue’ is a frustrated, jaded, but intensely affecting invitation to rekindle the flames of a valued relationship. The guitar seems to reflect the quick-switching nature of emotion; one moment it’s shimmering and atmospheric, the next it rings with distortion. Thudding beats, buoyant riffs and hopeful lyrics permeate ‘Wanderlust’, which is a joyful pact to “live for the day”. ‘Us Against The World’ is an intoxicating blend of all that makes an Indian Queens’ track so affecting. Jennifer’s comforting lyrics, charming vocals and agile riffs, Katherine’s buzzing bass lines, and Matthew’s considered percussion are truly magnetic here.

A restless, searching spirit fuels ‘I Got So Much I Wanna Say’, and continues throughout ‘I Get No Rest’. The sweeping, all encompassing sounds on following track ‘Concrete Lips’ and the repeated lyric “there’s something ’bout you that I can’t forget” combine to make a heady, moody lullaby. The dreamy, gentle ‘Warning Sign’ precedes the lusting, disorientating ‘You Came Over Late’, before anti-party anthem ‘Shoot For Sexy’ kicks in with its intoxicating beats. Despite its suggestive lyrics and smoldering bass lines, it’s a track best appreciated under low light with intimate company. Lust paves the way for adventure and hope on poignant, exhilarating final track ‘Walk’.

On God Is A Woman, Indian Queens have crafted a dazzling collection of meaningful songs that provide a welcome rush of blood to the head. It’s impossible not to be caught up in their captivating sounds. Invest immediately.

Pre-order your copy of God Is A Woman here. Follow Indian Queens on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Kana Waiwaiku

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Painted Zeros – ‘Commuter Rage’

“I don’t owe you anything” Painted Zeros‘ Katie Lau firmly states on her latest single ‘Commuter Rage’, a song that tackles the natural resentment towards those who invade your personal space. The Brooklyn-based musician & sound engineer blends elements of shoegaze and indie music with her cool vocals to set the record straight.

Lifted from her second album When You Found Forever, set for release on 29th May via Don Giovanni Records, ‘Commuter Rage’ is the sound of an artist who has had enough of making space for everyone else, and is ready to take it back for herself. “Go read a fucking book / don’t you fucking look at me / to teach you things that you are responsible for learning on your own” Lau sings, with quiet and relatable anger, over a deceptively sweet melody.

Lau is the focus of the visuals that accompany the single, directed by Jess Coles. She explains why she enjoyed working with Coles so much, and how the context of the video is linked to her growth as a musician: “I was excited to work with director Jess Coles for multiple reasons: we are both queer women, and her style of film-making mirrors the way I make music. I write, perform, record, and mix everything myself, and Jess directs, shoots, produces, and edits all of her own work.”

“While discussing video ideas over coffee, I mentioned that I felt like I had been hiding myself in the past;  hiding from taking ownership of Painted Zeros as my solo project, hiding my voice in my last album by burying it in my mixes, and that I didn’t want to hide or allow my art to be dictated by fear anymore. Jess suggested a music video that focused mostly on my face, with me and the sky as characters…I have to confess that a music video where my face is the unflinching focus was not the most comfortable idea for me to wrap my head around, but after working with Jess and seeing the outcome, I’m glad I did.”

“The chorus of ‘Commuter Rage (“I don’t owe you anything”) has become something of a personal mantra, a note-to-self when dealing with people who feel entitled to my time and energy. I wanted to write something that combined the feeling of being pissed off about injustice with a tongue-in-cheek (“be your benevolent overlord”) and ultimately joyous reclamation of my space/emotional boundaries.”

We’ve got all the time in the world for Painted Zeros’ music, and fully support her messages of self-autonomy and overcoming personal fears. Watch the video for ‘Commuter Rage’ below, and follow Painted Zeros on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Indian Queens – ‘Shoot For Sexy’

An intoxicating blend of hazy guitars, alluring vocals, and brooding beats; Indian Queens‘ latest single ‘Shoot For Sexy’ is a sublime new offering. Lifted from their debut album God Is A Woman, set for release via Cool Thing Records on 3rd April, the London trio consistently impress us with their beguiling sounds.

Formed of sisters Jennifer (guitar/ lead vocals) and Katherine (bass/vocals) O’Neill, and lifelong friend Matthew Dudan-Bick (drums), Indian Queens were born and raised in Hackney Wick. Influenced by the restless city that surrounds them, the trio’s soundscapes reflect both the darkness and the light on a personal, and a universal scale.

Single ‘Shoot For Sexy’ is an anti-party anthem, despite its suggestive lyrics and smoldering bass lines, it’s a track best appreciated under low light with limited, or intimate company. It fits the mood of the band’s upcoming album perfectly, as Jennifer explains: “God Is A Woman is a late night record, an album to put on during a dark drive, to play at the end of the party when it all slows down”.

We’re more than happy to slow down to the captivating sounds of this talented trio. Listen to ‘Shoot For Sexy’ below, and follow Indian Queens on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Kana Waiwaiku

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears w/ Nun Habit 05.03.20

Kate and Mari were back in the studio this week with all the new music to celebrate International Women’s Day, including tracks from Karen O, Belako, Nova Twins, Taquirah, Why Bonnie and New Pagans.

They were joined by Nun Habit, who entertained us with the wit and musicality of exclusive acoustic renditions of two of their tracks.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
Karen O & Dangermouse – Woman
Nova Twins – Vortex
Noga Erez – Views
Shea Diamond – I Am Her
Tina Boonstra – Out Of My Depth
Actrese – Lola
Pom Pom Squad – Red With Love
Wargirl – Dancing Gold
Beach Riot – Tune In, Drop Out
Deaf Surf – SOFA
Dream Nails – Payback
LIME – Surf n Turf
Belako – Tie Me Up
Johanna Glaza – Exile
Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – Black Rain
New Pagans – Admire
Why Bonnie – Voice Box
Taquirah – Feel
Faber – Time
Matthew Barton – Fag
Ali – No More Trying
Jess Fitz – I’m Fine
Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

LISTEN: Hilary Woods – ‘The Mouth’

A fleshy, twisted lullaby about personal hesitation; Hilary Woods has shared her latest single, ‘The Mouth’. Taken from her second album Birthmarks, which is set for release on 13th March via Sacred Bones, the track is a somber yet powerful listen; laced with strings, saxophone, and distorted drone noises.

Speaking about the track, Woods explains: “The impulse to write ‘The Mouth’ came from a longing to articulate feelings aloud that I failed to express til the moment had passed.” Though fueled by uncertainty and doubt, ‘The Mouth’ is one of Woods’ boldest, most confident tracks. It’s a dense, layered, carefully constructed soundscape that provides space for healing and acceptance.

Written & recorded over the course of two years between Galway and Oslo whilst Woods was heavily pregnant, Birthmarks looks set to be her most personal and powerful record to date. Inspired by the works of Norwegian experimental noise producer & filmmaker Lasse Marhaug, the images from post-war Japanese and wet-plate photography, to the secret life of trees; Woods’ far-reaching influences are what make her art so mesmerising and transcendent.

Listen to ‘The Mouth’ below, and follow Hilary Woods on Facebook & Spotify for more updates. Catch her live at Cafe Oto, London, on 18th May

Photo credit: Joshua Wright

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Something Leather – ‘Farewell Fareworse’

A dark, swirling mix of psych-tinged guitar and eerie organ noises; Brighton trio Something Leather have shared their latest single, ‘Farewell Fareworse’. Released via We Can Do It Records, it’s the first track to be lifted from their debut EP Midnight Reverie, which is set for release on 17th April.

Formed of Phillie Etta Jane (vocals/organ), Greg Pass (guitar) and Mike Nussbaum (drums), Something Leather have been cutting their teeth on the London & Brighton live circuits for a few years now. Their dark creations are a captivating blend of old and new sounds; the vintage organ that Phillie plays combines perfectly with Greg’s distorted guitar, and Mike’s rhythmic drum beats.

Single ‘Farewell Fareworse’ is a stirring example of this, and was born from the anxious thoughts surrounding co-dependent relationships, and the need for self autonomy. Phillie explains further: “[The track] is about desire and fear of change at the same time. It’s a bitter ode to personal traps and never-ending dilemmas”. The only dilemma we’re facing is whether or not we can wait until April to hear Something Leather’s debut EP.

Listen to ‘Farewell Fareworse’ below, and follow the band on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Something Leather UK Tour Dates 2020
18/4 – Hot Box – Chelmsford
20/4 – Hug and Pint – Glasgow
22/4 – Jacaranda – Liverpool
23/4 – Dead Wax Digbeth – Birmingham
24/4 – Shacklewell Arms – London
25/4 – The Lanes – Bristol
2/5 – Portsmouth Psych Fest
7/5 – 60 Million Postcards – Bournemouth
16/5 – The Peer Hat – Manchester

Photo credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: MAITA – ‘A Beast’

A poignant, under-stated guitar ode to the difficulty and desperation that comes with heartbreak; Portland-based MAITA has shared their latest single, ‘A Beast’. Taken from their upcoming album Best Wishes, set for release on 3rd April via Kill Rock Stars, the track is a relatable, melancholy-tinged exploration of being able to forgive, but not forget.

Speaking about the track’s premise, songwriter Maria Maita-Keppeler explains: “’A Beast’ [is] a musing on the pain that one person is capable of causing another, and the endless potential for forgiveness that exists within that space. That forgiveness always comes with a price, however: the memory of it that we carry beneath our skin, as does the abused dog that flinches when you lift a hand to pet it.”

MAITA’s willingness to confront emotional uncertainty is what makes ‘A Beast’ such a compelling listen. The accompanying video also reflects the pain and isolation that underscores the track. Maria offers her thoughts on the setting for the visuals: “It was inspired by [the place] where I wrote the song, which was at an old studio apartment in Portland. Though spacious for a studio, [it] had the potential to feel claustrophobic and lonely at the same time, transforming into a hot-bed for creative angst and pining. I wanted the video to take place in a similar setting: an empty apartment to serve as a backdrop for the many stages of waiting- – the tenderness, the frustration, the desperation.”

We’re big fans of MAITA’s tenderly frustrated sounds. Watch the video for ‘A Beast’ below, and follow MAITA on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Ingrid-Renan

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut