GIHE Tracks Of 2019

It’s that time of year again when we look back at some of our musical highlights. And what a year for new music it’s been – from empowering guitar-driven anthems and gritty electro beats, to dreamy indie-pop, our ears have been pretty lucky!

Over the next week, we’ll be sharing our favourite gigs, albums, events and Ones To Watch for 2020, but for now, here are our top tracks of 2019. Have a read, and a listen!

Clt Drp – ‘Speak To My’
Having completely blown us away live at The Finsbury in June, Brighton trio Clt Drp are one of the most exciting bands I’ve come across this year. With the immense, thrashing beats, fuzz-filled whirring hooks and soaring, gritty vocals of ‘Speak To My’, the empowered energy of their unique electro-punk sound is showcased perfectly. (Mari Lane – Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

Scrounge – ‘Badoom’
Savage guitar riffs and driving beats form the basis for South London duo Scrounge’s single ‘Badoom’. Taken from their debut EP Ideal, released via Fierce Panda, the track showcases the band’s ability to take relatable concepts such as feeling burned out, and turn them in to punchy, cathartic sounds. Check out the karaoke inspired visuals that accompany the track here. (Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder/Features Editor)

ILL – ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’
We’re all in agreement at GIHE that ILL’s track ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’ is a BANGER! These grrrls blend the best bits of punk, noise, and keys to create cathartic anthems about standing up for yourself, and not letting the bastards grind you down. ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’ is a “glittered middle finger” to anyone who’s tried to manipulate you, or who made you question your self-worth. (KC)

Lizzo – ‘Juice’
Bam! As soon as this piece of pure pop magic hit the radio, it got my attention. ‘Juice’ is perfectly constructed; its opening bars draw you in, and before you know it, you’re shouting along and belting out the ‘ya-ya’ chorus. I defy you to listen to this song and stay still. If you’re not running to – or already on – a packed dancefloor, you’ll be shimmying in your seat. It’s sunny, fun and so empowering. ‘Juice’ was my introduction to Lizzo and my love affair with her has blossomed throughout 2019. Her beautiful album artwork, fabulous statement outfits (two words: finger handbag!), and that Glasto performance sealed the deal. My four-year-old sometimes likes to sing along to ‘Juice’ in the car, thankfully neglecting the naughty words. When he does, it reminds me how lucky we are to have a popstar like Lizzo. Body positive, funny, filthy. She’s an inspiration.
(Vic Conway – Contributor)

God Colony (feat. Samirah Raheem) – ‘Girls’
You might recognise Samira Raheem from her 2 minute interview at Amber Rose’s Slutwalk in 2018. This video caught the attention of UK Producers God Colony, who approached Raheem to collaborate. The result of that collaboration is ‘Girls’ – an encouraging call-to-arms laced with fierce lyrics, and indutrial-tinged, progressive beats. Always remember: “Every dog has his day / and bad bitches too”. (KC)

Pallas Athene – ‘Through Hell’
One of my absolute favourite songs of the year, ‘Through Hell’ is taken from Pallas Athene’s debut self-titled EP. Exploring themes of man vs machine and the dissolution of self, this is the latest single from the EP which I’m so into – I just love its spaced out vocals and calming chords. Keep up the great work! Looking forward to the future of Pallas Athene.
(Tash Walker – Co-Founder/Digital Editor)

Grizzly Coast – ‘High Functioning’
A GIHE team favourite, ‘High Functioning’ by Grizzly Coast is a track that has got firmly into my head. It’s all about holding your life together in every place, but your own head. Of the track, Grizzly Coast explains: “I was going through a difficult time with my OCD choosing to power forward and work towards my goals”, but she found the purpose and drive to stay confident through it all, and we are very thankful for that. ‘High Functioning’ is a total tune, keep up the great work Grizzly Coast, we’re behind you 100%! (TW)

Amahla – ‘Dorothy’s Verses’
Having played legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and The Roundhouse, and garnered support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 Extra and 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Hackney native Amahla this year released the poignant ‘Dorothy’s Verses’. Exploring what truth is through the story of her grandmother, and reflecting on the power of female voices, ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ flow with rich, impassioned vocals alongside luscious sweeping hooks, creating a truly spellbinding – and deeply stirring – offering. (ML)

Grimes – ‘Violence’
It’s funny, looking back at 2019, I could swear this song has been out longer than a mere three months. Grimes has always been a bit beyond me up to now: too saccharine for my artsy side, too much of an art angel for my pop tastes, but ‘Violence’ hits the sweet spot. Haunting beats, an insistent hook and candied vocals that bitterly talk of a romance that’s damaging, controlling but satisfying. With 2019’s batshit political and cultural wars veering between poles, ‘Violence’ pins it all to the floor.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

Catbear – ‘Unrequited Love’
‘Unrequited Love’ is the second single from Catbear, and what a tune! Fully home-recorded, self-produced, and with a heavy helping of synths. In their own words Catbear say: “We make music for the enjoyment of it. We are two good friends that love each other and we love making music together. There is no other agenda. And with that attitude we want to inspire young women and LGBTQ people like us to not only go form a band, but to take control over every aspect of their music. You can be a guitarist, you can be a drummer. You can make beats, you can record and produce your own music. You can be anything.” (TW)

BEA1991 – ‘Loser Wins’
Amsterdam-based artist and musical polymath BEA1991 swept me away with this track, taken from her debut album Brand New Adult. I love her subtle, soaring vocals and there’s a beautiful accompanying video to this track that I recommend you check out too. (KC)

Sui Zhen – ‘Perfect Place’
Despite having now released three albums, I only heard Sui Zhen for the first time this year. And it was love at first listen. Inspired by how we exist in the digital age, ‘Perfect Place’ flows with glitchy beats and twinkling, ‘80s-inspired hooks alongside Sui Zhen’s quirky, honey-sweet vocals. An instantly infectious slice of sparkling alt-pop that I haven’t been able to stop listening to. The whole album, Losing, Linda, is pretty magical. (ML)

Despicable Zee – ‘Counting Cars’
Despicable Zee is an Oxford based musician, composer and performer. I am so very into this track of hers, ‘Counting Cars’. I cannot get enough of the samples and composition – so so good! Despicable Zee aka Zahra is also the director of the Young Women’s Music Project working alongside and guiding young female musicians. Her third EP, Atigheh, is self-produced and independently released, check it out now. (TW)

The Big Moon – ‘Your Light’
The Big Moon proved they’re as talented on two wheels as they are on two feet in the accompanying video to their superb single ‘Your Light’. With its catchy chorus, buoyant melodies and feel-good lyrics, it’s the perfect boost for anyone who’s feeling blue about the current state of affairs. The song is lifted from their upcoming sophomore album Walking Like We Do, which is set for release on 10th January 2020 via Fiction Records. (KC)

Captain Handsome – ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’
Having been a pretty massive fan of indie-pop superstars Fightmilk for a couple of years now, I was excited when Lily from the band shared the first single from her new solo project, Captain Handsome. A poignant exploration of every-day anxieties, ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ showcases Lily’s distinctive silky-smooth-yet-gritty vocals whilst oozing a touching raw emotion. With a twinkling lo-fi scuzz alongside the sensitivity of Lily’s refreshingly honest and consistently relatable lyricism, it’s a slice of effervescent indie-pop that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways. I can’t wait to hear more from Captain Handsome in 2020. (ML)

You can listen to all our favourite tracks now, in this handy playlist! We’ll be adding to the playlist as we share our other end of year features – keep your eyes/ears peeled!

 

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut
Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor
Vic Conway

John McGovern / @etinsuburbiaego

PLAYLIST: February 2019

It’s a brand new month and that means we’ve got a brand new playlist of new music to share with you. Take some time to scroll through our words and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Queen Zee – ‘Loner’
GIHEs faves Queen Zee released their debut self-titled album last week, and this single was lifted from the record just before it dropped. It’s an in-your-face anthem that takes the piss out of being a solitary, socially inept loser. Zee’s vocals dominate this track which is filled with swirling guitar noise and non-stop percussion. Mari & I will be watching Queen Zee live at The Lexington on Valetine’s Day this year, and we can’t wait to grab a copy of this glorious record, and we’d encourage you to do the same! (Kate Crudgington)

Scrounge – ‘Crimson’
Total faves Scrounge have just released their ferocious new single ‘Crimson’. Ever since they completely blew us away with their epic energy-fuelled set at our gig at The Windmill last summer, we’ve been struggling to put into words just how impressive we find their refreshingly original sound. Propelled by Luke’s intense pummelling beats and Lucy’s trademark gritty snarl, ‘Crimson’ creates a frenzied swirl of sound that’ll wrap itself around you with a racing sense of urgency. With shades of the soaring majesty of Sonic Youth, whilst retaining the duo’s utterly unique and colossal genre-blending sound, I just can’t get enough of ‘Crimson’s wonderfully discordant whirring cacophony. (Mari Lane)

Le Butcherettes – ‘Give Up’
Taken from their new album bi/MENTAL released last week, this knockout single from Le Butcherettes laments the many struggles surrounding grief. Front woman Teri’s passionate vocal delivery and the infectious rolling rhythms on this track make it a real blood-pumping affair you can’t sit still to. (KC)

Sacred Paws – ‘Brush Your Hair’
Having won the 2017 Scottish Album Of The Year Award for their debut Strike A Match, Glasgow-based duo Sacred Paws have become firm favourites over the last couple of years. Now, with their vibrant, jangly melodies flowing seamlessly alongside lush harmonies and thrilling, racing beats, new single ‘Brush Your Hair’ has secured their place in our hearts once again. And, with the band’s trademark utterly infectious uptempo energy and colourful charisma, ‘Brush Your Hair’ is set to brighten your February on first listen. (ML)

Arlo Parks – ‘Super Sad Generation’
Arlo Parks has shared her beautiful follow up to single ‘Cola’ with the aptly named ‘Super Sad Generation’. It’s a heartfelt tune that speaks about going through the motions, trying to make emotional sense of what’s in front of you. (KC)

Mags On Earth – ‘Tulip Stone’
Influenced by her constantly changing surroundings and by the pressures associated with youth and living in the moment; Mags On Earth has shared her beautifully dreamy single ‘Tulip Stone’. The song was recorded with producer Jose Manuel Cubides in London, and deals with “wondering what else life could be looking like right now, and the pressure of spending your youth in a certain way and how time keeps passing”. (KC)

Amahla – ‘Dorothy’s Verses’
Exploring what truth is through the story of her grandmother, Amahla’s ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ flows with rich, impassioned vocals alongside luscious sweeping hooks, creating a truly dreamy – and deeply stirring – offering. Having played legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and The Roundhouse, and garnered support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 Extra and 6Music’s Tom Robinson, I really can’t wait to hear more from this innovative artist. (ML)

NAVA – ‘Ritual’
Milan-via-Iran based project NAVA’s new single is a blend of Persian-dance inspired beats, industrial elements and hypnotic vocals. I like this band’s obscure image and sound, so I’ll be keeping tabs on them for the rest of 2019. (KC)

Miss Jacqui – ‘These Walls’
I was only recently introduced to songwriter and poet Miss Jacqui when Amahla featured this track on her guest playlist for us; and it was love at first listen. With poignant, heartfelt lyrical storytelling set to glitchy beats and a twinkling soundscape, ‘These Walls’ is an essential listen. Having performed at the 2012 Paralympics ceremony, she’s only officially started releasing tracks last year, and I’m so glad she has. An exceptional voice that we need in our ears now more than ever. (ML)

Heather Woods Broderick – ‘Where I Lay
‘Where I Lay’ is the utterly cinematic new single from Oregon’s Heather Woods Broderick. With its sparkling beauty and the subtle soaring power of Woods Broderick’s vocals, it’s impossible not to become utterly captivated. Of the track, she explains explains: “’Where I Lay’ is really a poem about the impermanence of all things. So many of our questions will remain unanswered but if we slow down and appreciate things as they are it can provide a simplicity and an ease that inspires wonder amidst the chaos.” ‘Where I Lay’ is taken from Heather Woods Broderick’s new album Invitation, out on 19th April via Western Vinyl. (ML)

Hubert’s Friend – ‘Shipping Forecast’
Filled with gritty, blues-driven riffs, meandering desert-rock groove and the soaring soulful vocals of front woman Elly Lock, I just can’t get enough of this new single from London’s Hubert’s Friend. With regular appearances on the London gig scene, Hubert’s friend have now got through to the  quarter finals of Isle of Wight Festival Emerging Talent competition, so it definitely seems they’re headed for big things this year. (ML)

Interview and Playlist: Amahla

Having played legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and The Roundhouse, and garnered support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 Extra and 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Hackney native Amahla was also been a recipient of the second ever MOBO Awards X Help Musicians Grant for her exceptional voice. Following the lush sounds of last year’s ‘Old Soul’, she’s now returned to grace our ears with poignant new single ‘Dorothy’s Verses’.

We had a little chat with Amahla to find out more, and asked her to pick a few of her favourite songs for a special guest playlist…

Hi Amahla, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
Hey, I’m Amahla! I’m 22 and I’m a soul singer-songwriter from Hackney. Some of my music branches into folk because I write primarily with guitar but it’s definitely in the bracket of soul. I’ve been lucky enough to play some amazing venues so far, like the Jazz Cafe and Roundhouse main stages. Usually I play with my band but I’ve also been doing more intimate acoustic shows recently.

Your new single ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ is out on Friday, can you tell us what it’s all about?
‘Dorothy’s Verses’ is a story inspired by my grandmother. She came to the UK with my mum and Grandad in the early ’60s from Guyana. She’s always been super independent but three years ago she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had to change her lifestyle. Since then my family and I have had to learn to see her world through this new lens. ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ is about her reflecting on her life, but also about the need to push women’s stories to the forefront into all of our collective memories more generally.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse, but who would you say are you main musical influences?
Have I? That’s nice! It’s hard to say who my main influences are, but here are a few on my mind at the moment… Amy is a huge one, I was 11 when Back to Black came out and she showed me that I could sing soul but still retain everything that makes me a London girl – the accent, the honesty – and not compromise my identity. Listening to Etta James taught me how to sing with conviction, plus the phrasing of lots of the early Jazz pioneers like Ella and Nat King Cole is just exquisite and has fed into the way I now write my melodies – it’s all about intention.

You graduated university with a first in Anthropology, how would you say what you’ve learnt about this feeds into your music?
I wrote my final thesis about the impact technology (particularly camera phones) has in recreating an archive of violence against the black body – one that the US government sought to repress after the civil rights movement. I think this thesis broadened my mind in terms of how I think about social movements, how they occur and why. These topics consumed my life for a year and I think you can hear its impact on my upcoming EP Consider This – thematically I explore similar themes of memory, justice and using one story to tell many.

And how important do you think it is for musicians to use their creative platform to address issues of politics and race?
At the moment it’s important for me to address issues of politics; I’ve always wanted in some way to impact social change in my lifetime. I don’t know how yet, but for me putting my thoughts into my music is a start. But, as much as music is a place to dissect these issues, it’s also a place to escape from them. Having the freedom to create and innovate is the most important thing.

And would you say movements such as Me Too have allowed more musicians to be more honest in their songwriting?
It’s an interesting question, I don’t know how anyone would go about quantifying its impact yet. I think that the impact of Me Too as a movement won’t really be felt on a broad level for a few years still.

 

We’ve asked you to pick some songs by artists and bands you admire for a special playlist, can you tell us a bit about each of your choices?

Miss Jacqui – ‘These Walls’
I’ve known Miss Jacqui for a while now, she is a songwriter and poet. She performed at the 2012 Paralympics ceremony but hasn’t released anything officially ’til this year. She’s exceptional. We need more voices like hers in the music industry.

Hejira – ‘I Don’t Belong To Anyone’
One of the most underrated bands in my opinion, their sound and visuals are so unique – every single is fire. The rhythm of this one particularly, captures you from the beginning.

Cosima – ‘Hymns For Him’
Cosima is uncompromising in her sound and has such a cutting tone to her voice, she reminds me of Prince. I love this song!

Fatima – ‘Westside’
The bassline in this track is something else and Fatima’s low register is gorgeous. I was lucky enough to support her at her Roundhouse show last month, she’s even more magical live. Her music came alive and her voice and presence filled the room, I haven’t been able to switch it off since.

Nai Palm – ‘Crossfire/ So Into You’
Her voice of course is out of this world, but there is nothing conventional about her songwriting. The way she uses guitar as harmony and percussion to complement her vocal lines is something I’ve admired for years.

Shae Universe – ‘Tell Me The Truth’
Shae’s voice is simply incredible. I’d love to write a song for her catalogue, the range and melodic possibilities with her voice are just gorge.

Massive thanks to Amahla for answering our questions! Listen to her guest playlist here:

 

And you can catch Amahla live at The Roundhouse on 19th February.

Track Of The Day: Amahla – ‘Dorothy’s Verses’

Having played legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and The Roundhouse, and garnered support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 Extra and 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Hackney native Amahla was also been a recipient of the second ever MOBO Awards X Help Musicians Grant for her exceptional voice. Following the lush sounds of last year’s ‘Old Soul’, she’s now returned to grace our ears with poignant new single ‘Dorothy’s Verses’.

Exploring what truth is through the story of her grandmother, ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ flow with rich, impassioned vocals alongside luscious sweeping hooks, creating a truly dreamy – and deeply stirring – offering. Of the track, Amahla explains:

‘Dorothy’s Verses’ is my grandmother’s story of looking at her life through a new lens of Alzheimer’s. But it’s also about the need to hear women speak from their truths. We’re living through Me Too, a movement where women are reclaiming their stories and pushing them into our collective memories, this is but/just one verse.

Listen to the utterly spellbinding ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ here:

 

‘Dorothy’s Verses’ is out now.

Mari Lane
@marimindles