PLAYLIST: January 2022

New year, new playlist! The Get In Her Ears team have put together an eclectic mix of indie anthems, guitar tunes, alt-pop tracks & immersive electronic sounds for your listening pleasure. 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.

Ronnie Spector – ‘She Talks To Rainbows’
Hearing news of Ronnie Spector’s passing last week hit hard. A truly innovative musical icon, she inspired generations of women in music, whilst The Ronnettes were one of the first ‘girl groups’ to receive worldwide acclaim. Sadly also famous for being a survivor of serious physical and psychological abuse from her husband of six years, producer Phil Spector, I think it’s important we remember Ronnie for the incredible musical gifts she’s left us with. I just love the sparkling, soulful splendour and whimsical grace of this lesser known beauty, ‘She Talks To Rainbows’. (Mari Lane)

Girl Ray – ‘Murder on the Dance Floor’
Girl Ray’s cover of this 2001 classic by Sophie Ellis-Bextor… Need. I. Say. More. (Tash Walker)

Bas Jan – ‘Sex Cult’
The latest single from London experimental collective Bas Jan (founded by Serafina Steer and featuring members of Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business and Jarv Is), ‘Sex Cult’ offers a glistening cacophony propelled by a quirky energy and captivating allure. Reflecting on society’s attitude towards polygamy, it radiates a celestial joy as crystalline voices come together in unity to create something quite euphoric. Baby You Know, the new album from Bas Jan, is out 28th January via Lost Map Records. (ML)

ML Buch – ‘I’m a Girl You can Hold IRL’
This song is taken from Danish electro-pop musician ML Buch’s album Skinned which came out in 2020, but I spent a lot of the winter break listening to it so thought I’d share it with you all in 2022. I love its futuristic techno electro tones and all the FEELINGS. (TW)

SEA CHANGE – ‘Is There Anybody There’
Created during a time of intense loneliness during the middle of lockdown, this atmospheric offering from Norwegian producer Sea Change gives me goosebumps. Blossoming from a place of empathy, it’s one of many evocative tunes that feature on her upcoming album, Mutual Dreaming, which is set for release on 11th February via Shapes Recordings. (Kate Crudgington)

Brimheim – ‘This Week’s Laundry’
A stirring, intricately observed guitar tune about trying to cultivate a “normal” routine during a time of deep vulnerability, I love this single from Danish alt-pop artist Brimheim. Taken from her upcoming album, can’t hate myself into a different shape, which is set for release on 28th January via W.A.S Entertainment, the track flows with her tender vocals and confessional lyrics, which chime with relatable melancholy. I had the pleasure of interviewing Brimheim about her new record and her love for Queen Avril Lavigne earlier this month. Read our chat here. (KC)

Midwife – ‘2020’
This is a gloomy (but great) track about the year we’d all rather forget: 2020. Taken from Midwife aka Madeline Johnston’s third album Luminol, which was written & produced during quarantine last year, ‘2020’ is her cover of The Offspring’s 1997 track ‘Gone Away’, which I didn’t know until the person who recommended Midwife to me sent me a link to the original song. I know she’s been around a while, but I’m newly obsessed with this track & her album.  (KC)

Wu-Lu – ‘Times’
My new obsession, I recently came across South London multi-instrumentalist and producer Wu-Lu courtesy of Mary-Anne Hobbs on BBC 6Music. Creating a wonderfully eclectic smorgasbord of immense sounds, I just love how Wu-Lu manages to fuse together dark, Deftones-esque punk with a gritty, hip-hop inspired edge. I cannot stop listening to this track right now, which features drums by Black Midi’s Morgan Simpson. (ML)

Pearly – ‘Silver Behind The Mirror’
An agitated, sultry dose of cinematic heavy rock, I’m a big fan of this single by Ohio-based trio Pearly. Taken from their upcoming album Silver of The Mirror, which is set for release on 11th February via Eto Ano Recordings, the track is a smouldering slice of “stoner rock” that heaves with heady desire. (KC)

SASAMI – ‘Say It’
This industrial-tinged “rage dance anthem” from SASAMI is 100% a bit of me. Taken from her upcoming album Squeeze, which is set for release on 25th February via Domino, SASAMI explains: “I feel like when I hear this song I see a hot femme with a mystical flamethrower engulfed in emotional blue flames throwing elbows alone in an industrial dance club in outer space.” Mate, same. (KC)

HALINA RICE – ‘Sunken Suns’
What do I love more than dreamy songs full of feelings? The answer is obscure electronica! My latest listen comes from London-based artist Halina Rice, as part of a new project where she is embarking on creating new worlds in her music. Of this track Halina explains, “I wanted to create something dark and strange and emotive. The track emerged after days spent generating sounds through synths and noise generators. I put a mass of effects on the sampled vocals and they seemed to develop a life of their own – like a half-heard transmission from another world.” LOVE IT. (TW)

Gemini Aaliyah – ‘Moonrise’
Leeds-based artist Gemini Aaliyah says her single ‘Moonrise’ is the beginning of her “fucked up fairy tale where the ghetto meets the goth girl,” and that’s something I’d like to openly support. She channels her angst through yearning vocals and brooding beats, finding solace in the idea of re-birth and reinvention through her lyrics. Gemini Aaliyah will be playing at Drown U Out Festival at Leeds University Union on 19th February, alongside two of my other favourites Ho99o9 and Bob Vylan. (KC)

Queen Cult – ‘Calm’
Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing for their debut single ‘Shindigger’ and support for their resonant latest single ‘A Song About Consent’, Queen Cult’s latest single ‘Calm’ flows with luscious, heartfelt vocals before building to a sweeping, fiercely impassioned proclamation to stand up to the patriarchy. Once again showcasing the Cheshire band’s knack for creating epic pop-rock anthems with a poignant sense of intent, ‘Calm’ cements Queen Cult’s place as definite ones to watch in 2022. The debut EP from Queen Cult is set for release on 28th January. (ML)

Peaness – ‘How I’m Feeling’
Having just announced the release of their debut album, Chester trio Peaness have shared a new taster of what’s to come from the LP. Propelled by uplifting, jangling hooks, latest single ‘How I’m Feeling’ reflects on the feelings of self-loathing and melancholy that can come from being stuck in an unfulfilling job and offers a glistening sense of hope that, with a bit of determination, you can make a positive change. I just can’t get enough of Peaness’ glossy, honey-sweet sounds and sunny, playful energy. World Full Of Worry, the debut album from Peaness, is set for release on 6th May. (ML)

SPRINTS – ‘Little Fix’
Another absolute banger from Dublin four-piece Sprints. Taken from their upcoming EP A Modern Job, which is set for release on 11th March via Nice Swan Records, ‘Little Fix’ is full of powerhouse vocals, crashing drums and racing riffs. The track is inspired by vocalist Karla Chubb’s experience of imposter syndrome, as she explains: “plagued by insecurities, imposter syndrome and gender stereotypes, ‘Little Fix’ is the culmination of all my fears – the, sometimes self-applied pressure that as a woman in music, I can’t just be good, I have to be great.” Even with these anxieties, Karla and her bandmates have created a candid, intensely cathartic offering with this track. (KC)

Worse Off – ‘You Belong Here’
I love this track by excellently named New York pop punk duo Worse Off. They sent me their EP You Win Some, You Lose…A Lot, in December last year and I was headbanging away to their tunes at my desk. Definitely check them out, their EP is up on bandcamp and Spotify. (KC)

Tits Up – ‘Macho Bullshit’
Having released their debut EP Greatest Tits, at the beginning of the month, Liverpool band Tits Up are ready to blast into your lives with their immense riot grrrl inspired energy and unapologetic honesty raging against the patriarchal society in which we live. Fuelled by a frenzied punk spirit, ‘Macho Bullshit’ hits you with its riotous, angst-driven force, offering an empowering statement of intent. (ML)

Bitch – ‘You’re The Man’
Set to release her debut album next month, queer electro-pop artist Bitch prides herself on being “like Joni Mitchell set to a click track… It’s neon pink, in your face, ready to hex you with its brilliance.” Latest single ‘You’re The Man’ exudes a driving, gritty energy as sizzling synths race alongside dense drum-machine beats, creating an empowering reflection on letting go of negative forces and reclaiming your inner voice. Bitch’s perfectly named debut album Bitchcraft is set for release on 4th February via legendary label Kill Rock Stars. (ML)

Combo Chimbita – ‘Yo Me Lo Merezco’
The title of this warm, joyful track from New York-based Latinx quartet Combo Chimbita roughly translates as “I deserve it”. The track and accompanying video are a celebration of self-love, spot-lighting prominent queer and trans performance artists, including Teresa Karolina who stars in the visuals. ‘Yo Me Lo Merezco’ is taken from Combo Chimbita’s upcoming album, IRE, which is set for release on 28th January via ANTI. (KC)

Flamango Bay – ‘LA’
The latest single from San Francisco trio Flamango Bay, ‘LA’ reflects on the band’s recent move to the city. Propelled by sunny, jangling melodies, it’s a dreamy slice of indie-pop that glistens with an irresistible, effervescent charm. The Fool, the upcoming debut EP from Flamango Bay, is set for release on 13th May via 0800-Moshi-Moshi. (ML)

Babeheaven – ‘Don’t Wake Me
This band never disappoint. ‘Don’t Wake Me’ is Babeheaven’s latest gently soothing release. Just lovely. (TW)

KEYAH/BLU – ‘Til Bliss’
This is the latest single by South London rapper KEYAH/BLU who I would encourage you all to go and check out if you aren’t familiar with already. (TW)

Skylu – ‘Foreign Concept’
A tune for the stolen hours, this is the debut single from Skylu, whose voice you may recognise from Bamboo Smoke. (TW)

Lucy Barton – ‘Starlight’
The latest single from singer-songwriter Lucy Barton, ‘Starlight’ offers a sparkling reflection on gaining awareness of our self-crippling subconscious thoughts. With a subtle immersive power, the track speaks of breaking free from this internal narration, allowing us to discover the beauty that exists in life. I’m a big fan of Barton’s soaring, glitchy musicality and emotion-strewn honey-sweet vocals, and can’t wait to hear more from her. (ML)

Carmel Smickersgill – ‘Questioning’
The latest single from modern classical artist Carmel Smickersgill, ‘Questioning’ offers a truly captivating and uniquely intriguing soundscape. Mentored by acclaimed musician Anna Meredith, Smickersgill prides herself on creating immersive ‘outsider pop’, and I just love this track’s whirring grace and celestial, ethereal energy, reminiscent of GIHE fave Jenny Hval. Smickersgill is releasing her debut EP in April. (ML)

Novaa – ‘You Can F With Me’
‘You Can F With Me’ by Berlin based alt-pop singer-songwriter Novaa is taken from her forthcoming album due in early 2022. This is a song about the things that people asked and told her as a victim of sexual abuse and rape. Love and solidarity to anyone who relates to that track and remember that the best thing you can ever do for anyone who has been a victim, is to listen, be kind and give them space and support to heal. (TW)

Zannie – ‘Mechanical Bull’
This is the latest single from New York-based songwriter Zannie, who’s recently signed to iconic riot grrrl label Kill Rock Stars. They remind me a little bit of Phoebe Bridgers on this track and I’m excited to hear more from them this year. (KC)

PLAYLIST: July 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our July Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of alternative tunes, synth-pop bangers and raucous guitar anthems for you to enjoy. 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.

Amy Winehouse – ‘Me & Mr Jones’
“What kind of fuckery is this?” – one of my all time favourite lyrics, courtesy of Amy Winehouse. This month marked ten years since her untimely death and gave us all a chance to reflect on her iconic musical legacy. Charming, intelligent and rib-achingly funny, but simultaneously plagued by addiction, alcoholism and bulimia, Amy Winehouse’s altruistic talent is one that simply can’t be rivalled. RIP Amy. (Kate Crudgington)

Babeheaven – ‘Lovefool’ (The Cardigans Cover)
Babeheaven are a band who do wonders with their covers and this one is no exception. Singer Nancy Andersen’s voice just beautifully falls over the music every time, the perfect accompaniment to this sweltering summer where we just have to slow down. (Tash Walker)

Abra – ‘Roses’
This song has been spinning its way around all of my playlists over the last month. Released back in 2015, I always have space for a return listen for Abra. The way a song sounds six years later is part of the beauty of it, especially the lyrics on this one – “You taste best when you are in full bloom” – turn up your dials for a big slice of distilled electro pop. (TW)

Evil House Party – ‘Head Held High’
I love this captivating synth-pop tune from Copenhagen-based duo Evil House Party. Taken from their debut EP Grand Theft Audio, which is set for release on 24th September via Third Coming Records, the track is a heady, bittersweet reflection on personal uncertainty and laments the struggle of trying to survive in the real world whilst also trying to fulfil your dreams. (KC)

Maria Uzor – ‘Innocence’
The latest solo release of Maria Uzor (also one half of GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth), ‘Innocence’ offers an other-worldly soundscape propelled by glitchy electronic hooks and drum ‘n’ bass reminiscent beats. Interweaving a whirring ethereal splendour with shades of the likes of Grimes with a unique soul-fused drive, I just can’t get enough of its blissful, euphoric energy and bewitching allure. Innocence And Worldliness, the upcoming EP from Maria Uzor, is set for release on 27th August. (Mari Lane)

John Glacier – ‘Icing’
This song! Coming in at 1.44 a song has never left me desperate for more, obsessed is an understatement. East London’s John Glacier released this as a teaser from the forthcoming 12-track project SHILOH: Lost For Words, due on 30th July. (TW)

Moor Mother ft. lojii – ‘Shekere’
Having released her debut album Fetish Bones back in 2016, musician-poet-artist-workshop facilitator Camae Ayewa – aka Moor Mother – has now announced her upcoming new album, Black Encyclopedia Of The Air. Taken from the album, latest single ‘Shekere’ features Philadelphia rapper lojii and is propelled by a stripped-back, jazz-infused musicality as it oozes a swirling, stirring allure and immersive, soulful drive. As poetically poignant lyricism is set against the captivating flow of the instrumentation, an exquisitely enthralling, and undeniably necessary, battle-cry is created. Black Encyclopedia Of The Air, the upcoming album from Moor Mother, is set for release on 17th September via ANTI-. (ML)

Witch Prophet – ‘Makda’
I have Tash to thank for introducing me to the majestic sounds of Ethio queer hip-hop fusion artist Witch Prophet. ‘Makda’ is a celebration of the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba and the accompanying video for the track is all about showcasing “the power of Black women and mothers.” (KC)

Piroshka – ‘V.O’
Taken from Piroshka’s brand new album, Love Drips and Gathers, ‘V.O’ offers a poignant tribute to 4AD’s late in-house art director and graphic designer Vaughan Oliver. A swirling, ethereal soundscape, sparkling with a captivating, shoegaze-tinged splendour, the track reflects not only on Miki Berenyi’s memories of Vaughan, but also her experience of attending his funeral last year – with many of the lyrics inspired by speeches that she heard on the day. Find out more about Piroshka and their new album in our recent interview with Miki here. (ML)

Praises – ‘A World On Fire’
This shadowy track by Toronto-based Praises is such a hypnotising listen. The new project of Jesse Crowe (formerly one-half of Beliefs), ‘A World On Fire’ “imagines a diaspora and a war, whilst tackling other ideas of mortality, identity and love.” The track is taken from Praises’ upcoming EP, EP4, which is set for release on 5th August via Hand Drawn Dracula. (KC)

Tirzah – ‘Tectonic’
Anyone who knows me/has asked me what I’m listening to over the last couple of years will have given you one answer: TIRZAH. She’s recently announced the release of her new album Colourgrade which I am counting down the days to. This song ‘Tectonic’ is totally hypnotic, starting with a conflicting drone before her vocals arrive, rougher than we’re used to, all adding to the music’s intensity – and don’t even get me started on the lyrics. Needless to say, this track gives me FEELS. (TW)

Täpp – ‘Aquaria’
The latest release from Jazztronica/hip hop/ classical collective Täpp, led by classically trained jazz violinist Rebekah Reid. This track is lifted from their debut album, named after the winner of Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race – ‘Aquaria’ is an anthem created to empower women, transgender/gender non-conforming people and the LGBTQ+ community, encouraging them to step into their light and “shine like the gifts they are to the world.” Can’t argue with that. (TW)

Tiiva – ‘Bones’
Is it even a GIHE playlist if I don’t include a Tiiva track? I’m a big fan of all their releases so far and ‘Bones’ is no exception. The London-based producer has crafted another captivating soundscape full of atmospheric beats, hushed vocals and summery synth sounds. (KC)

Planningtorock – ‘Gay Dreams Come True’
This song gives nothing but pure gay joy, a pleasure to hear it pouring out of any speakers. Planningtorock has to be the most consistent creator of absolute dance tunes right now. I LOVE IT. What vibes, what fun. (TW)

cheeky – ‘SPADES’
cheeky is a classically trained pianist, queer non-binary producer based in Philadelphia. This track ‘SPADES’ is taken from their recent EP The Tower. Constructed of mostly percussive sounds sampled from their piano, cheeky says this song is “about struggling with self love.” Definitely check out their new EP, it’s a bittersweet exploration of their musical influences and includes a bewitching cover of ‘Nightingale’ from Disney’s Cinderella. (KC)

FLOSSING – ‘SWITCH’
FLOSSING is the new project from Heather Elle, formerly of Bodega and The Wants. I love her candid, moody sound on her debut single ‘SWITCH’, which explores her own sexuality and “the deviant nature of men.” I can’t wait to hear her new EP Queen Of The Mall, which is set for release on 10th September. (KC)

Ailsa Tully – ‘Sheets’
Ahead of the release of a new EP next month, Welsh artist Ailsa Tully recently shared poignant single ‘Sheets’. Flowing with a shimmering, stripped back musicality, ‘Sheets’ combines lilting melodies with Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals. Oozing an immersive, delicate emotion and sparkling grace, there is something uniquely captivating about the juxtaposition of the vocals and the rippling instrumentation; the gentle build up and crescendo evoking images of waves delicately crashing against swathes of sand. Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 20th August via Dalliance Recordings. (ML)

CMAT – ‘2 Wrecked 2 Care’
Irish pop sensation CMAT says this song is based around the idea of what “would have happened if Sheryl Crow ever had to work in a TK Maxx” – absolute lols. I love everything CMAT creates and I can’t wait to see her live for the first time at her sold out show at The Troubadour in November. (KC)

Bad Waitress – ‘Strawberry Milkshake’
The latest single from Toronto based Bad Waitress, ‘Strawberry Milkshake’ blasts into the ears with pulsating hooks and thrashing beats, as Kali-Ann Butala’s seething vocals soar with a riotous power. Propelled by a gritty energy and frenzied, empowering drive, it’s a wonderfully sinister – hell-raisingly raucous yet fuzzily catchy – punk-fuelled anthem. Of the track, the band comment: “Strawberry Milkshake’ is saccharine sweet, milky pink terror. On the surface it’s sexy and enticing – but there’s a poisonous sludge bubbling just beneath.” No Taste, the debut album from Bad Waitress, is set for release on 3rd September. (ML)

Pretty Happy – ‘Sudocream’
Centered around the Cork-centric story of a girl who is suffering from alcohol poisoning in the Mercy Hospital whilst her partner sits across the road in the Franciscan Well pub, Pretty Happy’s ‘Sudocream’ kicks and screams with the kind of frustration, panic and anxiety that can’t be soothed by the childhood medicinal staple it’s named after. It’s a frantic, witty, cathartic burst of art punk noise from the Cork trio, lifted from their recent EP Sluggers Bridge, released via Art For Blind Records. (KC)

My Idea – ‘Stay Away Still’
The latest single from New York duo Nate Amos and Lily Konigsberg – aka My Idea – ‘Stay Away Still’ is a perfectly jangly slice of lo-fi, indie-pop. I’m a big fan of this track’s luscious, sunny melodies and the way it juxtaposes a deadpan wit with a dreamy, twinkling energy. ‘Stay Away Still’ has been released with accompanying single ‘That’s My Idea’ ahead of the duo’s debut EP, set for release on 30th July. (ML)

Softcult – ‘Spit It Out’
I’m a big fan of this lush, swirling guitar tune from Canadian duo Softcult. Formed of Ontario-based twins Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn, this new single gently encourages listeners to face up to, and reject their unconscious bias. Check out the accompanying video for it here. (KC)

Meggie Brown – ‘Dusty Smells’
The first song to be taken from London-based Meggie Brown’s upcoming new EP, ‘Dusty Smells’ is a nostalgia-inducing anthem for anyone struggling with their identity. With shades of the likes of Aussie fave Courtney Barnett, it juxtaposes Brown’s deadpan-yet-poetic reflections with a sparkling musicality as scuzzy hooks flow with a lilting energy, offering an uplifting glimmer of hope. Of the track, Brown – who has recently come out as transgender – explains: “Coming to terms with one’s gender identity has been both beautiful and challenging during this lockdown. When I wrote and recorded ‘Dusty Smells’ I wanted it to match through sound how non-binary those emotions and realisations were.” HOME, the upcoming EP from Meggie Brown, is set for release later this year. (ML)

th’sheridans – ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’
The latest single from indie-pop duo th’sheridans, ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’ is taken from their upcoming career-spanning compilation. Propelled by scuzzy hooks, jangly drum-machine induced beats and a swirling, danceable energy, it reflects on the tentative anticipation of possibilities as restrictions start to lift. With shades of the stripped-back hype-pop/dance-punk of Le Tigre, it offers a perfect smattering of effervescent euphoria – something that is much needed in these uncertain times. Pieces Of General, the upcoming compilation album from th’sheridans, is set for release on 10th September via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Death Valley Girls – ‘Sanitarium Blues’
A refreshingly honest reflection on mental health struggles, Death Valley Girls’ latest single ‘Sanitarium Blues’ was inspired by vocalist Bonnie Bloomgarden’s stay at a professional institution amidst a serious battle with her own mental health. Propelled by the soaring, gritty power of Bloomgarden’s vocals, it’ll soak you in its fierce, reverb-strewn riffs that rage with a frenzied, angsty drive. Oozing a sludgey, grunge-fuelled fuzz with a swirling psychedelic allure, it’s an instantly bewitching and eerily immersive creation. Street Venom, the re-issued album, is set for release on 30th July via Suicide Squeeze Records. (ML)

Ms White – ‘Fuck Men’
I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of Ms White until recently, when Belfast artist F.R.U.I.T.Y thankfully introduced me to her by including this track in their recent Five Favourites feature for us. A wonderfully empowering anthem from the Trans artist, the name really speaks for itself: I challenge you to listen to this and not feel motivated and ready to face the world. (ML)

LISTEN: Sunken – ‘Show Me Your Mind’

Having previously supported the likes of Babeheaven, and newly signed to 7476 (Matt Maltese, Lizzie Reid, London band Sunken have now shared a dreamy new single. A fierce blend of throbbing bass and sharp synths, ‘Show Me Your Mind‘ is a song “about the subtleties of how someone presents themselves to you“. There is so much scope for exploration in that topic, and this song zeros in on it wonderfully.

The drum beat and the rich bass line form a solid core that carries the song from slower opening bars into its intense ending, as the pace picks up and the synths build until the track swells into bursting emotion. The musicality provides a foundation for Poppy Billingham’s incredible vocals that match its force perfectly. Billingham has a strong, captivating voice that sweeps you into the raw torment of the track.

The lyrics are simple, with repeating phrases that shift as the relationship progresses. They imagine a setting for that feeling that inspired the track; it embodies that sense of being in limbo with someone you can’t quite grasp with any sense of certainty. The lack of specificity allows you to project your experiences of people who are closed off – regardless of how an individual holds their guard up, this song reflects that universal feeling that you’re not getting the whole picture.

‘Show Me Your Mind’ is an intensely emotional song that combines lyrics, vocals and a stirring musicality into a genuine and powerful track. With only slight changes in intonation, it captures the joy in sharing what you know of someone, the fear of what you’re being shut out of, and ultimately the hope that an unfolding relationship may reveal the rest to you. It’s open-ended in a way that’s almost optimistic, but doesn’t shy away from that initial pain.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

PLAYLIST: August 2020

Whether you’ve miraculously managed to organise a holiday this summer, or you’re playing it safe and staying put post-lockdown, let our August playlist transport you somewhere you’d rather be for a short while. It’s filled with some dream-pop gems, shadowy electronics and the usual dose of indie & punk 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 the page.

Circe – ‘Ten Girls’
London based dark-pop artist Circe’s latest single is inspired by one of my favourite books, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Of the track, Circe explains: “[Atwood’s novel] is a poetic but disturbing view of women living in a dystopian oppressive world. This chimes with my own fractured generation of cancel culture, swipes of sex, and revenge porn.” (Kate Crudgington)

Kynsy – ‘Cold Blue Light’
Mari & I were equally as excited about Kynsy when we first heard her debut single ‘Cold Blue Light’. Based in Dublin, Kynsy takes down bullies and naysayers on this track with her sardonic lyrics and glitchy beats. (KC)

Talking Violet – ‘Indigo’
The new single from Canadian band Talking Violet, and their first in two years, ‘Indigo’ offers an ethereal dreamscape oozing a shimmering haze and immersive shoegaze-tinged hooks. Flowing with the Cocteau Twins-esque vocals of front woman Jill Goyeau, and swooping other-worldly melodies, it’s an utter sonic delight. (Mari Lane)

Babeheaven – ‘Cassette Beat’
This dreamy new offering from West-London duo Babeheaven is lifted from their debut album, Home For Now, which is set for release on 6th November via AWAL. Of this track, vocalist Nancy Anderson explains: “I wanted to write a song about creation. Whenever we create we subsequently end up destroying something in a huge way or a small way. But there is always light behind the dark even when you can’t see it yet. It’s also a comment on media, how we ingest it at an unhealthy rate. I didn’t want it to be too negative so I wrote the chorus as a relief from the darkness of the verses.” Dreamy stuff, looking forward to hearing the full album. (KC)

Evil House Party – ‘Wicked’
Released via Third Coming Records, I’m a bit obsessed with Evil House Party’s debut single. ‘Wicked’ is a “modern murderous ballad, fleshed out in a bittersweet revenge pop anthem.” Very Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque. (KC)

Winter Gardens – ‘Tapestry’
The latest single from Brighton band Winter Gardens, ‘Tapestry’ oozes a euphoric ethereal haze as twinkling, shoegaze-inspired hooks whir alongside the soaring vocals of front person Ananda. Flowing with a rich anthemic emotion, it’s an utterly captivating slice of other worldly dream-punk. Tapestry, the debut EP from Winter Gardens, is set for release on 25th September. (ML)

Arlo Parks – ‘Creep’
Having already fallen head over heels with the utterly spellbinding sounds of Arlo Parks from hearing singles ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Eugene’ getting plenty of airplay on BBC 6Music, discovering that she’d covered Radiohead’s seminal ‘Creep’ did indeed feel so very special… With a delicate emotion-strewn splendour, Parks adds her own unique majestic grace to the original. A stripped back, and truly captivating, rendition that will tug at even the toughest of heartstrings. (ML)

Ailbhe Reddy – ‘Between Your Teeth’ 
A tentative rumination on the struggle to communicate your true feelings when in a relationship, Ailbhe Reddy’s latest single blends soft vocals with atmospheric guitars to help overcome feelings of frustration and sadness. ‘Between Your Teeth’ is lifted from her debut album Personal History, which is set for release on 2nd October via Friends of the Family. (KC)

New Pagans – ‘Yellow Room’
I love it when my feminist literature & new music worlds collide! Belfast-based New Pagans’ latest single ‘Yellow Room’ is inspired by the semi-autobiographical short-story The Yellow Wallpaper, written by American feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The band have penned the track to highlight the need for a specialised parent-and-baby mental health unit in Northern Ireland. They’re challenging and updating the narrative around women’s mental health, and they’ve crafted a catchy, energetic post-punk tune in the process. (KC)

Belako – ‘Truth’
The latest single from Spanish faves Belako, ‘Truth’ reflects on the reality of romance often being weaponized and used to exploit us. With  its scuzzy racing riffs and the raw, swooning vocals of front person Cristina Lizarraga, it offers a snappy blast of post-punk energy. Plastic Drama, the upcoming album from Belako, is out 28th August via BMG. (ML)

Screaming Toenail – ‘IOU’
Oozing a seething energy as a whirring tension builds with jangling hooks, Screaming Toenail’s ‘IOU’ asserts that we are worth so much more than our wages, and that we don’t owe our bosses, landlords, or this racist government, anything. Propelled by an impassioned cathartic rage and swirling magnetism, its raw, angst-driven power immerses the listener in its striking, empowering message. As front person Jacob repeats the refrain “I owe you nothing” with a fierce intensity, you’re left – fists-clenched – ready to come together in solidarity and rise up against the forces seeking to oppress us. ‘I.O.U’ is taken from Screaming Toenail’s immense new album, Growth, which is out now via Hell Hath No Fury Records. Buy now on Bandcamp. I tried to word just how important a collection it is in this full review. (ML)

Mothercanyouhearme – ‘Knowing You’
The latest single from London duo Rosie Krause and Georgia Mancey – aka Mothercanyouhearme – ‘Knowing You’ oozes an uplifting jangly scuzz and catchy sunny hooks. With a subtle gritty angst, it’s a perfect slice of emo-tinged indie-pop with shades of faves Diet Cig or Partner. ‘Knowing You’ is taken from Mothercanyouhearme’s upcoming new EP People². It’s a completely DIY release, produced by Rosie and with all artwork by Georgia, with an accompanying handmade zine wonderfully entitled ‘Maga Can You Zine Me’ – celebrating a number of female creatives and raising awareness to create safe spaces for queer identifying women and allies within music. (ML)

KIN – ‘L.O.V.E’
The new single from London trio Kin, ‘L.O.V.E’ is inspired by the euphoric feeling of being at the ‘Great British Festival’, that we’ve all been missing so much this summer. With shades of the driving majesty of Warpaint, its sun-strewn hooks and rippling energy make for an instantly catchy and soothingly cathartic listen. A truly uplifting alt-pop anthem. (ML)

Tiger Mimic – ‘Where The Fire Used To Be’
The new single from Tiger Mimic, ‘Where The Fire Used To Be’ is an energy-fuelled slice of alt-rock. With shades of early Arctic Monkeys, the soaring power of front woman Jess’ vocals are juxtaposed with psychedelic hooks and a whirring drive, building to an eerie climax. An instantly catchy offering, it offers a glimmer of hope in these strange times, promising that “the whole world will start over in the spring”. (ML) 

Despicable Zee – ‘We Won’t Stop’ (Tiiva Remix)
I’ve been listening to the Tiiva remix of Despicable Zee’s ‘We Won’t Stop’ since it was released at the beginning of August. Taken from her collaborative EP Atigheh Reimagined, Tiivah’s treatment of ‘We Won’t Stop’ fuses smooth, breathy vocals together with dense yet ambient beats. (KC)

MJ Guider – ‘Lit Negative’
Based in New Orleans, MJ Guider (aka Melissa Guion) blends elements of shoegaze, gothic pop and industrial sounds to create her hypnotic music. On her upcoming album Sour Cherry Bell, she explores power dynamics, musing about the notion of “lost and found, corporeal and cerebral, harnessed and exploited, of one and many, in this reality and the next.” (KC)