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)

Listen to the playlist below!

 

PLAYLIST: Love & Solidarity

It’s safe to say, each and every one of us right now is going through a hard time; a scary, strange time filled with uncertainty and fear. A time when feelings of anxiety are heightened and we need to seek refuge in our favourite music more than ever.

So, we wanted to put together a few tunes to soothe the soul; to calm and to motivate. Some music to aid positive thoughts and relaxation, and taking time for yourself to switch off and de-stress is so essential right now. Take a deep breath, unwind, and let us send you all a big dose of love and solidarity as you hit play and follow this playlist.. (link below)

Le Tigre – ‘Eau D’Bedroom Dancing’
Because I need Kathleen’s voice more than ever right now. This chilled number from one of my favourite albums, Le Tigre’s Deceptacon, just oozes so much twinkling heartfelt emotion from Hanna that my heart bursts a little more on each listen. Also, we will all no doubt be doing plenty of ‘Bedroom Dancing’ over the next few weeks/months…(Mari Lane)

Noga Erez – ‘Global Fear’
I listened to this track at least once a day on my commute to work pre-pandemic because, despite its melancholy context, I find it really relaxing. I’m a big fan of Noga Erez anyway, but I find her music extra impressive at a time like this, because it makes me feel both alienated and connected at the same time. She’s set to release her second album at some point this year, and that’s a small thing I’m holding on to. (Kate Crudgington)

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

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘Breathe’
Taken from their latest album Two, here our favourite Norwich duo create a soothing, sparkling majesty; oozing the soaring, calming vibes that we all need right now, it’s a truly exquisite offering, highlighting that it’s more important than ever now to make time each day to switch off, to simply breathe. And if you do that whilst listening to this euphoric soundscape, I guarantee it’ll make you feel a little better. (ML)

Massive Attack – ‘Safe From Harm’
This Massive Attack tune never fails to calm me down. The snaking bass lines and Shara Nelson’s mesmerising vocals override the threats being explored in the lyrics, making it an oddly soothing listen. (KC)

Portishead – ‘Roads’
Taken from my most listened to album of all time, ‘Roads’ is one of those tracks that never fails to calm me. With a cathartic raw emotion and whirring energy that builds with each throbbing beat, I find something deeply therapeutic about it. It’s the same with the whole of Dummy, but this song is probably just a notch above the rest. Listen, close your eyes and let the impassioned grace of Beth Gibbons’ heartfelt vocals take you down a road of healing. (ML)

Elsa Hewitt – ‘Tiny Dancer’
Whatever your mood, electronic artist & producer Elsa Hewitt has a tune to accompany it. I was so caught up in her live set when she played for us at Notting Hill Arts Club in 2018, I could’ve listened to her mixing and triggering her ambient tunes all night. A perfect distraction in these strange times. (KC)

Amahla – ‘Old Soul’
Hackney-Native Amahla blew us away ‘Old Soul’ at the beginning of 2019 and has just kept getting better. It was a complete pleasure to see her perform for our IWD x Sofar Sounds gig a couple of weeks back. Listening to this song now, it leaves me reflecting on the older generations of our society, who we must all rally around as a community to help support through this uncertain time. (TW)

Babeheaven – ‘Seabird’
A perfectly dreamy accompaniment to gazing out the window at the beautiful blossom and budding dafs swaying in the breeze; a reminder that nature carries on, birds will continue to sing, flowers continue to grow, even when everything else is in disarray. I’ve found it really grounding over the last couple of weeks to focus on this, to seek solace in nature. And the luscious, soulful energy and beautifully rich vocals of ‘Seabird’ couldn’t be more welcome right now. (ML)

Connie Constance – ‘English Rose’
I first heard this cover about a year ago, but it’s really resonating with me at the moment, especially with the moments I go outside. Originally by The Jam, for me Connie Constance’s cover is the soundtrack to my daily stroll, enjoying every second I can of being outside at a time when we really value the things we used to take for granted. (TW)

Christine and the Queens – ‘Mountains (We Met)’
This track has been playing on repeat in my flat over the last couple of weeks, loved so much by my girlfriend who it brings a real sense of calm to. It reminds me of how lucky I am to be in lockdown with my loved ones, and the importance of staying connected week to week. Connected, we are a community, and communities can survive anything with love and solidarity. (TW)

Sharon Van Etten – ‘Beaten Down’
A poignant reflection on “love, patience and empathy”, Sharon Van Etten’s voice smoulders across dark synths, atmospheric keys and sparse echoing beats on this track. “‘Beaten Down’ is about making life-changing choices and remaining strong enough to see them through”, Etten explains. I think it’s okay to admit that the current situation has beaten most of us down, but I think you’ll be surprised how resilient you can be in the face of adversity too.
(KC)

Rilo Kiley – ‘A Better Son/Daughter’
With its twinkling emotion strewn splendour and heartbreakingly raw honesty, this is my go-to cathartic motivational soundtrack in life generally, but in the last couple of weeks I’ve pretty much been listening to Rilo Kiley on a loop. And I feel like this song in particular, with its impassioned and relatable lyricism, is a pretty spot on mantra of hope for getting through these strange times: “… You’ll fight it, and you’ll make it through… You’ll be awake, you’ll be alert // You’ll be positive though it hurts // And you’ll laugh and embrace all your friends…” (ML)

Mazzy Star – ‘Fade Into You’
One of the most beautiful and touching songs, from ’90s slow-core band Mazzy Star. ‘Fade Into You’ is so slow, considered and full of emotion, it’s hard not to get completely mesmerised by it. Escapism at its best. (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘Blush’
I can’t listen to a Wolf Alice track without experiencing a flood of emotion. Most of the time it’s a giddy feeling that makes me want to stomp about and sing Ellie Rowsell’s lyrics really loudly; but with ‘Blush’, I always get a bit choked. It’s such a soft, romantic, sentimental tune. I’m looking forward to singing “Punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck, happy happy” into my sisters’ faces again when all this blows over. (KC)

Kate Tempest – ‘People’s Faces’
There is so much that is so perfectly poignant in this song – the glaringly honest and completely relevant social commentary showcases Tempest’s unique poetic skill at creating relevant and hugely emotive social narratives. But a subtle glimmer of hope also shines through; the comfort we gain from those we love, and the comfort we can offer them just by being there (even over a Zoom or Skype meet!). So, even when it feels like the world is ending, we can still find happiness in each other: “… then we smile at all our friends… Even when I’m weak and I’m breaking… I can see your faces. There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces.” (ML)

PLAYLIST: August 2019

Summer’s nearly over, but we’ve selected some of the finest new music tracks to see you through August’s final weeks of sunshine and unexpected showers.Take some time to scroll through our track choices and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the bottom of the page…

Bones UK – ‘I’m Afraid Of Americans’ 
I have Anthony & Elis of Noise Noir to thank for this B.A.N.G.E.R. I heard it during their DJ set for Siren Calling Festival and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. One of my favourite Bowie tracks covered in super cool style. I’m now an avid follower of Bones UK too. (Kate Crudgington)

Sui Zhen – ‘Matsudo City Life’
Inspired by the Japanese city of Matsudo – known by locals as a ‘sleeper town’ -, Sui Zhen’s latest single flows with infectious, ’80s inspired whirring hooks, alongside her luscious vocals. An utterly dreamy, synth-driven soundscape, it’s another slice of sparkling alt-pop from the Melbourne artist, and I cannot wait for the release of her upcoming new album, Losing, Linda, out 27th September. (Mari Lane)

Le Butcherettes – ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have)’ 
My absolute faves Le Butcherettes have shared their brilliant cover of The Buzzcocks’ classic and I’m hooked on it. The Guadalajara-born and El Paso/L.A. based group shot a live video of the song as part of their collaboration with Fender for their Vintera Series of guitars before recording a studio version for the single release. (KC)

Cat Apostrophe – ‘January’ 
‘January’ by Yorkshire-based radically soft pop band Cat Apostrophe is taken from their debut LP Lifelong Amateurism, which is out now via Everything Sucks Music. You can catch them on their tour across the whole of the UK hitting London on 26th August at DIY Space for London. (Tash Walker)

Babeheaven – ‘Seabird’ 
Babeheaven’s cover of 70s classic ‘Seabird’ originally by the Alessi Brothers, is incredibly beautiful and has left me gazing dreamily out of many a window with it playing into my ears… so what better reason for wanting to share that with you all. It is quite simply, heart wrenchingly, sublime. (TW)

Suggested Friends – ‘Cygnet’
I’ve been completely addicted to Suggested Friends‘ eponymous debut release over the last couple of years, and so I couldn’t be more excited to hear that they have just announced the release of their second album. To coincide with the announcement, Suggested Friends have shared new single ‘Cygnets’. With totally dreamy harmonies and the distinctive heartfelt crystalline vocals of Faith Taylor, it’s filled with an infectious jangly scuzz and stirring raw emotion, complete with some impressive rollicking riffage. Turtle Taxi, the upcoming album from Suggested Friends, is out 4th October. (ML)

Wyldest – ‘Mind Over Body/Slowdance’ 
I caught two thirds of Wyldest live at Siren Calling Festival over the weekend, and their shoegazey guitars and smooth vocals melted my ears. (KC)

Hurtling – ‘Summer’
I just can’t get enough of London band Hurtling’s new single ‘Summer’. Starting off with gentle, finger-picked melodies and the luscious, delicate vocals of Jen Macro, it soon builds with sun-drenched whirring hooks and immense beats to a fuzz-filled noisepop anthem. A scuzzy dream of a track, it’s impossible not to get caught up in its sparkling, psychedelic haze.‘Summer’ is out now, whilst Hurtling’s debut album – Future From Here – is out 18th October, both via Onomatopoeia Records. (ML)

Hannah Stewart – ‘Glaze’
The new single from California based artist Hannah Glaze is propelled by throbbing beats and gritty bass-lines. Filled with the smooth allure of Hannah’s honey-sweet vocals and a driving energy, it oozes an infectious danceability and fuzzed-out groove that we can’t get enough of. (ML)

Hana Vu – ‘At The Party’ 
I am hooked on LA artist & producer Hana Vu’s down-beat disco banger ‘At The Party’. It’s a song about ““spite and how truly meaningless it is” and I can’t help but feel any sense of spite evaporate when I hear her sultry vocals. She’s set to release a new EP titled Nicole Kidman/Anne Hathaway on 25th October via Luminelle, and I can’t wait to hear more from this talented nineteen year old. (KC)

TONI&MASH – ‘LTGFU’ 
The debut electro-house banger ‘LTGFU’ by Berlin-based TONI&MASH out via Black Diamond Records. Absolute tune. (TW)

Nasty Cherry – ‘Live Forever’ 
Nasty Cherry co-wrote ‘Live Forever’ with Charli XCX & producer Justin Raisen (Angel Olsen, Kim Gordon), so it was destined to sound cool. In their own words “‘Live Forever’ is a song about being unconfined, unrefined and self-assured” – here’s to that! (KC)

Cozy Slippers – ‘A Million Pieces’
Formed at ‘Ladies Rock Camp’ – a weekend event that introduces women to rock instruments and playing in a band – Seattle band Cozy Slippers are back with a brand new single. Contrasting popular culture depictions of romance with lived reality, ‘A Million Pieces’ oozes shades of the jangly surf-pop of the likes of Real Estate or Best Coast, whilst adding its own dreamy air of romanticism. Flowing with luscious melodies, it’s filled with all the sparkling, uplifting summer vibes. We can’t wait for Cozy Slippers to come over to the UK and play for us at The Finsbury on 8th November! (ML)

Delacey – ‘Emily’  
The from LA singer-songwriter Delacey is an ode to her best friend. Shout out to her for representing the importance of female friendship, especially when it comes in the form of reverb heavy electro. (TW)

Intaya – ‘Guaguancó’ 
‘Guaguancó’ by Venezuelan born, London based Intaya is a potent amalgamation of cross-cultural music, described as a commute to an electric Latin Caribbean Island in a London Tube train. Their debut EP is due out later in the year. (TW)

Like A Villain – ‘My Hands’
The new single from New York artist Holland Andrews, aka Like A Villain, ‘My Hands’ is filled with glistening electronics and a hypnotic, haunting grace. Propelled by the emotion-strewn power of Andrews’ soulful vocals, it creates a poignant, ethereal soundscape.
Like A Villain’s upcoming album What Makes Vulnerability Good is out 20th September via Accidental Records. (ML)

BAD – ‘Sweat’ 
‘Sweat’ is a track so catchy it’s had me popping my shoulders all over London these last couple of weeks – the jury’s still out on those moves, but not on this track. Coming from NYC based duo BAD, described as Lizzo meets George Michael, this track is full of funk, soul and just enough of that throwback to Saved by the Bell that you need. (TW)

Roniit – ‘Foreign Tongues’
Self-proclaimed “Dark Queen” Roniit’s reimagination of Crywolf’s ‘Foreign Tongues’ is an ethereal, melancholy exploration of sound that gives me goosebumps. Roniit is a friend and frequent collaborator of Crywolf’s, working behind-the-scenes for the production of many of his photographs and videos. A true talent. (KC)