LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Fraulein 09.02.22

Tash, Kate & Mari were back on the Soho Radio airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists.

London-based grunge duo Joni & Karsten aka Fraulein joined them to talk about headlining the first GIHE gig of 2022 at The Victoria in Dalston, their upcoming tour dates with The Mysterines, what initially inspired them to start playing instruments and Joni’s upcoming rhythm guitar teaching workshop for First Timers Fest.

Listen back below:

 

Tracklist
Ronnie Spector – She Talks To Rainbows
Dropper – Ok Ok Ok
Brimheim – can’t hate myself into a different shape
SASAMI – Say It
LOBSTERBOMB – Sense
SPRINTS – Little Fix
Kim Gordon – Murdered Out
Moon Panda – Falling
LEYA ft. Julie Byrne – Glass Jaw
Novaa – The World’s Thing
SEA CHANGE – Is There Anybody There
Pearly – Silver Of The Mirror
Fraulein – Belly
**Fraulein Interview**
Bachelor – Back Of My Hand
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupil – Ceci n’est pas un cliché
Celine Love – Good Girl
MARIA BC – The Only Thing
Gazelle Twin – Hole In My Heart
Mitsune – Maru
Proper. – Milk & Honey
Double Helix – Rat Rave
Bluebook – Shake Shake
t l k – Frame of Ted
Bas Jan – Sex Cult
Queen Cult – Calm
Tits Up – Macho Bullshit
Sassyhiya – I Had A Thought
Nova Twins – Bullet

VIDEO PREMIERE: Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra – ‘Empty Envelope’

A disarming reflection on the emotional resilience that’s required in the wake of a bad decision, Dublin-based trio Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra shared their single ‘Empty Envelope’ via Anon Records in September last year. The brooding, shoegazey lament was inspired by a dream that vocalist & guitarist Sarah Deegan had about receiving an empty letter in the post, and today (12th Jan) the band have shared an accompanying video, shot & edited by Irish artist Hollie Gilson, further exploring the song’s narrative of unsaid things.

We caught up with Sarah to talk about creating the new video, how Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra first came to meet and what we can expect from the band in 2022…

Can you remember who or what inspired you to start making your own music?

I remember CDs. I loved the tactile nature of it; putting the CD on and flicking through the lyric booklet while listening, finding your own meaning in the songs. I remember listening to the whole album and not just one song. I remember the music channels on TV, the emo ones of course. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the music video for Evanescence ‘Bring Me To Life’ or Paramore’s ‘Misery Business’.

Neither will we, that’s some iconic 00s imagery. For anyone who doesn’t know, can you explain how Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra first met?

The band has changed about 9 times since its original conception, so it’s kind of hard to say, but I first met Danni about 5 years ago through being friends with her brother. I was in their house and mentioned needing a drummer for some college performance thing I was doing. He said it to her at the kitchen table, and she said that she was up for it. About 20 minutes later I could hear Danni out in the shed playing the song. She’s just a legend. On bass, we’ve recently enlisted Sarah Michelle, who is well known for her guitar playing skills. She’s amazing at bass too.

You’ve teamed up with artist Hollie Gilson (who directed the video for your previous single ‘I didn’t love you when I said I did and I don’t now”) to create the video for ‘Empty Envelope’. Talk us through some of the highlights of working with Hollie again…

Me and Hollie are really good friends, so that makes the process a lot easier. We always do 4 or 5 drafts before a video is final. We spend time watching it, we show others, and consider their feedback. It’s important to have people around us that we can bounce off. This video is a lot more abstract than the last one, there’s no clear timeline in it. We focused more on letting the imagery tell the story.

When you released the single back in 2021, you said that the image of the ‘Empty Envelope’ was inspired by a dream you had, and the lyrics to the track are based around the “cyclical nature of bad decisions.” Talk us through how you chose to reflect these things in the accompanying video…

The start of the video is pretty much exactly like the dream. In the dream, I got a letter in the post. The envelope was painted with swirls of blue and pink. It was the most beautiful envelope I had ever seen. It was from my ex, I could see their name and return address in the corner. I opened it and it was completely blank. Just a really nice looking envelope with absolutely nothing inside. I thought that was a good metaphor for the relationship.

We used wringing hands in the video to portray anxiety and nervous energy. The protagonist attempts to write a response to the empty letter, but this only leads to more frustration. Frustrated and alone, they take their piles of paper and burn them, along with the letter.

The track is an ode to moving on, and this is reflected with the imagery of the train. But moving yourself physically doesn’t change anything, in a new place the cycle of bad decisions continues. It takes something a bit more dramatic (like burning everything) to really break a pattern.

PCRO are working on a debut album at the moment. What details can you tell us about the record?

We’ve been working on this album for the last 2 years with Sean Montgomery Dietz, who is an insanely talented producer/engineer/musician. We’re recording mainly in Crossroads, a studio owned by Shane Tobler in Kilkenny. Parts of the album were also recorded in Dublin, at the Annesley House, and in Clare and Drogheda. We teamed up with some really talented musicians who played orchestral instruments on a couple of tracks, Ali Comerford on violin and Karima Dillon El-Toukhy on flute. A combination which I can only describe as majestic.

Most of the songs were written in Mayo, where I’m from. The album takes you on a journey through growing up, the confrontation of idealism and the real world, asserting your independence and getting your heart broken. It’s an honest reflection on the confusion of youth, and talks openly with both sensitivity and cynicism.

We’re really taking our time with this, and I can tell you that, unlike a lot of new albums, every song is a proper song. Long songs, with long titles, that don’t really care for the modern lack of attention span. There has been some debate about whether or not the album will be uploaded to Spotify.

That sounds great, we can’t wait to hear it. Aside from releasing the album, what are your hopes and ambitions for PCRO for 2022?

To play as many shows as the pandemic permits, to just keep doing what we’re doing.

Finally, are there any bands or artists you’re listening to who you’d like to recommend we check out?

Another Anon Records artist to watch this year is OG CNT & the 1240. OG CNT is a WhatsApp famous counter-cultural anti-hero. Tracks like ‘HATE’ and ‘Everybody that I know’ are unforgettable. His album, The Memoirs of OG CNT, will be out this year too.

Thanks to Sarah for answering our questions!
Watch the new video for ‘Empty Envelope’ below.

Follow Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra on bandcampSpotifyTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Photo Credit/Video Still: Hollie Gilson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

INTERVIEW: Divide & Dissolve

Fuelled by Takiaya Reed’s doom-ridden saxophone sounds and Sylvie Nehill’s phenomenal percussion, Divide & Dissolve create idiosyncratic instrumentals designed to erode the foundations of colonialism and liberate the land for indigenous communities. Flowing with a unique gargantuan grace, their second album Gas Lit has been haunting our ears since it was released in January of this year.

We caught up with Takiaya to talk about the record, the reception that it’s had, the new Remix EP that it’s inspired, and a shared love for Radio 6 presenter Mary Anne Hobbs…

Hello Takiaya, how are you doing today?

I’m good, I’m in finals right now, so I’m studying a lot and trying to drink enough water to feed my brain. I’m studying psychology. It’s intense, but I feel super chill about it, because it’s all just a pseudo science. It’s kind of comical trying to find ways to talk about things that are extremely inaccessible and continuing to perpetuate all these things that are sometimes helpful, and sometimes not. The mind is so mysterious and vast, and we’ll never really know what it’s capable of…

I think you should put that in your final essay. You should just end it with that sentiment.

Yeah, they’ll be like “50 Points off for not using enough empirical evidence…”

That’s true, maybe don’t listen to me! In terms of music, let’s start from the beginning. Can you remember who, or what first inspired you to start making music? And how Divide & Dissolve first came together too?

It was my dad who first inspired me. I started out playing piano but then he was like, “hey, you look like a saxophone player,” and I was like, “what? A sax player, really? I thought I should play trombone or something?” but he said “I know you’re a sax player. I play trumpet, so we could play duets” So he got me started on playing saxophone and I felt this intuitive almost spiritual connection with the instrument. I still roll my eyes at my dad for what he said about looking like a sax player, but I think there’s something to him having had that knowledge.

Then later on, I was inspired to play guitar because I met my friend Osa Atoe, who does Shotgun Seamstress and was in a band called New Bloods. She showed me how to put on shows, how to set up a PA and she told me to play guitar. Osa was super inspirational in terms of me not playing classical music, which is what my first passion was.

With Divide & Dissolve, I just had a good friend say to me “Hey, you should meet Sylvie, you two are going to love each other” and we instantly just got along. It’s not a very eventful story, it’s just more like, “hey, you’re cool. Okay, cool. Let’s play music. Sweet!” We’re both super chill people, so it just works. I’m trying to trust in that. When making decisions about life, sometimes it just feels super right, like you’re just supposed to be there. Those are probably very good guiding principles.

From what you’ve told me so far, it sounds like you rely a lot on your intuition, which surely can only lead you to the right kind of people and the right kind of things.

The music you make as Divide & Dissolve, aside from being amazing, is fuelled by a powerful anti-racist, anti-white supremacy, anti-colonialist message. Do you feel like your music is uniting and educating people about these issues?

I can only hope that it is. It feels amazing to be able to talk about the things that we want to talk about, and be able to experience relationality with our ancestors, our relatives and our kin, and to be able to talk about the Earth in this way and just feel all the resonance. That’s just what we’re about in general. So I feel super grateful and I don’t want to take any of that for granted. I want to be able to continue to connect with people in these really positive and meaningful ways. That’s just how Sylvie and I are. We’re pretty focused and we want to directly communicate our message. We would like the systems that continue to perpetuate genocide to end. If you can imagine something ending, then it can end. Instead of living in the world where you feel like, “oh well, that’s not possible” – you should try to believe that anything’s possible. That’s where I’m at.

That’s a really refreshing and hopeful sentiment. You do a magnificent job of making listeners feel this way on your most recent album, Gas Lit. What would you say you were most proud of about this record?

I remember having a conversation with Ruban Nielson (Unknown Mortal Orchestra) who produced the record, and I just told him, “I hope people can understand exactly what this album is about.” We put a lot of intention into the album when we were writing it. We put a lot of effort and love in, and we consulted with our ancestors. So when it was released, the way people were writing about it and talking about it felt so attuned. They knew what the album was about without me even specifically telling them what it was about. It was abundantly clear and that still feels incredibly special. It’s so amazing to want to communicate something, and then to have it actually happen. It makes me feel super inspired to continue playing music. I love that Sylvie and I get to do that with one another. It feels like such a blessing.

Do you have a favourite track on the album? Is there one that you enjoyed recording the most or one that you enjoy playing live the most?

Do you know what, I don’t feel properly equipped to answer that question yet, because we have been in a pandemic and this music hasn’t been played live. But, I feel like I’ll know the answer once we go on tour. I’ll be like, “Oh my God, it’s this song!”

The creation of all of the songs was so unique, so it will feel awesome to learn more about the album in terms of performance when we play it live. It feels so wild to be able to do such a thing, because we haven’t had the opportunity to. I’m very excited to play live. I feel optimistic and hopeful that live music will return in a way that feels meaningful and good.

I can’t wait to catch you live when you’re here in the UK. You’ve recently released a Gas Lit Remix EP, featuring tracks by Moor Mother (‘Mental Gymnastics’) and Chelsea Wolfe (‘Far From Ideal’). Talk to me about how this EP came to life…

Our label, Invada, thought it would be cool to do some remixes and I just knew who I should hit up. I feel so connected to both of Camae (Moor Mother) and Chelsea. I think they are both amazing people who do amazing things. It feels so special that they would want to work with us. It just makes me smile a lot.

I’ve just seen that BEARCAT has also remixed a track for you, which is cool!

The visuals that you’ve shared to accompany the Chelsea Wolfe remix and the Moor Mother remix – shot by artist, writer, and filmmaker Sophia Al-Maria who currently has a sculpture at the Serpentine in Hyde Park – compliment the songs so well. 

I love music videos. I don’t know how to make them myself, but the visual world is so interesting. I love it when people who have an understanding of it decide to connect with us and tell another story. Maybe they make it deeper, maybe they don’t. It feels special to try and achieve deeper communication. I think it enhances the music and I love that. Anything that helps us to be able to feel this feeling deeper is awesome. But also, maybe the videos help you not feel things as deeply, and that’s awesome as well, because maybe that’s what someone needs.

I agree, I think there’s a nice balance between the visuals and the sounds.

We’re big fans of Divide & Dissolve her at GIHE, and someone else who also is also a big fan of yours is Radio 6 presenter Mary Anne Hobbs. How do you feel about that?

I really want to meet her, she seems so cool. Sylvie and I want to hang out and eat food with her. She’s across so much cool music, she has really great energy and it feels like such a huge blessing to have her understanding of what we’re doing. I admire her, I think she’s awesome.

We think she’s amazing too. Maybe this will be the interview that she reads and then she invites you to dinner?

Finally, what else is on the horizon for Divide and Dissolve? 

We’re going on tour soon and we’re playing Roadburn in 2022, so that will be fun!

Thanks to Takiaya for the chat!

Order your copy of the Gas Lit Remix EP here

Follow Divide and Dissolve on bandcampInstagramSpotifyTwitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Jaimie Wdziekonski

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

INTERVIEW: M(h)aol

Currently based between Dublin, London and Bristol, M(h)aol (pronounced “male”) are formed of Róisín Nic Ghearailt, Constance Keane, Jamie Hyland, Zoe Greenway and Sean Nolan. Together, the band aim to rattle the male dominated post-punk scene with their urgent, gritty sounds, with previous singles ‘Laundries’, ‘Asking For It’ & ‘Gender Studies’ being the perfect instigators for this pursuit. They’re set to release their debut EP Gender Studies tomorrow (29th October) via TULLE, which further cements their statement against toxic patriarchal standards.

Ahead of their gig with Club The Mammoth at The Shacklewell Arms next week on 4th November (tickets here) which GIHE will also be DJ’ing at, we caught up with Róisín, Jamie & Sean for a quick chat about the band’s new EP, the history & themes that informed it, and their anticipations for their London headline show…

Can you remember who, or what first inspired you to start making music? And can you tell me how you all met & become M(h)aol?

Jamie: I grew up with the radio always on, it would be a very odd moment to not have music playing in the background at home throughout my childhood. I would have heard everything between Bach madrigals, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, early blues records, Duran Duran albums in passing. I’ve a very vivid memory of watching MTV as a child and hearing Shanks & Bigfoot and that music video, that really sparked something.

I’d been learning piano on my grandad’s very old, very out of tune piano for a while before I got bored of it and my older brother got a guitar and showed me the Pixies and how to play a few guitar lines from those tunes. The simplicity of how to actually play them, but then the musical complexity/impact of them in context was amazing. I first met Connie after a soundcheck eating almonds and playing cards in the back of the Twisted Pepper in Dublin. It took a few years but now she can’t get rid of me and she’s subjected the rest of the band to me as well.

Róisín: Myself and Connie were obsessed with The Punk Singer when we were 21 and she ended up shaving my head and that was the catalyst for M(h)aol. It was a total shock to me that I was in a band. For the first year we just practiced in her gorgeous rehearsal space in Rathmines. For an entire year we just tried to figure out what we were saying and why.

Sean: I was shanghaied by Connie while at work, and joined the band under protest.

It sounds like Connie is the mastermind behind M(h)aol, fantastic. You’re set to release your debut EP, Gender Studies, on 29th October which you recorded in just 3 days. What are you most proud of about this record?

Sean: I’m still impressed that we got as much crammed into those 3 days as we did.

Jamie: It was all written in those three days too.

Róisín: That’s not 100% true, I’d written the track ‘Gender Studies’ almost a year before in a fury on my way home from work at 2am. It started as more of a poem than anything. I only write the lyrics, I don’t have any kind of input to the music, so for the EP it was important for me to have some kind of overarching narrative. That narrative being how gender influences how one moves through the world and how it doesn’t just impact your physical landscape but your emotional one too.

Do you have a favourite track, and if so, why? Also, please tell me how ‘Kinder Bueno’ came to life. It’s 52 seconds of savage wit…

Róisín: Against all odds my favourite is ‘Desperation’ which was almost an after thought. It makes me laugh, its also based on my favourite book of 2021, Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan.

Jamie: Some people need to be called out for being jerks. I don’t think that always needs to be prolonged into numerous verses and I feel like Róisín did a great job of condensing the sentiment into just a few lines on ‘Kinder Bueno’.

Sean: From what I remember, Róisín wrote that one kind of off-the-cuff and we had the take that’s on the EP pretty quickly.

Róisín: I always knew I wanted a super petty song about this really bad hook up I’d had and like Jamie and Sean said, it really just came together really quickly.

There are universal themes within your music (reflections on misogyny and gender-based violence) but there are also strong connections to Irish history too (your band is named after Grainne Mhaol, the context of your track ‘Laundries’), so talk us through the significance of these histories how they’ve informed your song-writing…

Jamie: Irish history is fascinating, at every turn there is something incredible, be that incredibly painful, interesting, or empowering.

Róisín: Growing up in Ireland has shaped us so much for better or worse. There’s so much intergenerational trauma in the country, stemming from clerical abuse etc, but also intergenerational pleasure stemming from our rich history of rebellion and literature.

What are your anticipations for your headline show at The Shacklewell Arms?

Jamie: We are all very aware that our demographic lines up far too closely with Pillow Queens, who have a London gig the same night. Not that I want to start a beef with them but I think they are intentionally sabotaging us.

Róisín: Jamie is OBVIOUSLY joking. The Shacklewell was where we were supposed to have our first proper return gig in March 2020 so I’m hoping that it will feel suitably triumphant.

Sean: We’ll have played 3 shows over the previous 3 days so we’ll either be at our most polished or most exhausted, hopefully the former.

Thanks to Róisín, Jamie & Sean for answering our questions!

M(h)aol UK Tour Dates
1st November – Rough Trade, Bristol
2nd November – The Hug And Pint, Glasgow
3rd November – The Talleyrand, Manchester
4th November – The Shacklewell Arms, London

Follow M(h)aol on SpotifybandcampFacebookTwitter & Instagram

 

Photo Credit: Susan Appleby

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut