EP: Goth Lipstick – ‘formless, shapeless’

An EP that the band describe as “a slice-of-life isekai about the adventures of two wraiths”, formless, shapeless from San Francisco’s DIY emo duo Goth Lipstick draws you effortlessly into their candy-coated, glitch-splattered dream world. Following their full length album crystalline corset from earlier this year, formless, shapeless continues to explore themes of identity and queer liberation.

The EP consists of fairly short tracks, with most lasting less than two minutes thirty seconds. The single exception is ‘faceless, nameless’, which reaches a whole four minutes. Every track is incredibly tightly constructed. None of them feel too short; each one feels exactly long enough to tell its story and then wraps without wasting any time, leaving you with the precise impression it wanted to convey.

The collection begins with the titular ‘formless, shapeless’ – a slow, soft rumble that leads into quick, clicking percussion under high chirpy keys and husky vocals. While the tempo, energy and general style of the tracks vary, this opening song establishes some key elements early on that are consistent through the EP.

As a whole, the EP creates a distinctly unique and endlessly interesting soundscape, blending distorted and electronic sounds with gentle, clear piano notes. The relationship between the different types of sound is key to the Goth Lipstick style, with acoustic and electric notes dancing playfully around each other, with those echoing vocals floating over the top.

The use of glitches too gives these songs so much character. The jerks and digital stumbles always hit at exactly the right moment, whether that’s ripping into a vocal that’s well into its stride or distorting sounds that are just starting to build, creating a more chaotic journey from the first couple of beats.

Whilst there are massive differences in feeling from track to track, they fit so well together that they flow beautifully.

The second track, ‘wraiths awake’, brings a bigger energy into the EP. It is broadly more upbeat, but winds down into vocals that have a sense of vulnerability about them, before bouncing back into the hyped electronica.

‘identity thief’, all heavy growling, glitching bass, is followed by the light and chirpy ‘chocolate’, then the rich swollen beats of ‘fangs’, which wouldn’t be out of place heard on a nightclub dance-floor at midnight.

Somehow these seemingly conflicting songs sit very comfortably side by side on this EP. It feels much more like this is down to a matter of attitude than any one particular technical component. The songs sit so well because they feel made to be played together, and you can feel how much fun the artists had constructing every beat of the finished product.

It’s so easy to get drawn into Goth Lipstick’s story, to bathe in the cool, flowing emotions heavy in this EP. It’s not surprising to see that the first edition cassette run is already sold out.

formless, shapeless, the latest EP from Goth Lipstick, is out now. It is available to download via bandcamp.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

Track Of The Day: Riotmiloo – ‘4 Women’ (Nina Simone Cover)

A jagged, heavy re-working of an iconic Nina Simone song, London-based industrial riot grrrl Riotmiloo has shared her latest single ‘4 Women’. The opening track to Furnace Record’s new charity album Black is the New Black: The Power & Privilege Industrial Culture Compilation, Riotmiloo has kept Simone’s powerful observational lyrics at the centre, but she’s twisted the jazzy score to further reflect the insidious nature of the racial stereotypes Simone originally sang about.

“Simply put, Nina Simone was a very talented, feminist and political artist. She sang stories filled with pain and racism with eloquence and exquisitely well,” Riotmiloo explains. “Someone highlighted the similarities between the theme of her song ‘Four Women’ and the stories in my album, La Pierre Soudée. From there I fell in love with this particular song. I cry each time I listen to her renditions.”

“When Darryl Montgomery-Hell from Furnace Records called on artists to give one track for his fundraiser for the Radical Monarchs, it had to be this song. I am so glad it found a home in this varied compilation for such a noble cause. I am so honoured to open the album. Proceeds will be donated to the Radical Monarchs, an organisation that empowers young girls of colour.”

Listen to ‘4 Women’ below.

 

Follow Riotmiloo on bandcampSpotifyTwitterFacebook & Instagram

Listen to, download & donate to Black is the New Black: The Power & Privilege Industrial Culture Compilation on bandcamp

Photo Credit: Blauerosen

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Deux Furieuses – ‘She’s Not Coming Home Tonight’

Following 2019’s immense album My War Is Your War, Ros Cairney and Vas Antoniadou – aka deux furieuses – have now blasted into our ears with a poignant new single.

Triggered by the recent murder of Sarah Everard, ‘She’s Not Coming Home Tonight’ offers a stirring response to gender-based violence and police brutality. Driven by a gritty, angst-driven power to deliver its poignant message, the track flows with a swirling majestic grace and Vas’ immense thrashing beats accompanying the raging catharsis of Ros’ swooning vocals. Propelled by a seething, blazing energy, it oozes a fervid sense of urgency; a riotous rallying cry to “reclaim these streets”. Of the meaning behind the track, the duo explain:

We have been sickened and angered by the murder of Sarah Everard at the suspected hand of a police officer during a national lockdown, the aftermath from the police at her vigil, the murders of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry and the rest of the 118 women murdered in the last year. How many more generations of women have to protest to reclaim these streets?” 

‘She’s Not Coming Home Tonight’ is out now via bandcamp, with all proceeds to #ReclaimTheseStreets in support of a diverse range of women’s charitable causes across the country. #ReclaimTheseStreets affirm that “Women means all women, femmes, non-binary people and gender non-conforming people who deserve to be safe” and that they will put in place transparent and rigorous governance arrangements for the funds raised.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Glenn Morrison

Track Of The Day: Cryan – ‘Rodeo Queen’

A melancholy, stripped back love song from one cowgirl to another, Belfast-based sad country duo Cryan have shared their debut single ‘Rodeo Queen’. Released exclusively to bandcamp today, the heartfelt new offering is also accompanied by a cute cover version of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’.

Formed of Ryan Fitzsimmons and Ciara King (Problem Patterns, Big Daisy), Cryan describe themselves as “two pals who have married their love of Roy Orbison, 3 litre bottles of cider & lap steel” to make honest, country-tinged sounds. Blending soft, yearning vocals with their hazy, raw guitar sounds, the pair create playful, meditative tunes about love and loss, with debut single ‘Rodeo Queen’ epitomising their “sad country” ethos.

Described as “a simple country love song” from the perspective of a woman who has just walked into a bar, spotted a beautiful cowgirl and fallen in love with her at first sight, ‘Rodeo Queen’ is a sweet, tentative offering that plucks on the heartstrings and chimes with charming authenticity.

The first 20 people to download the track from bandcamp will also receive an exclusive Cryan sticker with their purchase.

Listen to ‘Rodeo Queen’ below.

 

Follow Cryan on bandcamp, InstagramTwitter

Artwork: Isabella Koban

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut