PLAYLIST: April 2020

We’re living through tense and testing times at the moment, so at GIHE we’re doing everything we can to distract you from the day to day reality of lockdown life. Our April playlist is filled with some electro-pop stunners, a couple of riot grrrl inspired tracks, and the occasional tentative lo-fi tune. 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.

 

Kraków Loves Adana – ‘Young Again’
Some seriously lush electro-pop from duo Kraków Loves Adana here. Speaking about the track, Deniz Çiçek explains: “’Young Again’ reminisces about youth and the time when anxiety, overthinking and unhealthy relationships were holding you down. Memories might be dark and painful, but you realize how strong you emerged from the experience – with that bittersweet understanding that you’ll never be young again.” Yearning vocals, vivid synths and an intoxicating rhythm make this track worthy of repeated listens. (Kate Crudgington)

TOPS – ‘Colder & Closer’
An utterly dreamy slice of alt-pop, this new single from Montreal band TOPS is filled with all the swirling synth-laden hooks and whirring electro beats you could ever need. While alluding to the irony of social distancing and physical closeness to others (a particularly poignant theme right now), ‘Colder & Closer’ is a moreish, shimmering delight (Mari Lane)

Belako – ‘The Craft’ 
One of Spain’s fastest-rising bands, Belako have released their new single ‘The Craft’, taken from their first internationally released album Plastic Drama, due out on 8th May via BMG. This track is full of uplifting guitars as it pays homage to their teenage love of the 90s movie of the same name, explaining: “It also feels like the here and now, and it’s now or never. A sorority spell to face adversity head on, and to take fragility as a vital force in new ways to build ourselves up”. A great anthem for our current time. The track is  accompanied by a video which can be watched here. (Tash Walker)

Painted Zeros – ‘Commuter Rage’
Lifted from Painted Zeros’ second album, When You Found Forever (set for release on 29th May via Don Giovanni Records), ‘Commuter Rage’ is the sound of an artist who has had enough of making space for everyone else. “Go read a fucking book / don’t you fucking look at me / to teach you things that you are responsible for learning on your own” Katie Lau sings, with a quiet and relatable anger, over a deceptively sweet melody. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the record, and to play this on my commute once lockdown rules have been lifted. (KC)

Lido Pimienta – ‘Te Queria’
I’m always so impressed with Toronto-based, Colombian-born artist Lido Pimienta’s releases. Her voice is so smooth, her music is uplifting, and the sentiments behind her songs are always empowering. Even though I’m not fluent in Spanish, I can’t resist trying to sing along with her. Pimienta says ‘Te Queria’ is about “moving on from those who won’t appreciate your light, but still can see it enough in you to want to steal it.” I love it, and I can’t wait to hear her new album, Miss Colombia, in full on April 17th. (KC)

Junie & TheHutFriends – ‘Boi Cha Cha’
I think we could all do with a big dose of Junie & TheHutFriends every day right now! ‘Boi Cha Cha’ brings me so much joy. I can’t help but exclaim “what a tune!” every time I hear it. It reminds me of the randomness of tUnE-yArDs, with its layers of beats and snaps and claps. It’s taken from the band’s debut EP, Diary of a Chaotic Neutral. (TW)

NAVA – ‘You’
Milan-via-Iran duo NAVA make mesmerising electronic tunes, and ‘You’ is no exception. They’re set to release a new EP later this year, and (if everything goes back to normal) they’ll be playing their first ever UK show at the Sebright Arms on 8th September. I’ve got my fingers crossed! (KC)

Jessica Winter – ‘Play’
“I’m a fuck up, and I’m okay” admits Jessica Winter in her seductive, sweet voice on this new single. Taken from her debut EP Sad Music, which is set for release later this summer, ‘Play’ accepts that life can be cruel; but there’s always edgy, electro-pop bangers like this to distract us from the pain. (KC)

Julia-Sophie – ‘x0x’
x0x is the first single from new electronic artist Julia-Sophie taken from her forthcoming EP, Y?, due out later this month. Recently supporting GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth, I am completely mesmerized by the slow and haunting sounds evoked on this single. From the pulsating beats to the whirring synths, building and layering, topped with her questioning vocals, results in an almost painfully blissful experience – I’m completely addicted. I cannot, and don’t want to stop listening. (TW)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Spaceman’
Filled with catchy, scuzzy hooks, a subtle tongue-in-cheek wit and the gritty deadpan vocals of front person Sian, ‘Spaceman’ is an observational and relatable slice of punk-pop. With Bitch Hunt’s trademark impassioned energy and swirling harmonies, it’s a spot-on reflection on the sickening arrogance of all those cis male ‘splainers and ‘spreaders we so often have to endure in our day to day lives. An uplifting raging anthem inspiring us all to take those men down a peg (or four). Watch the new video for ‘Spaceman’ now. (ML)

Vulpynes – ‘I Can’t Sit Still’
Irish duo Vulpynes were due to play for us at The Finsbury last Friday (3rd April), along with Tiger Mimic, Gravey and Boys Of The Hole. It was pretty heartbreaking, but of course necessary, to cancel this one – I was super excited to see their immense raucous energy and soaring gritty power live. But, I’m desperately hoping to reschedule the gig for later in the year, so do keep your eyes peeled! And in the mean time, please stream/download and buy their music. (ML)

Guitar Gabby and The Txlips – ‘The Dead Pool
As scuzzed out riffs blast out alongside Gabriella Logan’s seething growl, ‘The Dead Pool’ is propelled by a grunge-fueled energy, with shades of the likes of Alice In Chains. Oozing a gritty emotion, it’s a ferocious, empowering anthem; a completely necessary angst-driven offering for these strange times. (ML)

Party Fears – ‘All Is Good’
The creator of some of our favourite DIY art-pop tunes over the last few years, ‘All Is Good’ is the latest single from Party Fears (aka Maggie Devlin). Released via Babywoman Records, it’s a tender, lo-fi offering that explores feelings of loss, nostalgia, and emotional endurance. (KC)

Lindsay Munroe – ‘Split’
‘Split’ is the second single taken from Lindsay Munroe’s forthcoming EP Our Heaviness, set for release on May 8th via AWAL – and I’m counting down the days. Of this latest single, Munroe says: “Split’ is one of the rawest songs I have written. I spent my early 20s in conservative religious environments, embedded in black-and-white thinking and beliefs. Increasingly I felt like I had to leave part of myself at the door, painfully unable to be open about my life and choices. ‘Split’ came from an attempt to move beyond the hurt and exhaustion of that situation”. I’m loving what I hear from Munroe so far, reminding me of a mix between Angel Olsen and Mitski. (TW)

Emily Magpie – ‘All Is Silence’
A particularly poignant new creation from GIHE fave, Bristol-based artist Emily Magpie, ‘All Is Silence’ was inspired by reading Margaret Atwood; a spine-tingling reflection on a post-apocalyptic journey. With her trademark twinkling ukulele melodies and her soaring heartfelt vocals, Magpie creates an effervescent slice of dream-pop, offering a sparkling glimmer of hope in dark times. Let’s Talk About The Weather, the upcoming debut album from Emily Magpie, is out now. (ML)

Kathleen Frances – ‘Define’
Hot off the press, ‘Define’ is the debut single from Bristol born artist Kathleen Frances. I was drawn to this song by the strong slow piano chords and the depth of Frances’ vocals. They resonate on a level that brings such gentle emotion and depth to the song. Inspired by the need to question the social constructs of love and romance, it feels rather apt at the moment when we are all looking at redefining every aspect of our lives. (TW)

Jenny Hval – ‘Bonus Material’
Us GIHE grrrls love a bit of Jenny Hval, and this standalone single is no exception. The Norwegian multidisciplinary artist describes ‘Bonus Material’ as “Trash practicing love”, referencing her last album The Practice of Love, released last year via Sacred Bones. Featuring saxophone by Espen Reinertsen, Hval’s sweet vocals float over twinkling synths in this light, “unfinished” offering. (KC)

 

PLAYLIST: March 2020

March has been a busy month for Get In Her Ears HQ! It’s Women’s History Month, and it was also International Women’s Day on the 8th; so we’ve continued to support the wxmen artists we love with regular reviews on our website, and a special IWD Playlist which you can listen to here.

Sofar Sounds kindly invited us to curate their IWD gig in Hackney too; which Indian Queens, Amahla, and Beckie Margaret all graciously agreed to play for us. We’ve barely stopped for breath, and we’ve got more exciting new music to share over the next few weeks. Take some time to scroll through our track choices for our March playlist below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘The Hot House’
Fresh from their excellent second album aptly named Two, Sink Ya Teeth’s singleThe Hot House’ and the accompanying video features footage shot by the band and audience members at their recent show in Oxford (check it out here). I am SO happy that I’ve got another heavy helping from the Norwich duo to soundtrack the upcoming warmer months. A time where post-punk, and deep house and I really get back into the swing of things. Sink Ya Teeth thank you, thank you! (Tash Walker)

Sleater-Kinney – ‘Hurry On Home’
I have not stopped singing this since us GIHE girls saw Sleater-Kinney live at Brixton Academy a few weeks ago. Their latest album The Center Won’t Hold is such a tonic, and their performance was certainly a gig-life highlight for all of us. (Kate Crudgington)

Noga Erez – ‘VIEWS’
The inimitable Noga Erez stylishly explores the absurdity of paying for exposure on social media on her brand new track, ‘VIEWS’. Collaborating with her partner Ori Rousso, and LA-based hip-hop artist Reo Cragun, Erez effortlessly commands attention in the striking video that accompanies the single. The Tel-Aviv musician’s clear vocals glide over slick beats and pop hooks to create an infectiously powerful anti-fakeness anthem. (KC)

Taquirah – ‘Feel’
‘Feel’ is the latest single from Taquirah, a performance artist form Illinois currently living in Brooklyn. I cannot get this track’s addictive beats and R&B melodies out of my head. I’m obsessed. Taquirah recently released a video for her track ‘Rush’ choreographed and performed by herself, in line with her focus on creating performance art pieces that fuse ballet with hip hop culture. Keep your eyes peeled for Taquirah’s debut project Divine, coming soon. (TW)

Belako – ‘Tie Me Up’
Having previously blown me away with their immersive live show supporting Queens Of The Stone Age in Finsbury Park last year, Basque Country band Belako have now shared new single ‘Tie Me Up’. Filled with gritty, swooning vocals and immense swirling hooks, it’s a super catchy alt-rock anthem showcasing the poignant raw power and majestic musicality that this Spanish band are capable of creating. (Mari Lane)

CLT DRP – ‘Where The Boys Are’
An anthem of self-realisation and new found confidence, ‘Where The Boys Are’ from Brighton-based CLT DRP oozes their immense raging passion in a seething blast of poignant, swirling electro-punk. Commenting on the track, front-woman Annie Dorrett says: “It’s a love song to some of my favourite female artists, a big thank you to my mom for being such a powerhouse and lastly a big f*ck you to all the TERFS out there spreading hate. It’s also just a really playful song to perform with the band, you get a lot of different elements of our sound all jammed into one piece.” CLT DRP’s upcoming debut album Without The Eyes, is out 15th May via Small Pond Records. (ML)

THICK – ‘Mansplain’
A cathartic, witty, guitar driven take-down of the men who undermine women in bands (and women in general), Brooklyn punk trio THICK’s single ‘Mansplain’ will resonate with women and girls who have struggled to be taken seriously on, and off stage. The track is lifted from their debut album 5 Years Behind, which is out now. (KC)

New Pagans – ‘Admire’
I first heard New Pagans whilst listening to The Irish Jam, and I quickly became fascinated by the Belfast band’s genre-bending sounds. Their debut EP Glacial Erratic is a poignant collection of tracks that explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution. ‘Admire’ is a personal favourite. It’s a humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going. (KC)

Why Bonnie – ‘Voice Box’
Oozing sunny uplifting vibes as shimmering hooks and Blair Howerton’s rich, luscious vocals flow with a soaring emotion, Why Bonnie’s ‘Voice Box’ has shades of the twinkling surf-rock of the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast, creating a truly dreamy offering fuzzing with a dazzling, effervescent charm. Voice Box, the upcoming EP from Why Bonnie, is out 10th April via Fat Possum Records. (ML) 

Ghost Car – ‘Virginia & Vita’
Released at the end of last year, ‘Virginia & Vita’ is a perfect example of all there is to love about Ghost Car. Oozing their scuzzy, quirky bubblegum indie-pop sounds, it’s propelled by eerie synth-driven hooks, soaring honey-sweet vocals and their trademark stirring, whirring theramin-soaked fuzz. I cannot wait to catch this totally unique band headline for us this Friday at The Finsbury! As always, FREE entry, event details here. (ML)

Indian Queens – ‘Bubblewrap’
Hackney trio Indian Queens headlined our International Women’s Day gig (in partnership with Sofar Sounds) at the weekend, and we were captivated by their stripped back set. The talented Amahla & Beckie Margaret also shared the bill, and Girls Against were on hand to  help raise awareness of the issues that female musicians & fans often face. This IQ track is a beguiling lament about the state of the planet, and it’s taken from their debut album God Is A Woman, which is set for release via Cool Thing Records on 3rd April. (KC)

Laura Gray – ‘Break, Drift’
‘Break, Drift’ is the first release from Laura Gray’s upcoming EP Better Lighting. Gentle vocals and dreamy synths all mixed together with pulsating beats. I think we could all do with a little more saxophone in our life. Check out the video for ‘Break, Drift’ here. (TW)

A.A. Williams – ‘Cold’
A.A. Williams is set to play her first headline gig at Southbank Centre in the Purcell Room on Thursday 12th March, and I’m excited to hear her dark, atmospheric sounds in the flesh for the first time. (tickets are available here). (KC)

Otta – ‘Near Enough A Woman’
I cannot get enough of Otta! Their new music is seeping so perfectly into my ears, it’s what I’ve been craving for so long and didn’t realise. This is one of their latest singles taken from the freshly released debut EP after it all blew over, which is sublime. Delivering the perfect combination and concoction of electronic, UK jazz, new soul and RnB. (TW)

Okay Kaya – ‘Insert Generic Name’
Okay Kaya who hails from Norway has been a firm fave of mine since I heard her debut Both, released back in 2018. I got to catch her on 4th March at SET in Dalston which was a total pleasure, she’s back again in May at Hoxton Hall so if you can, grab yourself some tickets. ‘Insert Generic Name’ is taken from her recently released and equally fantastic album Watch This Liquid Pour Itself, another incredibly intimate record of self-reflection via boldly honest, exposing lyrics which are delivered with bone dry with wit. One of my albums of 2020, without a doubt. (TW)

Bugeye – ‘Don’t Stop’
The latest single from friends of GIHE, Bugeye, ‘Don’t Stop’ is filled with swirling scuzzy hooks and the band’s trademark impassioned fiery attitude. Complete with whirring synth-driven refrains, it’s a frenzied slice of catchy disco-punk, showcasing the band’s utterly unique vibrant sound. ‘Don’t Stop’ is produced by Paul Tipler and is out now. You can catch Bugeye live on tour this month – check out their Facebook page for details. (Mari Lane) 

Lady Gaga – ‘Stupid Love’
Get me a pink wig and a metallic bikini, because I’m moving to Chromatica to live with Lady Gaga (see the ‘Stupid Love’ video here). I am SO excited to hear her new album (released on 10th April). I hope it’s bursting with electro-pop bangers like this one, and that all of her future videos are just as Power-Ranger-esque. (KC)

 

Track Of The Day: Belako – ‘Tie Me Up’

Having previously blown me away with their immersive live show supporting Queens Of The Stone Age in Finsbury Park last year, Basque Country band Belako have now announced their new album, set for release in May.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Tie Me Up’ is filled with gritty, swooning vocals and immense swirling hooks, resulting in a super catchy alt-rock anthem. With shades of early noughties indie, it showcases the poignant raw power and majestic musicality that this Spanish band are capable of creating. 

Of their upcoming new album, Plastic Drama, the band explain:

“‘Plastic Drama’ searches for the real meaning of things in a world that translates everything into assembly lines, manufacturing and the exploitation of living beings,” say the band. “It’s about the harsh reality our generation is facing and the only good use of new technology, which is the ability to spread the word and call for action. The title of the album has another message, as it also reminds us the first world issues we’ve come so keen to complain about. We can only hope for a more responsible human legacy”.

Plastic Drama is set for release in May, and you can catch Belako live at The Great Escape on 13th and 14th May.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Introducing Interview: Belako

Having wowed us with their immersive live show at Finsbury Park supporting Queens Of The Stone Age in the summer, Basque Country band Belako are now about to embark on a UK tour.

Spending the year touring a dozen countries, 3 continents and gathering a host of new fans along the way, the band also released latest album Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence – a collection of poignant, genre-pushing offerings executed with gritty passion, marking themselves out as a definite band on the rise.

We caught up with Belako to find out more…

Hi Belako! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do?
Hi! We think of ourselves as a band that mixes different influences and turns them into eclectic songs in constant transformation. We do punk, noise, rock, synth pop, new wave, no wave. We’re still trying different sounds on our recordings but our live shows are much more organic, visceral and the best presentation card we have so far.

How did you initially get together and start creating music?
Cris and Josu met at the university of Fine Arts. Because of their shared passion for almost all the same bands, they went to rehearse some covers (Massive Attack, Pixies…) with Lore, Josu’s sister, in an old abandoned factory in the suburb named “Belako”. A few months later Lander joined them and the team was made. We started creating our own music since the very beginning, it all happened pretty naturally.

Your fantastic album Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence is out now, can you tell us a bit about it? Are there any themes running throughout it?
We think its title sums up pretty well all of the lyrics in one sentence, as all of them are about different violent situations we observe from the lucky side of the planet in the media (trivial violence = T.V.), while we keep a passive attitude about them. We feel very proud of this album, it has a lot of different musical arrangements but all of the songs are connected in a certain logical order.

We’ve heard about the track ‘Over The Edge’ as being “against gender violence” – do you feel it’s important to address this issue in music?
It is crucial to address this issue in every field – we are musicians, so we do it in our music, in our gigs and whenever we are asked. We understood at some point how lucky we were because of the chance we have had with the band to raise our voice and be heard. This should matter always to everyone – women are being murdered, raped, beaten, humiliated in many different ways all over the world.

We love your gritty, post-punk sound, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We are inspired by Gorillaz, Talking Heads, Flaming Lips, Grimes, MGMT, The Voidz because of their unlimited creativity, and Savages, Dream Wife, Empress Of, Surfbort, Idles, because of their attitude and live performances. We also take strong influence from bands from our home, the Basque Country, because of their sound and use of the Basque language in music which we try to conserve – they are from the ’80s, Itoiz and Hertzainak.

We were blown away seeing you live at Finsbury Park with Queens Of The Stone Age this summer, but is there a particular concert you’ve played so far that stands out as a highlight?
Fortunately, there are a lot of special concerts in our minds when we’re asked about this and it is hard to choose just one or two. Thinking about the first time we came to the UK, we fell in love with Scotland – playing at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh with the magnificent Scottish duo Nice Church (after whom we named a song on our last album) was a gift. Small dark noisy venue, the best.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see much live music?
The Basque Country has a lot of interesting bands and we try to catch as many gigs as we can. There is a huge tradition of punk-rock but nowadays you get to see alternative projects that should be touring abroad as well!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new Spanish bands/artists who you’d recommend we check out?
From the Basque Country there’s Lukiek, Vulk, Cecilia Payne, Toc, LesteryEliza, Yellow Big Machine… From Catalunya there’s Mourn, from Madrid, Favx, and from Valencia, La Plata.

And how do you feel the industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It is a very hostile world, ruled by social networks, the amount of followers you have… Basically we live in the image era and both mainstream and alternative bands play the same game. Usually the profiles people get to see on the internet are detached from the artists or bands’ realities. All that might recall success or fame doesn’t mean an easy and solved life, follows and likes aren’t money on your account, but they are the vehicle to get bigger audiences, and live shows are what most musicians make a living out of nowadays.

Finally, what does the rest of 2018 have in store for Belako?
We will play London, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham (17th to 20th of September), then off to Hamburg for the Reeperbahn Festival, Bime Festival in Bilbao, and several dates in Spain including big venues in Madrid and Barcelona.

Huge thanks to Belako for answering our questions!
Thanks for asking 😉

Catch Belako live in the UK at the following dates. Tickets here.

17th September – The Lexington, London
18th September – Gullivers, Manchester
19th September – Stereo, Glasgow
20th September – The Flapper, Birmingham

 

PLAYLIST: July 2018

British summer time is in full swing, and the gorgeous/overwhelming heat makes every day feel like a summer holiday *wipes beads of sweat from brow*. If you’re stuck behind your desk however, fear not! We have a red hot set of new tunes to see you through the rest of the month. Take some time to scroll through our track selections, and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

 

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Taken from their self-titled album released in 2008 – the same year I attended London Pride for the first time – and without a doubt, the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality; feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life. Last weekend marked the end of the Pride Festival in London, with the Pride in London march on Saturday, where I marched with Switchboard the LGBT+ Helpline that I am a Trustee for. It was a great experience, and only mildly marred by the TERFS protest at the beginning. As a cis-gendered lesbian I denounce everything they stand for and pointedly want to say that I do not agree with any of their statements. I marched for the achievements we have made in society throughout the years to now, but also for all the essential changes still to come…one thing remains the same, it’s about standing for equality. Equality for everyone, everywhere. (Tash Walker)

Indian Queens – ‘Pretty Little Thing’
Equal parts driving and delicate: Hackney trio Indian Queens have shared their new track ‘Pretty Little Thing’ – and it’s as attractive to the ears as its namesake suggests. Released via Cool Thing Records, the single is an infectious blur of hypnotic vocals and shoe gaze guitar sounds. They received a standing ovation after their set at Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival last month, and this track has been swirling around my brain ever since. (Kate Crudgington)

Handsome Eric – ‘Oh No’
I fell a bit love with Handsome Eric on seeing them support Shamir last week at Camden Assembly. As the raw, honest emotion of Stephen O’Dowd propels the track, whirring hooks and a driving energy bring to mind Manchester artist, and personal favourite, Kiran Leonard. Totally luscious lo-fi scuzz of the best kind. (Mari Lane)

Nova Twins – ‘Lose Your Head’
GIHE faves and last week’s guests on the radio show, the immense Nova Twins have just released their ferocious new single ‘Lose Your Head’. Having received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, and none other than Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, the duo continue to prove themselves to be one of the most exciting bands around with the snarling vocals and addictive, frenzied energy of this latest offering. (ML)

The Empty Page – ‘Deeply Unlovable’
We’ve been massive fans of The Empty Page’s gritty, grunge-fuelled offerings for a while now, and we cannot wait for them to blow us away once again at The Finsbury on Friday! (ML)

Queen Kwong – ‘Raptures’
Slow-building bass lines and mesmeric vocals combine on Queen Kwong’s ‘Raptures’ to form a beguiling request to escape unwanted memories. No stranger to adversity, Queen Kwong (aka Carré Callaway) shows how her “cursed mind” is still as sharp as ever on this brilliant new single. (KC)

Carolyn’s Fingers – ‘Twice Born’
LOVE THIS! Experimental pop band Carolyn’s Fingers always deliver such refreshingly unusual music, where I just don’t want to even try and predict where their music will go to next. There is something about there music that consistently dabbles with art/performance and still I am yet to see them live. A firm ambition of mine. Totally DIY in every way, we full support Carolyn’s Fingers. (TW)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Hobby Horse’
Warped, uncomfortable, but morbidly fascinating: avant-garde artist Gazelle Twin has returned with a new image and this un-nerving new single. I can’t wait to hear more of her unusual electronic cacophonies on her upcoming record, Pastoral, on which she “exhumes England’s rotten past, and shines a torch over its ever-darkening present”. Sign. Me. Up. Now.  (KC)

Pitou – ‘Give Me A Glass’
So gentle, so beautiful, and so delicate. ‘Give Me A Glass’ by Pitou is taken from her new EP I Fall Asleep So Fast, released via Mink Records. I think this track is just mesmerising, and it probably helps that it was the first song I listened to after meeting my niece for the first time. So here’s to raising that glass to the new addition in my family! (TW)

Anna Aaron – ‘Why Not’
Love love LOVE! From the disjointed off-beat vocals, to those heavy beats that underpin this track; how can you not enjoy this?! Described as “crunching electronic pop sound”, I think that perfectly sums up this raw slice of intentionally aggressive music. (TW)

Lizzo – ‘Boys’ 
Another utterly empowering and ferociously fun offering from GIHE favourite Lizzo, ‘Boys’ is filled with all the refreshing wit that we’ve come to know and love from the Minneapolis artist. Reminiscent of the legendary Missy Elliot, this track’s funk-filled groove and joyous sex-positive spirit provides the perfect summer anthem. (ML)

Belako – ‘Over The Edge’
I saw Spanish band Belako at Finsbury Park last Saturday kicking off a day of fantastic music from QOTSA, Iggy Pop, Brody Dalle, Deap Vally and more…. And they are now my new favourite band – it was one of the most impressive, engrossing sets I’ve seen for a long time. They delivered each gritty slice of post-punk with a raw, swirling energy and explained that his track ‘Over The Edge’ is “against gender violence” – a poignant and necessary subject. And I just love its immense, gnarly passion. I’m now thoroughly addicted to their latest release Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence. (ML)

Asylums – ‘Millennials’
Essex indie rockers Asylums have returned with their highly anticipated second album Alien Human Emotions – released via their own label Cool Thing Records – and ‘Millennials’ is one of the stand-out tracks on the record. Slower in tempo, but just as powerful in delivery; the single laments the “generational generalisations” that millennial kids face in today’s society. (KC)

LIVE: ‘Friends’ Of QOTSA @ Finsbury Park, 30.06.18

Anyone who knows me will know of my love of Queens Of The Stone Age, and if you know me I’ll be sure to tell you about how immense it was to see them headline Finsbury Park on Saturday evening. I could go on forever about how it was the best set I’ve ever seen them play in my many, many years of fangirling… A perfect, career-spanning set that included all my favourites (especially excited to hear plenty from 2000’s Rated R). I could also tell you about how I’m still pretty blown away to have seen the legendary Iggy Pop blasting out all the classics in an incredible energy-fuelled frenzy.

But, for now, I want to talk about some of the other bands that joined Josh & co. on Saturday. The event advertised itself of having a line up of 50% female artists (which is what all festivals should be doing, in my opinion…), but personally, my day was at least 80% governed by incredible women in music.

After battling my way through brusque security and parting ways with my Chanel perfume, I make it to the second stage in time to catch Belako – aka my new favourite band. Delivering their gritty slices of post-punk, they treat us to one of the most impressive, most engrossing, sets I’ve witnessed for a long time. Oozing immense scuzzy riffs alongside their raw, swirling energy and gnarly passion, this is a band surely on the rise. And, introducing set highlight ‘Over The Edge’ as being “against gender violence”, one after our own hearts. I’m now thoroughly addicted to their latest release Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence – an album I cannot recommend strongly enough.

I stay at the second stage for long-time GIHE faves Skinny Girl Diet. It’s wonderful to see them building their reputation and playing such a big event; since first seeing them at The Shacklewell Arms a few years ago, they’ve been wowing listeners across the country. And it’s easy to see why. Oozing their seething, Riot Grrrl-inspired energy and rousing, grunge-fuelled sound, they deliver their fantastically raging offerings to a buoyant sea of fans (some even conquering the heat to energetically dance along), whilst taking the time to thank the crowd for being “angels”. A sparkling, impassioned set from one of the most exciting bands around, and one we need now more than ever.

I finally make my way to the main stage to catch blues-rock duo Deap Vally. Less of an intimate experience than the second stage, or indeed when I was right at the front for last year’s gig at Islington Assembly Hall, they still maintain all the empowering passion and glorious, gritty aggression that I’ve come to love about them. Delivering tracks from both albums, as well latest singles ‘Bring It On’ and ‘Let Go’, their raging feminist anthems prove every bit the immense spectacle to behold as I remember; their vibrant, glitter-filled energy spanning the distance between me and the stage, and filling the scorching air with joy.

Returning to the intimacy of the second stage, I’m greeted by the truly infectious charisma and sunny charm of Madrid’s Hinds. Kicking things off with ‘The Club’, as always the band exude their joyous, jangly scuzz as they reassure us that “… we’re all, all of us here, friends with Queens Of The Stone Age!” With each moment spent with this band, the sheer sense of glee heightens, such is the sunny spirit of Carlotta, Ana, Ade and Amber. Propelled by an unrelenting, uplifting energy, a vibrant cover of Kevin Ayers’ ‘Caribbean Moon’ sees the crowd dance along in buoyant bliss to the band’s ‘choreography’ on stage. With a set including “classics” such as ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Chilli Town’, Hinds once again leave me grinning from cheek to cheek, their euphoric offerings the perfect accompaniment to the summer sun.

After a short interlude, Brody Dalle appears. And, as if that wasn’t enough, she’s accompanied by two more of the most awesome women in rock – Ayse and Fay from Savages. Immediately exuding her immense sense of cool, opening with the riotous force of ‘Rat Race’, she doesn’t seem to have lost any of the seething, angst-driven power that we’ve all come to know and love. As she blasts out her raw, husky vocals, a pretty surreal sense of excitement comes over me; being in the presence of such a personal hero. Despite not playing any old Distillers tracks, it’s a short, sweet and hugely empowering set (just six songs, all from 2014’s Diploid Love) that leaves me as much in awe of her as I was when first seeking refuge in her gritty strength as an emotion-filled teen. And I’m clearly not the only one overcome by Brody Dalle; it’s incredibly refreshing to see her continuing to be an influence, as a young girl in front of me sits upon an adult’s shoulders, rocking out to every single impassioned growl.

Queues for beer and perfume-banishment issues aside, Queens Of The Stone Age and Friends was a wonderful day of some of the best music by some of the coolest people. The best kind of day, filled back to back with incredible music spanning genre and gender, all accompanied by dazzling sunshine.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Sam McMahon

 

PREVIEW: QOTSA & Friends @ Finsbury Park, 30.06.18

Anyone who knows me will know of my love of Queens Of The Stone Age. Anyone who knows me will also know of my love of championing women in music. So, although I am EXTREMELY excited about seeing QOTSA and the legendary Iggy Pop next Saturday, 30th June, in Finsbury Park, I’m also particularly looking forward to the rest of the incredible line up, which is 50% female…

Brody Dalle:
I have been wanting to see Brody Dalle since I was a 16 year old listening to The Distillers’ Sing Sing Death House for the first time, and being completely blown away by her seething, riotous power. Catch me at the front re-living my teenage angst.

Deap Vally: 
Blues-rock duo Deap Vally are the band I turn to whenever I need some motivation. Their empowering passion and glorious, gritty aggression when delivering their raging feminist anthems is really an immense spectacle to behold.

Hinds: 
Having seen the Spanish band Hinds three times before, I can assure you they will not disappoint live. Their infectious, sunny charisma never fails to put a smile on my face, and their immense, buoyant energy creates a sweeping sense of raucous euphoria whenever they perform.

Black Honey:
Fronted by Izzy B Phillips, Brighton’s Black Honey have been building quite a reputation over the last few days, receiving acclaim from the likes of The Guardian and NME for their lush, swooning vocals and catchy, jangly melodies.

Belako: 
Second Spanish band of the line up, Belako are known for delivering catchy slices of post-punk and their recent album Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence is a gritty collection of raw, swirling offerings.

Skinny Girl Diet:
Long time favourites of GIHE, it’s wonderful to see Skinny Girl Diet building their reputation and playing such big stages. I first saw them at The Shacklewell Arms a few years ago, and they blew me away with their seething, Riot Grrrl-inspired energy and rousing, grunge-fuelled sound.

Catch all these bands for QOTSA & Friends in Finsbury Park next Saturday 30th June. More info and ticket links here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles