Tracks Of The Year 2018

Despite being a pretty scary year in the grand scheme of things, 2018 has actually been exceptionally great for new music. Our ears have been filled with sonic delights of all genres, providing necessary catharsis and enjoyment. 

So, it was pretty hard to pick our 20 favourite tunes. But, from poignant punk to captivating pop-noir, here they are… 

Alice Bag – ’77’
Taken from this year’s poignant album Blueprint, punk legend Alice Bag brought together a dream team for her single ’77’. Featuring Riot Grrrl queens Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe, plus an appearance in the video from Shirley Manson, it draws inspiration from Dolly Parton’s 1980 proto-feminist workplace comedy ‘9 to 5′, commenting on the gender pay gap that still plagues society. Filled with seething, punk-driven riffs, the women not only rage that “I make 77 cents and it’s not right / It’s bad for women!”, but make the point that “it’s worse if you’re not white”. As Bag poignantly sneers “… don’t pretend that we’re paid equal… You wrote the script / But I’m writing the sequel”, ’77’ is an empowering, inspiring call to arms to unite against the patriarchy and make the changes needed for equality, in the workplace and beyond.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Nova Twins – ‘Lose Your Head’
A lesson in cutting loose and walking on the wild side, South East London duo Nova Twins provided us with this mind-melter of a track earlier in the year. We were lucky enough to have Amy & Georgia come into the Hoxton Radio studio for a chat, and they blew us away playing live for Loud Women at The Lexington too. Their raw, abrasive, genre-defying tunes are consistent favourites here at Get In Her Ears, and I’m sure they’ll bring the noise again in 2019.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Skating Polly – ‘Camelot’
Blasting into the eardrums with intense, pulsating basslines and the impassioned screech of Kelli Mayo, ‘Camelot’ is a seething, grunge-fuelled anthem. Oozing a thrashing power, it perfectly tears apart the misogynistic nature of American frat-boy culture with an empowering energy. This year Skating Polly released new album The Make It All Show, blew us away once again with their immense live show (with faves The Menstrual Cramps supporting), and generally proved themselves to be one of the most exciting young bands around.
(ML)

Brix And The Extricated – ‘Sleazebag’
Taken from their epic, genre-defying latest album, Brix And The Extricated’s ‘Sleazebag’ revives a classic punk energy and seething passion whilst marking Smith-Start out as an artist willing to move with the times and develop her sound. Confronting all those sleazebags in the industry that we’re unfortunately so familiar with, this track instantly grabs you with its immense, ferocious power. With swirling guitars and spiky bass, alongside Smith-Start’s distinctive soaring drawl, it’s a refreshing and riotous offering proving that Brix & The Extricated are well and truly back, and cannot be missed.
(ML)

Bad Sidekick – ‘I Ain’t Sick’
A fistful of brooding indie noise: London trio Bad Sidekick released their debut self-titled EP this year, and the snarling ‘I Ain’t Sick’ is my favourite track on the record. Vocalist Cooper (who also plays guitar in The Menstrual Cramps) is a powerhouse with her enviably cool lyrical intonation, and she’s supported by a cacophony of guitar noises and heart-thumping beats on this track.
(KC)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
The Menstrual Cramps have pretty much summed up 2018 with each of their topical, tongue-in-cheek offerings and provided the perfect antidote to all that’s gone on with their empowering, feel good vibes. Taken from their incredible album Free Bleedin’, ‘The Smash’ in particular couldn’t have come at a better time. With the all-too-relatable refrain of “It’s time we took back the floor, kick the Tories out the door – we want a revolution”, it oozes an immense, politically-charged force as vocalist Emilia’s genuine, seething passion shines through. Combining activism with musical prowess, The Menstrual Cramps continue to reminds us all why we need bands like this now more than ever.
(ML)

Pink Kink – ‘You’
Although it wasn’t released as a single, this live recording from Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios showcases Pink Kink at their absolute best. A stunning mix of Warpaint style lo-fi indie, Sonic Youth switch-ups in tempo, ‘You’ is drenched in emotion, full of fired passions and stunning musicality. A band whose career was cut far, far too short for the kind of ridiculous reasons that have been an increasingly common occurrence in 2018’s dark days
(John McGovern – Contributor)

Soccer Mommy – ‘Your Dog’
I adore this song from Nashville’s Soccer Mommy, taken from her debut album Clean. Her trademark “soft anger” is executed so wonderfully, you barely notice you’re dropping expletives left, right and centre throughout the track. Written as an antidote to the feeling of being “paralyzed in a relationship to the point where you feel like you are a pawn in someone else’s world”, ‘Your Dog’ is a brilliant bite back from this talented artist.
(KC)

Snail Mail – ‘Pristine’
Laconic, bruised, wistful and sparkling – all while dealing with pop’s most frequent fixation: unrequited love – ‘Pristine’ is a brilliant introduction to the indie-pop stylings of Lindsay Jordan. If there’s been a better lyric than “It just feels like the same party every weekend, doesn’t it?” this year, then I haven’t heard it.
(JM)

Dott – ‘Like A Girl’
Activism and garage-pop collided in anthemic style on Dott’s single ‘Like A Girl’. The Galway-based band released the song ahead of Ireland’s vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment on May 25th – which resulted in the historic outcome of giving Irish women legal access to full reproductive health services, including abortion. The song features a guest appearance from Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on guitar, and the accompanying video features members from Galway Pro Choice, Galway Parents for Choice, and Galway Roller Derby, as well as footage of recent marches for Women’s Rights in Galway.
(KC)

Wolf Girl – ‘Toast For Dinner’
Having captivated us with their sunny charm live at Indietracks Festival this year, Wolf Girl are fast becoming a firm favourite. Flowing with an infectious jangly scuzz and twinkling uplifting harmonies, ‘Toast for Dinner’ is an exquisite slice of perfect indie-pop. Propelled by a driving, vibrant energy and Healey’s luscious vocals – and with thoroughly relatable lyrics like “toast for dinner again, I’m trying to tie up loose ends” – it’s a total delight for the ears, as is the band’s latest album Every Now And Then.
(ML)

Pip Blom – ‘Come Home’
Unusually glum, but no less lively, this track marked the peak of a fantastic run of singles from the Dutch post-punk fourpiece. Its repetitive riff makes it unforgettable, rhythms make it sound like something that belongs more at a club than a gig, whilst Blom’s voice is just the right side of deadpan. Now signed to Heavenly, 2019 promises great things for PB.
(JM)

Suggested Friends – ‘Motherfucking Tree’
Although I think technically their self-titled album came out officially last year, throughout the entirety of 2018, I can safely say that Suggested Friends have been one of my most-listened to, and most thoroughly loved, bands. This track in particular showcases their perfect, immensely infectious ‘tweemo’ punk-pop to a tee. Filled with racing, catchy hooks and luscious harmonies, Faith Taylor’s witty charm and exquisite vocals (as well as spot on lyrics like “thought you had a halo, but it was just the glare from the backlight of your iPhone”) fill me with pure joy on each listen.

(ML)

Ah! Kosmos – ‘Wide'(feat. Özgür Yılmaz)
Atmospheric guitar, captivating percussion and hypnotic vocals melt together on this track from Ah! Kosmos. It’s taken from her second album Beautiful Swamp, and it sweeps me up in to a rapture every time I hear it. Her live performance supporting Zola Jesus at Omeara this year was an absolute knockout, and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to in 2019.
(KC)

Kill J – ‘Strange Fruits Of The Water’
This stunning single from Kill J tackles issues of immigration and racism, with a subtle nod to Billie Holiday’s  iconic track ‘Strange Fruit’ (1939). Taken from her album Superposition, Kill J explains: “’Strange Fruits Of The Water’ is a protest song about boarders, walls, barbed wire fences, and people trying to survive on small boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While some people dream of just surviving their journey across the boarders, others dream of wealth and power at the expense of others”.
(KC)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Lay It Down’
I’ve been hooked on Black Gold Buffalo’s mesmerising, pop-noir sounds all year, so I was thrilled to have them headline our first GIHEs night at Notting Hill Arts Club in August. ‘Lay It Down’ is taken from the band’s debut self-titled album (which I recommend you listen to) and it’s a well-crafted, smoldering gem that revolves around confronting feelings of anxiety.
(KC)

LIINES – ‘Shallow’
Having been labelled one of our ‘Ones To Watch 2018‘, Manchester trio LIINES certainly proved us right. Throughout the year, they’ve gone from strength to strength – releasing their debut album Stop-Start in May, receiving acclaim from the likes of John Kennedy and Steve Lamacq and just now announcing a support slot with Sleaford Mods for 2019. Oozing an immense, thrashing energy and the raw, commanding vocals of Zoe McVeigh, single ‘Shallow’ is filled with the band’s trademark dark, brooding power – an intense blast of perfect post-punk with shades of the likes of Savages of Sleater Kinney.
(ML)

Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’
Intriguing electro-industrial artist Zola Jesus had me spellbound from the moment I heard the hypnotic, off-kilter, heavy bouncing synths on ‘Bound’. Her penetrating vocals ring out across a demanding soundscape, and her blending of industrial and classical elements makes this track sound like a tortured but tentative hymn. Seeing her perform it live at Omeara was truly breath-taking too.
(KC)

Noga Erez – ‘Bad Habits’
Noga Erez had 2018’s shortcomings in her interrogative spotlight this year after releasing her incredible track ‘Bad Habits’. It’s a snarling tirade of anger spoken through gritted teeth, written from “a place where one feels they’ve lost all direction and meaning”. Gritty, defiant, and viciously executed – I love this track and can’t wait to hear more from the Tel Aviv renegade in 2019.
(KC)

Miss Eaves – ‘Push For The Bush’
Having previously fallen in love with Miss Eaves‘ fun-filled, empowering anthems ‘Thunder Thighs’ and ‘Hump Day’, ‘Bush For The Push’ offered another vibrant celebration of self love from Miss Eaves. With her trademark disco-punk energy, reminiscent of queen Peaches, it’s a liberating and wonderfully entertaining call to be free to have the bush you want – “It’s your body, so have a little fun…”
(ML)

Listen to our ‘Tracks Of 2018’ playlist here, and stay tuned for more of our 2018 highlights, and Ones To Watch for next year…

Get In Her Ears Live @ Notting Hill Arts Club w/ Black Gold Buffalo 01.08.18

We found ourselves in West London on Wednesday night, excited to put on our first gig at the expertly run Notting Hill Arts Club! Whilst we love our Riot Grrrl inspired line-ups we curate for our monthly residency at The Finsbury Pub, we wanted to branch out and find a platform to promote our favourite electronic-based artists too.

For our debut gig at NHAC, we chose Black Gold Buffalo to headline, with support from the beautiful AyOwA and Bamboo Smoke.

The task of opening events fell to South Londoners Lou & Tom – aka Bamboo Smoke. Accompanied by their drummer, the pair seduced their crowd with sultry vocals, smooth bass lines and ambient guitar sounds.

Penultimate act AyOwA wooed the crowd with their dark electronica and intoxicating energy.  The performances of their singles ‘Sommer’, ‘Rus’ and ‘Alt Det Du Ku’ were particular highlights, with Hannah’s beautiful vocals (performed in their native Danish), pulling you into their dreamlike creation.

Headliners Black Gold Buffalo performed – as their name states – a powerful, precious set of pop-noir gems. The band released their debut self-titled album earlier this year (read our review here) so we were excited to hear their songs in the flesh. Singles ‘Magnets’, ‘Lay It Down’ and ‘Pearls Deep’ (which we regularly spin on our GIHEs radio shows) were mesmerising, whilst album tracks ‘Body Of Verity’ and ‘Penkenna’ showcased front woman Keziah Stillwell’s vocal abilities perfectly.

Huge thanks to the bands and to Notting Hill Arts Club! Keep your eyes peeled for more gig announcements from us soon!

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

ALBUM: Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Black Gold Buffalo’

A precious body of work that’s well worth the wait; Black Gold Buffalo‘s self-titled debut album is a shimmering example of the East London band’s patience and dedication to creating well-crafted, atmospheric, dark-pop sounds.

Line-up changes and relocations have altered the band’s output since their conception in 2014, but their new record (released via their own label Buff Rekkids) is a sharp, switched-on exploration of personal experiences, frustrations, and disillusionment with the capital.

Hypnotic opener ‘Lay It Down’ is a sublime musical tonic for nagging thoughts and unresolved anxieties, with vocalist Keziah Stillwell’s rhetorical line “How do you feel?” echoing out over Joy Joseph’s steady beats with poignant resonance. It flows straight in to ‘Pearls Deep’ – a precious blend of atmospheric bass lines from Hannah Holland, melodic guitar riffs from Marc Hayward, and that consistent percussion which makes all of Black Gold Buffalo’s tracks ripple with intensity.

The rolling rhythms on ‘Weightless’ are the perfect catalyst to ‘Start A Fire’ – a haze of smoldering vocals, fiery guitar, and bass lines that cut through the smoke. The funky ‘Penkenna’ keeps the heat rising with it’s atmospheric beats which promise to “take you away”, before ‘Anntropix’ breaks the spell, playing out in soothing, understated, yet anthemic fashion.

Keziah’s vocals blaze in full glory on the mesmerising ‘Magnets’, which is a swirling fusion of bass, guitar & electronics, and exquisite penultimate track ‘Body Of Verity’ breaks through shortly afterwards. Brooding bass and guitar melt together alongside more driving rhythms and bittersweet vocals here, before the slow-burning ‘Amillion’ closes the collection in true Black Gold Buffalo style.

Combining emotion with integrity, DIY ethics with big ambitions, and blurring generic lines with ease; Black Gold Buffalo’s debut continues to strengthen after every listen. Help them celebrate their success at the album launch at The Shacklewell Arms on April 10th. RSVP here.

Order your Limited Edition USB version of the album here.

Follow Black Gold Buffalo on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears w/ Black Gold Buffalo

Kate & Tash were back in the studio this week with their favourite slices of new music from Ms Mohammed, Kidsmoke, Table Scraps, The Sonder Bombs and Denton Thrift.

Keziah and Marc from Black Gold Buffalo also popped into the studio for a chat and the radio premiere of Penkenna, check them out this weekend at Ramsgate Music Hall and at The Shacklewell Arms on April 10th for their album launch.

Listen back to the show here:

 

LIVE: Black Gold Buffalo – The Waiting Room, London 07.02.18

Black Gold Buffalo performed to a packed Waiting Room in Stoke Newington on Wednesday night, proving that their brief absence from the live scene has not altered their ability to deliver sharp renditions of their diverse, golden sounds.

Although the band have undergone line-up changes since their conception in 2012, they’re still fronted by vocalist Keziah Stillwell, with the multi-talented Hannah Holland on bass and production. Guitarist Marc Hayward and percussionist Joy Joseph now complete the group – helping to bring Black Gold Buffalo’s moody, atmospheric tracks to life.

Keziah’s vocals and performance style made the set all the more compelling. She held her notes with the same captivating power that she held the audience’s attention with, and friends and fans happily complied when she asked them to step forward to fill the space in front of the stage. Joy’s intense and vital percussion anchored the set, working in harmony with Hannah’s brooding basslines, whilst Marc’s melodic guitar riffs resonated with intricate style.

The band played a selection of new and old tracks, but recent singles ‘Pearls Deep’ and ‘Lay It Down’ rang out the clearest – both of which will feature on the group’s self-titled debut album, released later this year. The latter was easily the highlight of the set. Full of urgency, atmosphere and energy; Black Gold Buffalo should be at the top of your live “to see” list.

Follow Black Gold Buffalo on Facebook for updates about future gigs.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: February 2018

February might be the shortest month of the year, but it’s been a near impossible task for us GIHEs girls to scale down our choices for this month’s playlist. We’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new music that’s been flooding our inboxes, and we’re excited to finally share some of our favourites with you. Have a listen, head down to some of the gigs we’ve mentioned, and hold tight for another month of marvelous new music.

La Lune – ‘He Breathes Colour When I Feel So Grey’
‘He Breathes Colour When I Feel So Grey’ is such a beautiful sentiment and such a visual image. La Lune’s email popped into my inbox and within a couple of clicks I was listening… melting into my ears with its slow electronica and gentle murmuring vocals. A big slice of me. It’s taken from La Lune’s debut EP Bliss which is out NOW. (Tash Walker)

Complicated Animals – ‘Show Me’
If you dig 80s music, David Lynch films, and “dreamy synth-pop songs” – you’re going to love Complicated Animals latest single. The Brazilian-American duo’s track is a lush electronic exploration of the magic that happens when we experience pure, genuine human emotion in a world where most of our interactions are dictated by technology. (FYI – If you’re heading to see Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird in a UK cinema this month, listen out for Monica da Silva’s song ‘Back To His Girl’, which is featured in the scene where Lady Bird is trying on prom dresses) (Kate Crudgington)

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘Pushin’
Having blown us away with their completely captivating live performance at The Finsbury last year, Norwich duo Sink Ya Teeth are fast becoming one of our favourite bands. Following the completely addictive sounds of ‘If You See Me’ and ‘Glass’, new release ‘Pushin’ is propelled by pounding beats and funk-fused bass hooks. Add Maria Uzor’s smooth, soaring vocals into the mix and the result is an utterly infectious, whirring soundscape that’ll have you up on the floor in no time. (Mari Lane)

Olivia Nelson – ‘Hideaway’ (K, Le Maestro Remix)
‘Hideaway’ came out in the dwindling days of 2017 and now it’s been freshened up by producer K, Le Maestro. Always one to go weak at the knees at the slightest hint of a remix, I have fellow GIHEs gal Kate to thank for giving me the heads up on this one. Strong beats, strong vocals and strong samples. Needless to say we’re stoked to have Olivia as a guest on Get In Her Ears Radio Show on the 8th February, so be sure to tune into that! (TW)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Lay It Down’
“Your mind will fester and your head will roll” sings Black Gold Buffalo‘s front woman Keziah Stillwell on new single ‘Lay It Down,’ a song she wrote about overcoming anxiety. It’s a well-crafted, slow-burning, beautiful track that I can’t wait to hear live at The Waiting Room on February 7th (gig details here). (KC)

After London – ‘Bitter Man’
If you’re looking for a slice of anthemic, alternative indie-rock, look no further than After London’s ‘Bitter Man’. The five-piece released their eponymous debut EP last month, and it’s a record that proves they’re well-rehearsed, wickedly talented, and ready for their launch party at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 7th February (RSVP here). (KC)

Soccer Mommy – ‘Cool’
I’m trying (and failing) to play it cool whenever I hear one of Soccer Mommy’s new tunes. She released the brilliant ‘Your Dog’ a few weeks ago, and she’s followed it up with the equally impressive ‘Cool’. I can’t wait to listen to her debut album Clean in full (released via Fat Possum Records on March 2nd) and hopefully hear a few of the tracks lives when she performs at Moth Club on March 6th. (KC)

Carolyn’s Fingers – ‘Her Howl’
‘Her Howl’ is the first official release from experimental pop band Carolyn’s Fingers and I just love it’s unexpected twists and turns with the vocals & samples plucking their way throughout the track. Carolyn’s Fingers sing about love, mental health, mythology and queer and social politics – this track in particular is about depression in what they describe as a weird but hopeful way. ‘Her Howl’ is 100% DIY, recorded and produced by themselves. Enough said. Get listening. (TW)

Partner – ‘Everybody Knows’
The latest single from our favourite Canadian duo, ‘Everybody Knows’ tells of the paranoia following one too many bong hits. Filled with a jangly guitar fuzz and delightful, sparkling harmonies, it gives a nostalgic nod to ’90s punk-pop whilst maintaining its own refreshing wit and sunny energy. Complete with impressive, racing licks, it’s a wonderfully infectious offering that’ll leave you longing for another hit of Partner’s playful, uplifting sounds. (ML)

Dream Wife – ‘Act My Age’
“Do I amuse you? Do I confuse you?” – Dream Wife’s vocalist Rakel confronts her listeners in trademark sweet & shouty style on this superb new track, taken from the band’s self-titled debut album (released via Lucky Number last month). Fearless on stage and now on record; Dream Wife’s debut is a joyful declaration of defiance and self-autonomy, designed to motivate listeners in to embracing life, love, and the fires that spark when you overcome adversity. (KC)

Blue Crime – ‘TYR’
I’m a bit late to the game on this one but as they say better late than never. Born in an Amsterdam bunker, Blue Crime are an experimental doom-pop/new wave four-piece self-described as a “trip from the disarming to the wrenching”. This track is taken from their debut EP TYR, released back in 2015 on their very own Meduse MagiQ label – an all female arts/music collective. ‘TYR’ draws you in with its hazy guitar and atmospheric vocals, like slowly falling into an endless kaleidoscope of music mist. Bliss. (TW)

The Nyx – ‘Patience’
Our favourite London rockers have released another new single to coincide with the appearance of another full moon, and we’re hooked on their powerful riffs and affecting vocals. We’re 99.9% sure The Nyx will be appearing on our monthly playlists for the remainder of 2018. #sorrynotsorry (KC)

Suggested Friends – ‘Mother Fucking Tree’
Taken from their fantastic self-titled album, this track oozes the band’s uptempo, ‘tweemo’ punk-pop and twinkling charm, showcasing the band’s infectious melodies and luscious harmonies as they tell frank, witty everyday life stories. Also, with amazing lyrics like “I thought you had a halo, but it was just the backlight from your iPhone…”, what is there not to love? We cannot wait to see them live next Friday, 9th February, at The Finsbury along with LIINES, Bugeye and Duck (RSVP here). (ML)

Kesha – ‘Praying’
Though I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole of the Grammys last week, I did watch the full performance of Kesha performing ‘Praying’, taken from last year’s Rainbow. Though this song appallingly lost out to Ed Sheeran in the awards, her incredible, emotive performance of the track is the clear winner in my opinion. Surrounded by a mass of women dressed in white (including Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello), it was an exceptional, empowering moment in the face of all Kesha has had to go through with Dr Luke, and the challenges women in the music industry face in general (highlighted by the lack of women winning awards at the ceremony!). (ML)

Lady Gaga – ‘John Wayne’
Lady Gaga had to cancel 10 of her upcoming tour dates last week, after announcing that she was in chronic pain due to suffering from fibromyalgia (a condition which can cause pain all over the body). I’m gutted I’ll have to wait even longer to see The Grammy award-winning singer, but I’ve got good company and good gin lined up to drink the pain away. I’ll be raising a glass to her swift recovery whilst simultaneously belting out the lyrics to this Joanne track. (KC)

EMA – ‘Breathalyzer Instrumental’
This epic track is taken from EMA’s recent EP Outtakes From Exile, and I can’t get it out of my head. It’s twenty minutes of intriguing noise which broods somewhere between intense awareness, and a need to be aurally anesthetised. An intoxicating sonic assault that should not be skipped! (KC)

Track Of The Day: Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Lay It Down’

“Your mind will fester and your head will roll” sings Black Gold Buffalo‘s front woman Keziah Stillwell on new single ‘Lay It Down,’ a song she wrote about overcoming anxiety. It’s a well-crafted, slow-burning, beautiful track that proves this band are ready for big things in 2018.

‘Lay It Down’ follows the group’s previous single ‘Pearls Deep’, and both tracks are taken from their long awaited debut album, set to be released on 6th April, via their own Buff Rekkids label. The self-titled collection of brooding, dark pop gems is largely about wanting to escape the city, “to get up and go somewhere and nowhere”.

The band’s ethos is totally DIY – “We run our own label, we make our own art, and we call on friends to make vides and remixes” – and that’s something we’re more than happy to support here at Get In Her Ears. We’re hooked on Black Gold Buffalo’s mesmerising, alternative sounds, and after you’ve listened to ‘Lay It Down’, you will be too.

Follow Black Gold Buffalo on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut