Track Of The Day: Slagheap – ‘Destination Boyfriend’

Following the vibrant energy of last year’s single ‘Caffeine’, having supporting the likes of Billy Nomates, Wet Leg and GIHE faves Big Joanie, and with acclaim from Radio X’s John Kennedy and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, Bristol ‘do-it-for-yourself’ band Slagheap have now announced the release of their new EP, due out in August.

Taken from the EP, new single ‘Destination Boyfriend‘ is a joyously discordant yet euphoric celebration of femininity and feeling comfortable in your own skin, regardless of how far from the ‘norm’ you may stray. Reflecting on the different paths that bisexuality may take you on, it races with a scrappy, jangly energy as clashing beats sizzle alongside swirling, scuzzy hooks.

Creating a frenzied, shimmering cacophony, ‘Destination Boyfriend’ oozes a stark post-punk fuzz with the added quirky, playful spirit and tongue-in-cheek wit we’ve come to know and love from Slagheap. Of the track, the band have commented:

From our first Barbie Jeep, the GPS was programmed for heteronormativity. As we journeyed through puberty our eyes began to wander from the set path. The pre-planned girls trip is appealing… But so is the sweet fruit on the lay-by.”

Set to be a queer girl summer anthem, ‘Destination Boyfriend’ is accompanied by a nostalgia-tinged, and typically fun-filled, new video. Produced by Bristol’s Clump Collective, and featuring some of the band’s own artwork, you can watch the wonderfully wacky visual here:

Appetites, the upcoming new EP from Slagheap, is set for release on 5th August. And we’re super excited to have Slagheap headlining for us at The Victoria in Dalston this coming Friday 24th June – it promises to be a super fun evening, with support from Nervous Twitch and The Famous Daxx. Get your tickets here!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: MASCA – ‘Unsure’

A catchy slice of alt-pop that explores the way we focus on our bad habits and relationships for reasons that often feel intangible, Bristol-based duo MASCA have shared their debut single ‘Unsure’. With the support of producer Elliot Vaughan, the band muse about the cyclical nature of uncertainty through their relatable lyrics, catchy guitar riffs, snappy percussion and melodic keys.

Formed by Christina Maynard (Souer) and Jack Hamilton (INDIGOS), who have spent the last six years writing songs together, MASCA combine dual vocals with catchy melodies and guitar riffs to create their fusion of pop and rock sounds. The band sold out their first Bristol headline show in late 2020 with no material released and have since played support slots for the likes of Delta Sleep, Kier, Beach Rio and Goan Dogs. Their debut single ‘Unsure’ is the first taste of what the band have to offer this year.

“Unsure is about those kinds of relationships which don’t feel quite right but you can’t help yourself carrying on with,” the band explain. “Sometimes the thing that pulls two people together is more like a negative addictive force than a constructive one. It’s such a hard thing to be aware of, especially while you’re actually in that situation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic relationship, and It’s not really meant to apply to really bad toxic or abusive relationships, just the more ordinary relationships that people can find themselves in which they don’t realise are holding them back until they actually move on.”

The single is accompanied by a video, directed by Jay Bartlett, featuring Christina and Jack dressed in mock-up Marlboro cigarettes packets, wandering around everyday scenes trying to escape the uncertainty they sing of. “It was quite a while after we wrote the song that Tina realised that there were quite a few references to burning and flames and that’s where the idea for the video came from,” Jack explains. “That kind of tied together these ideas of addiction and unhealthy relationships really nicely.

2022 looks set to be a productive year for MASCA, who have an EP release in the pipeline and appearance at Burn It Down Festival and Glastonbury Calling booked in too.

Watch the video for ‘Unsure’ below.

Follow MASCA on SpotifyInstagram & Facebook

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PREMIERE: Cosmic Ninja – ‘Lies’

Formed in 2016, and with acclaim from the likes of Kerrang! Radio and Tom Robinson at BBC 6Music, Cosmic Ninja have now announced the release of a new EP. Formed of Tamsin Cullum, Jonny Angelini, Robin De Wandelear and Danny Watts, the Bristol band pride themselves on their riotous, queer punk energy, and have previously wowed crowds at events such as Glastonbury Calling, Unite Against Hate and BBC 6Music Fringe Festival.

Taken from the upcoming EP, new single ‘Lies’ fizzes with a gritty, relentless energy. A politically-charged, raging statement of intent against the corrupt Capitalist society in which we live, it builds with a seething power to a sizzling, angst-driven climax. Fusing together the vocals of Tamsin Cullum and Jonny Angelini, alongside immense whirring hooks and frenzied beats, with a racing sense of urgency, it offers an explosive call to arms that’ll leave you – fists-clenched – ready to take on the world with more of Cosmic Ninja’s fierce, electro-punk anthems.

Of the track, the band explain:

“‘Lies’ is about the dishonesty and corruption rife in UK politics. The endless lies and lack of integrity has reached an extreme level… Politics has lost sight of trying to make a better place for everyone and, instead, those with influence climb to the top and pull up the ladder by any means necessary… In most lines of work, you would be held accountable for lies, but, for politicians, it seems acceptable practice… This song is about calling out those lies, seeing through the misconception and positively challenging those walking blindly through corruption.”

Listen to ‘Lies’, for the first time, here:

Dissident Transmission, the upcoming new EP from Cosmic Ninja, is set for release on 8th April.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

GIHE: Ones To Watch 2022

It’s safe to say 2021 has been a tough one… But if there’s one positive to take away from this year, it’s the immense amount of incredible new music that’s been released, and the hope of even more sublime offerings from some wonderful new bands in 2022.

For our final annual end of year round-up, we’re sharing our ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2022… Just a few of the amazing bands and artists who have impressed us throughout 2021, and that we predict will be reaching ears far and wide next year… Have a read of our choices, and make sure you give them all a follow to keep track of their unmissable achievements over the next 12 months.

Cherym
Derry trio Cherym are one of my favourite discoveries of the year. Having had their EP Hey Tori pretty much on repeat over the last few months, seeing their gig at Paper Dress Vintage in October left me buzzing with a joyous sense of nostalgic euphoria – not only because it was my first gig since Covid, but because of the band’s unmatched exuberant energy and fiery spirit. Each of their songs is a perfect ​​master class in pure, perfect punk-pop – instant singalong anthems. I just can’t get enough of their empowering energy and bubbling, sugar-coated scuzz. And, having now been featured in Kerrang!, and with plans to play at SXSW this Spring, it seems they’re definitely ones to keep your eyes and ears out for in 2022! 
(Mari Lane – Co-Founder)


Pretty Happy 
I still crack up when I think of Pretty Happy guitarist Abbey Blake commenting “you’re the first person to say we have genuine talent” when I told them how great I thought their music was back in September. Together, Pretty Happy – aka art-punk trio Abbey, Arann Blake and Andy Killian – create riotous, tongue-in-cheek offerings often centred around their observations and experiences of living in their home county of Cork, Ireland. I had their EP Sluggers Bridge on heavy rotation during 2021, chanting along to ‘Sea Sea Sea’ and ‘Sudocrem’ as loudly and obnoxious-ly as possible. The band should hopefully be supporting Gilla Band on NYE if restrictions in Ireland allow, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll make it over to the UK in 2022 so I can see them live for the first time.
(Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder)


BAXTR
Blasting out the pink, fuzzy energy we’ve so needed this year, and having received acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing, London trio Floss, Bash and Keiko – aka BAXTR – have fast become one of my favourite bands of 2021. With sunny, uplifting singles such as ‘In Pop We Trust’ and ‘Grace On Fire’, the band showcase their knack for combining a kitsch, honey-sweet pop allure with a fierce, frenzied rock spirit, consistently delivering an effervescent, euphoric power with each frenzied, fun-filled floor-filler. A band on the rise for sure, I can’t wait to host BAXTR playing live for us at The Shacklewell Arms on 24th February, along with headliners Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business and Sheffield band Potpourri. Get your tickets on DICE now. 
(ML)


Grandmas House
Since I heard the opening riff of ‘Always Happy’ by Bristol trio Grandmas House, I have been hooked on their sardonic, thumping post-punk sounds. Formed of Yasmin Berndt, Poppy Dodgson and Zoë Zinsmeister, the band combine gritty guitars, powerhouse percussion and visceral vocals to create intensely relatable anthems. Watching them live at The WIndmill in Brixton was a real joy this year and I look forward to insisting Mari buy their last tote bag at the merch stand at more of their gigs in the future.
(KC)


Queen Cult
Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing for their debut single ‘Shindigger‘, and support for explosive recent offerings ‘Show & Tell’ and ‘A Song About Consent’ from big names such as Bang Bang Romeo, Cheshire band Queen Cult have been fast making a name for themselves this year. Consisting of front person Maisie Johnson and bassist Leila Jacklin, as well as Brodie Carson on drums and Piers Jarvis on guitar, the band pride themselves on their LGBTQ+ identity and sharing their queer, politically-charged messages with the masses, and I cannot get enough of their seething, gritty energy and riotous, angst-driven power. And, with a tour with GIHE faves LibraLibra set for January, it seems as though many more people will be being lured to the band’s fierce colossal spirit and instantly catchy musicality very soon. 
(ML)


Brimheim
I have Mari to thank for bringing Danish artist Brimheim to my attention this year, after she played her shadowy, sublime single ‘poison fizzing on a tongue’ on our radio show. Brimheim’s buoyant second single ‘hey amanda’ is a gentler, but equally as emotive track that showcases her talent for capturing a moment in its purest form. I’m so excited to hear her new album, the magnificently titled can’t hate myself into a different shape, when it’s released in January 2022.
(KC)


45ACIDBABIES
Dutch garage-pop punks 45ACIDBABIES have been providing a welcome quirky, fizzing soundtrack throughout 2021. Having previously shared stages with the likes of Sleigh Bells and Blood Red Shoes, with singles such as ‘Mommy’s Favourite 1’ and ‘Only Class6 From Now On’, they have showcased their ability to create perfectly catchy, danceable anthems. With each single offering a wonderfully obscure cacophony propelled by a swirling energy and vibrant honey-sweet allure, the band have already gathered a huge fan-base in their native Holland (with over 685k streams of their music on Spotify this year), but I predict that 2022 sees them headed for world domination… Watch this space! 
(ML)

Lilith Ai
Self-described as “a singer-songwriter who performs poignant tales of modern city life,” Lilith Ai writes relatable guitar tunes exploring turbulent emotions in a humble and engaging way. She was modest, self-deprecating but incredibly warm and open to talking about all aspects of her life and art when I spoke to her about her album, Folk You Hard, earlier in the year. Loud Women also awarded her their prestigious Hercury Prize Award for the record, which is further proof she’s definitely one to watch in 2022.
(KC)


The Menstrual Cramps
Having been massive fans of raging queer punks The Menstrual Cramps since 2017’s debut album We’re Not Ovaryacting, and had the honour of hosting an epic night of them playing live for us at The Finsbury back in 2018 as well as having them as guests on our radio show, we have been wallowing in a Menstrual Cramps-less void for the last couple of years as the band were on a little hiatus. But, at the beginning of this week, just when we thought all was lost and we’d given up any hope of 2022 being better than the last two years… The Menstrual Cramps announced their return! Joining front person Emilia and drummer AJ, the band introduced two new members, Abi and Zam, and have promised new music for us. I cannot wait for more of their politically-charged, immensely empowering anthems! 
(ML)

Check out our Tracks Of 2021, Albums & EPs of 2021 and Personal Highlights now. Massive thanks to all who’ve supported GIHE this year, it really means the world. And huge thanks too to all the amazing bands and artists who’ve soundtracked it, and who will continue to soundtrack 2022!