WATCH: Softcult – ‘Spit It Out’

A lush, swirling guitar tune that gently encourages listeners to face their unconscious bias, Canadian duo Softcult have shared their latest single ‘Spit It Out’. Since the release of their debut EP Year Of The Rat earlier this year, the pair have been busy working on new material, with this new offering building on their existing manifesto to resist and relieve the pressures that come with existing in a patriarchal world.

Formed of Ontario-based twins Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn, Softcult cut their teeth playing live shows in their local town of Kitchener, before moving on to bigger audiences on the North American tour circuit. Their experiences of playing and working within a male-dominated industry formed the foundation for their current sound, which is born from the desire to reject toxic standards of femininity and embrace a more equal world.

‘Spit It Out’ embodies this outlook, as the band explain in more detail: “The song is about rejecting harmful ideologies that we’ve come to accept as normal, even though they perpetuate our own oppression. Most people understand that misogyny, sexism, racism, etc are wrong, but don’t often notice when it occurs in our every day lives, in the media, or how we’ve been conditioned to perceive the world. We can even unknowingly become part of the problem because we’ve internalized these ways of thinking. We wrote the song about resisting societal standards which only serve to benefit those that hold power over others. By simply refusing to accept these ideologies, we can weaken the pillars in our society that allow oppression and injustice. It all starts with questioning them in the first place, and then deciding that we aren’t going to continue to contribute to them.”

Watch the video for ‘Spit It Out’ below.

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Photo credit: Judith Priest

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Softcult – ‘Year Of The Rat’

A culmination of their thoughts on and experiences of sexism, misogyny and objectification, twin sisters Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn aka Softcult have crafted a bittersweet collection of lush, grunge-infused songs on their debut EP, Year Of The Rat. Pushing through pain and reflecting on their hard earned emotional resilience, the Canadian duo have written an ultra-cool manifesto of resistance designed to help relieve the pressures that come with existing in a patriarchal world.

Informed by their love of 90s guitar bands like Bikini Kill and My Bloody Valentine, as well as the bubble-gum grunge of Beabadoobee and Soccer Mommy, Softcult blend atmospheric guitars, energetic percussion and hazy vocals to create their softly antagonistic sounds. Working from their home studio for most of 2020, Phoenix and Mercedes were able to take stock of what they really wanted to achieve under their new moniker and Year Of The Rat is a mature offering that highlights the duo’s instincts for creating heady soundscapes that soothe the sting of a painful past.

“It might seem like we’re just super angry but it comes from a place of wanting to make positive change, which always starts with a conversation,” explains guitarist & vocalist Mercedes. This anger and empathy manifests itself in different ways throughout the EP, which kicks off with the melodic ‘Another Bish’. The duo find catharsis amidst their swirling riffs and frantic beats, arriving at the humbling realisation that even though you can’t always change someone else’s perception of you, you can refuse to be “tamed” by their reductive views.

The melancholic ‘Gloomy Girl’ provides listeners with a glimpse behind the veil of depression. It’s a tentative musing on the ominous feeling that you’re “wasting away” whilst going through a period of poor mental health. ‘Take It Off’ aches with a subdued anger that’s directed at catcallers, but it also doubles up as a care-free dismissal of ridiculous trophy wife standards. The pair continue to shrug off the emotional labour that’s routinely pushed onto women’s shoulder on the shimmering, restless ‘Young Forever’, before closing the EP with the cutting, yet tender sounds of ‘Bird Song’.

Fuelled by their desire to instigate change in their own circles and further afield, the Softcult blend observational lyrics, smooth vocals and atmospheric riffs together on Year Of The Rat to punctuate their personal statement against injustice and provide listeners with a brooding, polished, unexpectedly light listen.

 

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Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Errunhrd – ‘Rain (Sun Is Gone)’

An evocative electronic soundscape that deals with emotional burnout, Niagara Falls based multi-instrumentalist and producer Errunhrd has shared her latest single ‘Rain (Sun Is Gone)’. Laced with melancholy vocals, cinematic synths and sparse, clicking percussion, the track embraces a difficult topic but is underscored by Errunhrd’s hope that things will eventually improve.

“‘Rain (Sun is Gone)’ is about being emotionally overwhelmed during the pandemic while my grandma got diagnosed with colon cancer and is still going through treatment,” Errunhrd aka Shirin Ghoujalou explains. “It’s also my way of letting everyone out there struggling right now know that I hope we’ll be okay and get through this, while keeping the anger and frustration of the situation in there.”

Influenced by the likes of New Order, Grimes, Daughter and London Grammar, Errunhrd creates music that has “some kind of melancholy hope” and writes lyrics directly from her life experiences. ‘Rain (Sun Is Gone)’ epitomises her creative outlook, diving deep into her vulnerabilities and fears about her own well-being, as well as extending an olive branch to her Grandmother and to her listeners who are struggling to tread water in these testing times.

Watch the video for ‘Rain (Sun Is Gone)’ below.

 

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Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut