Live Highlights of 2018

Despite being a pretty scary year in the grand scheme of things, 2018 has actually been exceptionally great for new music. And seeing live music has, as ever, provided a necessary catharsis and enjoyment; forever giving us something to look forward to. 

Having witnessed an uncountable amount of women/non binary folk being awesome on stage this year, it was hard to pick out our highlights … But, from some of our DIY faves, to Fever Ray and Courtney Barnett (and – yes – Indietracks Festival features twice, it’s that great), here are a few events that stood out as particularly special for us… 

Witch Fever Live @ The Finsbury, January:
2018 has been of year of many incredible gigs, not least our own gigs that we’ve been lucky enough to host at The Finsbury. And, whilst I have a massive amount of love and pride in all the gigs we’ve hosted, the year kicked off with a pretty immense one. Manchester’s Witch Fever, who made two six hour coach journeys to be with us, treated us to their frenzied, raucous offerings with an incredible, un-matched power. As front woman Amy’s incredible, snarling energy stole the show, we were all left completely in awe of this band’s formidable intensity. And they weren’t the only amazing band of the night; joining them was the empowering force of The Nyx, the grunge-fuelled energy of ARXX and the gorgeous pop-punk of Militant Girlfriend.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Fever Ray @ The Troxy, March:
Fever Ray’s fierce, focused, sold out performance at the Troxy proved she’s an inimitable talent with a vision, generosity, and energy unlike any other. In Fever Ray’s space, no-one is an outsider: everyone is welcome in her warped and wonderful world. Emerging from the lights in her trademark “I heart Swedish girls” t-shirt and bare scalp, from start to finish the sound was flawless. Each lyric, synth sequence and drum beat was more distinct and discernible than the next – if you weren’t there, you definitely missed out.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Petrol Girls @ Shacklewell Arms, April:
Mari and I were so excited to see the brilliant Petrol Girls live for the first time this year, and they did not disappoint. Loud, lethal and life-affirming: their headline show was a raw, frenzied, furious affair. The band packed out the venue with the help of their friends Pretty Pistol and Screaming Toenail (our new favourite band), and played our favourite track ‘Touch Me Again’ with all the ferocity and energy we’d come to expect from this brilliant band of activists.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indian Queens @  Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, June:
Hackney trio Indian Queens performed to a packed out Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre this year, after being hand-picked by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his (exceptionally well curated) 2018 Meltdown Festival. The band delivered a mesmeric, sharply executed performance that ended in a well deserved standing ovation. I felt like I’d witnessed something truly special from the Cool Thing Record signees when I left the building, and I look forward to catching them again in 2019.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indietracks Festival (and its sense of community), July:
There is the smell of long past years in the carriage as the rails clackity-clack below you, the signalman waves from the box as you pass, and behind the sidings crammed with moss-windowed rolling stock the natural amphitheatre of the main stage hoves into view.

Indietracks is hidden away but for those in the know its not just the boutique festival quietly winning at line-ups, its home. Not only welcoming and familiar, but full of friendship and love. The diversity of the billing, the cute touches and culture-clash between trains and music will delight newcomers but the community sustained between years – by the festival and railway volunteers, each band, every festival-goer – is something to be really astounded by. At a time when togetherness feels more elusive, but is ever more vital, Indietracks should be both celebrated and cherished for the community its nurtured and welcomes home each summer.
(Sarah Lay – Contributor)

Indietracks Festival (and the diversity of its line-up), July:
With our ongoing disappointment at the lack of diversity on the majority of mainstream festival line-ups this year, I was particularly excited to discover Indietracks – one that refreshingly, consistently, champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres. And, I wasn’t to be disappointed; the weekend – set in the idyllic Midland Railway Centre near Ripley in Derbyshire – exceeded all expectations.

Ask me about any of my favourite bands of 2018, and they were probably playing at Indietracks Festival. From an array of glorious indie-pop (Wolf Girl, Colour Me Wednesday, Happy Accidents, Worst Place), Feminist punk (Dream Nails, The Baby Seals, Dream Wife) and all the scuzzy, dreamy sounds in-between (Ghum, Sink Ya Teeth, Sacred Paws, Girl Ray), every single band I saw filled me with an empowering sense of joy and blissful gratitude. And I think all those I saw consisted of female identifying/non binary artists.

So, whilst it still seems to be unusual to attend bigger festivals these days and not encounter ingrained misogyny or disrespect of some kind, Indietracks felt like a different world; a safe, joy-filled world, and one jam-packed with all the best music (plus owls and parrots!).
(Mari Lane)

Qween Kwong @ Rough Trade East, July:
I remember this gig for several reasons. Firstly, because I arrived soaked in sweat and rain from the downpour that briefly broke the overwhelming summer heatwave, and secondly because I was lucky enough to interview Queen Kwong before her set. She was just as cool (and as cutting) as I’d imagined her to be, and her live performance was a visceral, loud, defiant example of her songwriting talent.
(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler @ The Finsbury, September:
I won’t lie; prior to Wendy Rae Fowler headlining for us at The Finsbury this September I was overwhelmingly excited and a little nervous. I’ve been a huge fan of her work over the years, and to have her play for us stands out for me as a particularly special moment (or 45 minutes) of 2018. Immediately creating a captivating, cinematic atmosphere, she filled the room with a majestic sense of wonder, delivering a soul-grabbing, breath-taking set that I’m truly honoured to have hosted.
(Mari Lane)

Courtney Barnett Live In Berlin, November:
Touring her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett was a sight to behold this year: quite literally. I looked on with envy when the Deal sisters provided backing vocals for ‘Nameless, Faceless’ at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend Festival. But, fortunately, a trip to Berlin also included seeing Courtney live at the city’s Huxleys Neue Welt venue. Seeing the songs played on a larger scale, contrasting with the more laidback atmosphere of songs taken from her debut and early EPs highlighted Barnett’s brilliance and renewed my appreciation of her songwriting.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

 

 

 

Record Store Day 2018: GIHE Picks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… That’s right, Record Store Day. The excitement, the unity of eager queuers, the smell of that shiny black vinyl as you release it from its sleeve, the empty pockets at the end of the day… But most of all, the music. A day dedicated to celebrating our favourite music, and those wonderful shop-owners who provide us with so much of it.

Ahead of the big day this Saturday (21st April), we thought we’d share some of the special releases that we’re most looking forward to this year. From the emotion-strewn nostalgia of classics by artists no longer with us, to some not-yet heard releases from some of favourite new bands, here’s what we can’t wait to get our hands on…

Mari Lane:

Soundgarden – A-Sides
The day I learned that Chris Cornell had tragically left us all too soon also happened to be the day I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I remember the day well. I listened to Soundgarden’s A-Sides on the way to and from the clinic, trying to find release in a band in whom I’d sought comfort on such days for the last 20 years. And, as I gazed out of the train window, I soon forgot my health worries as the realisation of what an immense loss the world had just suffered hit me. 

It may seem dramatic being so affected by someone you’ve never met, but I guess I’ve always found something particularly therapeutic about Chris Cornell’s voice. From the raging passion of ‘Jesus Christ Pose’, ‘Outshined’ and ‘Rusty Cage’, to the heartbreaking desperation of ‘The Day I Tried To Live’, ‘Pretty Noose’ and ‘Fell On Black Days’, it’s always been something I’ve sought refuge in; a voice that’s stirred a feeling in me that few other artists ever have.

Released for the first time on vinyl for Record Store Day 2018, A-Sides is a compilation album with songs spanning Soundgarden’s thirteen-year career. It was originally released on 4th November 1997 through A&M Records.

Haley – ‘Bratt’
Formally known as Haley Bonar, American artist HALEY has previously charmed listeners with 2016’s Impossible Dream and played on ‘Later… With Jools Holland’, as well as for the BBC 6 Music Festival in Glasgow. Now, under her new moniker, she recently shared ‘BRATT’. 

Propelled by uptempo, looped beats, it flows with a twinkling, ethereal haze and the subtle impassioned power of HALEY’s delicate vocals. Oozing an exquisite, emotion-strewn splendour, ‘BRATT’ sparkles with a shimmering, captivating grace, showcasing HALEY’s ability to create stirring, heartfelt creations.

‘Bratt’ will be specially released on a Memphis Industries 7″ for Record Store Day.

Courtney Barnett – ‘City Looks Pretty’/ ‘Sunday Roast’
Though I haven’t yet heard either of these singles yet, I have every confidence they’ll be worth the £9.99 I’m hoping to spend on Saturday. I’ve loved everything else Courtney Barnett has created, from 2013’s Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas (featuring the absolute self-love anthem that is ‘Lance Jr’) to the recent first taster of her upcoming album, ‘Nameless, Faceless’ – a refreshingly honest take on male chauvinism.

Courtney Barnett is probably my favourite, and most relatable, lyricist. She has a unique ability to tackle everyday life with a perfect wit and raw honesty; that, combined with her woozy vocals and infectious jangly melodies, makes for an utter dream, and I cannot wait to hear more from her.

 ‘City Looks Pretty’/’Sunday Roast’ is out on 12″ exclusively for Record Store Day via Marathon Artists. Tell Me How You Really Feel, the upcoming album from Courtney Barnett, is out 18th May.

Kate Crudgington:

Blanck Mass‘Odd Scene b/w Shit Luck’
Artists who release via Sacred Bones have been my obsession since listening to The Soft Moon’s latest album Criminal a few months ago, so I’m super keen to hear what Blanck Mass’s RSD release sounds like.

He came to my attention through Gazelle Twin, who contributed a remix of ‘The Rat’ to his latest EP, World Eater Re​-​Voxed. Here on ‘Odd Scene b/w Shit Luck’, the sonic punch of Blanck Mass manifests itself in “a couple of anti-macho pop songs” about a “pair of walking hardons” he observed at a truck stop whilst touring last year. The context will resonate with anyone who becomes enraged when they overhear ignorant people spouting trash in public (aka me).

Neither track will appear on a future Blanck Mass album, as the style deviates from his musical norm – making it the perfect release for RSD.

Odd Scene b/w Shit Luck is a 2 track 12″ released exclusively for Record Store Day via Sacred Bones.

L7 – Fast & Frightening
What’s the opposite of a ‘Shitlist’ – a hitlist? Well, that’s what Riot Grrrls L7’s Fast & Frightening album should be at the top of!

Since watching the ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ documentary (which Tash recommended to me), I’ve been listening to these punks on the regular. This album is filled with rarities, cover versions, tracks only found on compilations or one-off split 7″ singles, and plenty more.

It’s the first time the record’s been released on vinyl, and the perfect purchase for anyone who was lucky enough to score a tickets to their Electric Ballroom gig in Camden on 12th June.

Fast And Frightening is a 2LP out for the first time on vinyl for Record Store Day.

Rage Against The Machine – Democratic National Convention 2000
“Anger is a gift” – Zach de la Rocha’s powerful lines on ‘Freedom’ taken from RATM’s self-titled debut (released back in 1991) still burn with meaning and motivation. In the current political climate, I think we all need RATM more than we need oxygen most days.

This live recording of their protest concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in 2000 – attended by 8,000 people – is proof that Rage were a band unlike any other; politically informed, militantly organised and immensely talented.

Each time I think I’ve discovered all I need to know about this band, something like this crops up. They may have split back in October 2000, but their ideologies remain relevant and inspirational.

Live At The Democratic National Convention 2000 is an exclusive Record Store Day release of RATM’s concert in protest of the American political party system.

Em Burfitt:

Ask me? Record Store Day is one of, if not the best, day of the year. Christmas and even Halloween lose all appeal when faced off against independent record shops, limited release vinyl, and queueing. If Brits are the masters of queueing, then I consider myself a master of excitedly queueing on one particular day for records I woke up at 6am to find.

Last year, I added Patti Smith’s Hey Joe/Piss Factory and Anna Calvi‘s Live at Meltdown to my collection. Not to mention the free coffee offered ’round the back of Newcastle’s RPM, Reflex, and Beatdown Records (my “locals”). This year, it’s these releases that have all my attention.

Arcade Fire – Arcade Fire EP
One of the first Arcade Fire songs I ever heard was My Heart is an Apple from the 2003-released Arcade Fire EP. This to the point in which I still tell people that my heart is both full and an apple. I won’t say Napster had anything to do with it, but in rural England in a place where No Cars Go in the early noughties, you do what you can. The Arcade Fire EP will be released for the first time on vinyl and if I don’t find this individually numbered Holy Grail by my favourite band in the world, I’m going to be quite sad.

Arcade Fire EP is out for the first time on 12″ vinyl for Record Store Day.

Daughter – Music Before The Storm
Life is Strange: Before the Storm was Daughter’s first deep dive into the world of scoring and as a massive fan of the game series wherein music is so much a part of the experience that it’s as big a character as the storm it speaks of. In a flagship store on Portobello Road this January, the instantly recognisable track Flawsbroke out of the speakers and my heart, filling it with kind of pain I want to experience again and again. Music from Before the Storm is a double LP that belongs with me, and I shan’t hear otherwise.

Music From Before The Storm will be out for the first time on 2LP clear vinyl for Record Store Day.

(Honorable mentions that will break my bank account: Twin Peaks (Music From The Limited Event Series – Soundtrack) and every single Bowie record available.)

John McGovern:

GOAT – Double Date OST
GOAT are at the forefront of the psych resurgence, and the elusive Swedes are rarely away from my thoughts, so it’s exciting to see them cross over into a more popular medium with the soundtrack to Benjamin Barfoot’s comic-horror. The disc is blood-red and features ‘Run to Your Mama’ amongst other tracks. I might even see if I can pick up a copy of the film on Blu-Ray somewhere – the band themselves appear in one scene which, from the trailer, looks suitably trippy.

Double Date will be limited to 500 copies on 10″ for Record Store Day.

The Heads – Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere
This is a re-issue of The Heads’ second album from 2000 and is widely considered to be the Bristol psych survivors’ best. However, I’ll be trying to get hold of a copy (on clear blue vinyl naturally) because the band’s set at Liverpool Psych Fest in 2015 led to me and my housemates making a new, old friend. He was dancing so curiously that we couldn’t help but say hello and have knocked around with him the last couple of years on-and-off. It’s been a while since I’ve heard from Jon B and there’s no Liverpool Psych Fest this year, and, to be honest, I miss him.  

Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere will be limited to 500 copies on clear blue vinyl for Record Store Day.

The Lovely Eggs – Eggland
I still haven’t got round to picking up wobbly lo-fi psych indiepoppers The Lovely Eggs’ fifth album but having observed their career at a distance, both fascinated and slightly daunted, this RSD release – in Special Fried edition, white vinyl with a yellow yolk centre – has me captivated. Single ‘Wiggy Giggy’ had heavy rotation on Marc Riley’s 6Music show (normally around the time I would actually be frying things for dinner) so it seems like it’s the time to crack on.

Eggland LP will be limited to 500 copies in a special hand-packed sleeve for Record Store Day.

Otoboke Beaver – Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver
Lately, I feel as though I’m being increasingly led to Japanese music. Gideon Coe played Otoboke Beaver’s ‘anata atashi daita ato yome no meshi’ on his show last month and I’ve been curious about this self-described ‘“Japanese girls ‘knock out or pound cake’ band” ever since. Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver was designed as an introductory compilation for Western audiences, and is a furious non-stop melee of punk and garage with songs written in Kyoto’s slang. Perfect for dinner parties then.

Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver, a compilation of Otoboke Beaver’s output from 2010-2015, will be released on solid pink 12″ for Record Store Day.

Finally, we’d like to give a special mention to Jeff Buckley – Live at Sin-é. We actually all singled it out as a particularly special record, and both Mari and John have written about what it means to them… 

John McGovern:
There’s two kinds of people in this world: people who desperately want a special edition version of the outré-emotional sound of young (and sadly departed) Jeff Buckley playing his heart out in the East Village’s most famous little dive, and people who are lying to themselves. I’m in the first category.

Mari Lane: 
I’d never been hugely into Jeff Buckley – I knew ‘Grace’ and ‘Hallelujah’, though having been brought up on Leonard Cohen, I had always favoured the original of the latter… However, in the early days of meeting my partner Paul, I would stay over and he would play music all night as he slept. One of his most-played night time albums was Jeff Buckley’s Live at Sin-é – an absolutely perfect collection of exquisite lullabies. Being a light sleeper, I would lie awake and listen to the gut-wrenching raw emotion of each and every syllable. From the heartbreaking pleas of ‘Lover You Should’ve Come Over’, to the poignant cover of Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ and the soaring, quivering emotion of ‘Just Like A Woman’, I challenge anyone with a heart and working tear ducts to listen to this album with dry eyes. It’s a truly special collection of spellbinding songs from an artist who left us much too soon.

 Live at Sin-é was Jeff Buckley’s debut release for Columbia Records in 1993. Exclusively for Record Store Day, it’s being released as a limited edition with four individually designed LP jackets and an eight page, full colour booklet of photos and liner notes.

Find info on all the Record Store Day releases here. And, in the run up to Saturday, have a listen to our Record Store Day playlist!


@marimindles

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PLAYLIST: April 2018

Another month, another brand new playlist brimming with fresh music! We’ve been (gladly) overwhelmed by the amount of brilliant new sounds bursting in to our ears this April, and we wanted to share our favourites with you here. Whether you’re in to the idustrial/electronic beats of Zola Jesus, the anti-fascist punk glory of Dream Nails, or if you’re breaking in to “mumble rap” with Tierra Whack…there’s something here for your listening pleasure. Scroll down to the playlist below & enjoy! 

 

Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’ 
Artist & Producer Zola Jesus has shared an eclectic set of new tracks & remixes on Okovi: Additions, and ‘Bound’ is one of many sonic treats on this project. This release follows her 2017 critically acclaimed album Okovi (via Sacred Bones Records), and features remixes by a diverse cast of artists including; Johnny Jewel, Katie Gately, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Joanne Pollock. I’ve had this track on repeat since I first heard it in March, and I’m happy to stay ‘Bound’ by Zola Jesus’ sounds. Read our review of the album here(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler – ‘Svengali’ 
Having previously worked alongside the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mark Lanegan and UNKLE, American artist Wendy Rae Fowler has now released her new solo album, Warped. Taken from the album is the utterly bewitching ‘Svengali’. Filled with sweeping layers of sound and the cinematic grace of Wendy’s vocals, it’s a truly captivating creation. Read our review of Warped here(Mari Lane)

Rhye – ‘Please’
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Rhye perform in London this week, back in our ears after a four year hiatus.  What a treat. When they played this track I felt like I was melting into Heaven’s floor (apt), so incredibly gentle, sensual and intimate. I can never get enough of the gender-fluid vocals of Mike Milosh, now more so than ever. (Tash Walker)

Girls Names – ’25’
Taken from their upcoming new album, Belfast’s Girls Names’ new single ’25’ is a brooding, shoegaze-reminiscent sonic delight. Filled with sweeping, reverb strewn layers of synth-heavy sound and the dark, swooning vocals of Cathal Cully, it oozes a twinkling, ethereal haze alongside eerie undertones. An intensely captivating offering, it’ll have you hooked on first listen, and desperate to hear the album in full. Stains On Silence, the new album, is out 15th June. (ML)

Henry Green – ‘Another Light’ 
I recently reviewed Henry Green’s debut album Shift, and I felt like every track was a helpful reminder to inhale, exhale, and try to exist in the moment. His gentle electronics and intuitive lyrics have helped me to slow down (whilst still moving at full speed) this month, and I’d recommend him to anyone that needs a ‘Shift’ in perspective. (KC)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Magnets’
Keziah Stillwell’s vocals blaze in full glory on the mesmerising ‘Magnets’, which is a swirling fusion of bass, guitar & electronics that prove Black Gold Buffalo have a knack for writing atmospheric dark-pop songs. Their debut album is released today via their own label Buff Rekkids, and we’ve been swooning over it ever since. Read our review here(KC)

Lamb – ‘Gabriel’
I was recently reminded of Lamb after we put together our alternative Best of British playlist this week. Gabriel is a solid blast from my past taken from their album What Sound released back in 2001, which was my soundtrack of that summer.  Listening to Rhodes’ distinctive and emotive vocals wavering over the top of a medley of string samples and gentle beats, this song marks the beginning of my love for electronic music. 15 going on 16 and very sexually confused. All the feelings, all the emotions and all the hormones in the world. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘Small Talk’
Filled with smooth, celestial vocals and folk-tinged melodies, Irish artist Maria Kelly’s ‘Small Talk’ is a majestic, emotion-strewn offering. Written during a storm blackout in her hometown, the song parallels the nature of a storm with her own feelings of social anxiety. Double A-side ‘Small Talk’/’Dark Places’ is out 27th April via Veta Records. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’
Since I saw her live at The Islington pub a few months ago, Fenne Lily’s sad but sublime music has played on my mind (as has her sharp wit and dry sense of humour). ‘On Hold’ is the title-track from her debut album (released today), and it makes my spirits sink and soar whenever I listen to it. The accompanying video is a charming ode to small acts of kindness too. (KC)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Never Tear Us Apart (Rehearsal Room Recording)’
A beautiful stripped back cover of INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by Courtney Barnett. I love this simple recording of her performance, finding myself completely entranced by our Aussie fav. This song was released for an Apple commercial in support of marriage equality – here here. (TW)

Sit Down – ‘Honeysucker’
Oh. My. Word. There’s no force on earth that could make you sit still or indeed Sit Down to the sound of this Brighton duo (pictured above). The pair released their knockout debut EP Cheap Luxe at the end of March, and ‘Honeysucker’ is my go-to track. Filthy, furious, and sweet as hell. Read the full review here(KC)

Queen Zee – ‘Victim Age’
It was Transgender Day of Visibility on 31st of March (thanks to Tash for informing me), so it feels apt to support Queen Zee and all that she and her band mates stand for. They’ve been taking down trolls and tearing up stages across the country with their live shows, and I can’t wait to see them again at their sold out Sebright Arms show on April 26th. Long live Queen Zee! (KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” Dream Nails front-woman Janey rages in the refrain of our favourite Feminist Punk Witches’ ‘Vagina Police’. Oozing the poignant message that women are not allowed to have control over their own bodies, it races with the band’s trademark punk-fuelled energy and the riotous power of Janey’s seething, impassioned vocals. Another formidable offering that proves once again why we need Dream Nails in our lives, and makes us even more excited to see them live at The Finsbury for GIHE on 13th April! (ML)

Tierra Whack – ‘Mumbo Jumbo’
A twisted reflection of mumble rap and hip-hop, I cannot get this song out of my head and I especially love the ambiguity around what she’s saying, making it so much easier for me to join in.  Quietly. Mumbo Jumbo came out last year but I was recently introduced to her in the wake of her outstanding performance at SXSW. Soooo godamnnnn gooood. Need I say more? (TW)

BARQ – ‘Sassy Mouth’ 
One half of their new double A-side, Dublin band BARQ’s ‘Sassy Mouth’ is inspired by the courage and resilience of Ireland’s Repeal The 8th movement and the perils of online debate. Oozing the soaring power of front-woman Jess Kav’s soulful vocals alongside immense funk-fuelled beats, it’s a powerful, and empowering, call to arms. (ML)

PLAYLIST: Valentine’s Day 2018

Look, we know Valentine’s Day will never top Galentine’s Day, but we might as well hijack this awful date and try and use it as an excuse to get another cracking playlist set up for your listening pleasure. Whether you want to celebrate romantic love, sisterly love, brotherly love, other-worldly love – or just stay in with a bottle of whatever and seduce yourself – we reckon this playlist has you covered….

Best Coast – ‘Crazy For You’ 
When Paul and I first started going out, I was living in Dorset and he was living in London, so we were sort of pen-pals for a while – sending each other mixtapes and little drawings (his were much better than mine, obvs). One weekend when I was missing him a lot, I received a package with a copy of Best Coast’s Crazy For You album enclosed. The title track has been one of ‘our songs’ ever since. An upbeat, summery tale of naive romanticism and all-consuming love. (Mari Lane)

Wolf Alice – ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’
“I’d like to get to know you, I’d like to take you out…” My heart beats so hard when I hear the opening line of this glorious tune from Wolf Alice. The sweet, reluctant lyrics and gentle synth sounds make having feelings for someone sound like the most tender and precious thing in the world – even if they scare you half to death when the track stops playing. (Kate Crudgington)

Kill J – ‘You Have Another Lover’
An anti-valentine ode to love and betrayal from Danish faves of mine Kill J. Equal parts heavenly and haunting, ‘You Have Another Lover’ layers and loops, so unsettling and so suffocating. This was actually where my favourite phrase to date “so chill I can’t even” derives from. (Tash Walker)

FKA Twigs – ‘Good To Love’
I heard FKA Twigs’ debut album LP1 for the first time after a painful break-up a few years ago, and I was captivated by her musical explorations of lust and heartbreak. I always return to the album when I feel lost or rejected, but stand alone single ‘Good To Love’ is another soft, calming tonic for the moments when my heart starts second-guessing itself. (KC)

Le Tigre – ‘Eau D’bedroom Dancing’
Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time, this uncharacteristic ballad of Le Tigre’s is a simple, lo-fi proclamation of love. Maintaining the stripped back nature of Hanna’s solo Julie Ruin project, it showcases a subtle fragility to her vocals; one which is often hidden behind her powerful persona. And, with lyrics like “The world’s a mess and you’re my only cure”, it seems to sum up the feelings of longing and vulnerability that can come with being in love, however independent we may normally be. (ML)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Lance Jr’
The excellent lyricist Courtney Barnett delivers some of my favourite lines in this track ‘Lance Jr’, where she casually sings about masturbating to a guy’s songs followed by “Doesn’t mean I like you man/It just helps me get to sleep…” Legit. We’ve got to look after ourselves people, and what a difference a good night’s sleep makes. (TW)

Alvvays – ‘Archie, Marry Me’ 
This song from my fave Canadian band just always puts a smile on my face. Paul and I have spent many an evening, or car journey, singing this to each other. It just makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside. (ML)

Nirvana – ‘Love Buzz’
Originally sung by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, Nirvana released this as their debut single back in 1988. It’s one of my favourite songs, and I still feel a glorious buzz whenever I spin it. (KC)

Joan Jett – ‘Crimson & Clover’
If you’re not singing this classic in to the face of the one you love on karaoke by the end of the day, you’ve failed Valentine’s Day 2018. (KC)

Blondie – ‘One Way or Another’
Co-written by Debbie Harry, this track is actually about an ex of hers who took things too far and started stalking her… I think it’s good to know what’s out there guys, this is still a tale of love, albeit obsessive creepy love. (TW)

Deep Throat Choir – ‘Baby’
I’ve seen Deep Throat Choir live a number of times, and each time it’s been a simply euphoric experience watching the exceptional power of these women uniting their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring. This exquisitely beautiful cover of the Donnie and Joe Emmerson ’70s classic just gets me every time. (And, don’t tell anyone, but if I ever get married I’d like Deep Throat Choir to come and sing this at the wedding, please). (ML)

Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case Of You’ 
If you can listen to this song without tears in your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I ever will be. The heartbreakingly poetic lyrics, the stripped back instrumentation, the soaring, subtle power of Joni’s incredible vocal range; it’s just a devastatingly perfect love song. (ML)