Track Of The Day: The Velveteers – ‘Anastasia Sings’

Having first fallen for Colorado fuzz-rockers The Velveteers seeing them support faves Deap Vally a couple of years back, they’ve since released their acclaimed EP earlier this year and finished their biggest UK tour to date. And now they’ve blasted back into our ears with new single ‘Anastasia Sings’.

A cinematic, psych-filled offering filled with immense scuzz-filled hooks, ‘Anastasia Sings’ is an instantly infectious slice of gritty, blues-filled garage rock. With driving double drum beats courtesy of John Demitro and Adrian Pottersmith, plus the spectacular soaring vocals of front woman Demi Demitro, the sweeping power of this new single marks The Velveteers out as definite ones to watch. 

Watch the horror-fuelled nightmare-scape of the new video for ‘Anastasia Sings’ here:

Mari Lane
@marimindles

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

EP: Sit Down – ‘Cheap Luxe’

Describing themselves as “halfway between Jack Black and Jack White”, Brighton duo Sit Down are a DIY force to be reckoned with. Formed in 2016 after temporarily living in New York City, guitarist & vocalist Greg Burns and drummer & vocalist Katie Oldham honed their punk ethos, and penchant for strong rebellious women and turned it in to a knockout debut EP: Cheap Luxe.

Labelled by the band as “the lovechild of sin and substance”, the EP was self-produced between two bedrooms, and released online at the end of March. You’ll be cracking your knuckles in preparation for opening track ‘Mothership’, which is a defiant, alien-invasion-inspired introduction to this onslaught of seething, seductive sound. Getting revenge sounds brutal and beautiful on second track ‘Bloodlust’, on which Katie leads the vocals and Greg welds more of his manic, menacing riffs.

The devious ‘Honeysucker’ rips through shortly after; commanding attention with primal drumming, filthy riffs, and Greg & Katie’s dual vocals colliding in blood-lusting fashion. Closing track ‘Cheap Luxe’ is a searing, sassy attack on materialism; with visceral reverb and pounding percussion that’ll have you insisting alongside the pair that the real high life is “living cheap as fuck!”.

There’s no force on earth that will make you sit still (or indeed Sit Down) to this Goliath-sounding EP. Get up, get moving, and get sweaty to Cheap Luxe. Fans of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kills & Deap Vally will definitely approve.

You can listen to/download Cheap Luxe on bandcamp here. Follow Sit Down on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: Galentine’s Day 2018

Grrrls, it’s the best day of the year: GALENTINE’S DAY! Coined by Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) back in 2010, Galentine’s has since been recognised by girls across the globe, and used as a light-hearted platform to celebrate the girls and women who enrich our lives.

We wanted to celebrate it with you in the best way possible: by chucking some of our favourite female artists on a big old playlist. We’re all about self-love & sisterly love today, so scroll down, press play, and share that big ol’ Galentines love!

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’ 
What can I say? The ultimate anthem for female unity and sisterly love. Singing of the affection and admiration felt for a best friend, Kathleen Hanna reminds us of the importance of telling the queens of our world how much they mean to us. (Mari Lane)

The Nyx – ‘Myself’
I told you The Nyx would feature on all of our playlists this year! Chuck ‘Myself’ on whenever you start to doubt how great you are. It’s a reminder that you are enough, which is something Mari & Tash are quick to say to me whenever I’m having a bad day. Thanks Grrrls. (Kate Crudgington)

Chromatics – ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’
A great cover of a great track. ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ always reminds me of a story about this 60 year old Italian woman who walked into her local fire station as she was having trouble with her lock. When the firemen asked the woman where she lived, thinking she’d locked herself out of her house, she lifted her sweater and showed them her chastity belt. (Tash Walker)

Chastity Belt – ‘Joke’
Which leads me nicely on to my next track by Chastity Belt. This was one of the bands I discovered at the start of Get In Her Ears, all those years ago, and just reminds me so much of what it was like at the start of it all. Three years on here’s to my two GIHE gals Mari & Kate, and all of the jokes we’ve had along the way. (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘Bros’
Taken from their knockout debut album My Love Is Cool, ‘Bros’ is one of my favourite Wolf Alice tracks. The video shows two young girls eating chips, colouring each others nails in with felt tip pens, and climbing trees; all past-times my siblings & I used to indulge in as kids. Waves of nostalgic joy smother me every time I hear this beautiful track. (KC)

Kesha – ‘Bastards’ 
What would a GIHE playlist be without a Kesha choice from me…? “Don’t let the bastards get you down, don’t let the assholes wear you out.” – wise words from the artist, and ones which we’ve all recited to our friends as we’ve hugged and sought strength from each other during tough times. (ML)

Pretenders – ‘Alone’
I was lucky enough to see the Pretenders live last year, and they opened their Hammersmith Apollo set with this anthem of independence. Chrissie Hynde is the ultimate example of a woman making her way through the world with talent, stamina, and absolutely no apologies. (KC)

Shirley Ellis – ‘Soul Time’
I love this song, it’s just so much fun and completely infectious. Shirley Ellis often unfairly categorised as a novelty act by many music historians has a well earned place in the history of American soul.  Funky, sophisticated and sassy.  All the sisterly love for her! (TW)

Miss Eaves – ‘Thunder Thighs’ 
This is a fantastically empowering and uplifting anthem for all us gals – encouraging us to celebrate and take pride our body, whatever shape or size it may be. Thank you, Miss Eaves, for this wonderful lesson in self-love. (ML)

TLC – ‘No Scrubs’
This track is almost a decade old, but it’s still the best thing to spin after you’ve been mugged off by a fuckboy, or when you’re getting ready to paint the town red with your girl gang. (KC)

Ji Nilsson & Marlene – ‘Love You Anyway’
Released back in 2014 this was the first song that jumped to mind for this Galentine’s Day playlist, Love You Anyway is all about female friendship. The lyrics speak of solidarity but with a slight note of sadness, combined with the enchanting quality to the music the whole thing intertwined together is mesmerising. (TW)

Nicki Minaj & Beyonce – ‘Feeling Myself’ 
This perfect collaboration between Queen B and Nicki Minaj offers a super uplifting and witty message of self confidence and female unity, with a massive middle finger up to society’s expectations of girls having to be ‘good’/modest in order to be respected. (ML)

Peaches – ‘Boys Wanna Be Her’ 
Although each track on the incredible Impeach My Bush is a pretty hard-hitting, empowering masterpiece, ‘Boys Wanna Be Her’ is just a perfect celebratory anthem; as Peaches explains – “It’s just a celebration. Seriously. I want it to be like a post-gender and post-age celebration of becoming who you are.” (ML)

Dream Nails – ‘LoveFuck’
Dream Nails are all about self love and sisterhood, and I never get tired of their music or their inspiring activism. Whether you’re newly single, happily single, or fed up of being single: this track is designed to restore your faith in the good fucks again. Hang in there girls. They’re out there waiting for ya. (KC)

Deap Vally – ‘Smile More’ 
I just love this powerful and refreshingly tongue-in-cheek offering from this incredible duo. With lyrics such as “I am not ashamed of my mental state/And I am not ashamed of my body weight…”, ‘Smile More’ is the perfect motivational mantra that incites in me a strength to get up and face the world. (ML)

Savages – ‘When In Love’
I remember scoring last minute tickets to see Savages’ sold out Roundhouse gig back in 2016 and feeling so excited I nearly threw up at my desk. I went on my own to see them in the flesh, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever witnessed. I’ll always remember Jehnny Beth telling her crowd that this track was about knowing how love is going to fuck you up, but you should have the nerve to go ahead and pursue it anyway. A reckless, but  brilliant piece of advice. (KC)

Carole King – ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ 
Having sung this at my loved ones many a time, ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ fills me with emotion on each listen. An uplifting message of unity and platonic love, Carole King once again continues to inspire me, my mother before me, and women everywhere, with this beautiful, heartfelt anthem. (ML)