Track Of The Day: Ghost Car – ‘Conch Pearl’

With a chaotically wonderful feminist energy, London-based international punk quartet Ghost Car debut their latest spunky single ‘Conch Pearl‘. Continuing on their garage-pop path, Ghost Car come out eager with an undeniably grungy, racing drive that is sure to have you head-banging on first listen.

Reminiscent of The Runaways as well as LA based social-pop band LavaLove, ‘Conch Pearl’ feels both old and new when it comes to the track’s disposition. Whimsical, swinging vocals give Ghost Car a vintage ’60s energy, draped over overdriven, explosive rock guitar that oozes a fierce, raw emotion. And what is baked out of these juxtaposing influences feels glamorous and cathartic.

‘Conch Pearl’ is captivating and quick-witted from its start with a riff-driven intro that sets the rest of the track off to the races. Rolling drums stop for nobody, fuelling the track with a frenzied urgency. Ghost Car ask “What do you see?” as a repetitive, punk refrain that feels intimidating in the best way possible. Of the track, the band explain:

It’s a feminist commentary on women/queer community being ‘shrunk down’ to fit a mould. The idea of a conch shell closing up, closing yourself off to the world vs opening up. We wanted to use the obsession with the pearl to represent the possession that is sometimes manifested towards women, something all of us have experienced first-hand at some point in our lives”.

This latest offering from Ghost Car is tough, empowered and dainty all at once. As ‘Conch Pearl’ oscillates, the song’s build never loses motivation – adding in more guitar, increasingly energized drums and layers of niche vocal yelling sounds to bring the track to a roaring climax. It does not let go of you – and keeps you utterly immersed for its whole ride. A short, sweet blast of glistening post-punk energy.

Truly Trash, the debut album from Ghost Car, is set for release on 28th October via One Little Independent Records.

Jill Goyeau
@jillybean

Photo Credit: Patrick Smith

Five Favourites: Jemima Coulter

Whilst you may know them from being one half of Hailaiker, or from their collaborations with the likes of Squirrel Flower and Novo Amor, Bristol-based artist Jemima Coulter has now released their debut solo album. Reflecting on themes such as unrequited love and chasing happiness – through both their own lived experiences and imagined situations – Grace After A Party is a beautifully poignant collection. Flowing with a shimmering, folk-strewn musicality, each track showcases Coulter’s raw, heartfelt vocals and ability to create stirring, emotion-rich dreamscapes with a swirling, immersive allure.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of their debut album, we caught up with Jemima Coulter to ask about the music that has inspired them the most. See below for their choices of their five favourite albums, and be sure to treat your ears to Grace After A Party as soon as possible

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
I drew a lot from this album while writing Grace, mostly in thinking about storytelling and the details in the lyrics that make it compelling. The stories told in this album combined with the nuanced melodies makes it feel so directed, so itself and also perfectly balanced – never too much going on. Each section in a song sits perfectly on its own and in context of other sections, each song on the album sitting perfectly on its own and also tied to the others. I think the use of space in this album is not something I’ve found anywhere else; I don’t know what they used for the reverb, but listening to it, it’s all really ‘verby, but in a way where it’s like this special Carrie & Lowell room that’s a specific kind of dark and echoey but doesn’t make everything sound floaty and washed, and also ties the closer sounding guitar with everything else. Maybe it’s just the best mix I’ve ever heard ha. I listened to Carrie & Lowell a lot when I was driving, around the age of 19-20 – the combination of night-driving and this music seemed to swirl into an endless road. I’ve always wanted to recreate that in an album – you put it on and you’re there, it’s like a physical space, each song a room in a house, and the same things are in the rooms each time you listen but you’re still picking each of them up and turning them over in your hands and each object conjures an emotion in you.

Camille – Le Fil
Someone showed me ‘Quand Je Marche’ one morning and it was in my head for literally years until I found it on this album. There was a period while I was working on Grace (I think autumn 2020) – I was missing someone and I couldn’t sleep and I walked the perimeter of Bristol a few nights for nearly four hours each time and I remember walking the side of a steep A-road listening to this. I think she does nearly everything with her mouth? It’s really minimalist, but it taught me about using drones and melody and kind of inspired me to keep exploring that idea that you often just hear in folk. It’s also totally the opposite of what I tend to do with production and I love how her melodies totally carry the whole album. It has loads of repeating melodic themes and moments, almost like ‘acts’ and interludes which makes it theatrical, but in a really good way… It’s just a wicked album. 

Sea Oleena – Weaving a Basket 
I just think this is the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. It makes time stand still. No other words. 

John Martyn – Glorious Fool 
I was shown this album fairly recently, after being aware of a few John Martyn songs. The bass in his music takes me somewhere – I don’t think I’ve heard anything like it. Sometimes it’s like it’s just John and that fretless bass and everything else is just highlighting whatever they’re doing. His music makes me think about timing and atmosphere more than anyone else’s at the moment. He’s not doing anything particularly dense with his melodies or his words, it’s all very felt and is almost improvisational. It seems that the songs are really recordings in the sense that they don’t feel concerned with how they’d stand-up as live performance, and that’s something I find about this particular album and in his other ones, that them being crafted in the studio in darkness and in the atmosphere absolutely comes through. I was reading Phill Brown’s autobiography Are we Still Rolling? and it includes a bit about them recording John Martyn’s One World album – they had speakers across a lake and recorded parts the other side of the water to create a massive outdoor reverb. The combination of nature and technology fits with the crossovers I hear in John Martyn’s music; he was clearly so ahead and on the brink of mixing jazz, folk and electronic experimentation. ‘Small Hours’ from that album is the best night-time song. 

The Blue Nile – Hats
The thing I love about this album is that it feels like film music because it is so secured within timbre limitations and concept limitations. It’s like an ’80s rework of the Casablanca soundtrack or something. It sounds so ’80s/early ’90s it’s almost like a modern day pastiche of that period of pop. Again though – maybe a theme going on here -, there’s so much space and anticipation in these songs which I’ve found really liberating, like “yes, repeat that bit 8 times”. The whole thing is a massive argument against concision for me – like, fuck being concise; be indulgent, do a fade out. There’s three songs on that album over six minutes, and it’s an absolute pleasure to be inside them for the whole six minutes, I want to be able to do that more than anything, really.

Massive thanks to Jemima Coulter for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

Grace After A Party, the debut album from Jemima Coulter, is out now via Hand In Hive.

Photo Credit: Christina Russell

Track Of The Day: adults – ‘things we achieve’

Following the release of their debut EP The Weekend Was Always Almost Over back in 2018, and the split Space Armadillo EP with fellow GIHE faves Bitch Hunt in 2020, South London band adults have announced that their debut album will be released in October. And now, following recent single ‘all we’ve got // all we need’, they’ve shared another brand new offering.

Propelled by their trademark jangling melodies and buoyant scuzzy energy, ‘things we achieve‘ reflects on the pressures of living in a Capitalist society as honey-sweet vocals interweave between whirring hooks. Showcasing adults’ ability to juxtapose poignant subject matter with an irresistibly blissful, catchy musicality, this latest single offers a slice of gloriously fizzing indie-pop that’ll both uplift and inspire. I just can’t get enough of adults’ fuzzy, frenetic drive, with shades of the joyous, danceable allure of Los Campesinos, and eagerly await the full album release…

Of the track, the band explain:

“(the song’s about) how capitalism makes us forget what matters, how to be kind to people and to enjoy living…”

for everything, always, the upcoming debut album from adults, is out in October via Fika Recordings.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

ALBUM: Real Big Sky – ‘Real Big Sky’

Blending together reverb drenched riffs, enigmatic vocals and shiver-inducing cymbal smashes to create their blissful melodic noise, Real Big Sky’s self-titled debut album is an immersive, swirling collection of heavy guitar tunes that brood with quiet intensity.

Beginning as a form of distraction during the Covid-19 lockdowns for multi-instrumentalist Sara Kleppe (You Break, You Buy, Gold Baby), Real Big Sky was initially a solo project which she worked on in her bedroom in Hackney. Kleppe relocated back to her native Sweden in 2021, but with the help of friend and long-term collaborator Luca Romano – who also played drums and was on recording, mixing and production duties for the record – she has developed Real Big Sky’s sound to its fullest and most fluid yet.

“Changing dynamics throughout a song is something I try to give a lot of attention to, as well as trying to break free from the standard song structure,” Kleppe explains about the process of writing the songs for the album. It’s clear from the searching, yearning nature of opener ‘The Same Thing’ that she has a natural instinct for shifts in volume and mood, and this skill permeates Real Big Sky’s album.

Preferring not to be too prescriptive about her lyrics, Kleppe’s elusive vocals float gently over her expansive riffs, her ambiguous words adding to the record’s overall enigmatic quality. She transcends feelings of isolation that underscore tracks like ‘Long Lost’ and ‘Another Day’ in different ways; the first soothes like a heavy lullaby whilst the latter swells with anticipation.

She perceives introspection in a similar vein too. Whilst ‘Jess’ feels like a darker, moodier offering, gentler tracks like ‘Where Is Your Mind?’ ache with sincerity, the rich guitar sounds complimenting Kleppe’s understated pining for answers. A magnetic undercurrent flows through the shimmering tones of ‘Lightness’, the fullness of ‘The Deepest Currents’ and the urgent, epic concluding track ‘The End’, which clocks in at just under 7 minutes. It encapsulates all that Real Big Sky have to offer, equally as impressive in its quiet moments as it is in its intense, murky outro.

Kleppe was hesitant to release her predominantly solo work as Real Big Sky into the world, but this hesitancy is definitely misplaced. Together with Luca Romano, she has crafted a captivating record that raptures the senses, and much like the time period it was created in, is a blissful distraction from life’s more overwhelming moments.

Listen to Real Big Sky’s debut album here.

Follow Real Big Sky on bandcampSpotifyFacebook & Instagram

Photo Credit: Johanna Kleppe

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut