LISTEN: Divide and Dissolve – ‘Denial’

An exhilarating, powerful soundscape that aims to erode the foundations of colonialism and liberate the land for black and indigenous communities, multidimensional duo Divide and Dissolve have shared their latest single ‘Denial’. Taken from their upcoming album Gas Lit, which is set for release on 29th January 2021 via Invada Records, the track is an eerie cacophony of thunderous riffs, ear-shattering percussion and uncanny saxophone notes that aim to eradicate white supremacy.

“Sometimes we don’t need to talk in order for others to understand what’s going on,” the duo explain about their intense instrumentals. “We are communicating with our ancestors through the music. Our ancestors help us to communicate with each other on a deeper level as well. This deep connection is able to be achieved without words.” Through their blend of visceral noise and captivating visuals, Divide and Dissolve – formed of Takiaya Reed (Black & Tsalagi [Cherokee]) and Sylvie Nehill (Māori) – dismantle the social frameworks that prevent black and indigenous communities from thriving in an equal society.

The accompanying video for ‘Denial’ was shot in Taupo, Aotearoa by indigenous director Amber Beaton. “I’m a huge fan of Divide and Dissolve and so happy to have made this video for them,” Beaton explains. “I understand and appreciate the message behind the music and I wanted to make sure the video held the same intentions no matter how subtle.”

“For instance, we start off with a shot of a Kōwhai tree. Native to Aotearoa, Kōwhai in bloom signifies to Māori that some seafood is ready for harvest, the roots can be used to make fishing hooks, the sap on the sunny side of the tree can be used to heal wounds… but the vibrancy of the yellow flower was also the first thing Captain Cook saw when he arrived on the shores of Aotearoa signalling the start of colonial violence on this whenua/land. The changing colours of its flower in the video represents our change as a country and as people since that fateful arrival.”

Dedicated to shining a light on social injustices both past and present, Divide and Dissolve continue to demand equality on thunderous new offering ‘Denial’, which serves as another reminder of the duo’s talent for creating abrasive yet graceful soundscapes.

Listen to the track below.

 

Follow Divide and Dissolve on bandcampInstagramSpotify, Twitter & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Billy Eyers

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Divide & Dissolve – ‘We Are Really Worried About You’

An eerie, thunderous instrumental that rouses listener’s state of awareness and questions what it means to be free, Divide and Dissolve have shared their latest single ‘We Are Really Worried About You’. The track is lifted from their upcoming album Gas Lit, produced by Ruban Neilson (Unknown Mortal Orchestra), and set for release in January 2021 via Invada Records who the band have recently signed to.

“[The single] is a call to transformation and freedom,” the duo explain. “This song and video seek to undermine and destroy the white supremacist colonial framework. We are weaving together our fight for Indigenous Sovereignty, Black and Indigenous Liberation, Water, Earth, and Indigenous land given back. Decolonise now.” Together, Takiaya Reed (saxophone, guitar, live effects) and Sylvie Nehill (drums, live effects) seek to undermine these forces through their doom infused, powerful soundscapes.

Crashing cymbals, distorted bass lines and striking saxophone sounds form a swirling vortex of cathartic dissonance on ‘We Are Really Worried About You’. The track is accompanied by a captivating music video, directed by Sepand Mashiahof. “The world is structured to mould us down into stunted vessels that have to gaslight ourselves of our own truths/experiences just to survive. This video felt like an expression of that process,” explains Mashiahof. “The desperation to be heard and the stonewall silence that pushes you into the void of perpetual self-doubt and self-sabotage. The concept and the collaboration aspects seemed to also mirror what it takes to move through this grief, that you need friends and community to be able to address these things together and help each other heal through it.”

With their dense and intriguing sounds, Divide and Dissolve are instrumental activists who seek to disrupt toxic white supremacy, and encourage others to do the same. Watch the video for ‘We Are Really Worried About You’ below and follow the band on bandcamp, Instagram, Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Billy Eyers

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: March 2018

England’s finally defrosting after the visit from ‘The Beast From The East’, and us Get In Her Ears girls are ready to embrace the springtime. To get us in the mood, we’ve compiled our favourite new March tunes in to one fresh playlist. Check out why we’re loving what we’re loving below, and click on the playlist at the bottom to hear it for yourself…

Soccer Mommy – ‘Your Dog’
Soccer Mommy has a gift for exploring frustration and insecurity through laid-back vocals and melodic guitar, and ‘Your Dog’ is a sublime example of this. Her frank admission of “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog” is a cathartic, emotional uprising against neglect, that seethes and soothes in equal measure. I’ve been singing it obnoxiously loud since she released her debut album Clean earlier this month. (Kate Crudgington)

Skating Polly – ‘Queen For A Day’
Taken from their upcoming album The Make It All Show, and featuring guest vocals from Exene Cervenka (from seminal punk band X), Skating Polly’s new single interweaves scathing vocals with lush harmonies, exuding the sibling trio’s trademark seething energy and understated subtle power. Once again marking themselves out as going against the grain, with ‘Queen For A Day’ Skating Polly deliver an empowering sentiment, uniting anyone who doesn’t want to coincide with the confines of society’s limitations. (Mari Lane)

Pillow Queens – ‘Favourite’
The brilliantly named Pillow Queens released a new video to accompany their track ‘Favourite’ last week, and it features some dodgy goings on at a dog show. I’m excited to catch the Dublin band at The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith on the 16th, alongside Delorentos, Video Blue and Tayne. Check out the Facebook event for more details. (KC)

Alex Rushfirth – ‘I Live It’
Infections and frenzied, ‘I Live It’ has to be my most played track from the last couple of weeks. Of the track, Rushfirth explains “I made the whole thing in my bedroom in a trance.” Warping the vocals to sound like they’re “being sung by an excitable small child” and that’s exactly how this song makes me feel…so heady, so feverish, so goddamn catchy. (Tash Walker)

ARXX – ‘Stuck On You’ 
New favourite band ARXX have previously completely blown us away with their immense, seething energy when playing for us live at The Finsbury a couple of months back. And now they’ve just released their fantastic, and totally addictive new EP. Entitled Daughters Of Daughters, as it’s been put together as a tribute to the music that Hannah Pidduck was brought up on by her Mother, it draws on an eclectic range of influences, and a variety of subject matter.

Taking a break from the riotous, punk-infused power of tracks such as ‘Moments At A Time’ and ‘Intervention’, ‘Stuck On You’ oozes a lush, country-pop romanticism as the soaring passion of Pidduck’s vocals flow, creating an instantly infectious, heartbreakingly catchy love song. (ML) 

Heka – ‘Did You See The Sunrise’
Heka was our guest on our first Get In Her Ears radio show of March, and we were lucky enough to have her perform this track live in the studio. ‘Did You See The Sunrise’ is so intimate and beautiful, with such strong searching vocals…described as “thoughts whispered to friends in dim lit rooms”. Mesmerising. (TW)

Amber Mark – ‘S P A C E’
This track is taken from Amber Mark’s 2017 EP 3.33am, which is about losing her Mother in 2013 and the stages of grief. ‘S P A C E’, the song that got her noticed, is just so enjoyable, rhythmic and about something we can all relate to but often find it so hard to articulate in this over connected, communication driven world. (TW)

Alice Bag – ’77’ 
If you need something inspiring to motivate you during these ridiculously cold, and depressingly dark times, then look no further. Punk legend Alice Bag has brought together a dream team if ever there was one – Riot Grrrl queens Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe, plus an appearance from Shirley Manson – to bring us the perfect angst-driven anthem. Raging against the gender pay gap, it’s filled with seething, punk-driven riffs and is an empowering, inspiring call to arms to unite against the patriarchy and make the changes needed for equality, in the workplace and beyond. As Bag poignantly sneers “… don’t pretend that we’re paid equal… You wrote the script / But I’m writing the sequel.” (ML)

The Go! Team – ‘Huddle Formation’ 
Though the last couple of months have been largely filled with cold, dark days and a distinct desire to hibernate, seeing The Go! Team live a couple of weeks back breathed a new lease of life into me; their sunny charisma and vibrant energy brightening the mood like nothing else.

Although the band’s whole set at Camden’s Electric Ballroom was an utter joy to behold, and I was completely immersed in their infectious, jubilant sound throughout, the highlight of the night came in the form of Thunder, Lightning, Strike’s ‘Huddle Formation’. Splitting the huge crowd into two sides, magnificent front-woman Ninja lead the way as we all sung our hearts out to the chorus, and a wave of sparkling euphoria filled the venue. (ML) 

Big Thief – ‘Shark Smile’
Released back in 2017, ‘Shark Smile’ by Brooklyn’s Big Thief has only just popped up on my radar with its cruising, slow story telling indie lilts. A song about two lovers driving down a highway where only one survives a crash, ‘Shark Smile’ sways from intense descriptions of oxygen kisses to the welcome predictability of the steady drum, guitar laden chorus. I’m loving this tragic tale which feels somewhat strangely comforting. (TW)

Mesadorm – ‘Yours And Not Yours’
Taken from Mesadorm’s forthcoming album Heterogaster, ‘Yours And Not Yours’ explores an intense sense of doubt, both internally and externally – ricocheting between security and unease with the help of a dirty synth line and urgent, rich vocals. I’m totally hooked on it. (KC)

Divide & Dissolve – ‘Abomination’
Divide & Dissolve’s second album Abomination is a sonic force to be reckoned with. The Melbourne-based duo curate heavy-instrumentals designed to “decolonize, dismantle white supremacy, and empower people of color & Indigenous people”. This is the opening track on the record, and it’s an intense five minutes and fifty seconds of unnerving riffs and ceaseless cymbals, crashing together to form a desolate but powerful soundscape. It’s instrumentalist activism that seeks to disrupt the norm – and I love it. (KC)

ALBUM: Divide & Dissolve – ‘Abomination’

A sonic force to be reckoned with, Melbourne-based duo Divide & Dissolve‘s second album Abomination, released via Dero Arcade, is a collection of heavy-instrumentals designed to “decolonize, dismantle white supremacy, and empower people of colour & Indigenous people.”

Together, Takiaya Reed (saxophone, guitar, live effects) and Sylvie Nehill (drums, live effects) seek to undermine the forces that oppress them. The duo have been receiving praise and support since the release of their debut Basic in March 2017, which earned them the accolade of ‘Best Heavy Album’ at The Age Music Victoria Awards. This year they’ve been granted a support slot with Poliça on their forthcoming US tour, and after listening to Abomination, it’s easy to see why Divide & Dissolve are currently in demand.

Opening the album is the eponymous ‘Abomination’. it’s five minutes and fifty seconds of unnerving riffs and ceaseless cymbals, crashing together to form a desolate but powerful soundscape. It paves the way for eerie second track ‘Assimilation’, poised between chaos and calm from the moment it starts. There’s an intense power in the lack of lyrical content on these songs, which feels reflective of the repressed minorities the pair seek to support with their music. ‘Cultural Extermination’ is another shining example of this, with the abrasive break down mid-way through being the track highlight. The pair say so much with their sounds alone, that words would detract from their impact.

The spoken word from Minori Sanchiz-Fung on ‘Reversal’, however, is incredibly potent. “By using English, I have let out many violent spirits. Words that I trust would in English, fling themselves against the wall,” speaks Minori from her “Immigrant Mind” in a composed, vigilant, but visceral manner. Subtle, reverb-heavy guitar scores her incredible poetry, making this collaboration an intriguing, important listen. ‘Resistance’ follows with its manic sax sounds that ring out like defiant sirens in the face of adversity, resisting all notions of conformity.

The brief but bold ‘Re-appropriation’ demands immediate attention with more of the pair’s crashing cymbals and abrasive riffs, before the penultimate ‘Reparations’ seeks to musically right the wrongs that white supremacy and patriarchy have inflicted on indigenous communities. Its slow-building, atmospheric nature seethes and soothes in equal measure, before ‘Indigenous Sovereignty’ closes this exploration of the unheard.

The eight tracks on Abomination are a platform on which Divide & Dissolve “transform the experience of space and time” and draw on the experiences of their ancestors and surroundings to create their unique and extraordinary sounds. It’s instrumentalist activism that seeks to disrupt the norm – and we love it.

Abomination is available to stream  & download now. Follow Divide & Dissolve on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: @annasnowsill

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut