FIVE FAVOURITES: anrimeal

“I never gave gender much thought before this album,” Porto-born, London-based artist anrimeal explains about her new release, Could Divine. Described as a “computer folk” record exploring the use of texture, limitation and repetition, anrimeal’s new record is inspired by the work of Eva Hesse and other women artists who pioneered the post-minimalism movement.

“I’d always felt alienated by concepts of womanhood, especially the notion that women exist under nature’s control,” anrimeal continues. “[But] seeing women use nature at the forefront of their work, not afraid to create art that could be seen as messy or dirty helped me reconcile those feelings, and motivated me to explore the less conventionally beautiful side of things.” Written, performed, mixed and mastered by anrimeal from home, Could Divine is a beautiful insight into the mind of a flourishing new artist.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with anrimeal to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired her song-writing techniques. Speaking about her choices, anrimeal explains: “These are far from deep cuts, but really albums that not only do I know front to back, but also signposted some or other pivotal moments in my life.”

Check out her favourite albums below and scroll down to listen to anrimeal’s latest single ‘Encaustic Witches’ at the end of this post. You can also catch anrimeal and her musical collaborator Freda D’Souza performing a live improv session from home on Youtube at 6pm tonight. (Link here)

 

1. James Blake – James Blake
I remember buying this album on CD when i was 17 and spending entire days during Easter break lying down in my bedroom, looking at the ceiling and just listening. I think it was my first proper introduction to ambience in music, to a sound landscape that was as rich as the actual songwriting. And one of those things I just couldn’t unlisten. From then on, texture became the most important thing to me in music, a language of its own. There was something so personal about the sonic world James built in this album. I don’t think I’d been exposed to a truly DIY record before this one, and it really changed my perception of music as a medium, and ended up informing the way I like to create music today.

2. Grouper – The Man Who Died In His Boat
Liz Harris, I mean – her music changed my life. Listening to The Man Who Died In His Boat for the first time was like being shown the inside of my brain. The album was sent to me along with Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs with a message of this sort “if you like delay, then you might like these”. This was an even deeper dive into ambient music, and maybe the first time I felt like I could fully relate to what an artist was trying to put out. There’s a dark gentleness in her records, that I’ve only ever felt with music made by women. A kind of understated submerged darkness that is constant and calm. Not depressing nor effusive, just constant.

3. Animal Collective – Sung Tongs
Animal Collective!!!! Field recordings, adaptations of the aesthetics and energy of traditional music, beautifully poetic but slightly absurd lyrics, moments of chaos and of quiet introspection. Seriously, what does this album not have? I can’t say Sung Tongs reflects me exactly, but I think it showed me a side of life that I wasn’t very familiar with before. Having been educated in a strict classical music setting, I needed Animal Collective to show me that there was a fun side to music after all. The clouds opened to the sun like eyelids, and I owe it to this album. I’ve since become a devoted fan of Avey Tare’s catalogue, and I carry this upbeat and earthy world very dearly with me, as a kind of companion.

4. Kanye West – Yeezus
I was so arrested by this album, the first time I listened to it I was petrified and started sweating. It was completely different from anything I’d ever listened to before, it was so bold and genre-bending. I think I use this record a lot to remind me that I can do anything I want with my music. I very much appreciate Kanye’s commitment to art and unhindered self-expression.

5. Sufjan Stevens – Age Of Adz
Even though I was a fan of Sufjan for a long time, Age Of Adz was definitely an acquired taste, an album that sunk in really slowly with time. Again, it’s such a bold piece of work, so well crafted that its existence almost seems impossible to me. There are almost no words to describe this album, maybe just to say that it is a testament to true passion for the art of songwriting. If anything, Sufjan’s music makes me want to experience life with more care, so that I can find his detail in my own reality.

Thanks to anrimeal for sharing her favourites with us.
Listen to her new single ‘Encaustic Witches’ below.

Follow anrimeal on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for more updates.

LISTEN: Mima Good – ‘Cool’

Buoyant guitar loops, creative percussion and smooth vocals combine on Mima Good‘s latest single, ‘Cool’. The track is a lo-fi exploration of what it means to be yourself in a world that often tries to tell you you’re either not enough, or not spending enough to be considered “cool”.

Based in Brooklyn, Mima Good creates her “anti-pop” tunes from her home studio, recording vocals in a closet covered in red velvet. She uses the surfaces and utensils in her kitchen as substitutes for a full drum kit too, making the polished yet simple sounds on new single ‘Cool’ feel even more anti-establishment.

“I’ve always had trouble fitting into one genre, one crowd, one look” admits Mima. “When I wrote ‘Cool’, I was sarcastically attempting to simplify myself into a neat little indie bubble. It started out as a joke, but as I layered on new instruments, I peeled back the onion to more sincere feelings about accessibility to community and image. When I wrote the second verse and the line: ‘their sneakers look just like yours / but from a different place’, I was thinking about how much capitalism controls coolness. At the time, everyone was wearing the same white sneakers. Some were hundreds of dollars and some were $40 rip offs, but everyone was attempting to belong to the same clean box.”

One thing’s for sure, we think Mima’s DIY approach to making music is pretty cool. Listen to ‘Cool’ below and follow Mima Good on Spotify & Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Michelle LoBianco

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

VIDEO PREMIERE: Death Hags – ‘The Darkest Night’

A slow-burning, intoxicating soundscape that explores what the night can bring; Death Hags has shared visuals for her latest single, ‘The Darkest Night’. The track is lifted from her recent album, Big Grey Sun #2, which is the second part of an ambitious seven album multimedia project.

Based in L.A., electronic musician Death Hags (aka Lola G) fuses pulsing beats with dark, kaleidoscopic synth textures to create her captivating sounds. Inspired by two days worth of hallucinations caused by a dog bite, she released Big Grey Sun #1 in 2019. Album #2 quickly followed in March 2020, and continues to explore the eclectic nature of the human condition and all of its possible futures. ‘The Darkest Night’ is an extract from this continuing narrative.

“I started writing the song in the van during the drive back to L.A. from SXSW last year” explains Death Hags. “It came to life at Outside Inside Studio in Italy, with my friend Matt Bordin of the psychedelic collective Squadra Omega. Matt is a great producer and has some wonderful analog/modular synths that we used on this track. Not to be too on the nose, but I guess this track is about forging ahead into the night, to see what dawn brings.”

Watch the visuals for ‘The Darkest Night’ below and listen to Big Grey Sun #2 on bandcamp or Spotify.

Photo Credit: Louisa Zimmer

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Introducing Interview: M.I.

Hot off the back of her latest release ‘Euphoria’ we caught up with East London born DIY, alternative R&B artist M.I. to talk about living in Leeds, being a DIY artist and an excellent list of new music artists to shout out!

And what a pleasure it was…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit yourself – who is M.I and how did it all get started?
Hello! Thank you for having me (or featuring me lol). Where it started…? I’ve always loved the music since I was a kid. Mum played Motown classics all the time. I also went to theatre schools on the weekends throughout secondary school and then I decided I wanted to do it all day, everyday. So I studied music in college then came to Leeds to continue. When I initially started gigging it was under the name ‘Miss Idele’. I enjoyed it but I realised that it wasn’t a true representation of me. I wasn’t a ‘sassy soulstress’ all the time and I got a bit tired of trying to be that at every performance/appearance. So I created M.I.
M.I I would say is kind of a culmination of all the different aspects of me. So she’s got the sass of Miss Idele, but she’s also vulnerable, scared and anxious. With M.I there are no expectations or limitations.  She can be anything or everything she wants to be.

And you’re originally from East London (where GIHE HQ is!), what made you make the move to Leeds?
Yes, E17 all day everyday! Hahaha. I moved because of the choice I made to go to Leeds College Of Music (LCOM). It was a tie between there or Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). As soon as I got to Leeds it felt like a second home immediately, and it helped that three friends from college were coming to Leeds too!

Leeds has a great music scene, do you find it very different to London’s?
The Leeds music scene is great. Lots of talent all around. I have to give a whole heap of praise to DJ Lubi for giving a lot of us opportunities to gig around some of the best venues, line ups and promoters! I do think the London scene is a bit different – the music scene is huge with lots of different things happening. Unfortunately from what I know, I feel like the London music scene is kind of people saying the same thing over the same type of music. Something I really appreciate is coming to Leeds to find my sound and what I like and/or dislike, and what I have to say that can impact, that is honest. Having said that I do feel like the London scene would cater more to my sound than Leeds would. I think Leeds has a soft spot for Jazz, Afro Beats or singer-songwriters!

You are a DIY artist which we respect so much, was this a conscious decision to keep more control over your music? How do you find being a DIY artist?
I’m neither happy or sad to be a DIY artist. I don’t think I can see it any other way right now as I know what I want, I’m very involved in all aspects like the writing, arrangement and production. So, unless the perfect recording contract came along giving me that same amount of control, I’m happy to stick with being a D.I.Y artist! I must say though, it is sometimes easy to be a DIY artist because I don’t see music as a task or job. Sometimes I don’t even see it as a career. It’s my passion so it will always be a part of me whether I become a huge superstar or not. I think the only big struggle with being DIY is there isn’t a big company funding you so you kinda have to find ways to literally DIY, hahaha (sorry, bad joke).

We’re loving the new single ‘Euphoria’ at Get In Her Ears HQ and have played it on our radio show! Can you tell us a bit about the song and what inspired it?
Euphoria!!! The first song I ever wrote. It was surprisingly easy to write despite having never written before and not thinking I could. I just started improvising to an instrumental on youtube and boom! It appeared! I think what helped is that I needed to get something of my chest… I didn’t realise it at the time but writing was my outlet. My inspiration for that song was a guy I liked…! I wrote it as a kind of letter I suppose. We were both dealing with a huge change in our lives and I was kind of writing to myself as well.  Telling myself (and him) to try something new, to escape reality (funnily enough most of my songs became about escaping). I really enjoyed writing it as if it was a breath of fresh air, instead of making it direct which gives it a freedom to mean the listeners interpret it to be.

 

Am I right in thinking you are part of a vocal group called Leeds Contemporary Singers? Who have performed with the likes of Kelis? That must have been amazing!
Yes!  L.C.S!!!  I absolutely adore them! Yes we have! We also performed with Will Young who was one of our mentors on the show! We also got to see Jermaine Jackson, Nick Jonas, Seal and my number one idol CHAKA KHAN!!  Definitely the big highlight of 2017!!!

At Get In Her Ears we’re about promoting and supporting women in music, hoping for a day when people can talk about good music no matter what the artist’s gender is on an equal basis. Do you find as a woman that people label you as a ‘female’ artist rather than an ‘artist’? If so how do you feel about that?
Sadly I think my race is picked up on before my gender. So kind of a double whammy there.  Most of the time, despite my change in image/sound, I’m labelled as a “Soulstress” or “Gospel Singer”. It’s something I really struggled with in University, people just assuming what I do and limiting me to that. Most of the time I got labelled as a backing vocalist. I think a lot of the time people think because I’m a female, all I do is sing and if I play an instrument too an even bigger achievement. But yes I sing, I can accompany myself on a piano but I also write, arrange and produce my songs. I may not be the best producer but I know what I want and it was really hard finding producers who let you do you. I found a lot of producers try and force what they want for you, upon you and ignore when you disagree or try to have an opinion on your own songs! When speaking to male artists, they never seem to have that issue. I think that enforces my being DIY as well as I do not have the time or the patience to deal with it.

What’s 2018 got in store for M.I.?
2018!!  Reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time!!  I plan to ‘snatch wigs’, be the best version of me musically and personally, put in the work and leave the rest to GOD! I want to release a couple more tracks throughout the year and get some gigs in. But other than that, I’m gonna live my BEST LIFE!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
New music! I love supporting friends so here is a nice list! I’m mentioning producers, instrumentalists and writers because I think it’s important to shed light on people behind the spotlight – they’re all important too!! Becky Bowe, Loux, Park fires and Luna Pines recently released new singles. The compilation album by Sixteen Records compiled by Lotte Van Den Berg is full of loads of upcoming artists/bands in and around Leeds – Ofure Faith, Dija Bhlue, Mali Hayes and Jermaine Peterson – amazing artists! Chloe Rianna – best drummer I know! Kieran Williams – greatest songwriter I know, he’s written a couple of bops including BBC Radio 1’s Track Of The Week ‘I’m Not Ever Coming Back again’ (I’ve also got a couple of bops coming out with him). Akin Music – he co-produced ‘Euphoria’ and a couple of other tracks of mine, AND he’s opening for Lalah Hathaway in July in Leeds!  Monkey Harper – he’s a producer, he’s got some bops coming out too! And he co-produced ‘Euphoria’ and a couple of other tracks. I could actually go on but I think that’s enough!!!

‘Euphoria’ is out now, check out more from M.I. via her socials – Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor