PLAYLIST: International Women’s Day 2020

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s a day to highlight and bring awareness to the issues facing women around the globe, and it’s also a time to celebrate the women we love too. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual – encouraging all of us to collectively help create a gender equal world: because an equal world is an enabled world.

At Get In Her Ears, we have only one definition of a “woman”, and that is inclusive of ALL women. Inclusivity is at the core of what we do. It’s the reason we started, it’s what drives us, and it’s something we will consistently strive for as long as we exist. To be explicitly clear, we always have and always will stand against transphobia – it is unacceptable. We send our love, support and solidarity to ALL women out there.

We’ve created a playlist of all the wxmen artists that continue to inspire, entertain, and motivate us into action. Take some time to scroll through our choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’
An obvious, but essential choice for any IWD Playlist. Annie Lennox & Aretha Franklin are a dream vocal team, and I never get tired of listening to this classic. (Kate Crudgington)

Planningtorock – ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’ 
I’m forever grateful to Tash for introducing me to the lush electronics of Planningtorock. This track is all about their sister, Beulah, and her love of house music. When Planningtorock played this live at their gig at Southbank Centre last year, Beulah was in the audience, and when the two siblings embraced each other after the song, I had a tear in my eye. (KC)

The Julie Ruin – ‘Girls Like Us’
It’s no secret by now that Kathleen Hanna is the woman who has inspired me the most and pretty much the reason we started GIHE, and so it seems only right to include a track of her’s on our playlist celebrating amazing women. And this track from The Julie Ruin is just a perfect ode for womxn of all kinds this IWD. A unifying anthem for all us misfit grrrls, with relatable empowering lyrics such as “… girls like us pick up the hot handles and burn our hands and we get over it”, it never fails to pick me up and leave me feeling ready to face the world. (ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Used To Be Friends’
I think all three of us would firmly place this band on any International Women’s Day Playlist. We could not be more behind everything Big Joanie are about, having seen them countless times over the last year – their headline gig at The Moth Club was an undoubted highlight, this band just keep the good music coming. Their politics and music are inseparable, using their platform to speak to their experiences as a black, queer, punk band and the importance of intersectional feminism, it is a privilege to have had them on our radio show. (TW)

Nova Twins – ‘Bullet’
Consistent GIHE favourites Nova Twins have released their breath-taking new album Who Are The Girls, and this track is lifted from it. It’s a powerful statement against street harassment, and the myth that women are “asking for it” if they dress or act in a certain way. Amy’s lyrics are the ultimate weapon against such insults, making it crystal clear that those who touch without permission are not fucking welcome. (KC)

Jehnny Beth – ‘I’m The Man’
Though Jehnny Beth has said that ‘I’m The Man’ is “a poetic work first and foremost. Its aim is to make you feel, not think”, for me it seems to address the anger and ruthlessness surrounding toxic masculinity and the damaging effects it can have. IWD, I feel, should not only be about celebrating the brilliant women in our lives, but informing our male allies so that they can support their female peers as much as possible, and also be reassured that to be a “man” does not mean having to be aggressive or physically powerful. A poignant and powerful offering from this immense force of womankind, who I cannot wait to see live today at The Roundhouse as part of BBC 6 Music’s Festival (along with other awesome women Kate Tempest, Kim Gordon and more). (ML)

Deux Furieuses – ‘Year Of Rage’
GIHE faves Deux Furieuses last year dropped their immense album My War Is Your War – a collection of poignant, impassioned and all-too-relevant rock anthems. Taken from the album, ‘Year Of Rage’ is a seething offering addressing the #MeToo movement and the anger felt by women everywhere trying to seek justice. Delivering a message of empowerment through the raging riffs and soaring vocals of Ros Cairney and frenzied pummelling beats from Vas Antoniadou, it’s a hugely powerful and distinctly necessary listen this IWD. (ML)

The Joy Formidable – ‘The Last Drop’
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve told people how much I adore The Joy Formidable. I’ve been following them for a decade now, and I am still in awe of their ability to create heavy, magnetic, alternative tracks like this one. (KC)

ARXX – ‘Intervention’
Another playlist, another ARXX track. But we make no apologies about this. ARXX have been faves for a while now, and with their “unapologetically loud”, ferocious raw power, they continue to blow us away with their unrelenting raucous sounds. This track, ‘Intervention’, taken from 2018’s EP Daughters Of Daughters, talks of social injustices, giving a shout out to the LGBT charity Stonewall, exclaiming that “you don’t get to say who we fall in love with”. A perfect, raging anthem for equality. Two of the coolest women we know, ARXX also headlined our IWD gig last year at The Finsbury, and it really was the best way to celebrate. (ML)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’
Previous guest on our radio show Amaroun has recently jumped back into the limelight with several new tracks, inclusive of this one ‘Perish’. I’m loving this next step in Amaroun’s musical journey – the beats, the vocals, the stripped back simplicity, sublime. Drawing from her experiences as a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality and the importance of emotional honesty in music, these themes stand strong throughout her songs. I can’t, and don’t want to stop listening. (TW)

Nayana Iz – ‘How We Do’
What a tune1 ‘How We Do’ is possibly one of the best debuts I have ever heard. Indian born, London raised Nayana Iz has arrived and she’s taking you with her. Eyes wide open people and get watching. (TW)

Missy Elliott – ‘She’s A Bitch’
One of the coolest, most inspiring women in the business, Missy Elliott delivers the most empowering and entertaining of offerings, just by being her incredible self. Proving that a woman can conquer a previously male-dominated genre, whilst consistently unashamedly oozing self confidence, she never fails to motivate me and put a smile on my face. Showing women that it’s ok to not fit the “feminine” stereotype that the industry so often seems to demand, and just be who you are and wear whatever the f*** you feel comfortable in (whether that’s an inflated bin bag or a scarecrow costume – check out last year’s performance at the VMAs to see this in action), she continues to push boundaries and remains a colossal force of nature. ,(ML)

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Tears
One of my favourite tracks from Nilüfer Yanya, a slight move away from her guitar heavy tunes, ‘Tears’ released early last year captures and takes you along with its bouncing beats and sad reflective lyrics. It’s been great to watch this artist reach the acclaim she so rightly deserves, with my personal highlight seeing her play at Primavera 2019. It was the definition of sun-drenched guitars. (TW)

Shea Diamond – ‘I Am Her’
As early as transgender singer Shea Diamond can remember, she identified as a girl – and was punished for it. At age 20, she robbed a convenience store at gunpoint – desperate, she says, to fund her gender-affirming surgery. Behind bars (in a male prison), Diamond found her voice as a songwriter, and wrote this track ‘I Am Her’. I wanted to include this track today, not only because I just love its poignant, soulful groove, but because Trans Women are of of course women too and should be celebrated on International Women’s Day (and every day)! (ML)

Lido Pimienta (feat. Li Saumet) – ‘Nada’
Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Canadian-Columbian musician Lido Pimienta has penned this beautiful song ‘Nada’. Taken from her upcoming album Miss Colombia, Pimienta ruminates on the pain women experience – from debilitating period pains to giving birth – and how strong we are despite being unfairly dubbed the “weaker sex”. Watch the accompanying video for the track here(KC)

FKA Twigs – ‘sad day’
The master and the muse; FKA Twigs continues to dazzle my eyes and ears with each new release. This track is taken from her second album, Magdalene, a record which blends vulnerability and raw power in equal measure. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how much I love the music this woman makes. (KC)

Pumarosa – ‘Lose Control’
I interviewed Pumarosa’s front woman Isabel Munoz-Newsome last year for The Line Of Best Fit (read here), and she said this was her favourite track from their latest album Devastation. She spoke candidly about how she wanted to change the narrative around “love” or “breakup” songs, and her words have stayed with me ever since. This track is a slow-burning banger. (KC)

Arlo Parks – ‘Cola’
Watching Poet, rapper, singer & producer Arlo Parks grow over the last couple of years, receiving the absolutely deserve notoriety and success that an artist of her calibre should has been our pleasure. ‘Cola’ her debut single has kept a solid place on many of my playlists, a tender, confessional and mesmerising track. If you haven’t heard of Arlo Parks yet, go check her out now. You can thank me later. (TW)

Sleater Kinney – ‘Modern Girl’
Having been left completely speechless by seeing total heroes Sleater Kinney live last week, I couldn’t not include a track by this group of inspirational women. Seeing Carrie Brownstein perform this song, with all her infectious charisma and musical magnificence, was a definite highlight. And the lyrics “anger makes me a modern girl” seem particularly poignant this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Amahla – ‘Old Soul’
Hackney-Native Amahla blew us away with this song ‘Old Soul’ at the beginning of 2019 and has just kept getting better. An artist who uses their platform for greater good talking about women’s issues, race and current political climates, has an unquestionable place on our IWD2020 playlist. (TW)

Antony and the Johnsons – ‘My Lady Story’
“My womb’s an ocean full of grief and rage.” I can’t listen to that lyric without my heart breaking a little. A strong advocate for trans rights, feminism and climate action, Anohni (formally of Antony and the Johnsons), is a necessary and powerful voice this International Women’s Day. On identifying as transgender, Anohni once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man… It’s a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it’s one of nature’s best ideas. What an incredible impulse, that compels a five-year-old child to tell its parents it isn’t what they think it is. Given just a tiny bit of oxygen, those children can flourish and be such a gift. They give other people licence to explore themselves more deeply, allowing the colours in their own psyche to flourish.” (ML)

Dolly Parton – ‘Here You Come Again’
With the recent release of the Dolly Parton podcast and BBC documentary, I’ll take any chance I can to lap up any more content from this one. Dolly, what a woman. I don’t think I need to say anything more. (TW)

Merry Clayton – ‘Love or Let Me Be Lonely’
I recently watched 20 Feet From Stardom and to my shame learned so much about this amazing woman’s history that I did not know. A long established American soul and gospel singer, she provided backing vocal tracks to so many notable performing artists, the most famous being the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’. Take her voice out of that and what are you left with? Here’s a shout out to the often forgotten or overlooked backing singers from some of the best hits out there. An established and amazing recording artist in her own right, it’s never too late to get into Merry Clayton. What a voice. (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
A Get In Her Ears playlist would not be complete without Jackie Shane, I think this track ‘Any Other Way’ has featured on so many of our playlists and radio shows, but for good reason. Kate introduced me to this artist a couple of years ago and I was sold on first listen. Jackie Shane lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated to those who identified as trans. A pioneer for trans rights in the 60s, who very much lives on in our memories today. (TW)

Girl Ray – ‘Friend Like That’
GIHE faves Girl Ray have recently released their uplifting second album, Girl, and I cannot get enough. Taken from the album, ‘Friend Like That’ is an ode to friendship flowing with the trio’s colourful energy and funk-filled, pop-inspired hooks. Of the track, the band explain: “This is a friendship anthem. In music, friend love is often overshadowed by romantic love and IT’S JUST WRONG. This one goes out to the mates of the world.” Basically a perfect, shimmering anthem to celebrate all your fantastic female peers this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Shari Vari – ‘New York City’
Since hearing their debut album, Now in 2019, I still cannot get enough of the Hamburg based alt-electro/punk/producers Shari Vari. Now out via Malka Tuti, it’s packed full to the brim of brutalist delights. From ‘Dance Alone’, which takes me back to those dark, freezing, sweaty warehouse raves to this track ‘New York City’ with warped vocals, heavy reverb and cinematic crescendos. One of my albums of 2019, I consider myself still completely hooked. (TW)

Mentrix – ‘Nature’
Born in Iran but now based in Berlin, Mentrix (aka Samar Rad) blends her experiences of eastern and western culture, along with traditional Sufi instrumentation to create her beguiling, bold soundscapes. Her extensive travels and multiple influences – from Latin and French Literature, to The Qu’ran and traditional Persian poetry – give her music a diverse and fascinating edge. I can’t wait to hear her album My Enemy, My Love, which is set for release via her own (female-led) record label, House of Strength, on 3rd April. (KC)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Anti-body’
“I’m credibly unknown, and incredibly ok with that” wrote Elizabeth Bernholz – aka Gazelle Twin – in response to a fan who suggested she should be added to the Reading Festival lineup to fill the obvious void of female bands/artists on the bill. Bernholz’s pioneering sound and vision is best experienced elsewhere though, as her avant-garde, haunting electronic soundscapes demand your full attention. This track is lifted from her second album Unflesh, and although Bernholz has said she will never return to this material (having crafted her spectacular third album, Pastoral), I always come back to it when I’m feeling restless. (KC)

EP: Captain Handsome – ‘I Am Not An Animal’

I Am Not An Animal is the debut EP from Lily Rae’s solo project, Captain Handsome. Over its five tracks, Rae, also of Fightmilk, celebrates her passions (including Dolly Parton who’s “like my mum/therapist/‘life coach”), and shares stories of social awkwardness (“the kind of stuff you lie awake thinking about for years afterwards curdling with embarrassment.”), which you can’t help but connect and empathise with. But, y’know, probably while you’re also squirming in your seat or hiding behind your hands in solidarity.

Opener ‘Annalise’ gets the EP off to an upbeat start, but the mood soon becomes gentler and more intimate. As the pace slows, there are echoes of traditional folk and Americana. ‘Dolly Parton’ is, as the press release, suggests, a ‘sad banger’ with a lo-fi, stripped back sensibility that allows you to really focus on Rae’s rich, raw vocal. Meanwhile, the beautiful ‘Halloween’ combines sing-song harmonies with sad, revelatory lyrics.

“Everything on the EP is something that’s happened,” admits Rae. The more confessional her lyrics become, the more her personality shows through. And while there are definite nods to Rae’s influences, I Am Not An Animal manages to stay fresh, weird and wonderfully personal. It feels like she’s poured her heart out on this release and we’re all the richer for it.

 

I Am Not An Animal by Captain Handsome is out now on limited edition CD and digitally via Reckless Yes.

Vic Conway

 

Five Favourites: Captain Handsome

Having been a pretty massive fan of indie-pop superstars Fightmilk for a couple of years now, we’ve recently been excited to hear that Lily from the band’s solo project Captain Handsome have just released their debut EP.

Exploring everyday anxieties and all-too-common awkward situations with an intimate twinkling emotion, the EP’s filled with sad lo-fi bangers and effervescent indie-pop sounds that tug at the heartstrings in all the right ways.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Lily, who has shared her “Five Favourites” – five tracks that particularly resonate with her. Check out her choices below, and make sure you take a listen to brand new EP I Am Not An Animal as soon as possible!

The Proclaimers – ‘Over And Done With’
I don’t know how many kids have a ‘Proclaimers phase’ but mine was FORMATIVE. I was about ten, still one of the tall kids in class and extremely sensitive about my bad skin, when I started listening to my parents’ cassette tape of This Is The Story – which I thought I’d try out because I thought the nerds on the cover looked funny. The best song on their debut album is ‘Over And Done With’. It was the first song I ever learned to play on guitar, and I loved it so much that after months and months of practicing C, E, Am and F, I covered it and made a music video for it, long lost to the toilet of history.

“This is the story of our first teacher Shetland made her jumpers and the devil made her features” – It’s just a series of little awkward, unfair or tragic moments, completely mundane but weirdly existential and funny. It’s a mood I absorbed as an angsty kid and have probably transferred, knowingly or unknowingly, into almost every song I’ve written since. I love how it’s upbeat and simple, completely stripped down to just two voices and a guitar, a singalong tune about shag ennui and low-key worrying about death and how, in the end, it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s over and done with.

Did you know the Proclaimers have ELEVEN albums, one of which is called Angry Cyclist? There you go.

Kirsty MacColl – ‘Free World’
Ahhhh fuck the Tories. This song came out in 1989 as a way of saying “fuck the Tories” and lo and behold and quelle surprise, we (at least in the DIY scene) are still saying fuck the Tories 31 years later. This is my favourite fuck-the-Tories song. Sick of bands doing Political Songs and then skirting the issue in interviews? Here’s what Kirsty said about ‘Free World’:

The subject matter is Thatcherite Britain – you know, grab whatever you can and sod the little guy. That’s a fashionable way of looking at things, and I don’t agree with it.”

Kirsty’s abilities as a political songwriter are unfairly overlooked. Very often hits like ‘They Don’t Know’ and ‘Soho Square’ are cited as her best writing, same as it ever was with female artists and big love songs. ‘Free World’ sounds like it’s been playing at breakneck speed forever, urgent and fast and present, and that massive, effortless, vibrato-free note at the end is still unnerving today.

“And I’ll see you baby when the clans rise again // Women and children united by the struggle // Going down with a pocketful of plastic // Like a dollar on elastic // In this free world.”

I’d love more than anything to be able to write and sing half as well as Kirsty, but I don’t think anyone but her could write ‘Free World’.

Bruce Springsteen – ‘Bobby Jean’
For such an ecstatic sounding song, ‘Bobby Jean’ is a real bummer. It’s about Bruce/The Boss/Daddy as a young misfit, falling in with another young misfit and running wild, listening to rock music and being little punks that everyone looks down on. So far, so Stand By Me.

But kids grow up, and BruceTheBossDaddy and Bobby Jean fall out of touch. Years later he goes to call on her (or him – Bobby Jean’s gender is never specified, which is an entirely different dissertation and one that I hope you write one day), hoping to shoot the shit and remember their halcyon days of throwing rocks at trains and wearing jorts. But Bobby Jean has disappeared. Where does she go? Does life get too much for her? Does she go on the run? Does her mother send her to a convent school for girls bewitched by Bruce Springsteen?

“And I’m just calling one last time not to change your mind // But just to say I miss you baby, good luck goodbye, Bobby Jean.” – Bobby Jean is just gone, and it’s fucking brutal. BruceTheBossDaddy never got the chance to say goodbye in person but, absolute human being that he is, craves closure so much that he writes a song, effectively leaving a voicemail.

As far as happy-sounding pop hits about devastating blows to the heart go, this is one of the all time greats. Just when you think that BrucetheBossDaddy howling his guts can’t get any more powerful, there’s a sax solo.

Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Funeral’
Phoebe Bridgers is ruining my life. Aside from the fact that she successfully KOed an abuser’s career with a pop song, Phoebe writes the kind of gloom-country I can only dream of. ‘Funeral’ is a track from her debut album Stranger In The Alps, and it’s such an amazing move to position a song ostensibly about pulling perspective on your own sadness so near the start of a record about your own sadness – like punching a hole in your ego before it can even begin to inflate.

“I have a friend I call // When I’ve bored myself to tears // And we talk until we think we might just kill ourselves // But then we laugh until it disappears” – I love this song because as someone who finds it hard to write happy lyrics, I often find myself mining for things I know make me sad and this is a reminder to never, ever take the dark stuff for granted or to trivialise it. Of course you should be sad – there is so much to be sad about – but Phoebe is a master at self-awareness. This song, about going to a funeral for someone the same age as Phoebe, is about there being some things you can’t have.

Dolly Parton – ‘Little Sparrow’
To know Dolly is to love her. ‘Little Sparrow’ is a pretty recent Dolly drop, taken from her 38th (38! Who has the fucking time?!) studio album of the same name. It’s a small, spooky song in the fine tradition of heartbreak and bad men, but there’s no self-pity – it sounds old and folky, bluegrass violin fluttering and soaring like a second vocal, but also angry and young and impetuous, too late for hellbent revenge on the cold false-hearted lover and his evil cunning schemes and so just doomed to be a cautionary tale. It’s one of my favourite Dolly vocal performances, powerful and fragile and uuuuggghhhhhh. It’s one of those songs that sounds like it’s been around for centuries and it gets to you HARD. And I love Dolly for continuing to make gorgeous folk music into her ACTUAL 70s without falling into the trap of feeling like she needs to reinvent herself and make glitzy country-pop. Dolly is the top of her game. She is the best at this. She is the heavyweight champion of the world at making lighter-than-air country songs that fuck you up.

Also, I really like the line “they will vow to always love you // swear no love but yours will do”. It’s probably completely unintentional and Dolly is far too cool to self-reference – there’s no way Dolly’s flipped the coin on her most beloved song to reveal an absolute misery-banger on the other side… Right?

Massive thanks to Lily for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Captain Handsome’s debut EP I Am Not An Animal is out now via Reckless Yes, and make sure you catch them live at The Finsbury for us on 14th February, along with Piney Gir, Grawl!x and I Am HER.

 

Get In Her Ears w/ Maya Yianni 17.10.19

This week, Tash & Mari played out some of their fave new music from the likes of Deux Furieuses, Scrounge, Genau, ILL and Pallas Athene.

Maya Yianni also popped into the studio for a chat about her upcoming single ‘Red Drapes’ and played a beautiful acoustic rendition of her song ‘Call Me Anytime’.

Listen back:

 

Tracklist
Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
ILL – ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’
Tanya Harper – ‘Crash Pad’
Bang Bang Romeo (feat. Example) – ‘Love Yourself’
Brooke Bentham – ‘All My Friends Are Drunk’
Lewin – ‘The Giant’
Dishpit – ‘Seven’
Cherry Glazerr – ‘Call Me’
After London – ‘You Know What I Mean’
Nina Harries – ‘Lose Yourself’
Two Tribes – ‘Videodrone’
Van P – ‘Ala.Ni’
Emily Breeze – ‘Heaven’s Gate’
Hourglvss – ‘Dead Man’s Hand’
Superglu – ‘Forever Endeavour’
Pallas Athene – ‘Through Hell’
Deux Furieuses – ‘Let Them Burn’
JEANA – ‘Nameless’
Scrounge – ‘Badoom’
GENAU – ‘Open’
Dolly Parton – ‘9 to 5’

WATCH: 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.

Much like Dolly Parton’s 1980 proto-feminist workplace comedy ‘9 to 5′, ’77’ comments on the gender pay gap that still plagues society nearly forty years after the country star’s film theme-song. With a fantastically tongue-in-cheek video that sees Hanna, Wolfe and Bag each fake typing in coloured wigs, the women not only rage that “I make 77 cents and it’s not right / It’s bad for women!”, but make the point that “it’s worse if you’re not white” and insist that “it’s time for change…”

Filled with seething, punk-driven riffs, ’77’ 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.”

Watch the wonderful video for ’77’ here:

Blueprint, the upcoming album from Alice Bag, is out 23rd March.