Interview: Dream Nails – ‘Take Up Space’

As if putting on immense, riotous live performances wasn’t enough, in September last year GIHE’s favourite Feminist Punk Witches Dream Nails decided to blow our minds in a slightly different way – by putting on their first ever acoustic set at infamous independent and anti-fascist bookshop Housmans. A much smaller space than the band have played in the past, the gig was a wonderfully intimate experience, and – whilst perhaps quieter in volume – no less powerful and empowering than your usual raucous Dream Nails gig.

And if you weren’t able to make the gig, fear not! Dream Nails have now made the full recording of the set into a new acoustic album, appropriately entitled Take Up Space. And it’s most certainly worth a listen. Showcasing their luscious harmonies and poignant songwriting in a way we’ve not yet heard, it proves that plugged in or acoustic, Dream Nails are a sparkling, formidable force. Combining impassioned activism and infectious tunes, they consistently inspire and motivate us to get up, make our voices heard and fight fascism with all our might.

We caught up with Mimi, Janey, Lucy and Anya to find out more…

Hi Dream Nails, welcome back to Get In Her Ears! How are you doing today?
Mimi: Thank you! I’m refreshed and ready for 2019.
Janey: I’m rested too!
Lucy: Ran 4 miles on the treadmill this morning like a little excited hamster so I’m bathing in the endorphins right now.
Anya: Me and Janey just did a songwriting session and I’m gassed about our latest ideas, including one about feminism and the future of technology. I can’t say what it’s about but it’s completely ridiculous and hilarious.

We’re super excited to hear about the release of your new acoustic album Take Up Space! What was it that inspired you to record this – something perhaps so different from what fans might expect?
Mimi: We really feel there’s magic in our live shows. In the past we’ve tried to record some shows, but it’s always really difficult because of the sound in the venues, and it’s never come out that great. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to try again, in a less noisy setting.
Janey: We put so much thought into our song lyrics and vocal harmonies, and much of that gets lost in the fuzz of a punk PA system. This gig was a chance to finally let our songs breathe and the lyrics be heard.
Lucy: We were excited to listen to the recordings but didn’t know how good they would turn out and certainly didn’t expect to release them! We only had one acoustic rehearsal before the show and were very pleased with the new dimension the songs have taken on!
Anya: We also wanted to try more of an intimate show, more of ‘an evening with Dream Nails’ sort of thing where the crowd were very much part of the show and we could be really spontaneous with our interactions.

The album was recorded at your intimate gig at Housman’s Bookshop (which was a pretty wonderful evening!) in September last year – how was this experience for you? And how did it differ from your usual gig set ups?
Mimi: For me, I had no distortion pedals and no big amps, I was playing my semi-acoustic bass guitar. My bass was very à la Violent Femmes. It was a much more intimate setting with no stage, and it was a lot of fun to be in with the crowd and hear everyone’s laughs during all of the funny bits.
Janey: That gig was so much fun, and a challenge for us because the audience were sitting right in front of us in pretty good lighting – we could see everyone! That completely changed the dynamic and made it special.
Lucy: Yeah it was exposing at first and I was more than a little nervous! I’m usually hiding at the back on my all-seeing drum throne, so this was my chance to get my jokes and chat in too. I got pretty over-excited tbh. Fun fact: the tom and snare drums I was using were propped up on old Delia Smith cookery books and I think you can definitely hear this in the music!
Anya: I actually play an acoustic guitar borrowed from Dave McManus who runs Everything Sucks Music, one of the labels we work with! It was weird playing an acoustic and I had to change a few things in the songs to make it work, but it was a fun challenge. My hands were like frozen claws by the end – an acoustic is a lot harder work, strangely!

Do you feel that putting on a gig in such a different setting opened up your music to some people who may not normally be able to attend gigs in late night bars/music venues?
Mimi: Yes definitely! We really want to play more bookshops. Because most gigs are in bars, it’s almost impossible to hold all ages shows, and we would love to play to younger people.
Janey: Almost all punk shows are held in squats, basements or alcohol-based venues, which excludes a lot of people from experiencing our live music, and we wanted to change that. At this show, we had more under-18, muslim and disabled fans than usual, many of whom mentioned they hadn’t managed to get to a show before. This show was our most inclusive by far, and I want to do more gigs where we transform a community space into a gig space.
Lucy: Our shows are accessible as we can make them, but I feel like the audience were so relaxed at this show and that contributed to a very special atmosphere. It was early in the evening and the fact that no one felt they had negotiate beer being chucked around, creepy dudes at the bar, dark and sometimes intimidating spaces and pushing created a calmness that was palpable.
Anya: We also live streamed it via Facebook with the help of Get in Her Ears, which we’ll probably do more of in the future so our fans in other countries can see the bookshop gigs we do.

Has having had the experience of performing acoustically changed the way you approach writing songs now?
Lucy: You know what, it’s made me itching to get more into the composition side of our music. Hearing everything so stripped back, and being mindful of how our songs sound in the state will surely translate when we start writing again (imminently!).
Anya: It’s definitely reinforced my feeling that our songs need to work on an acoustic guitar or they won’t work at all!

The album includes a couple of new songs… including ‘Jillian’ and ‘Chirpse Degree Burns (Text Me Back)’ – can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind these tracks?
Mimi: ‘Jillian’ is about Jillian Michaels, a fitness personality who has a workout DVD called ‘The 30 Day Shred’. It was permanently in my DVD player growing up, she is seriously strong and fierce, and I definitely memorised her chat throughout the entire workout. Her message is that you can push yourself and literally be strong!
Janey: Mimi and I really bonded over our shared love of Jillian. To be honest, the 30 Day Shred was my first experience of exercise and recognising how good it was for my mental health. I have Jillian to thank for that. Plus she’s one of my queer idols.
Lucy: ‘Chirpse Degree Burns’ (fyi chirpse is London slang for flirt and can be a noun, verb or adjective) is tragically close to the hearts of me and another anonymous band member. It was written in an emotional outburst during the comedown of Glastonbury 2017 when Anya (oops) and I were thwarted by our short-lived festival loves. I don’t get it?! We are a catch and also 1000000% chill as the song we wrote will attest to!
Anya: There’s also a new track ‘Time Ain’t No Healer’ which is about how much work it is to get over the troubles in your life and recover from trauma. The idea is you can’t just wait for time to do it for you, it takes a conscious effort. And probably a therapist, lol.

The album’s appropriately entitled Take Up Space, which very much ties in with your mantra of “Girls To The Front” at gigs. How important do you think it is for girls/non binary/female-identifying people to take up space in the music industry? And what do you think people can be doing to encourage this more?
Mimi: It’s hard to encourage women and non binary people to get into the music industry because you just know they’re going to meet so many obstacles, which are only there because of deep set misogyny. It just needs to be challenged by everyone. I can’t bear to think of how many women and non binary bands have quit doing music because of people being shit to them at every turn. Even little things – like I can’t even count how many times a sound guy has told me where to plug my bass in.
Janey: Bookers need to change their policies, and introduce diversity quotas. The musicians are out there. Look harder. There’s no excuse for all-male tour line-ups anymore. The issues within the music industry are structural, and need to be met with structural changes.
Lucy: Obviously the need is vital and I’d like to quote an iconic Anya statement here relating to all-male bands: “men, ask yourselves, does the world need any more of your dry music?” We try to hammer home the idea that skill level and technical know-how does not take precedence when it comes to music, no matter what intimidating sound people, music shop assistants, or band boys would like you to think. YOUR music and experiences are valid and vital and you’re the only person in this world who can make it. Until these structural changes manifest, we endeavour to create these spaces and opportunities ourselves.
Anya: For women to Take Up Space, men need to Make Up Space. Make way, not today, man bands, go away!

As ‘Feminist Punk Witches, what does ‘punk’ mean to you?
Mimi: Punk means challenging everything, even the definition of ‘punk’. It’s about being a good ally, standing up for what’s right, being an activist, taking our lives into our own hands. It bothers me that people like Donald Trump and Doug Ford (Canadian Premier of Ontario, where I’m from, who literally fucked Ontario) are seen as punks, only because they’re kind of rogue outsiders from the political world?? They’re the farthest thing from punks, their only intention is to fuck the little guy and they only benefit the rich.
Janey: For me, punk is about shared creation. Not just tearing the world apart, but challenging the status quo by building a new one. I think the punkest thing we do isn’t even our music, but the bands we support behind the scenes, or making sure promoters have gender-neutral toilets.
Lucy: Punk is about utilising a rebellious spirit in a way that DOES NOT resemble a teenager with a “my mum and dad aren’t home, no one can tell me what to do” attitude. For me, the rebelliousness of punk is about radical collectivity, thoughtfulness, inquisitiveness, joy, rage and action that both strengthens you and provides relief in a world and city that seeks to crush you.
Anya: Some of our dearest female idols like Viv Albertine and Patti Smith interrogated the world as they saw it, threw stale, patriarchal convention out of the window, and filled their world with new meaning. Punk is about being thoughtful and honest. It’s interesting that they both taught themselves to play guitars as young women. Being self taught makes you approach music differently, I think.

So, after the experience of playing acoustically in Housman’s, do Dream Nails have plans to play any more acoustic shows in 2019?
Mimi:
This is something we are seriously talking about and would love to do a radical bookshop tour!
Janey: 100%!
Lucy: Yes! It feels so pure!
Anya: I’ll only play in places where they have the entire back catalogue of Simone De Beauvoir now. It’s my rider.

And what else do you have up your sparkly sleeves for the rest of the year??
Mimi: We are going to be spending a lot of the first part of this year writing and recording for our debut album release (not acoustic), and then playing many festivals over the summer.
Janey: We’re headed to Switzerland in the first week of February, and are playing four shows there! Follow us on Instagram for our tour stories, they never fail to delight.
Anya: We are curating a stage at one of our favourite festivals this year. We can’t say which one, but it involves a zine making workshop for young people and I’m so excited.
Lucy: Aside from this, my personal dream is to sell our critically acclaimed ‘Chipadvisor’ chip reviewing YouTube series to Netflix. We would use the proceeds from this to buy ourselves more chips.

Massive thanks to Dream Nails for answering our questions!

Take Up Space is available exclusively on Bandcamp, where you can also get hold of an awesome accompanying t-shirt designed by illustrator Sumena Owen.

 

Photo Credit: Poppy Marriot

The Tuts and Dream Nails to play Solidarity Not Silence Benefit Show

If you’re not familiar with The Solidarity Not Silence case, it’s an ongoing case in which a group of women are defending themselves against a defamation claim made by an abusive, unnamed well-known male musician (referred to as ‘A’) for statements that they made concerning his treatment of women.

The group includes one of A’s ex-girlfriends, one of several of his former partners who are facing a libel claim, and feminist musicians who spoke out in support of these women. Legal papers have been served against all of them. By coming together as a group, they have managed to personally fund their legal defence through the various stages up until the claim was finally served against them in court on 2nd August 2017. Not only has this lengthy process been very expensive, there has also been tremendous emotional and psychological impact. Most of the women have suffered severely with their mental health as a result, but they refuse to give up.

To raise money for their cause, a big benefit show is being held on 5th December at Oslo, Hackney. With live music from GIHE faves The Tuts and Dream Nails, there will also be DJ sets from GIRLI and Dream Wife‘s Alice Go and Bella Pod. A night of fantastic music, and all for an extremely worthy cause.

Tickets for the Solidarity Not Silence Benefit Gig are £12 and can be found here.

Find out more information about the campaign, and what you can do to help, here.

 

INTERVIEW: She Makes War

Bristol-based artist She Makes War (aka Laura Kidd) has been busy creating music that fuses fun and freedom over the last few years. Her buoyant attitude and blistering guitar riffs have seen her build a loyal following across the UK, and with the release of her new album Brace For Impact just around the corner (October 5th), it seems this following is set to multiply further. We caught up with Laura to talk about her new record, her upcoming UK tour, the good & bad sides of social media, and why it’s worth giving DIY recording a shot…

Your new single ‘Devastate Me’ is a total banger. Can you talk about the inspiration behind the track?
Thank you! I’ve always written music about the dissonance caused by living a digital life in an analogue body, and for me that’s really increased in the last few years. Social media has enabled me to build an audience, but even as someone who is aware of its negative effects and strives to keep a balance, it has had an increasingly terrible effect on my ability to concentrate, and I hate that I spend too much time scrolling and too much time reading stuff that I don’t need to read.

‘Devastate Me’ questions the intention behind our obsession with sharing – it’s not that I don’t think we should share at all, but I’d like us to ask ourselves why we’re doing it. I see reflexive photography everywhere – people not even giving themselves a moment to see what’s in front of them before snapping it. I think learning to be present is so important, and being on your phone when spending time with loved ones is the height of rudeness.

All that is why the video is a bouncy tribute to analogue communication and community spaces – the local postbox I send all my merch orders from, an old red phonebox turned into a book swap and food bank donations hub, a wooden boat in the kids play area of my local pub garden and St Nicholas Market, all in Bristol.

You’re due to release your new album Brace For Impact on October 5th. What can fans expect from your new record?
An exhilarating, riffy journey through my thoughts on love, loss, grief, body image, self confidence and mindfulness. Chunky guitars, beautiful strings and heartfelt lyrics.

That sounds great! I read that you overcame a broken foot in order to write this record?
Yes! Everything was going really well with the release of my third album Direction Of Travel, I was happy, I was running long distances, I was getting booked to play exciting gigs and festivals and then BAM! I had an accident and was struck down. That was a really tough summer. I’m very proud of this album because it’s a result of me working through a reasonably deep depression and lethargy caused by shock, physical pain and resentment at my situation, working super hard to regain my mobility through near-daily yoga and making myself sit down and write the songs amidst all sorts of financial concerns.

Once an album is finished and I get a bit of time and space away from it I can slowly start to view it as something separate from me, and each one has its own distinct character. Brace For Impact is the most expansive album I’ve ever made, it’s kind and big hearted and urgent and strong and beautiful.

It’s great that you took something so negative and turned it in to something so positive! Do you have a favourite track on the album?
I love them all very much, but at the moment my favourite song is ‘Strong Enough’, which I wrote about two specific peoples’ experiences, but is a message to anyone going through a mental health crisis. All of the new songs are stories from real life that have a more far reaching message of care for all concerned.

‘Love This Body’ is another favourite – the riff is so grinding and intense and the lyrics are about how devastating it is to me that people – women in particular – spend so much time worrying about what they look like. The song is about myself; I’ve had issues about this stuff from a young age and only recently have started to come to terms with the fact that my body shape is nothing to be ashamed of or to hide. People can be very cruel. We live in a society where airbrushed semi-naked female bodies are in our faces all the time via advertising, and band photos regularly depict the male members fully clothes and the women crouching down in hot-pants and platform heels. What are we supposed to do with all this information?

You’re embarking on a tour to promote the album, with our favourites Dream Nails and The Menstrual Cramps joining you on a couple of dates. What is it you like about these bands? How did you come across them?
Their energy, their freedom and the fact they care so much about spreading their message. Music has to be far more than some pretty noise coming out of some pretty faces to hold my interest. I’d been hearing about them online for ages, so when it was time to put together a bill for the album tour it was obvious who to ask. I’m just lucky they were available! The tour spreads across three weeks so on the first leg I’m joined by Eliza Rickman, an incredible artist from the US, the following week is with Dream Nails and the last four shows are with The Menstrual Cramps. I can’t wait!

What are your anticipations for this tour?
I love performing live, and while I find it impossible to write and record around gigging, it’s frustrating having to miss out on that audience connection for long periods of time when I’m making albums. I start feeling like I’ve disappeared! A lot of the venues on the list are old favourites, so it’ll be great to return with my incredible live band and knock peoples’ socks off around the country.

You record in your own bedroom studio in Bristol. Would you recommend this DIY approach to other girls or women who are looking to record their own music? What are the pros and cons of this method?
I write and demo all my songs at home, yes. I write while recording actually, so as not to forget anything but also to be able to easily play around with arrangements and parts. Once a rough demo is done I go back and do a “posh demo”, where I write and record all the parts – drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, lead vocals, backing vocals…then when the time comes I take all this into affordable studios to re-create them bigger and better with the help of my brilliant engineer.

I love working in this way because I can be as creative and take as much time over the initial writing and production as I like, without having to explain to anyone why I want another five vocal tracks or whatever, and carefully craft every note in the arrangement for maximum emotional resonance. It saves a lot of expensive studio time, because I know what I’m going to be recording, but also means the end result sounds exactly how I want. Of course, extra ideas will pop into my head when I’m in the nice studio, but they’re just the icing on the cake because the main work is done.

I’d recommend to people of all genders to learn to record themselves, whether that’s in a really simple and basic way or more involved. Anyone can learn to do simple multi-track recording, and it’s always better to have at least a little bit of technical knowledge when you’re working with someone else so you can explain to them what you’d like to achieve. More than anything though, I’d like to see people admitting that they don’t know everything, and realising that’s ok! What’s the point in staying quiet and pretending you know something because you think you’ll embarrass yourself in front of someone else? If that person is rude because you admit you don’t know how to do something, find someone else to work with. It’s better to learn by doing.

What’s the Bristol music scene like? How does it compare to other cities you’ve played in?
I hear about this elusive Bristol music scene a lot (usually from interviewers!), but I’ve never really seen it…there are a few artists who are doing their own thing very well, and perhaps there are micro scenes localised to friendship groups, but unfortunately we don’t have many small venues for people to come up in and start gathering an audience together from, so I’m really glad I started my project in London. Having moved here from Herne Hill six years ago, Bristol still feels tiny to me. It’s definitely my home, and I love living here, but musically I think of it as my creative HQ and my jumping off point to travel everywhere else. It’s always lovely to return though, and it’s worked out brilliantly that the big hometown gig is happening on the last night of the tour. It’s going to be a big party!

Your visuals seem equally as important as your music when it comes to your performances. Is this part of your “make art in every day life” ethos? Can you talk about the inspiration behind this?
The music is by far the most important thing when it comes to my performances, but I made the decision a long time ago to use the opportunity to dress up and create something different from the everyday for my shows, something that matched the drama and glitter of my songs. It’s not a different character – it’s the real me, just…more! I do try and lead as creative a life as possible, on and offstage, it makes everything feel more meaningful and satisfying. I struggle with unanticipated dips in mood like everyone else, and I find it’s those little things that really help centre me again and give me focus. I write in a diary most days, I draw and I try to take beautiful photographs.

Finally, As a new music blog, we’re always looking for recommendations about new bands and artists we should be listening to. Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m excited about upcoming albums from Marissa Nadler, Cat Power and Suede, the new Breeders album is INCREDIBLE and I find myself returning again and again to both Marika Hackman albums, Memories Are Now by Jesca Hoop (the rest of her albums are stellar too) and my beloved Nirvana, Pixies and Blur.

Huge thanks to Laura for answering our questions!

Pre-order She Makes War’s new album Brace For Impact here.
Grab your tickets for one of her tour dates here & follow She Makes War on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Ania Shrimpton

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PREVIEW: Dream Nails Acoustic Set at Housmans, 12.09.18

As if putting on immense, riotous live performances wasn’t enough, GIHE’s favourite Feminist Punk Witches Dream Nails have now decided to blow our minds in a slightly different way – by putting on their first ever acoustic set at infamous independent and anti-fascist bookshop Housmans. Taking place on Wednesday 12th September, it will be a much smaller space than the band usually play, and looks set to be an intimate experience, and – whilst perhaps quieter in volume – no less powerful and empowering than your usual raucous Dream Nails gig.

Of their decision to play this unusual event, Dream Nails explain:

It’ll give us a chance to talk more about the context of each song, share stories and chat with the audience too. We are excited to break down each song into its simplest, rawest form for the acoustic show. Also, at a time when fascism is once again rearing its ugly head, bookshops like Housmans are completely essential to provide a counter narrative to populism, white supremacism and the capitalist patriarchy, so we’re really happy to bring our fans into the space so they can see how amazing it is!

Plugged in or acoustic, Dream Nails combine impassioned activism and infectious tunes creating a sparkling, formidable force, inspiring and motivating us to get up, make our voices heard and fight fascism with all our might.

So, don’t miss out on this unique experience! Catch Dream Nails’ acoustic set at Housmans Bookshop next Wednesday 12th September at 7pm. More info and ticket links. And, if you can’t make it, fear not – the band will also be streaming the event live from their Facebook page!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

 

 

Track Of The Day: Petrol Girls – ‘Sister’

Soft, but striking and seminal in its message; Petrol Girls‘ latest single ‘Sister’ is a remarkable new anthem championing the power of sisterhood. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming EP The Future Is Dark, released via Hassle Records on 14th September.

The accompanying video features footage submitted by Petrol Girls’ allies and fans, as well shots of our favourites Dream Nails and Witch Fever performing live. Speaking about the new single, front woman Ren Aldridge explains:

“I’ve been wanting for us to write a song about sisterhood for a long time, because it’s these relationships that have had the biggest impact on my life and that form the heart of my feminism. I’ve got two younger blood sisters and a few very close friends that I consider sisters, as well as our family dog Skye who passed away last summer but I loved her like a sister too. All of those relationships have taught me so much. They’ve guided me, taken care of me, made me laugh til I cry and nurtured me into better versions of myself. I think society often puts too much emphasis on sexual relationships, when sisterhood is incredibly important and powerful. This song celebrates a relationship that can pose a real threat to capitalism and patriarchy because it challenges competition and is built on care and trust.”

The title of Petrol Girls’ upcoming EP The Future Is Dark, further reflects their unwavering belief in the strength of sisterhood. The EP is named after a Virginia Woolf quote that writer Rebecca Solnit uses as a starting point for her essay ‘Woolf’s Darkness,’ in Men Explain Things To Me. She writes about accepting uncertainty and not fearing the dark or the unknown, because actually we don’t know what will happen next. She describes despair and optimism both as forms of certainty that create grounds for not acting, whereas hope pushes us to act and make change in whatever ways we can.

Ren ruminates further on this point: “The dark, just like the future, is full of possibilities. It makes me think about how its only in the dark that we can see the stars and think about ourselves as just tiny parts of this cosmic system, as part of a bigger picture. I find it really grounding and inspiring to feel individually small but part of something huge.”

We’re definitely proud to share Petrol Girls’ sisterhood ethics. Watch the video for ‘Sister’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order Petrol Girls’ The Future Is Dark EP here.
Available on limited etched 12” vinyl with hand-screenprinted sleeve.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Indietracks Festival 27/07/18 – 29/02/18 (PART 2)

(Part 2 of our Indietracks Festival review – read Part 1 here….)

Continuing a completely joyous Saturday, queens Dream Wife take to the outdoor stage. Having not seen them for about three years when they completely blew me away at Visions Festival, they do not disappoint. Oozing their trademark empowering force, Rakel and co. take my breath away once more; such is their immense liberating power. Sparkling with her vibrant charisma, Rakel is the perfect, engaging front woman as Alice and Bella deliver frenzied, defiant hooks. With shout outs to Alice’s super cool grandma (who I was standing next to in the crowd), and a truly stirring performance of ‘Somebody’ (“this one’s about smashing gender roles that need to be smashed”), Dream Wife prove they’re an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

After unsuccessfully attempting to get into the church to catch Spanish band Melenas (they sounded good from the door though!), we chill out for the rest of Saturday evening – preparing ourselves for a Sunday jam-packed full of some of the best new music.

Despite a rainy start, all the lush live music on Sunday certainly brightens the mood. The first example being Brighton band Just Blankets who bring their dreamy harmonies to the indoor stage; the perfect start to the day.

And the rain doesn’t stop us heading to see personal faves Wolf Girl. Alongside many “wet jokes”, they deliver their immensely infectious, thoroughly engaging indie-pop to perfection. As the crowd unites in a buoyant, albeit damp, cheer, I find that singing along to the uplifting hooks and exquisite harmonies of tracks such as ‘Middlesexy’ causes me to complete forget the weather and drift away on waves of Wolf Girl’s sunny energy.

Heading back to shelter for our favourite Feminist Punk Witches Dream Nails on the indoor stage, the DIY spirit and wonderful music continues. Despite having seen them live many times, Dream Nails never fail to totally inspire me. Treating us to a range of songs, new and old, they deliver their message as loud and as clear as ever to an adoring crowd of near 700. With her truly captivating intense energy, Janey leads the way in raging against sexual violence, misogyny and Facism, as guitarist Anya delivers impressive racing riffs, and Mimi and Lucy complete the punk-filled power of this unique band. As they deliver riotous impassioned lyrics such as “Hey mister, get your hands off my sister”, and express solidarity with those coming out as queer with uplifting offerings like ‘Swimming Pool’, a wonderful aura of unity sweeps throughout the crowd – as girls, women and non-binary people of all ages (in front of me a mother bops with her head-phoned baby in arms) dance and sing in solidarity – and I’m reminded once again why these strong-spirited wonder-women are so essential in our lives right now.

After sticking around to dance in buoyant joy to the utterly uplifting and twinkling calypso-like musicality of Tigercats, the empowering mood continues with (yet another GIHE fave), The Baby Seals in the church. With their uplifting charisma and triumphant wit, they champion autonomy and body positivity with wonderfully tongue-in-cheek (and amazingly entitled) offerings such as ‘My Labia’s Lopsided But I Don’t Mind’ and ‘Nipple Hair’, as well as mighty tracks celebrating Masturbation Month. Apologising for mentioning “tits” in a church, The Baby Seals celebrate all things female and break gender boundaries in all the right ways with their superb insightful humour and catchy musical prowess.

Sticking around in the intimate setting of The Church, we’re welcomed by another band who’ve wowed us at one of our nights at The Finsbury – the immensely impressive Sink Ya Teeth. Oozing their addictive, pulsating beats and ‘80s-inspired dance-pop hooks, they continue to prove themselves to be one of the most exciting bands around. As Maria Uzor’s smooth, intoxicating vocals soar, Gemma Cullinford’s pounding, funk-fused bass-lines provide a perfect, groove-ridden soundscape.

As the sun shines once more, we head back to the outdoor stage for North London’s Girl Ray. With their sweet, sunny charisma, each offering is a truly uplifting delight. Flowing with smooth, swooning vocals and catchy jangly melodies, they deliver their dreamy slices of gentle garage-rock with a sparkling grace, and – despite appearing to miss my personal favourite ‘Stupid Things’ – continue to cement their place firmly in our hearts.

After another welcome interlude with the owls and parrots (still not over how amazing this festival was!), final band of the weekend, Scotland’s Honeyblood, soothe our ears as the sun goes down. With a shimmering grace combined with their scuzzy garage-rock anthems and subtle empowering energy, the duo draw an end to the live music with all the perfect uplifting colour and fiery finesse we could have hoped for.

And that’s it; after spending a few more blissful hours dancing away in The Marquee, my first Indietracks is over. The most refreshing and enjoyable of weekends; one which exceeded all expectations. It was simply so wonderful to be a part of an event that so triumphantly champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres, in a beautiful location that’s not only family friendly, but a safe space for all, however you may identify.

Unfortunately, it still seems to be unusual to attend bigger festivals these days and not encounter ingrained misogyny or disrespect of some kind, but Indietracks felt like a different world; a safe, joy-filled world, and one jam-packed with all the best music (Also, did I mention there are owls and parrots?!). So, huge thanks to the organisers for creating something so beautiful, and I can only hope that more events start to take a leaf out of your book very soon!

Until next year, Indietracks…

Mari Lane
@marimindles

PLAYLIST: August 2018

The British heatwave rages on with its blue skies and scorching sun, and us Get In Her Ears girls are here to help you through the head-melting heat with a mixture of cool new tunes. Take some time to scroll through our track selections, and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Dream Nails – ‘Merkury’
Fast becoming known for their sparkling combination of activism and catchy tunes, GIHE faves Dream Nails are back with a new disco-punk banger. Perhaps less political than previous hits, ‘Merkury’ is a tongue-in-cheek take on the adverse effects of the planets misaligning and causing havoc in our everyday lives when Mercury Retrograde strikes. Flowing with sweeping honey-sweet vocals and shimmering melodies alongside groovy basslines, it’s a truly infectious intergalactic delight. Watch the wonderfully spacey, psychedelic video for ‘Merkury’ here. (Mari Lane)

WHITE RING – ‘Nothing’
Warped, watery vocals and thumping percussion combine in densely hypnotic style on WHITE RING‘s latest single, ‘Nothing’. Taken from their recent album Gate Of Grief, the track is accompanied by a video which shows the pair immersed in their own sound. Watch it here(Kate Crudgington)

AyOwA – ‘Sommer’
I couldn’t not include ‘Sommer’ by AyOwA in August’s playlist. Having seen these guys for the first time last week at our Notting Hill Arts Club event, they totally stole the show for me!  Seeing AyOwa peform Sommer was a highlight for me – more heady and more haunting then I could have wished for. (Tash Walker)

hear – ‘OYSTERS’
I’ve found a new addiction and it comes in the form of new musical project hear with their dark, hypnotic, lyrically enchanting music. ‘OYSTERS’ in particular stood out for me with it’s poetically pertinent messages of sexual perversion, discovery, frustration, desire… ‘did it please you well? to see her hanging there’. It’s hard for me not to draw parallels to early Savages, however hear are of course distinct in their own version of post-ponk. hear is a musical project from Jorinde Croese and Natalie Connlly who aptly say “We’re not quite sure how to classify – labels perhaps feel a little old, and the music doesn’t quite come from obvious reference points, at least not for us.” Without a doubt hear are now firmly on my ‘Ones to Watch’ list, fingers crossed for some live dates soon. (TW)

Something Leather – ‘Disappear On Me’
I saw Brighton’s Something Leather live for the second time at The Lock Tavern last weekend at We Can Do It’s all-day gig, and they didn’t disappoint! The trio’s sound ricochets between loud and quiet, up and down, mad and melancholy – and I can’t get enough of their marvelous noise. (KC)

Æ Mak – ‘Love Flush’
‘Love Flush’ is the latest single Æ Mak (pronounced “Eh Mack”). Having just played Latitude with what sounded like an incredibly energetic show, I think it makes sense that so much of the media are drawing comparisons to early Bjork. Of the track she says “‘Love Flush’ is a twisted love song. It’s about choosing your own ambitions over a true love, pushing that someone away to embrace this higher vision you have of yourself, even though that’s what made you happy. Ego’s a bitch.” I could not be more into how this track starts and then breaks into an alt-pop tune! Enjoy. (TW)

Temples Of Youth – ‘Darker Places’
This duo have been firm favourites of the GIHEs team for a while now, and new single ‘Darker Places’ is another electronic treat. Paul’s trademark atmospheric guitar sounds combine with Jo’s jaded beats and beautiful vocals to create this sultry pop-noir gem. (KC)

Princess Chelsea – ‘I Love My Boyfriend’
What a sweet sentiment from New Zealand’s retro-futuristic pop artist Princess Chelsea. She might be mocking romance, or she might be promoting it – either way – I love her strung-out bass lines and sugary vocals. The single is taken from her upcoming album The Loneliest Girl, released on the 7th September via Lil’ Chief Records (KC)

Value Void – ‘Babeland’
‘Babeland’ by London trio Value Void is taken from their upcoming debut album, set for release on 26th October via Tough Love. They’ve described the record as “a luxuriantly deep, shag pile-warm, analogue proto punk collection”, and ‘Babeland’ is a track about one night in a pub when everything looked grim except for two very attractive men kissing. I love the hazy dreamlike sound to that track which seems the perfect accompaniment to the hazy warmth of this endless London Summer. (TW)

H.Grimace – ‘In The Body’ 
Following last year’s debut album Self-Architect, GIHE faves H.Grimace have returned with a gritty new single. Inspired by poet Vivienne Griffin and reflecting on society’s pressure on the individual, ‘In The Body’ is filled with the band’s raw post-punk sound and scuzzy, seething power, alongside the deep, sweeping vocals of Hannah Gledhill; creating a dreamy, Sonic Youth-reminiscent haze. (ML)

Happy Accidents – ‘Free Time’
Taken from their latest album Everything But The Here And Now, ‘Free Time’ is the perfect example of Happy Accidents’ instantly uplifting pop-punk. Oozing luscious harmonies and an infectious buoyant energy, I fell in love with their shimmering creations when coming across them at Indietracks Festival last weekend, and now I’m truly addicted. (ML)

Le Tigre – ‘TKO’ 
With it being LGBTQ+ activist and artist J.D.Samson’s birthday on Saturday, I couldn’t not include a Le Tigre track in this month’s playlist. She holds a very special place in my heart, and the memory of dancing the night away in total euphoria to tunes that she hand-picked at M.I.A’s Meltdown Festival last year is still one of my life highlights. Really, Le Tigre’s ‘TKO’ should be on every playlist ever – it’s an instant blast of empowering energy on each listen. (ML)