PLAYLIST: August 2020

Whether you’ve miraculously managed to organise a holiday this summer, or you’re playing it safe and staying put post-lockdown, let our August playlist transport you somewhere you’d rather be for a short while. It’s filled with some dream-pop gems, shadowy electronics and the usual dose of indie & punk guitar tunes. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Circe – ‘Ten Girls’
London based dark-pop artist Circe’s latest single is inspired by one of my favourite books, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Of the track, Circe explains: “[Atwood’s novel] is a poetic but disturbing view of women living in a dystopian oppressive world. This chimes with my own fractured generation of cancel culture, swipes of sex, and revenge porn.” (Kate Crudgington)

Kynsy – ‘Cold Blue Light’
Mari & I were equally as excited about Kynsy when we first heard her debut single ‘Cold Blue Light’. Based in Dublin, Kynsy takes down bullies and naysayers on this track with her sardonic lyrics and glitchy beats. (KC)

Talking Violet – ‘Indigo’
The new single from Canadian band Talking Violet, and their first in two years, ‘Indigo’ offers an ethereal dreamscape oozing a shimmering haze and immersive shoegaze-tinged hooks. Flowing with the Cocteau Twins-esque vocals of front woman Jill Goyeau, and swooping other-worldly melodies, it’s an utter sonic delight. (Mari Lane)

Babeheaven – ‘Cassette Beat’
This dreamy new offering from West-London duo Babeheaven is lifted from their debut album, Home For Now, which is set for release on 6th November via AWAL. Of this track, vocalist Nancy Anderson explains: “I wanted to write a song about creation. Whenever we create we subsequently end up destroying something in a huge way or a small way. But there is always light behind the dark even when you can’t see it yet. It’s also a comment on media, how we ingest it at an unhealthy rate. I didn’t want it to be too negative so I wrote the chorus as a relief from the darkness of the verses.” Dreamy stuff, looking forward to hearing the full album. (KC)

Evil House Party – ‘Wicked’
Released via Third Coming Records, I’m a bit obsessed with Evil House Party’s debut single. ‘Wicked’ is a “modern murderous ballad, fleshed out in a bittersweet revenge pop anthem.” Very Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque. (KC)

Winter Gardens – ‘Tapestry’
The latest single from Brighton band Winter Gardens, ‘Tapestry’ oozes a euphoric ethereal haze as twinkling, shoegaze-inspired hooks whir alongside the soaring vocals of front person Ananda. Flowing with a rich anthemic emotion, it’s an utterly captivating slice of other worldly dream-punk. Tapestry, the debut EP from Winter Gardens, is set for release on 25th September. (ML)

Arlo Parks – ‘Creep’
Having already fallen head over heels with the utterly spellbinding sounds of Arlo Parks from hearing singles ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Eugene’ getting plenty of airplay on BBC 6Music, discovering that she’d covered Radiohead’s seminal ‘Creep’ did indeed feel so very special… With a delicate emotion-strewn splendour, Parks adds her own unique majestic grace to the original. A stripped back, and truly captivating, rendition that will tug at even the toughest of heartstrings. (ML)

Ailbhe Reddy – ‘Between Your Teeth’ 
A tentative rumination on the struggle to communicate your true feelings when in a relationship, Ailbhe Reddy’s latest single blends soft vocals with atmospheric guitars to help overcome feelings of frustration and sadness. ‘Between Your Teeth’ is lifted from her debut album Personal History, which is set for release on 2nd October via Friends of the Family. (KC)

New Pagans – ‘Yellow Room’
I love it when my feminist literature & new music worlds collide! Belfast-based New Pagans’ latest single ‘Yellow Room’ is inspired by the semi-autobiographical short-story The Yellow Wallpaper, written by American feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The band have penned the track to highlight the need for a specialised parent-and-baby mental health unit in Northern Ireland. They’re challenging and updating the narrative around women’s mental health, and they’ve crafted a catchy, energetic post-punk tune in the process. (KC)

Belako – ‘Truth’
The latest single from Spanish faves Belako, ‘Truth’ reflects on the reality of romance often being weaponized and used to exploit us. With  its scuzzy racing riffs and the raw, swooning vocals of front person Cristina Lizarraga, it offers a snappy blast of post-punk energy. Plastic Drama, the upcoming album from Belako, is out 28th August via BMG. (ML)

Screaming Toenail – ‘IOU’
Oozing a seething energy as a whirring tension builds with jangling hooks, Screaming Toenail’s ‘IOU’ asserts that we are worth so much more than our wages, and that we don’t owe our bosses, landlords, or this racist government, anything. Propelled by an impassioned cathartic rage and swirling magnetism, its raw, angst-driven power immerses the listener in its striking, empowering message. As front person Jacob repeats the refrain “I owe you nothing” with a fierce intensity, you’re left – fists-clenched – ready to come together in solidarity and rise up against the forces seeking to oppress us. ‘I.O.U’ is taken from Screaming Toenail’s immense new album, Growth, which is out now via Hell Hath No Fury Records. Buy now on Bandcamp. I tried to word just how important a collection it is in this full review. (ML)

Mothercanyouhearme – ‘Knowing You’
The latest single from London duo Rosie Krause and Georgia Mancey – aka Mothercanyouhearme – ‘Knowing You’ oozes an uplifting jangly scuzz and catchy sunny hooks. With a subtle gritty angst, it’s a perfect slice of emo-tinged indie-pop with shades of faves Diet Cig or Partner. ‘Knowing You’ is taken from Mothercanyouhearme’s upcoming new EP People². It’s a completely DIY release, produced by Rosie and with all artwork by Georgia, with an accompanying handmade zine wonderfully entitled ‘Maga Can You Zine Me’ – celebrating a number of female creatives and raising awareness to create safe spaces for queer identifying women and allies within music. (ML)

KIN – ‘L.O.V.E’
The new single from London trio Kin, ‘L.O.V.E’ is inspired by the euphoric feeling of being at the ‘Great British Festival’, that we’ve all been missing so much this summer. With shades of the driving majesty of Warpaint, its sun-strewn hooks and rippling energy make for an instantly catchy and soothingly cathartic listen. A truly uplifting alt-pop anthem. (ML)

Tiger Mimic – ‘Where The Fire Used To Be’
The new single from Tiger Mimic, ‘Where The Fire Used To Be’ is an energy-fuelled slice of alt-rock. With shades of early Arctic Monkeys, the soaring power of front woman Jess’ vocals are juxtaposed with psychedelic hooks and a whirring drive, building to an eerie climax. An instantly catchy offering, it offers a glimmer of hope in these strange times, promising that “the whole world will start over in the spring”. (ML) 

Despicable Zee – ‘We Won’t Stop’ (Tiiva Remix)
I’ve been listening to the Tiiva remix of Despicable Zee’s ‘We Won’t Stop’ since it was released at the beginning of August. Taken from her collaborative EP Atigheh Reimagined, Tiivah’s treatment of ‘We Won’t Stop’ fuses smooth, breathy vocals together with dense yet ambient beats. (KC)

MJ Guider – ‘Lit Negative’
Based in New Orleans, MJ Guider (aka Melissa Guion) blends elements of shoegaze, gothic pop and industrial sounds to create her hypnotic music. On her upcoming album Sour Cherry Bell, she explores power dynamics, musing about the notion of “lost and found, corporeal and cerebral, harnessed and exploited, of one and many, in this reality and the next.” (KC)

Listen to the playlist below!

 

WATCH: CIEL – ‘The Shore’ (Live Session)

To celebrate the physical release of their debut EP Movement on 7″ vinyl, Brighton-based CIEL have shared a live video of their single ‘The Shore’. Released via Manchester label Box Bedroom Rebels, the alt-pop band have included a bonus track on the EP titled ‘Wasn’t Enough For Me’, which was written and recorded by the band while in isolation.

Formed of Dutch musician Michelle Hindriks and the friends she made when she relocated to Brighton, CIEL enlisted the help of Producer Jack Wolter (Penelope Isles) to help them create the atmospheric sounds on their EP. Lead single ‘The Shore’ is a dreamy rumination about seizing the moment, and not letting life pass you by, with Hindriks’ pensive vocals floating above beguiling guitars, snappy beats, and blissed out synths, to reflect the waves of thought she sings about.

The Movement EP comes in a double sided sleeve, one of six different designs, with a gate-fold insert, one of ten numbered Polaroid photos, a CIEL postcard, sticker set, personalised confetti and a small signed A5 poster. You can order your copy here.

Watch the live video for ‘The Shore’ below and follow CIEL on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jantina Talsma

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Bitch Falcon – ‘Gaslight’

A striking, brooding observation on what you see vs what you get, Bitch Falcon have shared their latest single ‘Gaslight’. Released today (16th July) via Small Pond Records who the band have recently signed to, the track marks a change in the Dublin trio’s writing style, blending “melodic intricacies” with their trademark heavier sound.

Formed of Lizzie Fitzpatrick (vocals/guitar), Barry O’Sullivan (bass) and Nigel Kenny (drums), Bitch Falcon have been firm favourites of GIHE since they played live for us at The Finsbury Pub with Trash Kit in 2017. Since then, they’ve shared stages with the likes of Girl Band, Fontaines DC, Torche, Black Peaks, and Pussy Riot.

Full of seething bass lines and savage guitar licks, their new single is a stirring reflection on the way we perceive other people’s truths. Fitzpatrick’s powerful vocals permeate ‘Gaslight’, soaring over Kenny’s crashing beats and O’Sullivan’s heavy bass hooks, fusing their grunge-meets-dream-pop sound together.

Speaking about the track, Fitzpatrick explains: “‘Gaslight’ is a song that came together quite fast. Barry started playing his riff and I played along messing rhythmically, just making noise. It sounded so weird and intense so quickly. I remember us all looking at each other and saying this is the one.

I wanted to describe the feeling of what you see is not necessarily what you get. The holy grail of public display, and worth to others. Expressing yourself puts you in a vulnerable position, and I think a lot of people embellish the truth. In that way, an unachievable status is shoved down our throats, and we play into the game every day.”

Listen to ‘Gaslight’ below and follow Bitch Falcon on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Song Sung – ‘The Mind’s Eye’

A dreamy musing on dual feelings of hope and doubt, Song Sung have shared their latest single ‘The Mind’s Eye’. Lifted from their upcoming debut album, This Ascension Is Ours, set for release on 31st July via Night Time Stories, the track is a tumbling, ethereal soundscape that shimmers with positivity.

Formed of twin sisters Georgina and Una McGeough, Song Sung grew up in Monaghan, close to the Northern Ireland border, before moving stateside to New York a decade ago. Since then, the pair have been dabbling in music software and creating their own sounds, working with David Holmes (Unloved) to produce their debut EP, I Surrender, which they released earlier this year.

Speaking about their new track, the band explain: “This song wrestles with doubt, but is fought with hope. It’s provocative and resilient and in a way, quite anthemic. We can fall down together, but in defiance, we will stand up forever.” The band’s hazy vocals and lush synths lure listeners in to this blissful state.

Listen to ‘The Mind’s Eye’ below and follow Song Sung on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

 

 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut