LIVE: Dream Wife – Sebright Arms, London 26.01.18

Pastel-coloured party balloons littered the basement floor of Hackney’s Sebright Arms last night as power trio Dream Wife took to the stage to celebrate the release of their debut self-titled album (released via Lucky Number). After tearing through a knockout rendition of ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, vocalist Rakel thanked the crowd for joining the “intimate soiree”, followed by extensive and genuine thanks from guitarist Alice, and bassist Bella.

Having recently returned from New York to play the album launch show, there was no evidence of jet-lag or fatigue in their performance (even though Alice admitted she was “sick as a dog”). ‘Lolita’ and ‘Fire’ sparked a frenzied but friendly mosh that was maintained for the majority of their set, and new tracks ‘Love Without Reason’ and ‘Right Now’ sparkled like gems. Old favourite ‘F.U.U.’ never fails to rile up the crowd; there’s something overwhelmingly liberating about watching the girls thunder through this track, gleefully threatening to undo your image with a vicious haircut.

The live impact of poignant anthem ‘Somebody’ never fades. Whether you’re a “Bad Bitch” at the front, or an ally at the back: hearing Rakel speak her truth with defiant flare is always affecting – whether it’s your first, or fifth Dream Wife gig. It was seamlessly followed by new track ‘Act My Age’, the chorus of which sparked further po-going and pushing in the mosh. Rakel’s unapologetic, confident delivery lead her out in to the hands of the crowd, who lifted her up to the ceiling and – in her own words – made her feel “cradled like a baby”.

Dream Wife have built this creative, supportive community around them, and they were happy to thank individual members of their team mid-set, as well as continuously speaking words of gratitude to their fans (and sharing the champagne they’d opened at the beginning of the show). They closed the night by handing out pom-poms to fans, who cheer-leadered their way through the riotous finale track, ‘Let’s Make Out’.

Dream Wife’s Sebright gig proved that they’re one of the most cherished bands on the circuit right now, and they should be immensely proud of their debut, their exceptional live delivery, and their obvious dedication to making each other’s dreams of being in a brilliant band, a reality. #DreamWife4Lyf

Photo Credit: Joanna Kiely

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Dream Wife – ‘Dream Wife’

Fearless on stage and now on record; Dream Wife‘s debut self-titled album is a joyful declaration of defiance and self-autonomy, designed to motivate listeners in to embracing life, love, and the fires that spark when you overcome adversity.

Released via Lucky Number on 26th January, the album bursts open with ‘Let’s Make Out’, a confident display of catchy riffs and Rakel’s trademark sweet & shouty vocals. It’s a shameless celebration of consensual lip-action that will have you eyeing up your crush’s cupid’s bow, and their rose-petal-lip that sits below. We were on set for the video shoot at Dream Wife’s ‘Fake Prom’ last year, so hearing this track makes us gush with happiness.

The liberating ‘Somebody’ is a poignant anthem about reclaiming your body after sexual assault, with a chorus that all women should adopt as a mantra: “I am not my body, I am somebody”. Despite the traumatic context, it’s a steady, life-affirming listen that resonates long after Alice’s guitar stops ringing out. It leads in to the riotous ‘Fire’, which blazes with glorious energy. Bella’s bass smoulders throughout the verses, as Rakel sings of a flickering, fleeting, heated romance.

The theme of love permeates the record, and the Wives explore its spectrum in numerous ways. ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ will have you staring down any troublemaker who tries to be reckless with your heart, whilst the soft, sultry sounding ‘Love Without Reason’ explores the free, unjustified adoration we bestow on our partners. The trio know how to pull on the heartstrings, and how to indulge in infatuation via luxurious riffs and buoyant bass lines. Previous single ‘Kids’ plays out with care-free attitude and up-tempo style, as does the intoxicating ‘Taste’.

In the blink of an eye, the trio effortlessly switch to antagonistic and self-aware, as Rakel’s mockingly sweet vocals on ‘Act My Age’ perfectly demonstrate. She confronts listeners in the chorus with the line “Do I amuse you? Do I confuse you?” with her sharp, yet casual delivery, making this a standout track on the record. The brief, youthful urgency of ‘Right Now’ flows in to an invitation you can’t refuse on penultimate track, ‘Spend The Night’.

Live gig highlight ‘F.U.U.’ is the perfect way to end this exploration of relentless passion in all its forms, from the trio who “worship at the twin altars of David Bowie and Madonna”. There’s a reason these self-proclaimed “Bad Bitches” are doing so well; it’s because their dedication to their music, their fans, and each other is more intense than any forces that seek to undermine them. #DreamWife4Lyf.

Pre-order your copy of Dream Wife’s debut album on CD/Vinyl here.

Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Highlights Of The Year 2017

As we near the end of the year, we wanted to reflect on some of our highlights of 2017; to draw attention to the times when, despite all the shit going on in the world, women in music have inspired us, motivated us, and shown themselves to be positively awesome. So, though we don’t know what 2018 might bring, let’s celebrate these incredible women in all their patriarchy-smashing glory! 

Whilst it’s easy (and natural) to agonise about the harassment and adversity that female musicians face in the industry, it’s even more important to organise and shout back against the injustice of it all: and that’s exactly what Slowcoaches bassist & vocalist Heather Perkins did on ‘Complex’. She wrote the song as a response to the sexual assault allegations against artists in the press at the time. Singing about a male lead singer who “really needs a hand, one’s in the other, and the other’s in his pants”, Heather sounds confident in her assertion that his story “holds no weight”, and the rage and distrust in her lyrics resonated with Mari & I profoundly. (Kate Crudgington)

“Don’t let the bastards get you down, don’t let the arseholes wear you out.”
Wise words from Kesha. A woman who’s provided much inspiration for us this year in her determination in the ongoing legal battle against producer Dr. Luke, amid accusations that he “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally” abused her for years.

After everything she’s been through this year and with the release of her latest album Rainbow – a collection of powerful and motivating anthems – Kesha’s shown herself to be a super strong inspiration of a woman. If songs like ‘Woman’ and ‘Bastards’ don’t make you want to get up, feel empowered and give a whopping middle finger up to the patriarchy, I’m not sure what will.

And, though the battle is far from over for Kesha, let’s give her credit for having the strength to speak out publicly against abusive men, giving us all a bit of inspiration to fight and not let those bastards get us down. (Mari Lane)

Since the release of their single ‘Somebody’ earlier this year, Dream Wife‘s live shows now feel twice as liberating. ‘Somebody’ is an anthem about recovery and reclaiming your body, but the trauma that lurks behind the sexual assault which sparked the song still puts a lump in my throat. Having said that, it was a sheer joy to watch Rakel, Alice & Bella perform the song to their sold out crowd at Scala in October, who echoed back Rakel’s life-affirming lyric “I am not my body, I’m somebody”. If you haven’t seem Dream Wife live yet, I urge you to come to their show at Heaven in 2018. You won’t regret it. (KC)

Having played on the Rising Stage for the last four years, it was a joy to see all-female collective Deep Throat Choir get a turn on the main Mountain Stage at Green Man Festival this year. Since I last saw them two years ago, the group had grown in both size and power. Dressed in matching vibrant oranges and pinks, they succeed in brightening a rather grey last day of the festival, treating us to a mix of covers and originals from their wonderful debut album Be OK. With everyone singing along to personal favourite ‘Baby’ being a pretty emotional highlight, it was a simply euphoric experience watching these wonderful women create such perfect, intense harmonies and sweeping vocal melodies. Epitomising the exceptional power of women coming together to create, Deep Throat Choir unite their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring. (ML)

When Wolf Alice effortlessly performed ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ under the sparkling mirror-ball lights at their Alexandra Palace headline gig in November; I swooned so hard I thought I might drown in my own heart-shaped tears. Their perfectly executed set was laced with tracks from debut record My Love Is Cool (‘Lisbon’, ‘Bros’, You’re A Germ’ & ‘Silk’) as well as a healthy dose of new material from second album Visions Of a Life, (‘Heavenward’, ‘Formidable Cool’ & vicious lead single ‘Yuk Foo’). I’ve seen them live many times before, but I left Ally Pally feeling confident I’d witnessed something special, and I’ll definitely be catching them again in 2018.(KC)

Whilst the #MeToo campaign this year has signalled the start of a change for the better – bringing the issue of violence against women into the public eye, with perpetrators (finally) beginning to see some consequences to their actions – domestic violence against women and children continues to occur every minute of every day. And, with the government continuing to make life-threatening cuts to vital services, charities like Feminist direct action group Sisters Uncut are more necessary now than ever. 

Gaptooth‘s latest single ‘They Cut We Bleed’ celebrates the work of Sisters Uncut; featuring powerful footage from their protests, it rages against the government with a frenzied, impassioned energy and powerful force. With shades of the likes of Le Tigre or MEN, it’s the perfect call to arms that we need now more than ever. Drawing our attention to the issue with the raw honesty of horrific facts and figures (“In the UK on average two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner…”), accompanied by catchy, whirring beats, Gaptooth offers an empowering voice for all we should be saying right now; inspiring us to get up, unite and take action to create the positive change that so urgently needs to happen. (ML)

It feels odd to call this a ‘highlight’, but I want to include it here because I remember reading the statement and thinking “YES! GOOD FOR HER!”. High profile women like Kesha, Alice Glass & Taylor Swift publicly called out the men who had abused or sexually harassed them this year, and it paved the way for female musicians in smaller bands to do the same.

Estrons vocalist Tali Källström used the band’s Facebook page to inform fans that Paul Draper had sent her inappropriate messages prior to their dates supporting his band, and consequently she’d decided to cancel the shows. She wrote: “I have experienced sexism, misogyny and prejudice, but this time, enough is enough. I will not pander because I want success. I was asked to sweep this under the carpet, but I can’t. I want to play alongside musicians that respect me and like me for my music and personality, not because they are sexually interested in me.” Tali is a fierce front-woman who’s not afraid to ask for more, and I hope her words have inspired other women in the industry to speak out against similar types of behaviour. (KC)

We’ve been big fans of Julie Hawk for a while now – writing songs with her band HAWK that draw attention to reproductive rights and the mistreatment of women in her Irish homeland. However, this year – in addition to continuing to create powerfully enchanting music – she started a new creative venture, ‘Female Fronted, Drawn Together’. 

Putting together a playlist of wonderful female artists, new and old, who have inspired her in some way, she created a unique illustration to accompany each song. Including some of our favourites – Bitch Falcon, Dream Nails, Skinny Girl Diet, PINS and The Julie Ruin – it’s provided the perfect, empowering soundtrack to 2017. Julie has now started the next instalment of ‘Female Fronted Drawn Together’, and we urge you to check out all her wonderful illustrations on her Instagram page.(ML) 

Listen to our Get In Her Ears Highlights Of 2017 playlist, including our Tracks Of The Year and songs from our favourite Albums Of The Year.

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles 
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut

Tracks Of The Year 2017

As Time Magazine recently called it, 2017 is the year of The Silence Breakers, and us Get In Her Ears girls are here to support the women who are making all the right kinds of noise.

It has been increasingly difficult to absorb and process daily news stories about women and girls who have been sexually assaulted and raped by powerful men who (wrongly) assumed they would get away with it. Women from all walks of life started to use the #MeToo campaign to document their experiences of sexual harassment and assault earlier this year, and since then perpetrators have been called out, shamed, and fired – though few have apologised for their actions.

Whilst we can’t seem to stem the flow of pain caused by stories of inherent societal sexism, or the tories’ budget cuts to vital women’s services here in the UK, we can provide some respite in the form of some of our favourite immensely talented, informed, brilliant female musicians. These are the women who rocked our world in 2017 – we’d be lost without their precious anthems. Take a look at our top tracks below…

The Nyx – ‘Fire Breathing Lady’
Exuding their intense, raucous energy The Nyx deliver immense, electrifying offerings. Fuelled by a seething passion, ‘Fire Breathing Lady’ hits you with its fierce, empowering force like nothing you’ve heard before. I’ve had this track on repeat throughout the year – its thrashing power having seen me through the trials and tribulations of 2017, and marking these exceptional women out as a real force to be reckoned with. So, turn up the riotous sound of ‘Fire Breathing Lady’ and celebrate your womanly powers in all their glory. (Mari Lane)

Nova Twins – ‘Mood Swings’
Driven by devious and distorted basslines, Nova Twins (aka Amy & Georgia) have unmatchable attitude and instinct for writing anarchic anthems, and ‘Mood Swings’ is a warped reflection of swift emotional shifts that will be buzzing around your brain long after it’s stopped playing.
(Kate Crudgington)

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘If You See Me’
‘If You See Me’ was the debut single from Sink Ya Teeth who signed to James Endeacott’s 1965 Records this year. The track is drenched in addictive beats and nods to post-punk royalty ESG. A particular highlight for me was watching Sink Ya Teeth perform this live at one of our Finsbury nights; catch them if you can, these guys are worth seeing live. (Tash Walker)

Lizzo – ‘Water Me’
I’ve been in love with (queen) Lizzo for some time… I was completely obsessed with the uplifting wit of her 2014 track ‘Batches And Cookies’. And I’ve been equally head over heels with this year’s ‘Water Me’. A super empowering anthem, it’s filled with immense hooks and the completely infectious, invigorating chorus as Lizzo repeats “I am my inspiration”. Lizzo explains of the track: It’s about needing nourishment, it’s about being loved for who you are. We’re celebrating black beauty and the meaningful freedom of water.” So, nourish yourself, inspire yourself, and fall in love with Lizzo’s ‘Water Me’. (ML)

Smerz – ‘Because’
Low slung rhythms, crunching beats and those ever so distinctive vocals, Because in short is some of the best obscure techno-pop around. Copenhagen based duo delivering distorted electro tracks, a perfect mix of minimal futurism and experimental nostalgia. I’m so into this track, it makes me feel like I want to don a heavy orange bomber jacket, an East 17 style beanie and head down to some industrial rave in a warehouse and two-step the night. (TW)

Dream Wife – ‘Let’s Make Out’
It was difficult to choose a specific Dream Wife track this year, as both ‘Somebody’ and ‘Let’s Make Out’ were equally as catchy and important as each other. Whilst ‘Somebody’ addresses victim-blaming and the shame around sexual assault, ‘Let’s Make Out’ is a shamelessly confident anthem about acting on your own consensual desires. I was fortunate enough to be on set during the video shoot, and it was a real joy to watch the band and their friends dance around at fake prom, living their best lives. (KC)

Queen Zee – ‘Boy’
I’m hooked on Liverpool punk sass-perts Queen Zee. ‘Boy’ is the first track of theirs that reached my ears, and it’s an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes.(KC)

The Orielles – Sugar Tastes Like Salt
In case you haven’t noticed, The Orielles have had the title of my favourite band for a while now. I named them as Ones To Watch last year, and it seems they’ve lived up to that title – having wowed crowds at festivals this summer (including a wonderful set at Green Man), become a BBC 6 Music favourite and received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian , as well as many other esteemed publications.

Though I’m a fan of everything they have to offer, this year’s ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ is a truly epic creation. Racing with pounding beats, scuzzy hooks, jangly melodies and woozy vocals, Sid, Esmé and Henry show they’re capable of greatness with this dreamy offering. At just over eight minutes long, it truly is an anthem in every sense of the word. An anthem heralding the arrival of The Orielles into the ears of masses. The band’s first release on Heavenly Recordings, ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ is a magnificent, clattering cacophony; a frenzied fusion of sounds that takes you on a musical adventure into the minds of its creators. (ML)

Madame So – ‘Black Is Beautiful’
London-based promoters LOUD WOMEN released their first compilation CD this year (buy a copy here), and Madame So gifted them with this superb track. ‘Black Is Beautiful’ is a poignant song about race, identity, and doing things for yourself. Her lyrics and unique voice move me each time I listen (and I love her reference to The Cure). (KC)

Amparo – ‘Reset’
If I could…I would have chosen everything that Amparo has released this year, constantly creating such beautiful dreamy soundscapes but if forced (and I am being forced) I’d go with ‘Reset’. A firm favourite of mine taken from Amparo’s EP Isolated Islands which has a melodic-chill atmosphere created with the idea of being enjoyed whilst exploring the outdoors. Absolutely excellent listening. (TW)

 

Beckie Margaret – ‘At Home (Where I Write)’
Cool Thing Records introduced me to Beckie Margaret in late 2016, and I’ve been mesmerised by her ever since. She has such a pure, faultless voice and it was a pleasure to interview her before her debut London show at The Waiting Room in October of this year. This is her second single, following on from ‘Cars & Catacombs’ and it’s totally divine. (KC)

Noga Erez – ‘Dance While You Shoot’ 
A sheer force to be reckoned with, if ever there was one, Tel Aviv artist Noga Erez has blown me away with her immense arrival into our ears (and eyes at Visions Festival!) this year. An utterly compelling performer, she oozes an hypnotic elegance as she delivers the glitchy, sweeping cacophony of ‘Dance While You Shoot’. In this utterly infectious track, Erez combines a magnetising grace with with a fiery, frenzied power; cementing herself firmly as one of the most exciting artists around, and a simply stunning performer. (ML) 

LISTEN: GIRLI vs The Tuts – ‘Mr 10pm Bedtime (Remix)’

London’s GIRLI might be a Hot Mess, but she sure knows how to organise a cracking collaboration. She’s already worked with the Dream Wife girls who remixed her track ‘Not That Girl’ (and we spotted her dancing on stage at their sold out Scala gig), but now she’s teamed up with The Tuts to release an almighty reversion of ‘Mr 10pm Bedtime’.

The track is taken from her recent 4 track EP, Hot Mess, and The Tuts have hijacked the song and turned it in to an up-beat, guitar laden, pop-punk banger. They’ve stayed true to the gutsy nature of the original recording, but it’s extra cool now The Tuts have got involved. Have a listen and see for yourself…

GIRLI’s Hot Mess EP is out now via PMR/Virgin EMI Records. Click here to buy your copy.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Sorry – ‘Wished’

Sorry (fka FISH) are Londoners Asha Lorenz, Louis O’Bryen, Lincoln Barrett, and Campbell Baum; and there’s nothing apologetic about their cacophony of alternative noise. The band have been making a name for themselves on London’s underground circuit since 2015, and their “emotional and hyper-melodic songwriting” has seen them share stages with the inimitable Wolf Alice and GIHEs favourites Dream Wife.

‘Wished’ is their debut studio recording and follows the recent self-release of Home Demo(ns) Vol. 1. It was recorded by Sean Oakley (Rick Rubin, Frank Ocean) and mixed by Andrew Savours (My Bloody Valentine). The single will also be accompanied by a b-side, ‘Lies’, which is set to arrive later this month. Both tracks will be packaged together on Sorry’s very first 7” vinyl release on Domino, available to pre-order here.

The band will embark on a full U.K. tour supporting South London’s Childhood on November 16th, before ending 2017 with their biggest headline show to date at Corsica Studios in London on December 5th. Check out the video for ‘Wished’ (directed by India Lee) below.

Follow Sorry on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Dan Kendall

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Drahla – ‘Form Of Luxury’

Fans of alternative post-punk inspired noise-rock should form a line to hear Leeds based Drahla. The trio have released their latest track ‘Form of Luxury’, and it’s another “captivating insight” into the band’s forthcoming EP Third Article. 

It follows on from previous single ‘Silk Spirit’, produced by Hookworms’ MJ, and it’s another swirling, manic, magnetic offering from Luciel, Rob & Mikey. The band have shared stages with Parquet Courts, The Cribs, Buzzcocks, Dream Wife, Menace Beach and more, and they’re currently supporting Canada’s METZ on their European tour. They’re set for big things in 2018, so make sure you catch them before they become uncatchable.

Third Article, the upcoming EP from Drahla, is out 24th November via their Blank Ad label. Follow Drahla on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut