Track Of The Day: Shari Vari – ‘New York City’

Brooding electronics and moody vocals fuse together on Shari Vari‘s new single ‘New York’, capturing the atmosphere of one of America’s most iconic cities. The track is taken from their new album NOW, recently released via cult label Malka Tuti.

Formed of of Helena Ratka and Sophia Kennedy, the Hamburg-based alt-electronic duo blend elements of performance art, techno, house, pop and jazz to create their dense electronic beats. Speaking about their upcoming album, the band explain:

“Time is ticking and the questions we have regarding time and action is the connecting element of the songs and tracks on NOW. There is mostly a dark connotation in [the] music and lyrics, but not without a joyful outlook, fun twists and a breeze of irony. NOW connects the individual with the social persona, while the tracks take you on a trip from the boiler room next to our studio to a chilly sunday in the park. It’s more a stream of consciousness than a conceptual decision we made”.

Why not join Shari Vari on their journey by listening to ‘New York’ below?

Follow Shari Vari on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Introducing Interview: Lyrah

Following the release of her debut EP Chemicals earlier this year, San Francisco-based artist Lyrah has been featured on the likes of Earmilk, and in popular playlists such as Spotify’s ‘Fresh Finds’.

Recently sharing the GOLDHOUSE remix of her latest single ‘Don’t Make Me’, she creates smooth, sultry dance pop, flowing with luscious, soaring vocals and pulsating beats.

We caught up with Lyrah to find out more…

Hi Lyrah, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself please?
Hello! Nice to meet y’all. I’m a writer/singer/producer in San Francisco. I make dark indie pop music and love to create things that feel like they could be the soundtrack of someone’s life.

How and why did you initially start creating music?
I’ve been making music since I was a kid. I was lucky that my parents set me up with piano lessons when I was three – the teacher didn’t want to take me on since I was so young, but my dad worked it out so that she would give us both a lesson. Piano was my gateway to writing; it started with dark, heavy piano compositions, and then grew into more structured pop songs. For the past five years or so, I’ve been writing for other people as well as stuff just for myself. It wasn’t until two years ago that I decided to go for it and put out my own music – I was getting better at production and could finally capture the sound I had been hearing in my head. I wanted to have the complete creative control to create a vision around the sound and feeling I was chasing.

Your new single ‘Don’t Make Me’ is out now, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the track?
I wrote this song during a lonely night at my piano. It started because I was in a mental space of questioning someone’s love; it’s shitty to be in a situation where you feel someone pulling away and you begin to question how they feel about you and what that means going forward. When I wrote this song, I had no intention of putting it out or sharing it with anyone, but when I was picking songs for my EP around the theme of love driven chemicals, it was a piece of that spectrum that I wanted to include.

 

And you’ve recently shared the GOLDHOUSE remix of the track, how did that collaboration come about?
I first discovered GOLDHOUSE through his Billie Eilish remix of ‘Ocean Eyes’. I followed a lot of his remixes after that, so I hit him up when I was thinking about remixes for the EP and he wanted to remix ‘Don’t Make Me’. I knew there was a dancier, more energetic version of this song living within it and GOLDHOUSE nailed it.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Daughter and Halsey, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Two influences that are constant are Sylvan Esso and Trent Reznor. But a more recent influence would be Sasha Sloan – I absolutely love her writing.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I was talking about this recently with Parker – who is part of Cassette Tapes — that there is something cool about the SF music scene because it is not the natural place to live for music. And that difference of environment shapes the stories you wanna tell and the ways you write and produce about it. That said, the price of admission to live in San Francisco is so high that it’s unrealistic for some. Many musicians here are like me in that they have a job to support their music. I wish the city could better support creatives and people of all types of backgrounds that are currently driven away.     

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
For right now, I’m not doing any shows so that my energy goes into writing/producing/recording/designing/planning out the next releases. The songs to come are the ones that I am most excited to perform, so when that happens, I hope I give everyone a hell of a night!  

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming artists you’d recommend we check out?
Ooo let’s see. Here are some newer artists I’ve been excited about and the songs of theirs I love most: Banoffee – ‘Bubble‘, WENS – ‘Call’, Luka – ‘Closer‘, Hana Vu – ‘Crying On The Subway’. 

And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Since the barrier to create music is lower, people are inundated with tonnes of new music. This makes it harder to cut through the noise, but the part that is super interesting is that you can reach an audience that is really into your specific sound.

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Lyrah?
All of my new stuff is pushing a darker, dancier direction. They’re living in a space that is dreamy, yet realistically cinematic. These songs to come are my favourite ones yet! You can follow me on Insta or Spotify to hear what’s to come. 

Massive thanks to Lyrah for answering our questions! 

‘Don’t Make Me’ (GOLDHOUSE Remix) is out now.

FIVE FAVOURITES: TONI&MASH

Berlin-based duo TONI&MASH are on a mission to create 80s inspired, electro-pop bangers. They recently released their debut single ‘LTGFU’ through Black Diamonds Records this summer which stands for “‘Love to Get Fucked Up” – a direct and self-explanatory tune designed to fill the coolest of dance floors.

With influences ranging from Abra to Patti Smith and Grace Jones to The Sugababes, they’ve been active on the DIY music collective circuit in Berlin for the last few years. In addition to TONI&MASH, the duo are involved in a multitude of projects, including directing, shooting and editing videos for themselves and other artists in Berlin’s hip hop and R&B scene.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with TONI&MASH to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to their track ‘LTGFU’ at the end of this post.

1. Abra – Rose
I (Toni) remember the first time I heard Rose – I was so enthralled by the 808 drum combo with Abra’s catchy and emotional hooks. I must have listened to this album 20 times over in the first week I got it. It came out in 2015, a time when I was still developing my full badassness, I remember hearing her vulnerability and rawness in what very often women have been scolded for; expressing her needs and desires so openly. Well done Abra, big ups for being a voice for young women navigating mad lusts and relationships in this world, an creating a beautiful record at the same time. I still return back to ‘Rose’ every few months, the sign of a great album!

Toni showed me (Mash) this album  and it was right up my ally – of course! Dramatic melodies, over layering vocals and 80´s sounds in nu-r&b form – that is what dreams are made of! I´m especially in love with her lyrical style and surprising melodies. I strongly relate to every songs message. This album has a fierce female energy while being boss-ass and not too sweet or girlish. A lot of the songs seem to talk about power dynamics in relationships and as a psychologically interested person, that totally hits the sweet spot for me. Songs about feeling and relationships that are hermetic and not completely on the nose are hard to write and lovely to listen to. Although all the songs have a similar style they are all very distinct and individually beautiful. Whenever we do a TONI&MASH related mix, we make sure there is one track of Abra in there, since she is such a musical influence to us.

2. SBTRKT – SBTRKT
The first album that TONI&MASH ever bonded over. Knowing each other for only one week and on set for an Ämsi Maasname video shoot, this album came on and before the first chorus even hit to ‘Wildfire’ we were both singing every lyric, word for word. And from that the beginnings of a beautiful musical friendship was born! It was a record I (Toni) also fell in love with at uni, just a year or two before moving to Berlin. It manages to overlap that wonderful bridge between pop and electronic dance music with tracks like ‘Hold On’. Sampha’s hypnotic and somewhat UK homesick inducing accent hold the perfect singalong, ass shaking session together. ‘Pharaohs’ also dropping a mega strong vibe on this record. Feel like this album really represents what was happening with the UK pop/dance music cross over in 2011/12. We still love it until this day. A formative album for many.

I (Mash) remember the look on Toni´s face when this German girl knew all the lyrics to all the songs of this great album and that I was very proud of making an impression on her. When this album came out, I didn’t know anyone who wasn’t crazy about it. It seemed so ground breaking at the time. The beats, the lyrics, the melodies, the content – it all felt so new and fresh and never heard before. Although I am not such a big fan of instrumentals, I even loved the songs without lyrics, which has to be a good sign. I especially loved all the collaborations – that was also always my dream, was I to make music on my own – a loooot of collaborations since they spark the most inspiration for me. My two favourite songs are definitely ‘Wildfire’ and ‘Hold On’.

3. OutKast – Aquemini
Toni and Mash found out early, that they both are big OutKast fans. Andre 3000 and Big Boi are musical geniuses – period! At a time where most American rap seemed to be gangsta rap and very repetitive, OutKast managed to produce rap music that was beautiful, deep, conscious, without being preachy or boring. While east coast and the west coast were comparing dick sizes and rapping about money and bitches, the south reinvented the game and managed to do so by leaving those topics out and making sociocritical music that was still cool. And even when they rap about having sex with groupies in ‘Mamacita’ they stay respectful and make sure it’s consensual.

Songs like “Da Art of Story Telling” show off their excellent skills in exactly that – the art of storytelling. I love the fact that they are a duo, just like us. Coming from a background of 80´s music, punk and rap, I always got inspired by their quick change of flows and the non-chalant switch from rapping to singing to rapping. We love to make that shift in our own music as much as possible. Favourite tracks are ‘Aquemini, ‘SpottiOttieDopaliscious’, and ‘Liberation’ featuring Cee-Lo and Erykah Badu, but every song on this album is a banger and good to bang to.

4. Frank Ocean – Channel ORANGE
Omg, I think this album changed my life and how I look at music (for the better). I love everything about Frank Ocean. His voice, the fact that he´s openly gay in a scene that’s still very dominated by male toxicity and that he came from a songwriting background and then started making music for himself.

The first song I ever heard of him was ‘Thinkin Bout You’ and I just melted. Never has a song portrayed the feeling of longing for someone more accurately. Songs like ‘Super Rich Kids’, ‘Sweet Life’ and ‘Crack Rock’ are outstanding in storytelling and are sharp observations of society by a woke mind. I was listening to nothing but this album when it came out and I showed it to everyone who didn’t jump up the tree quick enough.

I also loved the fact that almost none of the songs had the traditional “song-form” of verse-hook-verse-hook-bridge, etc. Songs like ‘Pyramids’ which is almost 10 minutes long seemed bold and like he just really made the piece of art he wanted to make. So what it´s like two different songs in one? It´s like a dark nu-r&b musical track and it all makes sense. ‘Bad Religion’ is also an all time favourite of course, speaking to anyone with a broken heart. I can´t tell which song is my favourite, I don’t want to diss the others!

5. M.I.A. – Arular
This album came out when I was 18 years old and going out every weekend. I grew up in a smaller city than Berlin in NRW and I knew the DJ of my main club and would always ask for songs and he would play them for me because i´d always be the first person on the dance floor and break the ice. M.I.A. was always on top of the list. Usually I went for ‘Bucky Done Gun’ or ‘Galang’ and totally lost it. She was such an icon to me!

A badass woman that produced her own music, invented a whole new style and was successful without getting her obviously sexy body naked. She always produced her own videos (in which she also appeared without make-up), made art and was multi-dimensional talented while at the same time being very outspoken politically, never taking comfort in her stardom, always out using her voice to do good and change the status quo which is depriving so many people from leading good lives. I obsessed about her and sucked up any information I could get. I was so excited to see the documentary about her last year!

This album just blew my mind, I had never heard music like that. ‘Pull up the people’ and ‘Sunshowers’, are definitely favourites – I also love the music video to ‘Sunshowers’ which touched my heart and showed me that women in pop don’t always have to get their tits out to sell their music.

Thanks to TONI&MASH for sharing their favourites with us. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Track Of The Day: Little Pale – ‘The Way You Used To Be’

A bittersweet reflection on life before technology took over; London-based newcomer Little Pale has shared her debut single ‘The Way You Used To Be’. It was her sultry remix of The Stone Roses’ classic track ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ first caught our attention, but her debut single is a wonderful example of her ability to write electro-pop tunes laced with melancholy.

Speaking about ‘The Way You Used To Be’, the songwriter explains: “It’s a reminiscing of the old, and comment on the new. Since the rise of tech, things have become so saturated, and while it definitely brings more opportunities, it does give me a longing for a simpler time”. Little Pale – so-called due to her stature and pallor – has overcome self doubt and feelings of anxiety to create her own sounds, and we’re excited to see what else she releases over the coming months.

Listen to ‘The Way You Used To Be’ below and follow Little Pale on Instagram for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: La Lune – ‘Grape Soda’

Brighton based dream-pop artist La Lune has shared her sugary new single ‘Grape Soda’ and its a bitter sweet exploration of “love, lustful addiction, and self-destruction”. She’s also shared a hand-illustrated music video to accompany the track, made by graphic designer and fashion student Eva Kubacka.

La Lune has been writing, producing and releasing music with a DIY ethos since she was 18. Now at 20 years old, she’s beginning to capture the attention of BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 6, NME, and Spotify, landing a spot on New Music Friday UK with her recent collaborative release, ‘Heartstop’.

Her refreshing and ambient sounds are reflected in her approach to promoting and sharing her own music too. Masked beneath her pseudonym and with a subtle social media presence, La Lune is using obscurity to protest against the over-sexualisation of women in music, stating that her music should be listened to and judged at “face value”.

With songs as catchy as ‘Grape Soda’ and mesmerising visuals to match, we’re sure La Lune’s approach to music will be respected for what it is: pure and well produced. Watch the video for her new single below and follow La Lune on Facebook for more updates.

La Lune UK Live Dates 2019
June 10th – Komedia, Brighton
August 11th – Boardmasters Festival
August 18th – Twisted Village Festival
(More to be announced soon)

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Grace Savage

Grace Savage is a four-time UK beat-box champion turned electro-pop artist. With her ability to produce catchy beats and write witty relatable lyrical content, her live shows are an impressive spectacle; and her performance at Loud Women Festival last year made a mark in our musical memory. She’s set to release her new EP Cracks on 17th May and will pre-empt the launch with a headline show at Bermondsey Social Club on 15th May (tickets available here).

We caught up with Grace to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to her single ‘Snowflake’ at the end of this post.

Amy Winehouse – Frank
I heard this album for the first time when I was 14, hanging out in my friend’s bedroom. I instantly fell in love and knew this woman was something special. The tone of her voice, the sensitivity and intelligence of the lyrics, the infectious melodies..I didn’t know much about music technically at the time, but I just felt the soul of this album to my core and I still listen to it today as much as I did back then.

I learned the song ‘Fuck Me Pumps’ on the guitar and it was the first song I ever sang in front of another human being. It was a producer who’d seen me beatbox in a talent competition, and then invited me to her studio; she asked me to sing something for her and I was absolutely terrified. I sang Amy’s song and she must’ve seen something in me because we then worked together as a songwriting partnership for four years. So this album will always have a special place in my heart.

P!nk – Can’t Take Me Home
I cannot even begin to explain the level of obsession I had with P!nk as a young girl. Posters on the bedroom wall, dyed my hair pink at 13, got my tongue pierced at 15, my email address for most of my teenage years was pink_b!tch@hotmail.com – it was a LOT. She was this bad ass lady with bright pink hair and so much attitude and I just wanted to be everything she was. She was a great role model for me as a young girl who didn’t fit in with the ”girly girls” and this album (although when I listen to it now sounds SO dated) was a big part of my teenage years. I’ve followed her career ever since and I’m seeing her live for the first time this summer….I think I might explode with nostalgia and happiness.

Nirvana – Nevermind
This album inspired me to learn the guitar. I went through the classic “grunge girl” stage for about a year (black nails, big nose ring, nirvana hoodies, eye liner, really bad skate boarding) and it was all heavily influenced by this album and Kurt Cobain’s genius. I was always such a hip hop head/r&b and pop music girl, but something about Nirvana really got me. The guitar riffs, the husky tone of his voice, the weird lyrics and the “don’t give a f***” attitude of the whole band was really refreshing against the shiny manufactured pop bands I was exposed to in the 90’s and early 00’s. This album introduced me to a different kind of music and really let me indulge my emo side.

Ms Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Ahhh it was so close between Lauryn and Missy Elliot because both had a huge impact on me growing up, but seeing as this is about ALBUMS and not ARTISTS… I had to choose this one. I remember I was about 14/15 and my mate said he bought this album and didn’t like it so he gave it to me to try. I’m so glad he did, because BOOYYY it is ICONIC! I fell in love with her voice watching Sister Act and I fell in love with this album the moment I heard it. Triple threat: singer, rapper, writer. There were really no other artists around like her at the time and her voice is unparalleled in my opinion. I still can’t think of anyone who sings, writes and raps as fluently and excellently as she does. She is one of a kind. I saw her perform the 20 year anniversary of this album in London last year and it was a beautiful experience.

BANKS – Goddess
This is the only “modern” album on my list but no less impactful and meaningful to my life. This is my break up album. I must have listened to it and cried to it and ran to it and danced to it and slept to it and then cried some more to it almost every day for about a year. When it came out, the production was like nothing I’d ever heard before and her lyrics and tone were so unique and dark and sexy, I was immediately like “WOAH” who is this girl? I’ve seen her live a few times now and she never fails to disappoint. ‘Waiting Game’ and ‘Brain’ still continue to be some of my favourite songs in existence – the slow driving kick drum, the long builds throughout the whole song, the deep driving synths and the tribal feel to her vocals drenched in reverb. Beaut. Thanks for getting me over the worst break up of my life. I owe you one BANKS!

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Butcher & the Florist – ‘Ordinary Love’

A gritty, electro-pop offering; ‘Ordinary Love’ is the debut single from newcomers Butcher & the Florist. Comprised of Kendel Lester and Jody Miller, the Chicago-based pair began performing under their new moniker in 2018 after simultaneously deciding to branch out from their rock roots

Their new single ‘Ordinary Love’ was produced by Taylor Franklyn and Matthew Dougherty, and the accompanying music video was shot by powerhouse
production company, Exhibit 91. The visuals and sounds are reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s work on her 2013 Artpop – but with a DIY edge.

Butcher & the Florist will share their next release in April, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, watch the video for ‘Ordinary Love’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.