PLAYLIST: April 2020

We’re living through tense and testing times at the moment, so at GIHE we’re doing everything we can to distract you from the day to day reality of lockdown life. Our April playlist is filled with some electro-pop stunners, a couple of riot grrrl inspired tracks and the occasional tentative lo-fi tune. 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.

Kraków Loves Adana – ‘Young Again’
Some seriously lush electro-pop from duo Kraków Loves Adana here. Speaking about the track, Deniz Çiçek explains: “’Young Again’ reminisces about youth and the time when anxiety, overthinking and unhealthy relationships were holding you down. Memories might be dark and painful, but you realize how strong you emerged from the experience – with that bittersweet understanding that you’ll never be young again.” Yearning vocals, vivid synths and an intoxicating rhythm make this track worthy of repeated listens. (Kate Crudgington)

TOPS – ‘Colder & Closer’
An utterly dreamy slice of alt-pop, this new single from Montreal band TOPS is filled with all the swirling synth-laden hooks and whirring electro beats you could ever need. While alluding to the irony of social distancing and physical closeness to others (a particularly poignant theme right now), ‘Colder & Closer’ is a moreish, shimmering delight (Mari Lane)

Belako – ‘The Craft’ 
One of Spain’s fastest-rising bands, Belako have released their new single ‘The Craft’, taken from their first internationally released album Plastic Drama, due out on 8th May via BMG. This track is full of uplifting guitars as it pays homage to their teenage love of the 90s movie of the same name, explaining: “It also feels like the here and now, and it’s now or never. A sorority spell to face adversity head on, and to take fragility as a vital force in new ways to build ourselves up”. A great anthem for our current time. The track is  accompanied by a video which can be watched here. (Tash Walker)

Painted Zeros – ‘Commuter Rage’
Lifted from Painted Zeros’ second album, When You Found Forever (set for release on 29th May via Don Giovanni Records), ‘Commuter Rage’ is the sound of an artist who has had enough of making space for everyone else. “Go read a fucking book / don’t you fucking look at me / to teach you things that you are responsible for learning on your own” Katie Lau sings, with a quiet and relatable anger, over a deceptively sweet melody. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the record, and to play this on my commute once lockdown rules have been lifted. (KC)

Lido Pimienta – ‘Te Queria’
I’m always so impressed with Toronto-based, Colombian-born artist Lido Pimienta’s releases. Her voice is so smooth, her music is uplifting, and the sentiments behind her songs are always empowering. Even though I’m not fluent in Spanish, I can’t resist trying to sing along with her. Pimienta says ‘Te Queria’ is about “moving on from those who won’t appreciate your light, but still can see it enough in you to want to steal it.” I love it, and I can’t wait to hear her new album, Miss Colombia, in full on April 17th. (KC)

Junie & TheHutFriends – ‘Boi Cha Cha’
I think we could all do with a big dose of Junie & TheHutFriends every day right now! ‘Boi Cha Cha’ brings me so much joy. I can’t help but exclaim “what a tune!” every time I hear it. It reminds me of the randomness of tUnE-yArDs, with its layers of beats and snaps and claps. It’s taken from the band’s debut EP, Diary of a Chaotic Neutral. (TW)

NAVA – ‘You’
Milan-via-Iran duo NAVA make mesmerising electronic tunes, and ‘You’ is no exception. They’re set to release a new EP later this year, and (if everything goes back to normal) they’ll be playing their first ever UK show at the Sebright Arms on 8th September. I’ve got my fingers crossed! (KC)

Jessica Winter – ‘Play’
“I’m a fuck up, and I’m okay” admits Jessica Winter in her seductive, sweet voice on this new single. Taken from her debut EP Sad Music, which is set for release later this summer, ‘Play’ accepts that life can be cruel; but there’s always edgy, electro-pop bangers like this to distract us from the pain. (KC)

Julia-Sophie – ‘x0x’
x0x is the first single from new electronic artist Julia-Sophie taken from her forthcoming EP, Y?, due out later this month. Recently supporting GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth, I am completely mesmerized by the slow and haunting sounds evoked on this single. From the pulsating beats to the whirring synths, building and layering, topped with her questioning vocals, results in an almost painfully blissful experience – I’m completely addicted. I cannot, and don’t want to stop listening. (TW)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Spaceman’
Filled with catchy, scuzzy hooks, a subtle tongue-in-cheek wit and the gritty deadpan vocals of front person Sian, ‘Spaceman’ is an observational and relatable slice of punk-pop. With Bitch Hunt’s trademark impassioned energy and swirling harmonies, it’s a spot-on reflection on the sickening arrogance of all those cis male ‘splainers and ‘spreaders we so often have to endure in our day to day lives. An uplifting raging anthem inspiring us all to take those men down a peg (or four). Watch the new video for ‘Spaceman’ now. (ML)

Vulpynes – ‘I Can’t Sit Still’
Irish duo Vulpynes were due to play for us at The Finsbury last Friday (3rd April), along with Tiger Mimic, Gravey and Boys Of The Hole. It was pretty heartbreaking, but of course necessary, to cancel this one – I was super excited to see their immense raucous energy and soaring gritty power live. But, I’m desperately hoping to reschedule the gig for later in the year, so do keep your eyes peeled! And in the mean time, please stream/download and buy their music. (ML)

Guitar Gabby and The Txlips – ‘The Dead Pool
As scuzzed out riffs blast out alongside Gabriella Logan’s seething growl, ‘The Dead Pool’ is propelled by a grunge-fueled energy, with shades of the likes of Alice In Chains. Oozing a gritty emotion, it’s a ferocious, empowering anthem; a completely necessary angst-driven offering for these strange times. (ML)

Party Fears – ‘All Is Good’
The creator of some of our favourite DIY art-pop tunes over the last few years, ‘All Is Good’ is the latest single from Party Fears (aka Maggie Devlin). Released via Babywoman Records, it’s a tender, lo-fi offering that explores feelings of loss, nostalgia, and emotional endurance. (KC)

Lindsay Munroe – ‘Split’
‘Split’ is the second single taken from Lindsay Munroe’s forthcoming EP Our Heaviness, set for release on May 8th via AWAL – and I’m counting down the days. Of this latest single, Munroe says: “Split’ is one of the rawest songs I have written. I spent my early 20s in conservative religious environments, embedded in black-and-white thinking and beliefs. Increasingly I felt like I had to leave part of myself at the door, painfully unable to be open about my life and choices. ‘Split’ came from an attempt to move beyond the hurt and exhaustion of that situation”. I’m loving what I hear from Munroe so far, reminding me of a mix between Angel Olsen and Mitski. (TW)

Emily Magpie – ‘All Is Silence’
A particularly poignant new creation from GIHE fave, Bristol-based artist Emily Magpie, ‘All Is Silence’ was inspired by reading Margaret Atwood; a spine-tingling reflection on a post-apocalyptic journey. With her trademark twinkling ukulele melodies and her soaring heartfelt vocals, Magpie creates an effervescent slice of dream-pop, offering a sparkling glimmer of hope in dark times. Let’s Talk About The Weather, the upcoming debut album from Emily Magpie, is out now. (ML)

Kathleen Frances – ‘Define’
Hot off the press, ‘Define’ is the debut single from Bristol born artist Kathleen Frances. I was drawn to this song by the strong slow piano chords and the depth of Frances’ vocals. They resonate on a level that brings such gentle emotion and depth to the song. Inspired by the need to question the social constructs of love and romance, it feels rather apt at the moment when we are all looking at redefining every aspect of our lives. (TW)

Jenny Hval – ‘Bonus Material’
Us GIHE grrrls love a bit of Jenny Hval, and this standalone single is no exception. The Norwegian multidisciplinary artist describes ‘Bonus Material’ as “Trash practicing love”, referencing her last album The Practice of Love, released last year via Sacred Bones. Featuring saxophone by Espen Reinertsen, Hval’s sweet vocals float over twinkling synths in this light, “unfinished” offering. (KC)

Track Of The Day: Emily Magpie – ‘All Is Silence’

Bristol-based artist Emily Magpie has been charming our ears for a good while now. In her latest single, ‘All Is Silence’, she takes listeners on a (particularly poignant right now) post-apocalyptic journey.

Inspired by reading Margaret Atwood, ‘All Is Silence’ starts with an ominous introduction that spills into poppy and effervescent longing. Magpie uses her sparkling voice and dreamy ukulele strums in contrast against the muted synths and bass, giving the track a feeling of being inside a bunker, telling stories of many moons ago.

In the moments before the chorus, Magpie tells of the moment we see the one we love and all sound and thought is muted in the background. All is silent. It’s the end of the world, but we’re still here. 

Shot in a garage with bespeckled projections and bicycle tires, Magpie dances to the new dystopia with hope in her heart in the new video for ‘All Is Silence’. Watch here:

‘All Is Silence’ is out now, and Let’s Talk About The Weather – the upcoming debut album from Emily Magpie – is set for release on 3rd April.

Aisha Kasmir
@aisha_vocal

EP: Emily Magpie – ‘Be Your Own Light’

Following her last release The Witching Hour, Be Your Own Light is the introspective latest EP from Bristol based solo artist Emily Magpie.

Although the opening track ‘Last Train’ deals with the pain of loss and heartbreak, the narrative takes a reflective approach. The emotional analysis lies within not only Magpie’s expressive vocals which soar high for the chorus, but also within the subtle flowing heartbeat of the musical layers. Gentle imagery of raindrops down a glass pane sit within the subconscious as a twinkling soundscape is created. 

Static energy eases us into ‘Stranger’ which contrasts with the sound of nature which sits quietly in the background. “I’m a feral childMagpie sings as though she is telling us – her confidants – down the telephone. Although she has just told us she is feral, it is hard to believe due to such a gentle landscape being created in the soft beats.

‘Stranger’ paves the way for the title track of the EP which seems to serve two purposes contained within its simmering synths and velvety soft bass. The first purpose being just for the simple joy of entertainment through music, but this could also be combined with an aid to meditation; the gentle sway of Magpie’s dreamy vocals forcing you to focus upon the message of finding happiness within your own self.

It’s seems the message behind the EP is that Be(ing) Your Own Light is not only the key to happiness, but also what makes us all uniquely beautiful. A message that is perfectly summed up in closing track, the brilliantly seductive ‘Things I’d Do?’.

Be Your Own Light is out now. Stream on Spotify or buy on iTunes.

Nicky Lee-Delisle
@Nicky___Lee

Guest Playlist: Emily Magpie

As Autumn draws in, what better way to remember the summer than by listening to some of the sweetest tunes from this year’s festivals…?! Having just shared the celestial grace of latest single ‘Last Train’, and set to release her new EP next month, Bristol-based artist Emily Magpie has chosen some of her personal favourites for us…

Watch Emily Magpie’s new video for ‘Last Train here:

It’s been such a lush summer of festivals for me, and I’ve gotten to see some amazing female artists along the way. Really proud to see some amazing women doing their thing and blazing a path for there to be more of a balance at festivals – we need more of this please! Here’s some of my faves that I’ve seen/hope to see next year…

China Bowls 
My fellow Bristolian China Bowls is such a superb musician and songwriter… I’ve had the joy of gigging with this lady before and she was all over the festival season. Jazz, neo soul and hip-hop influences, soulful vocals and guitar… Always great solo, or with band in tow, check her out!

Lucy Dacus
I’ve loved ‘…Familiar Place’ by Lucy Dacus since I stumbled across it on Spotify this year, and then managed to stumble across her live set at Green Man Festival this summer after I’d finished mine. I was so happy to see this lovely indie singer-songwriter live; chill vibes, plus she’s hilarious!

Hollie Cook
I caught Hollie’s tropical pop at Boomtown Festival this year, when tropical pop was so so necessary. It was a pretty soggy affair and Hollie brought the sunshine. She’s on tour in Autumn, and I’m definitely going to try and watch her again!

Goat Girl
Saw the end of their live set at Green Man Festival and loved it. Dark, hazy, some shoegaze feels and indie sounds – very cool band.

IDER
IDER are right up my street; with really cool electronic production, their vocals are what really take it to the next level. I’m excited to see what they do next.

Kate Stapley
I saw Kate Stapley live at Bristol Harbourside Festival just after my set. It’s such a great festival for seeing upcoming Bristol artists, and I fecking LOVE Kate’s music. I guess genre-wise it’s indie, but what she does is just magical. The songwriting is fantastic. You need ‘These Planets’ on repeat!

Holly Walker & Malibou State
I’m really into this set up; it’s such great music to chill to, but also kind of dance-able also. It’s on my list to listen to lots more and get into.

This is the Kit
I didn’t manage to catch This Is The Kit at a festival this year, but they were doing the rounds. Such a lovely, lovely band! I was lucky enough to play support to them earlier this year, and they craft the most magical folk songs. A really special band and excellent people, check them out!Frankie Cosmos
Frankie Cosmos is just ace. Somewhere between indie and folk, I love the lo-fi feel of her music, it just makes me feel all happy and soft inside.

Honeyfeet
Honeyfeet are a band you just have to see live. I got taken along to a gig of theirs a couple of years ago, and wow. Perfect festival band – so much soul, so much sass, so much energy, so much dancing. Go listen and get sweaty and happy!

Huge thanks to Emily for putting together this playlist for us! Have a listen, and feel all those luscious summer vibes here: