WATCH: VOKXEN – ‘Crystal Eyes’

Inspired by the feminist writings of film critic Laura Mulvey on ‘The Male Gaze’, Northern Irish trio VOKXEN have shared visuals to accompany their latest single ‘Crystal Eyes’. Produced by Definitive Film (Netflix, Disney and Google) and with allusions to Jim Henson 80’s cult film The Dark Crystal – ‘Crystal Eyes’ is a captivating visual delight.

Premiered on Hot Press, ‘Crystal Eyes’ is a catchy blend of pop-hooks and strong vocals, underscored by bouncing synth beats. The video for the single tells “a tale of (false) perception, entrapment and breaking free of bonds that hold us back”. VOKXEN have had a busy year playing shows in Dublin and Berlin, and we’re sure we’ll be hearing more from the trio in 2019.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: HAVVK – ‘Always The Same’

Ahead of their single launch show tomorrow at Servant Jazz Quarters, GIHE faves HAVVK have shared a striking new video for their latest single ‘Always The Same’.

Addressing society’s gender norms and the everyday worries of safety women face because of their gender, ‘Always The Same’ asks men to question their sense of entitlement and imagine what it’s like to walk down the same street in a woman’s shoes. Perhaps more explicitly gritty than previous offerings, it flows with frontwoman Julie’s trademark celestial vocals, but with a raw, emotion-strewn edge, creating an immense sense of urgency within its soaring soundscape. Building to a stirring, punchy climax, it’s an utterly gripping creation from a band continually combining activism with their unique musical prowess. Of the track, Julie expands:

It’s only in recent years that it’s occurred to me how many of my daily decisions are made with this unconscious effort of weighing up safety and I’ve started to imagine what daily life would be like without a constant sense of caution ready to bubble to the surface.

Featuring original footage from psychology and relationship videos from the ’50s, with Julie explicitly dismissing these outdated gender roles by scribbling over the projections, the new video for ‘Always The Same’ is a visually exquisite offering with an intensely poignant message. Watch it here:

And don’t miss HAVVK live at Servant Jazz Quarters tomorrow night, along with other beauties After London and Rookes. Doors at 8pm. Tickets and info here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

PREMIERE: Noise Noir – ‘I Don’t Need You’

Defiant vocals and devious, fuzzy guitar riffs combine with slick style on Noise Noir‘s debut single ‘I Don’t Need You’. The London-based band have shared the track ahead of their release show at Dalston’s Rocksteady this Friday 23rd November with We Can Do It Records.

The garage rockers have been cutting their teeth on the live circuit since January, playing gigs alongside Saint Agnes, Table Scraps & Ms Mohammed, as well as performing for us at our GIHEs live night at The Finsbury Pub too. Speaking about the new single, vocalist Kelly Chard explains: “‘I Don’t Need You’ is about realizing that you’re strong enough to be on your own without a partner, and that you shouldn’t settle for anything less than amazing. As a romantic, I had always yearned for the feeling of being in love and although it’s something I really wanted, it wasn’t something I needed to be who I am and to get through the life experiences I’ve had.”

Noise Noir’s statement-making debut is made all the more biting with the help of Hermitage Works Studios Producers Margo Broom and Nathan Ridley, and the mixing & mastering skills of Sit Down’s Greg Burns. Bassist Elis Sarv, Guitarist Anthony Hill & Drummer Davide Marini provide the perfect grunge-fueled back-drop for Kelly to dismantle the crowd’s perceptions with her fiery vocals.

You can buy your copy of ‘I Don’t Need You’ (with b/side ‘Creeping’) on limited edition glitter cassette at Noise Noir’s free launch show this Friday (RSVP here). We’ll be there supporting and spinning some excellent Riot Grrrl tunes on the decks. Listen to the single below and follow Noise Noir on Facebook for more updates.

Noise Noir 2018 Live Dates
23rd November – The Rocksteady, Dalston (London)
30th November – Sticky Mikes Frog Bar (Brighton)


Photo Credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: Petrol Girls – ‘The Future Is Dark’

Defiant, driven, and militant in their cause to give the voices of their sisters a platform; Petrol Girls have shared their latest EP The Future Is Dark (released via Hassle Records). It’s a blistering collection of anti-patriarchy, anti-capitalist anthems that will inspire listeners to stand up, speak out, and be counted.

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. Solnit writes about accepting uncertainty and not fearing the dark or the unknown. Her sentiments reflect Petrol Girls’ unwavering belief in the strength of sisterhood, and speaking out against oppression.

The riotous ‘Survivor’ opens the record, and is inspired by the growing movement against sexual violence. Vocalist Ren’s powerful voice declares “It was my anger that kept me alive” over thrashing guitar riffs and heart-thumping percussion. It’s another much needed shout-back track, dismantling the damage caused by pervasive and traumatising sexual assaults. The slightly softer, but equally as striking ‘Sister’ follows – championing the power of sisterhood. It’s a reminder to cherish and nurture relationships with sisters from all walks of life.

The track ordering on The Future Is Dark sends just as seminal a message as the individual songs that form it. It begins with feelings of anger and isolation (‘Survivor’), fades in to relief, support and recovery (‘Sister’), before closing track ‘Strike’ reinforces the need to keep fighting, and to persevere against forces that continue to oppress us all (even if you fuck up from time to time).

Petrol Girls are experts at taking their anger and transforming it in to a force for change, self-expression, and most importantly – reassurance for listeners who need love and guidance in such turbulent political times. The future may be dark, but with Petol Girls around, it’s certainly not void of hope.

Order your copy of The Future Is Dark here.
Follow Petrol Girls on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut