ALBUM: Fightmilk – ‘Contender’

Recorded in two sessions a year apart, GIHE faves Fightmilk’s second album Contender is worth every second of the wait, following 2018’s Not With That Attitude. The band’s writing and recording process has understandably changed over the past twelve months. Combined with the influence of their new bassist Healey and and an expanded musicality, their style has developed without losing any of the raw emotion at the heart of what makes Fightmilk special.

The album kicks off with an authentic false start. This, along with later interludes, makes for lovely humanising moments that give DIY bands so much charm. Then the music comes in hard and fast. From the first beat, you get big drums, powerful vocals and guitars layered beautifully over each other. The album is rich with riffs, fantastic flourishes of strings that make every song pop. Both in individual tracks and across the album as a whole, the instruments build to roaring climactic moments that launch the vocals to an impressive new reach. The band know how to use their instruments to ramp up the power of every track at exactly the right time.

The songs explore the human experience with Fightmilk’s distinct brand of unapologetic vulnerability. There are wonderfully fuzzy love songs (‘Overbite’, ‘Maybe’) and pettiness-about-your-ex songs and please-dump-your-awful-boyfriend songs (‘Hey Annabelle’). There is also a song about “a hypothetical billionaire and his hypothetical pop-star girlfriend”, which is definitely hypothetical…

The lyrics are intense and personal in a way you can’t help but relate to. Every song is evidently grounded in real experiences and so imbued with emotion. The themes don’t shy away from the darker side of reality, but examine the impact of heartache, the patriarchy or corrupt governments on your soul with a twinkling, scuzzy charm. There’s a great balance between the reflective songs and hopeful ones. It starts and finishes with uplifting tracks that beautifully frame the journey the album takes you on, concluding with a sense of scrappy DIY optimism.

The album captures the essence of 2021 perfectly, drifting easily between plague and feelings and third wave capitalism and exes. The range of powerful energetic songs and more gentle ones fit well alongside each other without jarring. The changes in tone and emotion between tracks flow together with an endearing ease. Contender is at once cathartic, validating and empowering. It’s everything I want in the music that will propel me out of the lockdown slump and into a year that makes up for every lost minute.

Contender is out now via Reckless Yes. Buy on bandcamp now.

Kirstie Summers
@actuallykurt

LISTEN: GIHE debut Soho Radio show with Noga Erez 05.05.21

After 6 years of presenting on Hoxton Radio, the GIHE team are thrilled to announce that we’ve moved over to the NYC & Culture channel on Soho Radio! For our debut show, we played a mix of iconic feminist punk anthems and new music tunes from some of our favourite women and non-binary artists.

Tel Aviv-based pop renegade Noga Erez also spoke to us about her brilliant second album KIDS, working alongside her creative & life partner Ori, and we circled back on some of the interesting things she said the first time we met her back in 2019.

Listen below:

Tracklist
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
Noname – Blaxploitation
PÁULA, POVOA & JERGE – Primavera
Sans Soucis – I’m On
ARXX – DEEP
Grandmas House – Always Happy
Shy Girl – Tasty
Catherine Moan – Fools (Depeche Mode Cover)
Currls – Let Down
SOPHIE – BIPP (Autechre Mx)
Tiece – Nowhere Now Here (Tiiva Remix)
Nun Habit – Righteous Jerk
Bitch Hunt – Eau Claire
Noga Erez – VIEWS
Noga Erez – You So Done
**Noga Erez Interview**
Fousheé – Deep End
Tirzah – Send Me
Fears – Fabric
Beckie Margaret – FF
Mykki Blanco – Free Ride
New Pagans – Yellow Room
Fightmilk – Overbite
pink suits – Fake Great Britain
Thigh High – Because The Night (Patti Smith Cover)
Naz and Ella – No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

PLAYLIST: April 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our April Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of indie anthems, alt-pop gems, electronic soundscapes and gritty 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 this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Noga Erez – ‘Fire Kites’
GIHE favourite and pop renegade Noga Erez’s new record KIDS has barely left my turntable since it was released in March. The record is bursting with her trademark charisma and energy, epitomised by this track ‘Fire Kites’. Keep and eye on our GIHE socials for an exciting announcement involving Noga very soon…
(Kate Crudgington)

Miss Eaves – ‘3 Jobs’
This banger from Brooklyn-based rapper Miss Eaves features on Loud Women’s third compilation album, which is bursting with anthems from DIY bands from both sides of the Atlantic. The record also features tracks from ARXX, GÉNN, LibraLibra, Vulpynes, Bugeye, Jelly Cleaver, Breakup Haircut and Pleasure Venom. Grab your copy from bandcamp now. (KC)

Little Simz – ‘Introvert’
The latest single from innovative artist Little Simz, ‘Introvert’ may just be her most powerful offering yet. A poignant reflection on the last year and an empowering rallying cry to break free from societal limitations, the track is propelled by an immense sense of grandeur and cinematic instrumentation. A heartbreakingly impassioned anthem, touching on themes of governmental corruption, poverty and race, it’s a truly magnificent and necessary listen. “I’m a Black woman and I’m a proud one / We walk in blind faith not knowing the outcome / But as long as we unified then we’ve already won.” (Mari Lane)

Sans Soucis – ‘I’m On’
An uplifting blend of lush vocals, warm synth textures and smooth beats, songwriter & producer Sans Soucis’ single ‘I’m On’ is a genre-bending reflection on her own experiences of recovering from an extended period of depression and the joy she experienced when she was able to re-connect with herself again. (KC)

Ruti – ‘Daylight’
Essex-based songwriter Ruti may only be 21 years old, but she has a distinctive, soulful voice that shines with a majestic, mature glory on ‘Daylight’. This track is taken from her recent EP, All At Once. (KC)

People Club – ‘Damn’
This smooth new offering from Berlin-based five-piece People Club is an exploration of the behaviours surrounding addiction to internet pornography. “We wanted to examine how porn addicts can actually be super high-functioning and never get ‘found out’, yet actually can suffer seriously as a result of their habit,” the band explain about the track. ‘Damn’ features on People Club’s new EP Take Me Home, which is set for release on 7th May. (KC)

Nun Habit – ‘Righteous Jerk’
Having wowed us with their sparkling charisma playing for us at The Finsbury back in 2020, the London-based queer five-piece Nun Habit have now announced their debut album, set for release in August. Taken from their recent double a-side release, ‘Righteous Jerk’ oozes an eerie mysticism before building with thrashing beats and scuzzy, reverb-strewn riffs, alongside Kate’s sweeping soulful vocals. ‘Righteous Jerk’ is out now alongside double a-side ‘Slip n Slide’. hedge fun, the upcoming album from Nun Habit, will be released in August, with an accompanying celebratory launch party on 16th August at The Victoria in Dalston. (ML)

Maya Lakhani – ‘Walk Alone’
Inspired by the current conversations that are happening around women’s safety, the culture of victim-blaming and pure desire to walk alone as a women, British-Indian artist Maya Lakhani’s latest single is propelled by a gritty, emotion-strewn power. Flowing with the soaring, raw splendour of her vocals alongside a majestic, otherworldly musicality, it oozes a captivating sense of grandeur and poignant sentiment. (ML)

Softcult – ‘Take It Off’
I’ve been listening to Softcult aka twin sisters Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn’s debut EP Year Of The Rat so much recently. It’s a bittersweet collection of lush, grunge-infused songs that culminate their thoughts on sexism, misogyny and objectification, and ‘Take It Off’ aches with with their subdued anger. Lyrically, it’s directed at catcallers, but it doubles up as a care-free dismissal of ridiculous trophy wife standards too. (KC)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Eau Claire’
The latest single from London based non-binary band Bitch Hunt, ‘Eau Claire’ offers the first taste of the band’s upcoming debut EP. An ode to a Wisconsin town where singer Sian used to live, with its stripped back jangling hooks and raw, heartfelt vocals, it builds in momentum to an effervescent slice of perfect punk-pop. Shapeshifter, the debut EP from Bitch Hunt, is set for release on 28th May via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Wallice – ‘Hey Michael’
It was love at first listen when I heard this single from LA-based Wallice. I love her candid lyrics on this playful lament about having your ear chewed off by a mediocre man at a party. Watch the accompanying video for the track here. (KC)

Fightmilk – ‘Overbite’
The recent single from total faves Fightmilk, ‘Overbite’ is taken from their upcoming new album. Oozing a track’s subtle romanticism and tongue-in-cheek wit, the raw emotion and distinctive smooth-yet-husky charm of front-person Lily’s vocals deliver a heartwarming sentiment alongside an infectious, shimmering energy. The perfect, alternative fuzzy love-song. Contender, the new album from Fightmilk, is set for release on 14th May via Reckless Yes. (ML)

PACKS – ‘New TV’
This brooding offering from Toronto-based PACKS is a hazy ode to “other people’s garbage.” I love the sound of Madeline Link’s vocals and the grungy, hazy guitars on this track. The band will be releasing their debut LP Take The Cake on 21st May via Royal Mountain Records/Fire Talk. (KC)

Tirzah – ‘Send Me’
The latest single from Tirzah, the first we’ve heard from her in two years and boy am I glad she’s back. Teaming up again with previous collaborators Coby Sey and Mica Levi, Tirzah delivers us another beautiful song with futuristic subtlety. The amount of emotion and longing that’s conveyed in her music blows me away every time, leaving me with all the feels. Fingers crossed the release of ‘Send Me’ is only the beginning of more music to come from Tirzah. (Tash Walker)

Deap Vally – ‘Give Me A Sign’
Us GIHE girls are super excited to hear Deap Vally’s new EP American Cockroach, which this new track ‘Give Me A Sign’ is lifted from. Set for release on 18th June via Cooking Vinyl, the LA-based duo have collaborated with Jennie Vee (Eagles of Death Metal) and the brilliant Ayse Hassan (Savages/ESYA) for this record, which the duo describe as “songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for the days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” (KC)

Catherine Moan – ‘Fools’ (Depeche Mode Cover)
This is a fun, polished cover of a Depeche Mode b-side from Philadelphia-based electro-pop artist Catherine Moan. Her buoyant electronics and infectious rhythms give this slice of 80s alternative music nostalgia a welcome sultry twist and it’s been bouncing around my head for weeks. (KC)

Shygirl – ‘Tasty’
One thing that is getting me through my weeks at the moment is listening to music that makes me just want to dance. Especially this track from the incredible Shygirl. Pull up those hoods and get moving. (TW)

Mykki Blanco – ‘Free Ride’
Firm fave Mykki Blanco released ‘Free Ride’ alongside the news that they’d signed to Transgressive Records at the beginning of this year. Speaking about the track, Mykki explains “Some of the most intimate moments and conversations I have ever shared were with my mother on long drives in the Southern countryside when I was a teenager. The music that soundtracked these memories on our daily journeys was the stuff of my mother’s generation. I would find myself daydreaming, reflecting and envisioning the kind of life I would like to create for myself.” With all its feel-good vibes, this song has been buzzing around my head constantly since I first heard it – I LOVE IT. (TW)

DEELA ft. T6lu – ‘FIT’
A fun, provocative cut from British-Nigerian rappers DEELA and T6lu, ‘FIT’ is all about being able to say what you want, when you want. Their slick lyrical delivery and dense beats reflect the pair’s direct approach to making empowering, unapologetic anthems. (KC)

Alex Loveless – ‘Through 2 U’
This is a slow-burning offering full of hazy beats and brooding vocals from Hackney-based DIY electronic artist Alex Loveless. Released via Loveless’ own label Dirty Mind (named after their own club night inspired by the Prince record) ‘Through 2 U’ is an intoxicating combination of smouldering alt-pop hooks and melancholy-tinged lyrics. (KC)

Pallas Athene – ‘Gimme Gimme’
Toronto-based artist Pallas Athene contributed this ambient track to Object Ten, a compilation album that features original pieces of experimental, electronic music by new and established artists. Put together by London drone-pop band The Leaf Library, the album is a real breath of fresh air for anyone looking for a departure from their usual listening habits. (KC)

Tokky Horror – ‘Godliness’
London-Manchester-Liverpool trio Tokky Horror have taken things down a notch on their latest offering ‘Godliness’, which is taken from their debut EP I Found The Answers And Now I Want More, set for release on 21st May via Alcopop! Records. “I think we show our more expansive side on ‘Godliness’,” Zee Davine explains. “Where our first two singles were the ‘flag-in-ground’ moment when we wanted to assert our presence with intensity, ‘Godliness’ is us letting our guard down a bit for something more genuine.” (KC)

GHLOW – ‘Not Fit For This’
A visceral blend of distorted guitars, energetic beats and commanding vocals, this single from Russian-Swedish heavy duo GHLOW is taken from their debut album Slash and Burn, recently released via PNK SLM Recordings. I love their intense rhythms and jagged riffs and recommend listening to the full album if you like what you hear. (KC)

A Place To Bury Strangers – ‘End Of The Night’
With a change in lineup and a new EP titled Hologram on the way, Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers have unleashed this caustic new tune that buzzes with unrest. Founding member Oliver Ackermann has been joined by John Fedowitz (bass) and Sandra Fedowitz (drums) for this record, which is released on 16th July. (KC)

SPITBOY – ‘In Your Face’ (Remastered)
Don Giovanni Records have announced that they’re releasing trailblazing San Francisco based 90s feminist hardcore band SPITBOY’s discography on 25th June. Titled Body Of Work (1990-1995), 100% of the profits from the record will be going to the National Women’s Law Center. This is the first time SPITBOY have appeared on my radar and I’m loving their grungy, riot grrrl sound. (KC)

The Bug Club – ‘Checkmate’
Set to release their debut EP this Friday, Welsh trio The Bug Club’s ‘Checkmate’ showcases their uniquely uplifting, frenetic brand of garage rock perfectly. Propelled by a vibrant, driving energy, it oozes a playful sense of euphoria as gloriously scuzzy hooks race alongside blissful harmonies. Launching Moondream One, the upcoming debut EP from The Bug Club, is out 30th April via Bingo Records. Read our interview with Tilly from the band here. (ML)

Queens & Kings – ‘Going Through Hell’
Propelled by a fuzzed-out visceral energy and gentle blues-rock twang, ‘Going Through Hell’ reflects on Toronto duo Queens & Kings’ 10+ year relationship and the struggles they have gone through both personally and as a band. As Alissa’s gritty swooning vocals flow with a stirring, soulful drive alongside scuzzy hooks, it’s a powerful Americana-tinged slice of garage-rock brimming full of anthemic emotion. (ML)

GracieSouz – ‘Brian Cox’
Having just released her stirring debut EP Better In Space, GracieSouz creates sweeping, ethereal soundscapes. Paying ode to the famed scientist with Gracie’s soaring, crystalline vocals and a cinematic splendour, it oozes a bewitching, majestic grace. A shimmering slice of brooding electro-pop. Better In Space, the new EP from GracieSouz, is out now. (ML)

MELÓ – ‘Castle’
Taken from her upcoming EP Youthless, Canadian-Hungarian artist MELÓ’s latest single ‘Castle’ reflects on themes of mental illness. Evoking images of escapism, it oozes a sweeping, ethereal soundscape propelled by the soaring power of the soulful vocals. Flowing with a shimmering majesty, it’s a captivating slice of dreamy alt-pop. (ML)

Gillie – ‘Retirement Paradise’
The title track from her recent EP, Welsh songwriter Gillie tentatively explores what it means to slow down and reflect on what you truly need on ‘Retirement Paradise’. “I think this is the track that defines me as who I am today,” she explains. “I’m now aware that the people whom I previously thought lived slow and boring lives, have become the people I take note from. I often joke that I could go into retirement right this moment and live quite happily, and so that’s how this track developed.” (KC)

Be Charlotte – ‘We Are Burning’
Taken from her debut EP Dreaming With The Lights Off, Be Charlotte’s ‘We Are Burning’ soars with a twinkling emotion and lilting, folk-tinged melodies. Propelled by Charlotte’s distinctive luscious Scottish vocals, it’s a sparkling pop anthem, calling us to action at a time when hope may seem to be lost. (ML)

All cats are beautiful – ‘(u know) u mean a long minute to me’
The first single to be taken from their upcoming EP, all cats are beautiful (acab)’s ‘(u know) u mean a long minute to me’ is a truly stirring slice of twinkling lo-fi indie pop. A shimmering, swirling soundscape, it wraps itself around the ears and heartstrings with beautiful harmonies and woozy beats. A wonderfully soothing offering oozing an emotive sparkling splendour. the things we made, the upcoming new EP from all cats are beautiful, is set for release on 6th August via Moshi Moshi. (ML)

Thigh High – ‘Because The Night’ (London 2021)
I first heard Thigh High’s cover/performance of ‘Because The Night’ as part of Patti Smith’s celebrations around the inauguration of President Biden. The track is now available for you to download and it’s just beautiful. I had the pleasure of interviewing Thigh High last year and I recommend you check out the rest of their catalogue – a band truly dedicated to celebrating and centering queer joy in their music! (TW)

 

Track Of The Day: Fightmilk – ‘Overbite’

Following last year’s ‘If You Had A Sister’ and ‘I’m Starting To Think You Don’t Even Want To Go To Space’, GIHE faves Fightmilk have now announced the release of their second album, out next month via Reckless Yes.

Taken from the album, ‘Overbite’ marks a maturing in sound for the band whilst maintaining their trademark anthemic power-pop energy. Propelled by jangling melodies and the endearing, refreshing honesty of its lyricism, the track oozes a subtle romanticism and tongue-in-cheek wit. As the raw emotion and distinctive smooth-yet-husky charm of front-person Lily’s vocals deliver a heartwarming sentiment (“You don’t have to smile if you don’t want to darling, you’re perfect as you are”) alongside scuzzed-out riffs and an infectious, shimmering energy, Fightmilk have created the perfect, alternative fuzzy love-song, complete with their distinctive, quirky charisma and a comforting warmth. A gently uplifting, twinkling slice of blissful indie-pop showcasing a band that are continuously refining their sound and, in the process, consistently continuing to win my heart.

Of the track, the band explain:

We decided to double down: synths, gang vocals and pick scrapes, oh my! This is one of the most uplifting, happy songs we’ve written, and by bookending the album with big joyful explosions, maybe it’ll do something to soothe the collective woe we’ve all been living through.”

‘Overbite’ is accompanied by a super cute animated video created by Jono Ganz, portraying a narrative about perceptions of beauty. Watch it now:

‘Overbite’ is out now. Contender, the upcoming new album from Fightmilk, is set for release on 14th May via Reckless Yes. Pre-order via bandcamp now.

Mari Lane
@marimindles