Five Favourites: SOFTEE

Having just released her debut album, Brooklyn based artist Nina Grollman – aka Softee – creates sparkling alt-pop soundscapes with a stirring, heartfelt emotion. Oozing a glistening immersive splendour throughout, Natural explores complex themes of identity and transformation with a soulful, uplifting energy.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Natural, we caught up with Softee to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. So, read about her five favourite songs, and make sure you check out the album, and watch the beaut new video for latest single ‘Isn’t Enough‘ below...

Stevie Wonder – ‘Summer Soft’
The first time I heard this track, I was nine years old. My mom played it in the car. I was so into all the key changes and the build of the song. I’m obsessed with Stevie’s voice. As I grew up, my appreciation for the song deepened. For years I thought he was singing about a past relationship. When I finally looked up the lyrics, I realized it’s about the seasons, and aging. It makes me so emotional when I hear it now, because it’s so full of passion and fervour, and it’s about getting older and time slipping by. The dichotomy of these two concepts is so rich. Stevie can truly write about everything and make it timeless.

Charlie XCX – ‘Sucker’
Let me explain. I know this isn’t Charli’s best song, but it’s extremely important to me. The year is 2014, and one of my best friends had an extra ticket to the Bleachers concert in Minneapolis. Charli was co-headlining the show, but I had no idea who she was. I barely even knew Jack Antonoff but I went cause duh, free ticket. Charli comes onstage in Adidas pants (BEFORE they were super trendy) and sports bra, with an inflatable guitar and sunglasses. She has an all girl band. She opens the set with ‘Sucker’. Something in me completely shifted. I was like “oh, THIS is a fucking POP star.” I didn’t know pop could be grunge??? For that album, she was influenced by the Shangri-Las and super cool underground ’90s pop. I was obsessed with her energy and the set brought me an adrenaline high I don’t think I’ve ever topped at a show. To this day I hear this song and I get butterflies.

Robyn – ‘With Every Heartbeat
I think my favourite Robyn song changes daily, but today it’s this one. The strings. The simplicity of the beat. This song completely hypnotises you while ripping your heart out of your chest. It’s hopeful while reckoning with the fact that the relationship is over. Robyn is a genius, and one of my biggest influences. I love how simple and powerful her songwriting is. She is endlessly innovative. Her chords and melodies make me want to cry.

La Roux – ‘Automatic Driver’
When this song came out I listened to it on loop for ages! It’s so danceable and fun. A perfect song to walk to on a sunny day when you’re in a good mood!

Little Dragon – ‘Another Lover’
This is me and my fiancé’s song. It’s so infectious, from the melody to the production, to Yakimi Nagano’s vocals, to the driving bassline. This song has it all. I’m a major Little Dragon fan. Their electronic-pop-rnb fusion is so singular to their sound. I am very inspired by it. 

Massive thanks to Softee for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Watch the video for latest single ‘Isn’t Enough’ here:

Natural, the debut album from Softee, is out now via City Slang.

Five Favourites: Sorry Girls

Since forming in 2015, Montreal duo Heather Foster Kirkpatrick and Dylan Konrad Obront – aka Sorry Girls – have received acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork whilst consistently honing and developing their distinctive sound. Now, set to release their new album in June, they continue to charm our ears with their lilting heartfelt offerings, such as recent single ‘Prettier Things’. Reflecting on being honest with yourself, it oozes a glistening splendour as Heather’s crystalline sugar-sweet vocals ripple with a stirring emotion throughout, reminiscent of the catchy alt-folk of Jenny Lewis. An instant earworm, ‘Prettier Things’ showcases Sorry Girls’ ability to create truly blissful soundscapes, luring the listener in with their immersive twinkling grace.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the upcoming new album, we caught up with Heather from Sorry Girls to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. So, read about her five favourite ever albums, and check out the beautifully hand-crafted video for ‘Prettier Things’ below…

Arthur Russell – Love Is Overtaking Me
This album has to be an all-time favourite for me, and Arthur Russell an ever-evolving all-encompassing HUGE influence for me musically. I’ve carried this album and all of its different songs with me across many chapters of my life. I first heard Arthur Russell in 2015 or so while I was having a nap mid-recording at one of Dylan’s (of Sorry Girls) old apartments, listening to his iTunes Library on shuffle. I heard ’That’s Us / Wild Combination’ and jumped up from my nap and was so excited and thought it was so beautiful. Then, after only really listening to World of Echo and Calling out of Context, I first heard the opening track to ‘Love is Overtaking Me’ on our first tour, where we drove and camped our way across Canada. A friend of ours picked up the guitar and played ‘Close my Eyes’ as we were all nestled around the campfire, and I was in awe because I thought he had written it. I’ve always been really attracted to country music and a sort of “classic” poem-like song and I feel like this is what Arthur Russell is amazing at, especially on this album. I’ve listened to each of the songs countless times over the years since and I don’t know if there is an album I love more than this one. Every song is beautiful, unique and captivating. 

John Prine – The Tree Of Forgiveness
Somehow I missed out on John Prine for most of my life, but this album is gut-wrenching. I love that I found him on his last album because it adds a lot to the experience of it and contextualises a lot of the themes throughout the album. And I honestly think it has some of his best songs: ‘Summer’s End’ and ‘I Have Met my Love Today’ are beautiful songs with gorgeous words on mortality, love and endings sung in his gravelly ageing voice. I think a common thread in the music I love is imagination and playfulness – songwriters that can mix poetic words with a sense of magic and absurdity. I guess, music with a sense of humour. I love the eclectic mix of genres, and I love that his music has a feeling of levity mixed with a grounding sense of emotional honesty. 

Caroline Polacheck – Pang
I am a huge fan of pop, especially of the avant-garde/ art-pop variety. I feel like this album kind of encompasses all of those influences, and seems similarly influenced by artists such as Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, Imogen Heap, Dido etc, whilst also being super grounded in the current pop sound. It presents a kinship to the old while innovating, which is something I really appreciate. This album deals a lot with the idea of transition and it carried me through a very transitional time in my life where I was dealing with carving identity and moving through heavy emotions, and I feel like this album is a perfect anthem for this kind of pursuit. Not to mention the amazing songwriting and out-of-this-world voice with seeming built-in theremin. I love.

The Complete Stax / Volt Soul Singles Vol. 2
It might be kind of cheating to feature a compilation BUT this one has two of my all-time favourite songs – ‘Love Changes’ by Charlene And The Soul Serenaders and ‘Just the Way You are Today’ by Barbara Lewis, which I found through this particular compilation. Soul music has been a huge inspiration for me and is the music that drew me in and captivated me the most as a child. I have so many memories of dancing to soul and Motown in my parents’ living room, and to this day it’s still the genre of music that moves me the most. 

Alex G – God Save The Animals
Since this album came out I have almost not listened to anything else. It’s full of so much sincerity, creativity and energy and has such a mix of genres and sounds that feel really honest, but also innovative and exciting. I feel really fired up when I listen to it and it has really set the bar for me recently as a standard for the musical integrity and vibrancy I am striving for. It’s so much fun!

Massive thanks to Heather from Sorry Girls for sharing her Five Favourites! Watch the video for ‘Prettier Things’ here:

Bravo!, the upcoming new album from Sorry Girls, is set for release on 2nd June via Arbutus Records.

Photo Credit: Japhy Saretsky

Five Favourites: ARXX

It’s the day us at GIHE have been waiting for… It’s ARXX album release day! If you follow us in any way, you’ll know that the Brighton duo Hanni and Clara are one of our ultimate faves, and we’ve been totally in love with them ever since they first blew us away playing live for us at The Finsbury back in 2018. So, the release of brand new album Ride Or Die has been much anticipated and greeted with all the excitement of our inner teen fan grrls.

The album showcases all there is to love about this utterly unique duo, and their incredible ability to fuse genres into something that is completely their own. From the catchy, pop-fuelled singalong choruses of the likes of ‘Baby Uh Huh’ and title track ‘Ride Or Die’, to the gritty energy and fierce allure of ‘Iron Lung’, and the soaring, heartfelt raw emotion of ‘The Last Time’ and ‘Never Want To Go Back’, ARXX prove it remains impossible to pigeon hole them into any one category, whilst maintaining their infectious euphoric power with each and every offering. Listening to the album, a rollercoaster of feelings rushes through me, and I’m left crying tears of joy and pride. ARXX truly are one of the most exciting – and completely lovely – bands in the universe, and they continue to establish themselves as master creators of the freshest, most addictive and most empowering, indefinable life-affirming anthems, and I couldn’t be happier that they exist.

Anywayy, to celebrate the release of Ride Or Die, we caught up with Hanni and Clara about the five albums that have inspired them the most… Have a read, and watch the equestrian-themed video for the album’s title track at the bottom of this feature!


P!NK – Funhouse
This is the first album that I knew inside out. I remember being in the airport and my Mum said I could pick a magazine, and I was looking at one with P!NK on the cover and then one with Taylor Swift. I went with P!NK and became fully (and I really mean fully ) obsessed for the next ten years. This album has the mix of rock vocals but great pop production and I couldn’t get enough of it. I listened in full multiple times a day. It’s the album where all the words are forever in my brain. I’ll always be a fan!

Haim – Days Are Gone
Haim are my all time favourite band and also our big bucket list band to support. I remember buying this album in HMV and then becoming completely obsessed with it. The way Danielle Haim plays and writes drum parts is unlike anyone I had heard before, with most of their beats not being straight. My favourite ever song is on this album – ‘My Song 5’. We went to go and see them play in the O2 last year and I have never felt joy like it. And then Taylor Swift came out and we lost our minds again. This will always be an album I go back to!


Tegan and Sara – The Con
Tegan and Sara are one of my all time favourite artists. The Con is one of the very first records that I fell in love with, and connected with emotionally. I’ve always been so inspired by their freedom to transcend genres and transition with each record. Their sound is constantly evolving and I find that so exciting. The Con is a stunning record, lyrically so captivating and interesting as a songwriter, and it just takes me back to a time where I was falling completely in love with music and the idea of being a musician myself. My favourite track is ‘Soil Soil’. 

Kate Nash – Made of Bricks
This album takes me back in so many ways. I remember I was working at my dad’s work one summer holidays, making teas for some pocket money, and on my lunch break I went to the local record store and spent my earnings on whatever new music I could get my hands on. I chose Made of Bricks and I spent the rest of that summer fully obsessed with this record. Kate Nash writes in such an unapologetically literal and obvious way on this record, it was like nothing I’d ever heard. Hearing that as a young person who wanted to write my own music was like being given the keys to the kingdom. I suddenly understood that all I had to do was write about the things that happened in my life, it was that simple. This record made songwriting feel accessible. After I bought and listened to Made of Bricks that day, I went home and wrote my first song. 


Avril Lavigne – Let Go
This is our favourite album! It’s one of the greatest records ever written and you can’t convince us otherwise. There’s no weak songs on this record. It’s pure perfection. This record has been the soundtrack to our tour van since day one. Back then, Avril was the coolest thing in the world and made us dream of being rock chicks (lol). It would be our ultimate dream to see this record played live. If this band doesn’t pan out you’ll see us reform as an Avril tribute act!

Thanks so much to Clara and Hanni for sharing their Five Favourites with us! Watch the video for ‘Ride Of Die’ here:

Produced by Steve Ansell and mastered by Katie Tavini, Ride Or Die – the new album from ARXX – is out now via Submarine Cat Records. Order and find out about their upcoming tour dates here.

Photo Credit: Rosie Powell

Five Favourites: LibraLibra

Having just released their epic new EP, CUT, GIHE faves LibraLibra continue to impress with their utterly unique fusion of pop, electro and punk. Recent single, ‘Mother’s Ruin‘, for example, immediately hits you with the colossal, empowering grace of front woman Beth’s vocals as it builds with a swirling anthemic splendour. Reflecting on the process of healing from past traumas, its cathartic, emotion-rich power showcases the strength and determination that women are capable of – as the lyrics poignantly state, “girls who are beasts, we keep running…”

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of CUT, we caught up with LibraLibra to ask about the music that has inspired them the most. So, read about their five favourite ever albums, and check out the immense video for ‘Mother’s Ruin’ below


Erasure – Wonderland 
Erasure introduced me to the world of singing. My parents had a completion CD they played once in the car, and apparently after that, I was hooked. I would starting chanting “Moogies Love Love Dance” as soon as I was strapped into my car seat (‘Who Needs Love Like That’) and they would have to play the CD over and over again the entire car ride; I would be giggling and wiggling and singing along as best as a first time talker could – it had both me and my parents in a chokehold. I think Erasure, combined with New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Tears for Fears and Seal, were particular stand outs – as soon as I could work a CD player I would take these CDS from my parents collection and spend hours creating musical dramatics in my bedroom. Each scene was developed using particular songs from these artists, with a strong theme of triumphing over hate and pain. I would never let anyone watch – it wasn’t something I was creating to show anyone, I was insanely private, but I would spend hours on my own dancing in my room to what I thought were these profound scenes of art! I guess I was a sucker for synth led, extravagant and emotive pop.

Madonna – Ray of Light 
Madonna’s Ray of Light album was a continuation of me hiding away in my room dancing and creating make believe. I begged my parents for this album – I had started to seek out my own music, first it was Enya, All Saints, and then I heard ‘Frozen’ on Top of the Pops, and I knew I needed this album in my life. This album stuck with me for a good few years; it got me through hard times – I was bullied at a lot at school for being overweight and I loved to dance, but it was only something I could do in private. With this album I would spend hours dancing and just losing myself. I must give a lot of credit to William Orbit who produced this album, there is an essence that he added in the production and instrumentation that just tugs at my melancholic heart strings. This album fully charged my obsession with pure pop emotive drama. 


Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica 
I’ve been listening to a lot of dismantled dance music/leftfield electronic stuff while making this record. People like Aphex Twin and Leon Vynehall making constant appearances in my rotation. But OPN was always finding its way to the front of the queue for me. It’s hard to pick just one album but Replica might have topped it. The sound design and world he builds sonically for this album really stuck with me and inspired a lot of the production on our new EP, CUT.


Beach Boys – Pet Sounds 
For me, one of my most inspirational albums has to be Pet Sounds. I know it’s an obvious one, but I can’t really over estimate how much this album opened my eyes to the power of arrangement. I love the harmonies and chord movements, not to mention its impact on pop music in general and everything it inspired. While this record doesn’t immediately seem like it is linked to our music, I think this was the catalyst for me starting to dive more into Brian Wilson and his inspirations which eventually led to studying Bach and other classical composer – something which definitely permeates our latest work. 


Radiohead – Kid A Mnesia (compilation) 
Radiohead are a band that have had an immense impact on each of us and these influences have manifested in varying ways on CUT. It’s difficult to hone in on a specific album, as the most influential thing about Radiohead for us collectively is the freedom they have to change and grow their sound. Radiohead are a band that clearly sonically push forward with each release in an attempt to cover (or should I say discover) new ground, as opposed to latching onto a formula that works and recycling it for safety, an ethos we also share. Musically, Radiohead are a band that understand the roots of harmony and they manage to incorporate influences from classical and jazz in a way that we have also started to play with more on this record while also going to the other end of the sonic spectrum, combining these more classical elements with the extremely modern sound of microtonal electronic weirdness found in the works of artists like Aphex Twin and OneohTrix Point Never. While I’m not sure CUT really sounds anything like Radiohead, there is a similarity in the way we try to fuse similar inspirations. The re-release of Kid A & Amnesiac in the guise of KIDAMNESIAC has been on heavy rotation in the writing period for this record and exemplifies a period of their writing where they had their fingers in all of those different genre pies: classical, jazz, rock and electronic – a range of influences which also permeates CUT.

Massive thanks to LibraLibra for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

CUT, the new EP from LibraLibra, is out now. Watch the immense video for ‘Mother’s Ruin’ here: