Five Favourites: The Ophelias

Having just released their new album, Crocus, Ohio band The Ophelias continue to charm our ears with their stirring, shimmering creations. Showcasing a dreamy, folk-strewn allure, each track on the album flows with a beautifully captivating emotion, rippling with a heartfelt ethereal splendour.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate their new album, we caught up with The Ophelias to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that they love the most. Check out their choices below and scroll down to watch the unique new video for latest single, ‘The Twilight Zone’.

Joanna Newsom – The Milk Eyed Mender 
The first time I heard a Joanna Newsom song, I lay upside down with my head hanging off my bed, put it on repeat, and let my eyes well up and blood rush to my head. It was ‘Peach Plum Pear’ and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was such a clear moment of eye-opening world expansion that I can still feel the vivid, confusing excitement of learning that this music existed. I was sixteen, and immediately bought The Milk Eyed Mender in full. I stalked around my all-girls Catholic high school with Joanna Newsom in my ears and Docs on my feet, staring off into space in the library as she sang about dirigibles and fruit. I make music that sounds nothing like Joanna Newsom, partially because no one else can sound quite like her. But the poetry of her lyricism and fullness of her harp, alone and rich on this record, have absolutely influenced me and my songwriting. The harpsichord and chorus of voices singing “I am blue, I am blue and unwell” have never left my reference palette. The other Joanna Newsom records are fantastic – I especially love Have One On Me, in all its sprawling glory and drama. But The Milk Eyed Mender was the first album to change my life, and has influenced my taste and creative process greatly. 

Alex G – Trick
There’s nothing like a perfectly crafted, catchy song. Alex G has records worth of those, but Trick was my entry point. Freshman year of college is great for becoming friends with people, soaking up their music taste, and never seeing them again once your schedules change and welcome week ends. I’m grateful to the fellow freshman who put on ‘Mary’. The thing about Alex G songs is that they’re not revolutionary – guitar, bass, drums. But they’re so perfectly executed that they feel new. Most of Trick’s songs are short and to the point, so when he chooses to extend an outro or repeat a chorus it feels purposeful. I see that reflected in my songwriting – trying to be purposeful about extending things only if they need to be extended. The Ophelias as a whole have super varied music tastes, since we come from different backgrounds and approaches to music, but have all coalesced around Alex G. He makes songs that are sometimes accessible, sometimes experimental, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes silly. We can all find something we relate to or want to emulate in his work, since it covers so much ground. I graduated a couple years ago now, and Alex G has created songs beyond just guitar-bass-drums, but Trick holds a special place in my heart.

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless 
The first iteration of The Ophelias formed in high school, when Andrea and I were seniors and Mic was a junior. Jo grew up in Madison, WI, and they joined later, so at this point they were pulling pranks and applying to film school. Andrea and Mic played in another band together with friends of mine, which is actually how I met them both. That band was playing at a warehouse show that I booked, and in the middle of their set they burst into a cover of ‘When You Sleep’. I watched Andrea play the iconic melody line through fuzzed out, pedal-laden violin and was completely obsessed. I loved the song already, but hearing it in that new context made me rethink how violin could be intertwined into the songs I was writing. My Bloody Valentine is another band who we sound nothing like, but we all definitely take influence from. The layers of sound, the soft octaved vocals, and the unexpected use of items like vacuum cleaners are all exciting, specific sounds that have affected the creative choices we make. Loveless is a whole world within an album, something that sweeps you up into it. 

that dog. – Totally Crushed Out!
I’m not sure how I found this album – maybe the public library, maybe somewhere on my parents’ shelf – but I’m very happy I did. It appeared in my life one day and became the closest parallel to the music I currently make. ‘She Doesn’t Know How’ is one of my favourite songs of all time, and the way that this record bobs and weaves through more punk-inspired tracks and softer, violin-and-harmony focused songs inspired me to not only expand my songwriting to harder, faster places, but to also feel content and settled in softer songs. The violin acts as a second (or third) guitar in a lot of songs as well, sometimes carrying the melody line or engaging with the vocals. Andrea’s parts are extremely dynamic, and it’s always fun to watch her figure out ways to slide a harmony into a guitar chord or mimic a vocal line with her own twist. I started listening to Totally Crushed Out before I had a band at all, and originally didn’t think to name it as an influence. But as the songs evolved, I realised how much I wanted to emulate that dog., and how I had been moving towards that for a long time. 

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do 
I struggled with which Fiona Apple album to include on this list. It came down to this one or Fetch the Bolt Cutters, which even though it only came out in 2020 left me reeling and full of new ideas for ways to stretch and evolve. But as I was re-listening to both that record and The Idler Wheel, I realised just how much of an impact The Idler Wheel has had on my creative process and decisions. Jo and I were obsessed with the ‘Hot Knife’ music video in college, watching it over and over again to see her avoid eye contact with the camera. Fiona Apple is a master of tension, building it up both in her voice and the piano as they caterwaul and thunder. Her records feel organic, like you can hear moving parts in the rooms where she recorded. Her lyrics are twisty and literate – she fits more into a single stanza than most say in a whole song. I try my hand at that every now and again, seeing what can fit in the container I’ve created for myself. But the other lyrical side that makes Fiona Apple so particularly gut-wrenching is when she forgoes the poetry and says it straight out, like “All that loving must have been lackin’ something / If I got bored trying to figure you out.”

Massive thanks to The Ophelias for sharing their ‘Five Favourites’ with us! Watch the new video for ‘The Twilight Zone’ here:

Crocus, the new album from The Ophelias, is out now via Joyful Noise Recordings. Buy it here.

Photo Credit:  Cam Whaley

Five Favourites: Beth Cassidy (Sea Fever)

Set to release their debut album next month, Manchester band Sea Fever is a collective of musicians who are no strangers to the music scene. Fronted by Beth Cassidy (Section 25) and Ivan Gronow (Johnny Marr, Haven), the band also consists of New Order’s Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham, as well as Elliot Barlow. Talking about the formation of their latest project, the band explain: “We’d wanted to work with each other for ages, so when we finally sat down in the studio, the band just seemed to come together naturally. It felt like we were really free to explore the kinds of music that have always inspired us, we dug right through the record crates of our minds to shape the sound of Sea Fever.

Ahead of the release their debut album, Sea Fever have recently shared a stirring new single, ‘Under Duress‘. Flowing with a sweeping otherworldly allure, it showcases the collective’s ability to create captivating multi-layered soundscapes; feeling both futuristic and nostalgic in its cinematic sonic majesty.

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 album, we caught up with Beth from the band to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that she loves the most. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to the spellbinding ‘Under Duress’.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever To Tell
This band were the soundtrack to my college years. I went to see them live at Manchester Academy 3 when they’d just released their debut EP, and they’ve been a staple of my record collection ever since. I remember seeing Karen O on stage and she wore a piece of neon netted fabric over her face the entire gig – like a veil. She seemed mental. Fever To Tell has so much energy and chaos mixed with this sweetness that comes through with the softer vocals. This band are a true force of nature.

Booka Shade – 2006 Pete Tong Essential Mix Session
I stumbled across this session after getting hooked on Booka Shade’s melancholic ‘In White Rooms’ track, and after that I was searching through their whole back catalogue. Their sound is percussive, dark, but also surreal and really kind of imaginative, and from there I discovered minimal techno. I don’t really listen to them anymore, but they paved the way for my love of dance music. I moved out to Berlin soon after, on some kind of pilgrimage to German techno! In this particular essential mix, they DJ for half and play live for the other half, so you can really hear how their own influences play out in their music, it’s so interesting. And the tracks they mix, man! Laurie Anderson, Aphex Twin, Yello… It’s sublime.

Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
I played this record on repeat for months, listening through headphones while I was moving around Manchester on public transport. I was juggling a lot in my life at that time and felt a bit mixed up with what I was doing – studying for an MA, working in a job I hated, my Dad had died a few months earlier – and this album definitely helped me escape into my own head. The lyrics are so easy and playful, colloquial but profound at the same time, and he describes those really small moments in life that we all experience; the little things that make us human, and he puts them on a pedestal. It’s very clever.

Bjork – Post
‘Hyperballad’ was the first cassette tape I ever bought. I was nine so it must have come on recommendation from my older brother, and it probably went over my head at the time but I loved the electronic sounds. Bjork’s vocal melodies and the way she moves through the music at her own pace, it feels so confident, like she’s carving out a space for the vocals. I come back to Bjork a lot, she just seems to empower me and make my own work more purposeful.

LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
Every track on this album is an absolute banger, and when you listen from start to finish it takes you on a really expansive trip through different moods. The layering of different beats and loops is so intricate, and James Murphy’s vocals drive the whole sound. I just hang off his every word. Even though they are hugely popular, I still feel like LCD Soundsystem are a cult band, in that, you’ve either never heard of them, or you fucking love them! There’s no in-between!

Massive thanks to Beth for sharing her five favourites with us!

Folding Lines, the debut album from Sea Fever, is set for release on 22nd October (CD/DL) and 29th October (vinyl). Pre-order here. And you can catch Sea Fever live at Rough Trade East in store to celebrate on 29th October – tickets here.

Photo Credit: Anthony Harrison

Five Favourites: Ailsa Tully

Following acclaim for previous singles ‘Greedy’ and ‘Parasite’ from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Clash Magazine, Welsh artist and GIHE fave Ailsa Tully has now announced the release of her upcoming EP, Holy Isle – due out in September. Taken from the EP, recent single ‘Sheets‘ insightfully reflects on those first moments of waking, as your senses gradually start to stir whilst limbs stretch amid the crisp white linen. Combining lilting melodies with Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals, it oozes an immersive, delicate emotion and sparkling grace. With a heartfelt splendour, it offers an exquisite slice of folk-strewn indie, resonating with a glistening allure and subtle, yet stirring, sentiment. We can’t hear to the EP very soon!

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 EP, we caught up with Ailsa to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that she loves the most. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to the uniquely captivating ‘Sheets’.

Rozi Plain – ‘Conditions’
Let’s start with this one because it’s a sonic masterpiece. I love how relaxed it is, how fluttery and flighty the synth parts are, the simple directness of the lyrics, and the grounding repetition of the bass riff. It has a wondrous quality like you are an (extremely calm) child on a day out, observing a blustery day by the beach.


Hildegard von Bingen – ‘Spiritus Sanctus Vivificans’
Hildegard von Bingen was a German Benedictine Abbess around in the 10th century and is one of the best-known composers of sacred monophony as well as being a respected writer, philosopher and mystic. I am so intrigued by her, a prolifically creative woman in the Middle Ages who was actually recognised for her work. Her music has an incredible purity and is so evocative of an ancient sacredness which I often feel I need to tap into. It reminds me of walking in the mountains in Wales where I grew up.


Joni Mitchell -‘Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow’
I listened to the album Hissing of Summer Lawns countless times with my Dad in the car. This was where I first fell in love with Joni’s lyrics and her ability to paint these incredible pictures of people and social situations. The power of her emotion and her voice just cut right through, coupled with these incredibly unusual arrangements. Every element is good enough to have made it amazing by itself. Me and Dad would talk about it on many journeys, extremely fond memories.


Sudan Archives – ‘Come Meh Way’
I am a cellist and spent a while trying to work out how to incorporate the cello into my live set up… In the end I gave up and turned to the bass. Sudan Archives made me wish I hadn’t. How she performs with a violin and how she uses it to accompany her voice is so unique to her, very mesmerising. She gets a really cool scratchy, earthy tone and puts it through loads of pedals. Catch her live if you can!

Caroline Polachek – ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’
I listened to this song all the time when I started dating my boyfriend. It reminds me of feeling all that crazy joyful excitement. It’s just a great pop song!


Thanks so much to Ailsa for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Listen to latest single ‘Sheets’ below:

Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 1st September via Dalliance Recordings.

Five Favourites: F.R.U.I.T.Y

Following the release of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and ‘Not Quite Exceptional’, Belfast-based queer artist Dan O’Rawe – aka F.R.U.I.T.Y – has now shared the first single from their upcoming debut EP, set for release next month. Propelled by off-kilter glitchy beats, ‘U.P.S‘ offers a wonderfully quirky, futuristic soundscape whilst reflecting on themes of identity in O’Rawe’s trademark deadpan Northern Irish drawl. As twinkling hooks flow with a cinematic splendour, it’s a glistening, uplifting slice of alt-electro-pop; a perfect soundtrack to woozy summer evenings. Of the track, they comment: “… it’s the summer loving comedown. The doubt, the reflection and the ending of those summer days… something underscored by the blissed-out, but tired, mind...”

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to mark the release of ‘U.P.S’ today, we caught up with Dan to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five songs that they love the most. Check out their choices below and scroll down to listen to ‘U.P.S’.

Easy Life – ‘A Message to Myself’ 
I absolutely vibe so hard with this song, there is a tremendous flow to the lyrics that I am obsessed with. It speaks for itself, just be yourself. I love how much they reflect what is happening right now. In twenty years’, time, I can picture myself feeling super nostalgic for this time already. They also sent me this little merch air freshener fish with the single, which was a fun bonus!  

Remi Wolf – ‘Shawty’ 
Whenever this song comes on, I feel energised. It is so damn fun. I love lyrics that follow a mundane narrative, I know that is bizarre, but it is just really relatable. The layered vocal style she uses is something I take inspiration from. It has an early 2000s vibe; I can feel the low-rise jeans with a thong showing energy.  

Tayo Sound – ‘Cold Feet’ 
I like how this song starts with that initial infatuation with someone, the woozy start when you are so nervous you get mad butterflies. It has a tasty hook. It is easy, breezy & fresh. I always find myself attracted to that in music. Music tends to have a big effect on my mood for the day, this song always makes me feel sunny and chill.  

Ms. White – ‘Fuck Men’ 
… because Fuck Men. Haha.  

Kojaque – ‘Town’s Dead
Some local talent representation with Kojaque. The lyrics are so well written, a deep sense of humour but making a bunch of decent points too. There is a big punk energy to this one – it sounds like it would be unreal live (hit me up for a support slot Kojaque… Or a date, whatever’s easiest for ya!).

Massive thanks to Dan for sharing their Five Favourites!

F.R.U.I.T.Y, the eponymous debut EP, is set for release on 5th August. Listen to new single ‘U.P.S’ now: