GIHE: International Women’s Day 2021

Happy International Women’s Day! A day to highlight and bring awareness to the issues facing women around the globe, as well as a time to celebrate the women we love too. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge – and here at Get In Her Ears we take that to mean that in order to create a more equal world, we must be constantly challenging accepted ‘norms’; constantly seeking to change and improve society in any way we can. In the words of the inspirational Angela Davis: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.

At Get In Her Ears this International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating both women and non-binary folk who have inspired and motivated us throughout this particularly challenging year. We want to make clear that we are inclusive of ALL women. Inclusivity is at the core of what we do: it’s the reason we started, it’s what drives us, and it’s something we will consistently strive for as long as we exist. To be explicitly clear, we always have and always will stand against transphobia – it is unacceptable. We send our love, support and solidarity to ALL women out there, and celebrate those gender nonconforming people fighting for acceptance. 

Have a read about the consistently inspiring women and non-binary people who have been keeping us going this year, and listen to the accompanying playlist – including tunes by, or linked to, the people featured. And feel free to get in touch with us on socials about the women who have inspired you this year!

Kathleen Hanna
I couldn’t really put together an International Women’s Day feature without including Kathleen Hanna. Being a constant inspiration always, throughout the last year I’ve needed to find strength in her empowering charisma and motivating force more than ever, and treated myself to the 20th anniversary re-issue of the Bikini Kill EP on one of the amazing bandcamp days last year. As well as inspiring me with the riotous power of music, over the last couple of years Kathleen has also set up ‘Tees 4 Togo’ – a business that sells t-shirts designed by and depicting different artists, with 100% of the money raised going to Peace Sisters, a non-profit started by Tina Kampor. Peace Sisters’ mission is to provide equal education for girls in Tina’s hometown, Dapaong, Togo. Each shirt sold is $40, which is how much it costs to send a girl to school in Togo for one year. The sweatshop-free tees are collaborations between the artists and the performers who inspired them.
(Mari Lane)

Big Joanie
Is it even a GIHE feature if we don’t include Big Joanie? Authors, activists, musicians and all round punk icons, these grrrls are a constant source of inspiration to the GIHE team. From organising Decolonise Fest, continuously speaking out against racism and sexism in the alternative music scenes, to creating the perfect soundtrack to rage and rejoice to, Big Joanie are an unstoppable force for change. Their work on and off stage is remarkable. Vocalist & guitarist Stephanie Phillips is releasing her new book Why Solange Matters later this year, drummer Chardine Taylor Stone will be releasing her book Sold Out: How Black Feminism Lost it’s Soul in 2022, and bassist Estella Adeyeri is busy recording podcasts and working with the Girls Rock London team.
(Kate Crudgington)

Lucy O’Brien (author of She Bop)
Getting to interview and virtually meet Lucy O’Brien twice this year was such a pleasure. 2020 saw the release of her book She Bop in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the original publication, a book that shows how much Lucy has documented, highlighted and pushed for better representation of women, transgender and non-binary people in music through her writing. Most recently she has co-written Skin’s Memoir It Takes Blood and Guts, which was also released in 2020 (read our interview with Lucy and Skin here). Lucy O’Brien – an inspiring woman, with an inspiring career who, lucky for us, shows no sign of slowing down.
(Tash Walker)

I will never get over seeing the Get In Her Ears name in PRINT and that’s all thanks to author & music journalist Lucy O’Brien. She included us in a new chapter in the 25th anniversary edition of her book She Bop last year and I’ve been making my way through it since then. Tash interviewed Lucy for one of our radio shows and I was so impressed by her knowledge, articulation and kindness when it comes to reporting and acknowledging the often forgotten history of women and non-binary people’s contribution to popular music. Definitely pick up a copy if you’re able to. (KC)

Kae Tempest
Coming out as non-binary last year, Kae Tempest not only completely blew me away at the last gig I went to (exactly a year ago at BBC 6Music’s International Women’s Day celebration at The Roundhouse), but their recently released book On Connection has been a wonderfully insightful, and strangely comforting, read in these worrying times. Reflecting on the connection between people and the unifying feelings that art can create, they discuss how connection should be a collaborative, communal feeling. Sharing deeply personal experiences and discussing times that they’ve felt particularly disconnected, it’s such a relatable and moving piece of writing. It is also the only book I’ve managed to read properly this whole year; I’ve really struggled with just the things that they discuss throughout – with feeling focused and connected – and so to be able to read something that is both poignant but also short and simply put together, has been just what my mind has needed. (ML)

Peaches
Last year, I interviewed the trailblazing Peaches for a Nine Songs feature on The Line Of Best Fit. She spoke about her favourite music and I spent most of the time nodding enthusiastically at her reasons for loving The Runaways, Missy Elliott and Roberta Flack. One thing that’s got me through the last year – and every other year, really – is talking to people who are not just passionate about the music they make, but the music they love by other artists too. The unfiltered admiration you can have for a band or musician is so pure and so important, and it’s definitely something I have grown to cherish over the years. (KC)

Beth Cannon (LibraLibra)
International Women’s Day happens to fall in Endometriosis Awareness Month (a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, causing many painful symptoms and often affecting people’s lives significantly). And, as someone who has struggled with the symptoms for a number of years, I’m always inspired by talking to other people who have gone through similar experiences. This year, I discovered that Beth from one of our favourite bands, LibraLibra, has suffered with incredibly severe Endometriosis – to such an extent that, at the beginning of this month, she has had to have a very significant and invasive operation. However, throughout all the pain, treatments, stress and life-changing decisions that she has been under this year, she has continued to fight – to be an incredible force of nature, through both the immense power of her musical creations, and her openness and effervescent strength of spirit through her inspiring and motivating social media posts. (ML)

Planningtorock
I remember being in the Hoxton Radio studio in 2018, listening to Tash talk so passionately about how Planningtorock’s fourth album Powerhouse was resonating with them. Tash’s joy was infectious and I found myself listening to the record and hearing this incredible artist dive deep into their own gender identity with such playfulness and charm. Tash & I saw Planningtorock live at Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre in 2019 and it was marvellous. We even ran onto the stage with loads of other fans at one point, looking around in disbelief and loving every minute of it. (KC)

SOPHIE
With full acknowledgment that SOPHIE’s identity was rooted in being SOPHIE, by naming SOPHIE in this piece I am not placing any identity on SOPHIE understanding that SOPHIE asked to be identified as SOPHIE. Someone who pushed the boundaries of music, of sound, of electronica, of what it means to be queer – a person who changed music for the better, by not living and reflecting in a nostalgia but pushing, reaching for a future. A future that SOPHIE saw through SOPHIE’s lens and through SOPHIE’s music; we got a glimpse of it too and for that we should be forever grateful. (TW)

FKA Twigs
I’ve been a fan of FKA Twigs since first been utterly captivated by the innovative sweeping sounds of ‘Two Weeks’ from 2014’s LP1, but I never knew that much about her. That is until I listened to her speaking with Louis Theroux on his Grounded podcast earlier this year. Not only was hearing her speak about her latest album Magdalene and how she found its inspiration in strong women – namely Mary Magdalene and her little known strength and achievements – particularly poignant, but hearing her speak openly about her experiences of abuse was immensely moving. Her honesty and openness about what she went through with Shia LaBeouf has been incredibly inspiring and a source of strength for many who are going through similar experiences. Public figures such as FKA Twigs being vocal about the issue of abuse is essential in enabling others to feel able to do this, and I feel a huge amount of admiration and gratitude to her for telling her story; opening up this vital conversation and giving a voice to survivors who so often remain unheard. (ML) 

Divide and Dissolve
Fuelled by Takiaya Reed’s doom-ridden saxophone notes and Sylvie Nehill’s phenomenal percussion, instrumental activists Divide and Dissolve have a sound that flows with a unique gargantuan grace. Designed to erode the foundations of colonialism and liberate the land for indigenous communities, their recent album Gas Lit smoulders with a righteous fury. Not only are they immensely talented musicians, they are also incredibly kind. Each time I’ve reviewed their music for our website, they’ve been quick to message via the GIHE socials to say a sweet and sincere thank you. (KC)

Sarah Lay (co-founder of Reckless Yes)
For a few years now, the label Reckless Yes has been a source of some of our most favourite artists – currently home to the likes of LIINES, Breakup Haircut, Bugeye, The Other Ones, The Crystal Furs and more – and co-founder Sarah continues to inspire us with her hard work and consistent dedication. Working ethically with all the artists on the label, making sure they are paid and treated fairly, Reckless Yes is supported by a membership that fans can sign up to and receive benefits, and is continually working on how it can be a force for social good: not only benefitting the artists on the roster, but holding environmental values as a fundamental part of their work. A one of a kind label run by a super wonder woman, who deserves to be celebrated for the consistently exceptional work she does and the invaluable help she gives upcoming artists. (ML)

Amateur Pop Inc.
A small record label based in Leicester working exclusively with artists of marginalised identities, Mari & I are huge fans of the musical output of Amateur Pop Inc. Run by Emily & Alex, it’s been a joy to interact with them and the artists they support. I recommend listening to Gordian Stimm and Boarder, and Mari would recommend listening to Kermes too! (KC)

Babywoman Records
We had Babywoman Records founder Charlotte Carpenter as a guest on our GIHE radio show a few years ago, and it’s been wonderful to see her create her own label and platform to help other women release their music. To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, Babywoman Records are launching a special four episode podcast series celebrating women in roles across the music industry. Each day between 8th-11th March, they’ll have a guest discussing their work. Speakers include Producer Steph Marziono, Warner Brothers’ A&R rep Holly Manners, musician Eliza Shaddad and Managing Director of Palm Bay Music Kimberley Anne. Visit the Babywoman Records website for more info here. (KC)

Amaroun
A long term favourite at Get In Her Ears, Amaroun consistently delivers a stirring power juxtaposed with an impassioned energy in each of her creations, and – throughout 2020 – she released a a number of poignant and empowering reflections on being a queer woman today. As well as captivating us with her tunes, over the last year Amaroun has also shared some of her insightful inspirations and thoughts on the industry with us in two of our Instagram Live sessions, and continues to be a massive inspiration in all she does. This year, in addition to working on her debut album, Amaroun has been running Black Queer Joy – a series of queer led sessions harnessing the power of community to call upon our ancestors as we heal, reclaim and find self-acceptance. The next session is this Wednesday, 10th March – details here. You can support Amaroun and her innovative journey at her Patreon page. (ML)

Arlo Parks
Arlo Parks has already achieved so much, especially over the last year, where we saw her release her debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams, and her songs becoming the go-to hum on everyone’s lips. But what has resonated with me above all else is the depth of her lyrics – her mastery of language that she uses to delicately tell these stories with such feeling, as the music envelopes around you. So beautiful and often so sad. (TW)

Stereo Sanctity PR
Kate & Frankie who run Stereo Sanctity PR are absolute diamonds. Not only are their press releases informative, well-written and superbly formatted, the artists they represent are some of my personal favourites too, so it’s always a good day when I see an SS email at the top of my GIHE inbox. They’re assertive without being pushy and genuinely take the time to get to know your music taste so they can tailor their pitches to you. They represent an immense amount of talent, including Noga Erez, Hilary Woods, Penelope Trappes, Debby Friday, Desire, Anna B Savage, Spellling, Jenny Hval, Lotic, Katie Gately, Skating Polly, Zola Jesus and more. (KC)

Bimini Bon Boulash
I’m sure I don’t need to go into detail about who Bimini Bon Boulash is, but I have been falling more and more in love with them (and Tayce, but that’s another story…) throughout the latest season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK. As someone who has watched all the previous seasons of the competition, I have found this latest UK series to be a real breath of fresh air, largely thanks to Bimini. Openly discussing their non-binary identity and how this has affected their life, as well as supporting other contestants with discussing theirs and their struggles with society’s imposed gender norms, Bimini has given a voice to many and has apparently inspired a number of young viewers of the show to come out to their parents. Innovative not only in what they stand for, but in their incredible talent on stage, and their exquisite, unique style, Bimini has opened many people’s eyes as to what drag is, and what it can be: “I consider the concept of gender as a spectrum and I float somewhere in the middle… With drag, I don’t see what I do as female impersonation or illusion, more an expression of my identity and how I feel on the inside...” (ML)

Melanie Simpson (The Irish Jam)
I’ve been contributing to The Irish Jam’s New Music Sunday section for just over a year now. Based in London but celebrating music by Irish artists, the crossover of favourite bands between the GIHE team & The Irish Jam team is huge. I’ve enjoyed chatting to hosts Kealan, Niall, Rob and Mel on and off air for a while now, but Mel in particular is always quick to join me in fan-girling over Kynsy, CMAT and Celaviedmai. From drunkenly telling her about my admiration for Taylor Swift at The Jam’s 2018 St. Patrick’s Day gig when we first met, to buying tickets to CMAT’s debut London gig this November, Mel & I are well on our way to becoming true music gal pals. (KC)

Julia Woollams and Angela Martin (founders of The Croydonist/Bugeye)
Having been ‘locked down’ for pretty much a year now, I’ve come to value my home and its surrounding area in a new light. Being limited to the local area, it has been wonderful to discover new places for my daily walk, and it is has been thanks to The Croydonist that I have discovered a number of hidden Croydon gems; I had never known about Selsdon Woods or South Norwood Lake, for example, until seeing them featured on Croydonist’s Instagram, and they are both beautiful spots, unlikely rural escapes close to home. So, thank you to Croydonist founders Julia and Angela for keeping my love of Croydon going throughout the pandemic! Angela also contributed the most essential and uplifting of soundtracks for 2020 with her band Bugeye’s vibrant, energy-fuelled album Ready Steady Bang. (ML)

Girls Rock London
I wish Girls Rock London had existed when I was a teenager. They do incredible work to support girls, trans and non binary youth who have an interest in making music, but who may not have the funds or confidence to take that interest further. Through mentoring schemes, workshops and band camps, they provide an incredible level of support whilst offering attendees an opportunity to make friends and enjoy learning a completely new skill set. Find out more about their work here. (KC)

Mary Anne Hobbs
Having to work from home for the most part of a year has had its benefits. One of which has been being able to listen to BBC 6Music during the quieter moments of the day, especially my favourite show – Mary Anne Hobbs. Playing such a diverse range of music, from obscure electro to raging metal, she exudes such a passion and enthusiasm about all the tunes she showcases that is both refreshing and uplifting to hear. Hearing someone with such a genuine love of new music and sincere dedication to promoting upcoming artists is wonderfully inspiring, and I think more people in the industry could do with being a bit more like her! So, thank you Mary Anne, for being such a positive force – a consistently elevating accompaniment to my days – at a time when I need it more than ever. Also, what’s not to love about a show that has an ‘All Queens Mix’ at the start of every week?! (ML)

You Know Who You Are…
This last year has been a challenge for everyone, of varying degrees, but what comes out of difficulties endured collectively is a strength in connection. The end of 2020 was one of the most challenging times for me, but I have never felt more loved and supported in my life. So, to all the women and non-binary people who have been there for me over this last year, from family and friends, to all those in between, as someone who has struggled to love themselves for so long, you have all shown me the way, thank you. That includes my two GIHE babes – Kate and Mari, I love you two dearly. (TW)

Mari & Tash (GIHE babes)
Typing through the tears as I think about how much I have learned from you both, and how much I’ve laughed with you both over the last five and a half years. Here’s to many more weekends of gigs, chats about our favourite music and fancy beers with names I can’t pronounce properly. I’ll love you both forever. (KC)

Cindy Crudgington (My biggest fan)
Hi Mum! Probably wouldn’t have made it this far without your eternal love, patience and support. Thanks for always listening to our radio shows, reading my reviews & interviews (you’re welcome for the Noga Erez intro) and for listening to me rant on about how many emails I have to get through every weekend. I love you. (KC)

Holly and Sarah Crudgington (My younger sisters)
Hi Twinny Pigs! Thanks for holding my hand as I get over emotional at Wolf Alice gigs, raging with me in the mosh at the Ho99o9 shows and for always taking the +1 spot on the guest list for bands that I’ve bored you to death about for years. Here’s to many more conversations about how banging the soundtracks to the first two Twilight films are. Love you both. (KC)

GIHE Super Women, Tash & Kate
I couldn’t talk about the women who’ve helped me survive the year without including these two. Not only are they the best friends I could ask for, but they really do inspire me every day. They have both overcome the many challenges this year has brought with a grace and strength that I continue to admire, and both have an unwavering commitment to what they are passionate about. Tash’s work supporting LGBTQ+ people as co-chair of Switchboard and now sharing the community’s stories with the insightful and informative The Log Books podcast is absolutely incredible, and has taught me so much. Kate’s dedication to sharing new music through her amazing writing, and managing to remain so brilliantly organised, is admirable, and being able to regularly rant and rage with her about the world is something I’m forever grateful for. Tash and Kate, you’re a dream team and I cannot wait to see you at a Get In Her Ears gig one day soon, and hatch some exciting ventures for the future!

There are so many more women – both who I know and love personally, who have supported me through this year, and more well-known (Michaela Coel, Adriene Mishler, Phoebe Bridgers, Nadine Shah, Reni Eddo-Lodge) – who I could write about here, but there are only so many hours in the day… For now, I will leave you to celebrate the amazing women in your life!
(ML)

Massive thanks to ALL the wonderful women and non binary people in our lives – we see you, and we love you!

Listen to our accompanying IWD playlist here:

Track Of The Day: Julia-Sophie – ‘I Wish’

In an introspective sonic unravelling, electronic artist Julia-Sophie brings us an immersive experience in her lush new track, ‘I Wish’. Released on Slow Dance Records, the single follows Julia’s admired y? EP of last year. As the first track from her upcoming EP </3, it serves as an insightful glance for what’s to come from Julia’s anticipated palette.

A delicate, building tension scurries across the soundscape opening the story of ‘I Wish’. Made of rigid, whirling synth patterns, Julia-Sophie’s spatial awareness is artistically conveyed across the ways in which she places her sounds so precisely. Alongside her lyrics, she is able to tell her narrative by using her instrumental machines that glitch freely with each cathartic breath.

Emotive confessions float earnestly in the pool of bubbling synths, as ‘I Wish’ creates a universe of its own. It is one we all know and stew in. It is equally as challenging as it is empowering – solitude. Of the track, Julia-Sophie explains:

Over the last year, I’ve had to fight and break hearts, to become the person I was meant to be; to live my own truth. I wanted to reflect this broken hearted journey in ‘I Wish’, by breaking out of classic song structure and experimenting with form…”

Disentangling the narratives of others, to ultimately discover her own, Julia-Sophie illuminates her story with fluid-like tongues reminiscent of Half Waif and FKA Twigs. With her own feet on the ground, and a sound that is so fresh to the ear, Julia-Sophie’s ‘I Wish’ is sure to inspire us to keep going into 2021.

‘I Wish’ is out now, via Slow Dance. It is released as part of Slow Dance ’20; a compilation released by the label – a 16 track collection of tracks from all genres – out on 26th January.

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

FIVE FAVOURITES: Fran Lobo

A singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, choral composer & sound artist; Fran Lobo has extensive and impressive experience in multiple areas of the music industry. The North East London artist takes inspiration from both the club scene and the choral scene to create her own music, and her new EP, Brave – released today (19th June) via Slow Dance Records – is a stellar example of how she seamlessly mixes these genres together.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Fran to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have influenced her writing techniques. Check out Fran’s choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for her track ‘Brave’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Aaliyah – ‘More Than A Woman’
This has got to be one of the best R&B/Pop songs ever made. The production from Timbaland is so playful and ASMR like. All the crazy percussion shakes, scrapes and clatters are so delicious. The drums are so powerful and the squelchy synths take you to a deep sludge. The guitar licks and string sample sounds are insane and the outro section just listening to that squelch alone is such life. Of course Aaliyah’s syrup vocals and delivery top it all off, it’s totally luscious and sensual. I love this track! I always aim to play it if I’m DJing somewhere and watch the crowd drop into ecstasy.

2. Tirzah – ‘Holding On’
I’m so in love with Tirzah and Mica, their Devotion record is a slight obsession for me. This track is so simple and hits so direct yet in a complex way. I love the brassy synth sound and highly reverbed, floaty but big old school drum machine beat which is so driving. Tirzah’s vocal is so relaxed but also troubled. “This feeling’s controlling me, I can’t shut it down” – it’s so gentle and so melancholic and easy at the same time. I can imagine dancing to this in a big club and also crying at the same time. I really connected to the sentiment of this song when I went through a troubling relationship while writing this EP. I even danced around at like 3am with said person blasting this track on full, singing the lyrics pretty much to them! It’s got such a yearning and fragile quality to it and at the same time the sounds are so pleasing you can’t help but sway and step to it.

3. FKA twigs – ‘Sad Day’
The latest Twigs record is my favourite piece of work she’s put out. The production is really adventurous and powerful. This particular track has an incredibly classic quality to the songwriting. In my opinion, it’s one of the strongest songs on the record, production aside. It’s got a simplicity to it too that drives the story home. I love the sound design/ field recordings throughout and use of vocal sampling in the breakdowns. The drum programming is really interesting and has strange textures in there. The chorus is killer and my absolute favourite part – the bridge sounds like something from Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ era. It’s so beautiful and really lifts your heart out of your chest. I think the song is so exposing and vulnerable and it’s a perfect mix of old songwriting and adventurous 2020 production.

4. Everything Everything – ‘Kemosabe’
What an incredible band! This song, just as a feeling, brings me so much joy. The chorus takes you up to space, makes you want to outstretch your arms and look to the sky. The vocal production on the intro and strange noises are really great, how all the sounds really move around. All the new elements that come in genuinely make you so excited. The guitar parts and “Yes!” shouts/echoes really build you to the chorus amazingly. I like how quick and rhythmically the vocals and lyrics are delivered, again quite stark and unusual. The bridge brings a great down moment, then the synths build us back into the chorus. I think it’s jaw-droppingly great as a song, and all the movements happen at the right time. The production and body of the song is really alive and keeps moving forwards.

5. Mount Kimbie ft. Micachu – ‘Marilyn’
Andy, who I worked with on my EP recorded the marimba on this in his studio. The intro is so great. And wow, Mica’s vocal is just so standout. I love listening to her voice, it tells you so much! I love the live percussion and orchestral instruments mixed with drum machine/live kit. All the sounds are so interesting, the mix of them. What I love about this tune is that it sounds like it was recorded in one take or as a jam, it’s so free and natural.

Thanks to Fran for sharing her favourites with us. Listen to her new EP Brave here.

Fran will be playing at the Love record stores digital event on Saturday 20th June.
Full event details here.

Photo credit: El Hardwick

PLAYLIST: International Women’s Day 2020

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s a day to highlight and bring awareness to the issues facing women around the globe, and it’s also a time to celebrate the women we love too. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual – encouraging all of us to collectively help create a gender equal world: because an equal world is an enabled world.

At Get In Her Ears, we have only one definition of a “woman”, and that is inclusive of ALL women. Inclusivity is at the core of what we do. It’s the reason we started, it’s what drives us, and it’s something we will consistently strive for as long as we exist. To be explicitly clear, we always have and always will stand against transphobia – it is unacceptable. We send our love, support and solidarity to ALL women out there.

We’ve created a playlist of all the wxmen artists that continue to inspire, entertain, and motivate us into action. Take some time to scroll through our choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’
An obvious, but essential choice for any IWD Playlist. Annie Lennox & Aretha Franklin are a dream vocal team, and I never get tired of listening to this classic. (Kate Crudgington)

Planningtorock – ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’ 
I’m forever grateful to Tash for introducing me to the lush electronics of Planningtorock. This track is all about their sister, Beulah, and her love of house music. When Planningtorock played this live at their gig at Southbank Centre last year, Beulah was in the audience, and when the two siblings embraced each other after the song, I had a tear in my eye. (KC)

The Julie Ruin – ‘Girls Like Us’
It’s no secret by now that Kathleen Hanna is the woman who has inspired me the most and pretty much the reason we started GIHE, and so it seems only right to include a track of her’s on our playlist celebrating amazing women. And this track from The Julie Ruin is just a perfect ode for womxn of all kinds this IWD. A unifying anthem for all us misfit grrrls, with relatable empowering lyrics such as “… girls like us pick up the hot handles and burn our hands and we get over it”, it never fails to pick me up and leave me feeling ready to face the world. (ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Used To Be Friends’
I think all three of us would firmly place this band on any International Women’s Day Playlist. We could not be more behind everything Big Joanie are about, having seen them countless times over the last year – their headline gig at The Moth Club was an undoubted highlight, this band just keep the good music coming. Their politics and music are inseparable, using their platform to speak to their experiences as a black, queer, punk band and the importance of intersectional feminism, it is a privilege to have had them on our radio show. (TW)

Nova Twins – ‘Bullet’
Consistent GIHE favourites Nova Twins have released their breath-taking new album Who Are The Girls, and this track is lifted from it. It’s a powerful statement against street harassment, and the myth that women are “asking for it” if they dress or act in a certain way. Amy’s lyrics are the ultimate weapon against such insults, making it crystal clear that those who touch without permission are not fucking welcome. (KC)

Jehnny Beth – ‘I’m The Man’
Though Jehnny Beth has said that ‘I’m The Man’ is “a poetic work first and foremost. Its aim is to make you feel, not think”, for me it seems to address the anger and ruthlessness surrounding toxic masculinity and the damaging effects it can have. IWD, I feel, should not only be about celebrating the brilliant women in our lives, but informing our male allies so that they can support their female peers as much as possible, and also be reassured that to be a “man” does not mean having to be aggressive or physically powerful. A poignant and powerful offering from this immense force of womankind, who I cannot wait to see live today at The Roundhouse as part of BBC 6 Music’s Festival (along with other awesome women Kate Tempest, Kim Gordon and more). (ML)

Deux Furieuses – ‘Year Of Rage’
GIHE faves Deux Furieuses last year dropped their immense album My War Is Your War – a collection of poignant, impassioned and all-too-relevant rock anthems. Taken from the album, ‘Year Of Rage’ is a seething offering addressing the #MeToo movement and the anger felt by women everywhere trying to seek justice. Delivering a message of empowerment through the raging riffs and soaring vocals of Ros Cairney and frenzied pummelling beats from Vas Antoniadou, it’s a hugely powerful and distinctly necessary listen this IWD. (ML)

The Joy Formidable – ‘The Last Drop’
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve told people how much I adore The Joy Formidable. I’ve been following them for a decade now, and I am still in awe of their ability to create heavy, magnetic, alternative tracks like this one. (KC)

ARXX – ‘Intervention’
Another playlist, another ARXX track. But we make no apologies about this. ARXX have been faves for a while now, and with their “unapologetically loud”, ferocious raw power, they continue to blow us away with their unrelenting raucous sounds. This track, ‘Intervention’, taken from 2018’s EP Daughters Of Daughters, talks of social injustices, giving a shout out to the LGBT charity Stonewall, exclaiming that “you don’t get to say who we fall in love with”. A perfect, raging anthem for equality. Two of the coolest women we know, ARXX also headlined our IWD gig last year at The Finsbury, and it really was the best way to celebrate. (ML)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’
Previous guest on our radio show Amaroun has recently jumped back into the limelight with several new tracks, inclusive of this one ‘Perish’. I’m loving this next step in Amaroun’s musical journey – the beats, the vocals, the stripped back simplicity, sublime. Drawing from her experiences as a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality and the importance of emotional honesty in music, these themes stand strong throughout her songs. I can’t, and don’t want to stop listening. (TW)

Nayana Iz – ‘How We Do’
What a tune1 ‘How We Do’ is possibly one of the best debuts I have ever heard. Indian born, London raised Nayana Iz has arrived and she’s taking you with her. Eyes wide open people and get watching. (TW)

Missy Elliott – ‘She’s A Bitch’
One of the coolest, most inspiring women in the business, Missy Elliott delivers the most empowering and entertaining of offerings, just by being her incredible self. Proving that a woman can conquer a previously male-dominated genre, whilst consistently unashamedly oozing self confidence, she never fails to motivate me and put a smile on my face. Showing women that it’s ok to not fit the “feminine” stereotype that the industry so often seems to demand, and just be who you are and wear whatever the f*** you feel comfortable in (whether that’s an inflated bin bag or a scarecrow costume – check out last year’s performance at the VMAs to see this in action), she continues to push boundaries and remains a colossal force of nature. ,(ML)

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Tears
One of my favourite tracks from Nilüfer Yanya, a slight move away from her guitar heavy tunes, ‘Tears’ released early last year captures and takes you along with its bouncing beats and sad reflective lyrics. It’s been great to watch this artist reach the acclaim she so rightly deserves, with my personal highlight seeing her play at Primavera 2019. It was the definition of sun-drenched guitars. (TW)

Shea Diamond – ‘I Am Her’
As early as transgender singer Shea Diamond can remember, she identified as a girl – and was punished for it. At age 20, she robbed a convenience store at gunpoint – desperate, she says, to fund her gender-affirming surgery. Behind bars (in a male prison), Diamond found her voice as a songwriter, and wrote this track ‘I Am Her’. I wanted to include this track today, not only because I just love its poignant, soulful groove, but because Trans Women are of of course women too and should be celebrated on International Women’s Day (and every day)! (ML)

Lido Pimienta (feat. Li Saumet) – ‘Nada’
Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Canadian-Columbian musician Lido Pimienta has penned this beautiful song ‘Nada’. Taken from her upcoming album Miss Colombia, Pimienta ruminates on the pain women experience – from debilitating period pains to giving birth – and how strong we are despite being unfairly dubbed the “weaker sex”. Watch the accompanying video for the track here(KC)

FKA Twigs – ‘sad day’
The master and the muse; FKA Twigs continues to dazzle my eyes and ears with each new release. This track is taken from her second album, Magdalene, a record which blends vulnerability and raw power in equal measure. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how much I love the music this woman makes. (KC)

Pumarosa – ‘Lose Control’
I interviewed Pumarosa’s front woman Isabel Munoz-Newsome last year for The Line Of Best Fit (read here), and she said this was her favourite track from their latest album Devastation. She spoke candidly about how she wanted to change the narrative around “love” or “breakup” songs, and her words have stayed with me ever since. This track is a slow-burning banger. (KC)

Arlo Parks – ‘Cola’
Watching Poet, rapper, singer & producer Arlo Parks grow over the last couple of years, receiving the absolutely deserve notoriety and success that an artist of her calibre should has been our pleasure. ‘Cola’ her debut single has kept a solid place on many of my playlists, a tender, confessional and mesmerising track. If you haven’t heard of Arlo Parks yet, go check her out now. You can thank me later. (TW)

Sleater Kinney – ‘Modern Girl’
Having been left completely speechless by seeing total heroes Sleater Kinney live last week, I couldn’t not include a track by this group of inspirational women. Seeing Carrie Brownstein perform this song, with all her infectious charisma and musical magnificence, was a definite highlight. And the lyrics “anger makes me a modern girl” seem particularly poignant this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Amahla – ‘Old Soul’
Hackney-Native Amahla blew us away with this song ‘Old Soul’ at the beginning of 2019 and has just kept getting better. An artist who uses their platform for greater good talking about women’s issues, race and current political climates, has an unquestionable place on our IWD2020 playlist. (TW)

Antony and the Johnsons – ‘My Lady Story’
“My womb’s an ocean full of grief and rage.” I can’t listen to that lyric without my heart breaking a little. A strong advocate for trans rights, feminism and climate action, Anohni (formally of Antony and the Johnsons), is a necessary and powerful voice this International Women’s Day. On identifying as transgender, Anohni once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man… It’s a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it’s one of nature’s best ideas. What an incredible impulse, that compels a five-year-old child to tell its parents it isn’t what they think it is. Given just a tiny bit of oxygen, those children can flourish and be such a gift. They give other people licence to explore themselves more deeply, allowing the colours in their own psyche to flourish.” (ML)

Dolly Parton – ‘Here You Come Again’
With the recent release of the Dolly Parton podcast and BBC documentary, I’ll take any chance I can to lap up any more content from this one. Dolly, what a woman. I don’t think I need to say anything more. (TW)

Merry Clayton – ‘Love or Let Me Be Lonely’
I recently watched 20 Feet From Stardom and to my shame learned so much about this amazing woman’s history that I did not know. A long established American soul and gospel singer, she provided backing vocal tracks to so many notable performing artists, the most famous being the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’. Take her voice out of that and what are you left with? Here’s a shout out to the often forgotten or overlooked backing singers from some of the best hits out there. An established and amazing recording artist in her own right, it’s never too late to get into Merry Clayton. What a voice. (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
A Get In Her Ears playlist would not be complete without Jackie Shane, I think this track ‘Any Other Way’ has featured on so many of our playlists and radio shows, but for good reason. Kate introduced me to this artist a couple of years ago and I was sold on first listen. Jackie Shane lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated to those who identified as trans. A pioneer for trans rights in the 60s, who very much lives on in our memories today. (TW)

Girl Ray – ‘Friend Like That’
GIHE faves Girl Ray have recently released their uplifting second album, Girl, and I cannot get enough. Taken from the album, ‘Friend Like That’ is an ode to friendship flowing with the trio’s colourful energy and funk-filled, pop-inspired hooks. Of the track, the band explain: “This is a friendship anthem. In music, friend love is often overshadowed by romantic love and IT’S JUST WRONG. This one goes out to the mates of the world.” Basically a perfect, shimmering anthem to celebrate all your fantastic female peers this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Shari Vari – ‘New York City’
Since hearing their debut album, Now in 2019, I still cannot get enough of the Hamburg based alt-electro/punk/producers Shari Vari. Now out via Malka Tuti, it’s packed full to the brim of brutalist delights. From ‘Dance Alone’, which takes me back to those dark, freezing, sweaty warehouse raves to this track ‘New York City’ with warped vocals, heavy reverb and cinematic crescendos. One of my albums of 2019, I consider myself still completely hooked. (TW)

Mentrix – ‘Nature’
Born in Iran but now based in Berlin, Mentrix (aka Samar Rad) blends her experiences of eastern and western culture, along with traditional Sufi instrumentation to create her beguiling, bold soundscapes. Her extensive travels and multiple influences – from Latin and French Literature, to The Qu’ran and traditional Persian poetry – give her music a diverse and fascinating edge. I can’t wait to hear her album My Enemy, My Love, which is set for release via her own (female-led) record label, House of Strength, on 3rd April. (KC)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Anti-body’
“I’m credibly unknown, and incredibly ok with that” wrote Elizabeth Bernholz – aka Gazelle Twin – in response to a fan who suggested she should be added to the Reading Festival lineup to fill the obvious void of female bands/artists on the bill. Bernholz’s pioneering sound and vision is best experienced elsewhere though, as her avant-garde, haunting electronic soundscapes demand your full attention. This track is lifted from her second album Unflesh, and although Bernholz has said she will never return to this material (having crafted her spectacular third album, Pastoral), I always come back to it when I’m feeling restless. (KC)