LISTEN: In Earnest – ‘Put Me Under’

A tentative, gentle “stock take” of the mind; alt-indie trio In Earnest have shared their latest single, ‘Put Me Under’. The track is inspired by the struggles vocalist Sarah has experienced with her mental health, and acts as an encouraging nod for others to open up about their own issues.

Based in Southend-On-Sea, In Earnest formed in early 2019 after band members Sarah and Thomas left their previous outfit, Carousel. Together with new addition Toby, the trio began to focus on writing poignant tracks based on personal experiences, and recorded in an “organic” setting – captured live without click tracks or autotune. ‘Put Me Under’ is the first example of this, and is lifted from their upcoming EP.

Sarah extrapolates on the context of the new single, which is written from her perspective: “I suffer from chronic anxiety and depression, to the point where I can’t hold down jobs or be left alone for too long. In my loneliness I am awash with negative thoughts. The song is about feeling overcome by an invisible illness, but knowing it’s a lot easier to cope in the company of a dog.”

Sarah’s soft voice and confessional lyrics are paired beautifully with Thomas & Toby’s acoustic and electric guitar parts, allowing the trio to gently explore an intimate, and difficult issue. Listen to ‘Put Me Under’ below, and follow In Earnest on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Naz & Ella – ‘Freedom’

Inspired by the experience of Rahaf Mohammed – a young Saudi Arabian woman who fled an abusive family and oppressive regime with the hope of making it to Australia – Naz & Ella have shared their latest single. ‘Freedom’. Through tentative guitar picking and a clear lyrical narrative, the duo have created an understated, empowering tune.

“Freedom is a luxury” sing Naz & Ella, something that Rahaf Mohammed must know only too well. After fleeing her Saudi home, she was stopped in Thailand and almost deported back (where she would likely be incarcerated), before she was eventually granted asylum in Canada. Naz & Ella use their music to tell Rahaf’s inspirational story, communicating her feelings of desperation and relief along the way.

Listen to ‘Freedom’ below, and follow Naz & Ella on bandcamp and visit their website for more updates.

The duo have also recorded a podcast to accompany the single, which you can listen to here:

Kate Crudgington

PREMIERE: Kate Stapley – ‘Hermit’

“I’ve been pissing like a racehorse,” confesses Bristol-based songwriter Kate Stapley on the opening lyric of her new single ‘Hermit’. It’s a blunt beginning, but her soft voice quickly draws listeners in to her poignant, slightly hungover reflections on allowing yourself to be tender again in a new relationship.

Set for release via Breakfast Records on 6th December, ‘Hermit’ forms part of a Double A-side, with both songs produced by Oliver Baldwin (Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey). These tracks are the first that Stapley has shared since her 2018 EP, Centella, and they flow in her trademark vulnerable, yet optimistic vein.

“‘Hermit’ is a love song, celebrating those moments in a relationship when you finally have the bravery to embrace everything about yourself,” explains Stapley. “When you stop trying to hide the painful, embarrassing bits – realising you never needed to hide them in the first place.” Observations like this make Stapley’s music intimately disarming and effortlessly relatable.

“You suit me so well / You be my hermit / And I’ll be your shell,” she muses during the chorus, over gently plucked acoustic guitars, and soft percussion. The song’s patient rhythm feels reflective of the self-acceptance Stapley has discovered and it’s wonderful to hear her lay bare her insecurities, transforming them in to new found confidence.

Listen to ‘Hermit’ below, and be sure to check out her second track ‘Hours’ tomorrow when they’re both released via Breakfast Records.

Follow Kate Stapley on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Simon Holliday

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Danika Smith – ‘Suit Of Armour’

Smooth vocals, lo-fi percussion and beguiling guitar sounds permeate Melbourne-based artist Danika Smith‘s debut single ‘Suit Of Armour’. Her blend of folk and soul elements captivate the ears, and prove that Danika has an instinctive approach when it comes to songwriting.

Speaking about the track, she explains: “I wrote ‘Suit Of Armour’ when love and fear collided, and left me feeling confused and avoidant. It’s a song that observes the reservations I have, when there is something potentially beautiful in front of me, and I look for the cracks and flaws, as a protective method to avoid pain. It is melancholic that the beauty of love is shadowed by so much skepticism and mistrust, but there is an optimistic message too. I have the power to move through the weight of these experiences, remove the armour, and eventually be more open to connection, in time.”

Danika’s careful removal of her emotional chains is a humble, inspiring act that demonstrates both her vulnerability and her strength as a woman, and as a musician. She’s currently working on her debut LP and gigging around Australia, and we’re keen to hear more of her Lifted from her beautifully crafted sounds.

Listen to ‘Suit Of Armour’ below and follow Danika Smith on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington