GIHE: Personal Highlights Of 2020

2020 has been a year unlike any other and we’ll be glad to see the back of it, but before we wave goodbye, the GIHE team would like to share some of their personal highlights. Thanks to everyone who has been following, reading or listening to GIHE this year. It really does mean the world to us and we couldn’t do this without you.

Shared Highlights

Seeing the GIHE name appear in a PHYSICAL BOOK was a landmark moment for the team this year. Music journalist Lucy O’Brien mentioned us in her 25th anniversary edition of She Bop, a fantastic book that explores the role of female artists and how they’ve helped to shape the music industry. You can buy your copy here.

Fellow GIHE Co-Founder Tash Walker was super busy recording & producing series 2 of The Log Books throughout 2020, a podcast which explores the history of the LGBTQ community via the phone archives of LGBT+ charity Switchboard. Tash is a co-chair at Switchboard and she is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community through her work with them, and through her work with GIHE. She is one of the most resilient, informed and hilarious people we know and it’s a privilege to work alongside her and call her a friend. The Log Books are a truly necessary listen for all.

Now for some personal highlights…

Kate Crudgington (Features Editor)

GIHE usually takes up a big part of my life, but it was a lifeline for me during March of this year when the government text me (lol) telling me to shield for 12 weeks. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to talk to the people who were making the music that was distracting me from the panic-inducing headlines, reminding me what a huge privilege it is to have access to this amazing platform.

As our followers already know, Lockdown 1.0 instantly put a stop to our weekly GIHE new music shows on Hoxton Radio. We had 16 weeks off air, so when it was “safe” for me to go back in to the studio in July I was buzzing with excitement (which you can hear in my voice if you listen back to the show here.)

Like most platforms during the pandemic, we embraced technology and started interviewing artists over Zoom instead of inviting them in to the studio for the usual chat and live session. We managed to get time with Jessica Winter, BISHI, Lucy O’Brien, Tessa from Girlhood, Julia-Sophie, Lizzie from Bitch Falcon, Grave Goods, Problem Patterns, ZAND, Hannah from PELA, Seraphina-Simone & Penelope Trappes. It was so lovely to see Tash in person in the studio most weeks, and while we both missed seeing Mari a great deal, her weekly track contributions to the show still made it feel like a GIHE team effort.

At the beginning of the year, I was invited by Niall Jackson, one of the hosts of Riverside Radio’s The Irish Jam, to be a contributor to their New Music Sunday section. Co-hosted by Kealan, Mel and Rob, The Irish Jam is a London based radio show that celebrates and promotes music from Irish artists. The crossover of favourite bands between GIHE & the Jam is huge and something I’ve enjoyed chatting to the team about both on and off air. They’ve introduced me to the likes of CMAT, fears, Denise Chaila, Silverbacks and Celaviedmai, whilst I’ve shared tracks by Kynsy, Party Fears and CAMI with them. Listening to their show on a Sunday evening continues to be a wonderful distraction from life.

Who could’ve predicted that bandcamp would become the musical hero of 2020? When the streaming platform announced that on the first Friday of every month they’d be waiving their fees so that 100% of profits would be going directly to artists, my newsfeeds were awash with new music recommendations. Moving home to Essex from London in March meant I actually had some expendable income to buy new records, so I was furiously typing bespoke recommendation threads on Twitter every time the date rolled around. bandcamps’ generosity meant you were able to genuinely support your friends (and the artists you secretly wish you were friends with) during a truly depressing year for music.

Normally, we’d be picking our live music highlights too, but for obvious reasons, we’ve hardly been to any gigs this year. Mari had to cancel half of the gigs GIHE she had booked pre-pandemic and it’s fucking depressing to not know when it will be (properly) safe for her to book more. That’s why I feel incredibly fortunate to have wedged in one last GIHE gig before Lockdown 1.0. GIHE worked together with Sofar Sounds to put together a special International Women’s Day gig at their Hackney HQ in March, with Beckie Margaret, Amahla and Indian Queens on the bill. It was so exciting (and nerve-racking) to host the evening with fellow GIHE pal Tash too. Even if I’d had a year full of gigs, this one still would’ve made my highlights list.

One last gloat – I published some of my all-time favourite features on our website this year. My Zoom interviews with the wonderful A.A Williams, the hilarious CMAT and the ultra talented Lido Pimienta are well worth a read.

Mari Lane (Managing Editor)

It goes without saying, most of the highlights I’d normally mention at this time of year were not able to go ahead in the void of 2020. They would normally consist of the monthly gigs that I host at The Finsbury, whereas this year I was only able to put on two before Covid hit. And, in addition to having to cancel at least seven of our regular gigs, we were pretty heartbroken to cancel what would have been our very first festival, due to take place in July. However, I did manage to fit in a couple of memorable live experiences before being confined to being permanently pyjama clad; my only weekly highlight being our regular beer delivery from Croydon’s Art & Craft bar.

The first gig I hosted this year felt particularly special. Personal Best headlined a night filled with all the best vibes. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicated their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined in with “I wanna kiss you in the street / where everyone can see / ’cause this is what we look like,” the poignancy of the lyrics was overwhelming and an empowering sense of unity took hold. The night also included the shimmering folk-strewn offerings of Athabaska, the quirky energy and sparkling charisma of Nun Habit and the sun-drenched swirling anthems of Hurtling. There is nothing quite like that joyous sense of togetherness that comes from hosting gigs filled with like-minded wonderful people.

I was also lucky enough to fit in seeing one of my all time favourite bands with a few of my all time favourite people. The last time that Tash, Kate, Paul and I were all together pre-Covid was for Sleater Kinney at Brixton Academy – a pretty special night. Not only did I get to see the legendary Carrie Brownstein deliver her distinctive gritty, scuzz-filled riffs alongside Corin Tucker’s unmistakable swooning vocals in the flesh, conjuring up massive feelings of awe and nostalgia, but they were supported by one of our favourite current bands. The second time we’d seen Big Joanie on the Brixton Academy stage (the first being opening for Bikini Kill last year!), they showcased just how deserving they are of their rising success; with their unique, raw, post-punk soundscapes and poignant lyricism, they delivered an absolutely incredible set. A truly memorable night.

My last ‘outing’ before lockdown was to the BBC 6Music festival for International Women’s Day at The Roundhouse. An epic line-up consisting of some incredible women and non-binary folk that I’m incredibly grateful I got to witness before everything fell apart. In addition to the immense poignant power of Jehnny Beth, the utterly beguiling splendour of Nadine Shah (who I fell in love with there and then), and the completely mind-blowing presence of hero Kim Gordon, Kae Tempest delivered a fiercely moving, truly breath-taking headline set.

And then gigs were gone. To be replaced by online streamed “events” which I think have had mixed reviews over the last few months – they’re of course no replacement for the “real thing” and it’s hard to feel motivated to “attend” things when you’ve been on the sofa in your pjs for weeks. However, I have managed to organise a few GIHE Instagram ‘Takeovers’, featuring some of our favourite bands and artists. From ARXX’s drum and guitar lessons, LibraLibra’s quirky tele-sales style feature and Tiger Mimic’s interviews with others on the scene, to inspiring chats with Amaroun, Eckoes, Foundlings and Husk, beaut “live” sessions from Gold Baby, Scrounge and KIN, and King Hannah’s EP run through, I feel grateful that so many creatives have wanted to be involved.

It’s a strange time, no doubt, but one which is made that much better by a sense of togetherness within the community. One positive from all this really has been the mutual support and genuine care that I’ve seen musicians and those within the industry show for each other.

John McGovern (Contributor)

On the one hand, there’s been almost no gigs, no festivals, much fewer physical releases and closed record shops. On the other, BBC 6Music’s response helped me stay indoors and make the most of my furlough life. Lauren Laverne‘s show was extended to cover the late morning, running to nearly double the length of most of the other shows on the station and basically saw her appointed as chief mood-lifter for the BBC’s flagship alternative music station. Amongst the days of uncertainty, where even leaving the house offered the risk of serious illness, with no guarantee of a job at the end of the summer, having Lauren there to soundtrack breakfast/brunch made a world of difference. It produced a kind of odd stasis: the background radiation of a pandemic, but an excellent range of music, usually featuring a smattering of classics, new music and obscure gems. The only disappointment was when the schedule reverted back to usual come the end of lockdown. Hopefully, that same semblance of normality will be back for us all, soon.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read our highlights!

You can read about our GIHE Albums of 2020 here and our GIHE Tracks Of 2020 here.

Keep an eye out for our Ones To Watch in 2021 feature next week!

PLAYLIST: October 2019

Our ears have been flooded with new music over the last few weeks, and our October playlist is an eclectic reflection of the artists who have been giving us goosebumps. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the bottom of the page…

 

ILL – ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’
We’re all in agreement at GIHE that ILL’s new track is a GRADE. A. BANGER! These grrrls blend the best bits of punk, noise, and electronics to create cathartic anthems about standing up for yourself and not letting the bastards grind you down. ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’ is a “glittered middle finger” to anyone who’s tried to manipulate you, or to anyone who made you question your self worth. (Kate Crudgington)

Peggy Sue – ‘Motorcade’
Taken from their upcoming album Vices (set for release February 2020), Peggy Sue’s new single ‘Motorcade’ flows with the pair’s distinctive rich vocals as it interweaves lilting ’60s inspired melodies and a ’90s garage scuzz. Inspired by feelings of being honest with yourself when ending a relationship, luscious harmonies float along a bright, uplifting soundscape, building with a shimmering energy to create a magnificently more-ish offering. (Mari Lane)

Grizzly Coast – ‘High Functioning’
A GIHE Team favourite, ‘High Functioning’ by Grizzly Coast is a track that has got firmly into my head. It’s all about holding your life together in every place, but your own head. Of the track, Grizzly Coast explains: “I was going through a difficult time with my OCD choosing to power forward and work towards my goals”, she found the purpose and drive to stay confident through it all. And we are very thankful for that, ‘High Functioning’ is a total tune, keep up the great work Grizzly Coast, we’re behind you 100%! (Tash Walker)

Poolblood – ‘Dreamer’
Recently signed to Shamir’s label (Accidental Popstar Records), newcomer Poolblood describes their sound as one that evokes feelings of “crying, dancing, teen movies and nostalgia”. If that’s not enough to make you listen to ‘Dreamer’, I don’t know what is. (KC)

Superglu – ‘Forever Endeavour’
After a two year hiatus, long time faves Superglu are back with this new single. Oozing the band’s trademark buoyant energy, ‘Forever Endeavour’ is filled with a gentle sentimentality that we may not have heard in previous releases, creating an instantly uplifting and immensely infectious indie-pop anthem. (ML)

Rosa Bordallo – ‘Citadel’
‘Citadel’ by Chamoru-American indie artist Rosa Bordallo is all about Capitalist vultures in the concrete jungle, showcasing her riot grrrl influences. It’s a “balls-to-the-wall angry eff-you to the 1 percenters who suck us dry, written out of frustration with the myth of New York (“if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”) that attracts bright and ambitious folk who may not realize what they’re getting into until it’s too late”. ‘Citadel’ is the second single from her recent solo debut album Reef Walker. (TW)

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something – ‘Keytar (I Was Busy)’
Inspired by a frayed childhood and fractured memories, ‘Keytar (I Was Busy)’ oozes the distinctive soaring majesty of Jemma’s vocals and swirling, twinkling hooks, creating a colourful slice of psychedelia, filled with raw emotion and an energised electro twist.’Keytar (I Was Busy)’ is taken from JFATC’s new album Oh Really, What’s That Then?, out now via Trapped Animal Records and Cargo Records. (ML)

Kim Gordon – ‘Murdered Out’
Music icon Kim Gordon released her first solo album this month, No Home Record, and it’s a raw, gritty, artistic affair. Her inimitable voice and talent for experimentation shine through on this record, and ‘Murdered Out’ is my favourite track. I was lucky enough to pick up a signed copy from her in person at Rough Trade East (I tried very hard not to nerd out, but I 100% did) (KC)

Shari Vari – New York City
I cannot get enough of the Hamburg based alt-electro/punk/producersShari Vari. Their debut album, Now, out via Malka Tuti is 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 reverbs and cinematic crescendos. What can I say, I’m hooked. (TW)

The Leaf Library – ‘Hissing Waves’
‘Hissing Waves’ is the latest single from The Leaf Library, taken from their new album which is set for release on 25th October via Where It’s At Is Where You Are. This, their first single from the album is in their words “the most pop the band have ever sounded”, skipping inside-esque electronics, and looping verses; I’m enjoying the feeling of elasticity in its sound. (TW)

Hinako Omori – ‘Auraelia’
Influenced by the pain and blurred vision she experienced from multiple migraines, London-based Japanese artist Hinako Omorio has transformed her ailments in to intriguing electronic tunes. ‘Auraelia’ is the title track from her debut EP, which is set for release on 22nd November via Injazero Records. (KC)

POLIÇA – ‘Driving’
POLIÇA are set to release their new album When We Stay Alive in January 2020, and ‘Driving’ is the first track to be lifted from it. Vocalist/synth player Channy Leaneagh explains the context of the new single far more eloquently than I can: “Laying in bed, as I healed from a 10 foot fall of carelessness with my life, I would dream of running in green grass and tears would pour from my eyes – Running in the tall tear grass; imagine wanting life and the want remains – That is a feeling to hold onto; that life is worth living even when all the towers are crumbling and this goes beyond my own little accident but the world around me. Following the crone into the sinking ship and having the chance to return without a shadow. Drive on, Drive on. A second chance you won’t forget”. (KC)

Baby Taylah – ‘Reclaim’
My choices for the October Playlist would not be complete without a heavy helping of pop electronica, which you know I love oh so much. This time it comes from Scottish Baby Taylah, with her debut single ‘Reclaim’. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s a banger! There’s only one way this track should be played, and that’s LOUD. (TW)

Audrey – ‘Paper’
New Jersey based singer-songwriter Audrey has dropped ‘Paper’ her latest single, which is nothing short of a soulful, trap-tinged record, hitting hard with 808s and heavy bass. The accompanying video is equally as cool, with nods to her Korean heritage. (TW)

Bang Bang Romeo (feat Example)- ‘Love Yourself’
An empowering ode to self love, this new single from northern powerhouse Bang Bang Romeo showcases the immense soulful power of front woman Stars’ vocals perfectly. Having completely blown my mind at Cro Cro Land earlier this year, I was thrilled to catch them live again at Omeara. (ML)

Foundlings – ‘I Love You All’
A cover of the original, taken from the 2014 Lenny Abrahamson film Frank, Foundlings’ new single ‘I Love You All’ flows with jangly hooks and luscious vocals, creating an uplifting slice of fuzz-filled indie pop, showcasing all there is to love about them. (ML)

Moor Mother – ‘The Myth Hold Weight’
Philadelphia-based artist, poet, and musician Camae Ayewa – aka Moor Mother – has shared this track from her upcoming album Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes, which is set for release via Don Giovanni Records on 8th November. Described as a “dystopian freestyle poem touching on past, present, and future trauma”, the calmness in her voice as she speaks her heavy truths is remarkable. (KC)

Kate Tempest – ‘People’s Faces’
The new album from Kate Tempest, as with all her albums, is a heart-wrenchingly poignant and mind blowingly powerful collection about the state of the world today. ‘People’s Faces’ is just completely spot on and showcases Tempest’s unique poetic skill at creating relevant and hugely emotive social narratives. As she laments “My country’s coming apart/ The whole thing’s becoming such a bumbling farce…”, she offers a glimmer of hope: “There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces”. Heartbreaking perfection. (ML)

Track Of The Day: Foundlings – ‘I Love You All’

Having charmed our ears both with their live set at The Finsbury and previous single ‘Caught Up On You’, Brighton band Foundlings are back with a brand new offering.

A cover of the original, taken from the 2014 Lenny Abrahamson film Frank, ‘I Love You All’ . flows with jangly hooks and luscious vocals, oozing Foundlings’ trademark scuzzy, sunny energy. An uplifting slice of of fuzz-filled indie pop, building with the whirr of impressive riffs, showcasing all there is to love about Foundlings. Of the track, the band explain:

We’re big fans of the film, and of Frank Sidebottom, who the film’s partly inspired by, so we wanted to pay homage and give it the Foundlings treatment.”

Watch the quirky, DIY, Frank-inspired video for ‘I Love You All’ here:

‘I Love You All’  is out 18th October via Last Night From Glasgow. 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Foundlings – ‘Caught Up On You’

Following acclaim for their previous singles from the likes of BBC Introducing’s Tom Robinson and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, and having charmed us with their twinkling live set at The Finsbury, Brighton/London band Foundlings have now shared another new track taken from their debut EP.

Oozing all the dreamy vibes you could ever desire, ‘Caught Up On You’ is a truly uplifting slice of heartfelt indie-pop. With shades of the likes of Best Coast or Real Estate, gentle whirring melodies accompany Amber’s luscious, honey-sweet vocals, making it impossible to resist Foundlings’ sparkling, sunny charm. And, apparently, it’s the band’s first song featuring a full-blown guitar solo… What’s not to love?!

 

Foundlings’ eponymous debut EP is out now via Last Night From Glasgow. Stream on Spotify now. And catch them live supporting faves Suggested Friends at The Cavendish Arms on 27th June.

Mari Lane
@marimindles