EP: Ghum – ‘The Coldest Fire’

London based quartet GHUM have been organically fusing post-punk with grunge for over three years, resulting in dangerously dark pop that is often as hostile as it is haunting. Their ghostly sound has continued to evolve during this time; from the brooding atmosphere of their  2017 self-titled EP, to the raw emotion of their 2018 double A-Side single: ‘I’m The Storm / Undone’.

After numerous musical endeavours across England, Spain, and Brazil, vocalist Laura Guerrero Lora, bassist Marina MJ, drummer Vicki Butler, and guitarist/vocalist Jojo Khor formed GHUM through a shared love of The Cure and PJ Harvey. Yet, despite their similar interests in alt/gothic rock, each member of the band is a distinctive personality – the band as a whole being self-described as a mix of “passion, anger, logic, precision, timidness, volume and emotion, all at the same time.” Their upcoming EP, The Coldest Fire, is the band sharpening the edge of their knife – an ever evolving, always mysterious, brutally honest sound, that perfectly encapsulates all these elements.

Opening track ‘Saturn’ was the first song to be recorded, and it is immediately apparent that GHUM are not afraid to explore darker territories. The combination of Vicki’s technical drum strikes, Marina’s rhythmic basslines, Jojo’s expansive, borderline psychedelic guitar, and Laura’s mesmerising vocals are reminiscent of early Warpaint. ‘Saturn’ is an atmospheric track with dark pop sensibilities that completely immerses the listener throughout.

‘Get Up’ introduces itself with a bewitching, dark bassline that propels the scuzzy, whirring guitar riffs and rumbling beats that follow to a climax of anger and isolation. Echoing the track’s title, Laura’s determined, ardent voice bellows out the hauntingly anthemic, indignant chorus with such fierce emotion – and a delicate use of Spanish – that you will soon find yourself brooding on the dancefloor. “What I felt is what you feel / Tu me lo hiciste una vez [You did it to me once] / Now I want to see your tears…”

Halfway through The Coldest Fire, and no less hostile than the previous two tracks, ‘1000 Men’ is a textured guitarscape of abrasive, crushing rhythms and piercing bass. The vocals leading the melody move gradually through grunge to an eerie finale that left me with chills down my spine – “A thousand men can’t keep me safe.”

By the closing track, ‘In My Head’, I was left reflecting upon the whole sombre experience of The Coldest Fire; an intense four-track extended play about unpredictable love. The band themselves have described The Coldest Fire as “a re-introduction to GHUM,” and I’m inclined to agree. The EP displays the confidence of a band expanding, but not compromising on their grunge/pop sound or post-punk identity.

 

The Coldest Fire is out on 28th June on Everything Sucks Music. Pre-order via Bandcamp now. And catch GHUM live at the EP launch at The Shacklewell Arms on 13th July. 

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

PLAYLIST: May 2019

Another month, another playlist to share with you all! May has been as fruitful as ever when it comes to new music, so we’re excited to share our top picks with you all. Take some time to scroll through our words and make sure you hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
Our fave feminist punks Dream Nails released their EP Vagina Police last year, with all the profits donated to Abortion Support Network who are an organisation dedicated to supporting women & girl’s reproductive rights in the UK. With the news this month that the US state of Alabama has voted to outlaw abortion entirely – a law that offers no exception for rape or incest victims – it feels more important than ever to shout back. Here are some ways you may be able to help women affected by the new legislation(Kate Crudgington)

Montauk Hotel – ‘White Billboards’
A luscious soundscape with a poignant context; Montauk Hotel released this single via Reckless Records. The Dublin-based band say their new track is a “reflection on the power of advertising in our society and how models and [industry] standards influence our choices, happiness, and feelings of adequacy”. (KC)

Julia Shapiro – ‘A Couple Highs’
“When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything” explains Julia Shapiro about her upcoming debut solo album Perfect Version, which is set for release on June 14th via Hardly Art. Having taken a step back from life as Chastity Belt’s vocalist & guitarist after a difficult year, Shapiro has returned with this second single from her new record and it’s a breezy, soothing drop of aural medicine. (KC)

Trash Kit – ‘Horizon’
Having wowed us at one of our first nights at The Finbsury, Trash Kit have now shared the brand new title track from their upcoming album. Inspired by how people interpret the planet, ‘Horizon’ oozes a shimmering effervescent joy and swirling sparkling energy. Interweaving twinkling hooks, jangly beats and funk-fused bass lines, its cascading sun-filled vibes build to a wonderfully life-affirming climax and rejuvenating euphoric haze.
Horizon, the upcoming new album from Trash Kit, is out 5th July via Upset The Rhythm. (Mari Lane)

Show Boy – ‘Video’
Having built a reputation over the last few years across London for his dazzling, energy-filled live shows, artist and producer Show Boy has now shared a brand new single. Taken from his upcoming Surreal EP, ‘Video’ is propelled by throbbing beats and a whirring danceable energy. An instantly catchy, sparkling alt-pop gem that demands multiple listens. (ML)

Pongo – ‘Chora’
‘Chora’ the latest single from Caroline International signing Pongo (who is an Angolan-Portuguese electronic artist) means “cry” in Portuguese. The track is taken from her debut EP Baia which documents her turbulent experiences when she fled Angola in the country’s violent civil war. Through blending Portuguese lyrics and musical references to the Angolan genre of Kuduro, which assimilates soca and samba alongside western touchstones like techno & dancehall  – it’s an absolute tune! (Tash Walker)

Lizzo (feat. Missy Elliott) – ‘Tempo’
It wouldn’t be a GIHE playlist without the inclusion of total queen, Lizzo. I cannot stop listening (and dancing!) to her critically acclaimed new album, Cuz I Love You, and this track sees a total dream of a collaboration with the utter legend that is Missy Elliott. Another hugely empowering, body positive anthem, with each listen of ‘Tempo’ I just get more and more excited about finally seeing Lizzo live later this month at Kentish Town Forum (maybe Missy will make a guest appearance….)(ML)

Pinky Pinky – ‘Do Me Dirty (Charlie)’
The new single from LA trio Pinky Pinky, ‘Do Me Dirty (Charlie)’ is an infectiously uplifting slice of garage rock. With shades of the likes of Hinds, it oozes sunny hooks and honey-sweet vocals, creating the perfect, sparkling summer-love anthem. Pinky Pinky are over in the UK next week, and I cannot wait to witness their scuzzy energy live at The Sebright Arms on 22nd May. Full info on dates here. (ML)

CLT DRP – ‘Speak To My’
The breathtakingly immense latest single from Brighton’s CLT DRP, ‘Speak To My’ is the ultimate track to put two fingers up to the patriarchy, and a perfect accompaniment to what’s happening in the world today. Blasting out a unique cacophony of intense electro-punk, ‘Speak To My’ addresses rejecting the male gaze and womxm owning their sexuality; a wonderfully riotous anthem highlighting CLT DRP as the future of feminist punk. And we cannot wait for them to headline our next night at The Finsbury on 14th June! (ML)

Ghum – ‘Get Up’
Having wowed us on numerous occasions with their immersive live performances, GIHE faves GHUM have now shared a new track from their upcoming EP. ‘Get Up’ is a hauntingly anthemic offering, perfectly showcasing GHUM’s goth-tinged, sparkling majesty and bewitching charisma. The Coldest Fire, the upcoming EP from GHUM, is out 28th June via Everything Sucks Music. Catch GHUM live at the launch party on 13th July at The Shacklewell Arms. (ML)

Bamboo Smoke – ‘Stretchmarks’
The latest single from South Londoners Bamboo Smoke who played a fantastic set for us at our first ever Notting Hill Arts Club gig. The band describe ‘Stretchmarks’ as their most vulnerable song to date. (TW)

Izzy Bizu – ‘Lights On’
Taken from the newly released EP Glita, this is the latest single from Izzy Bizu “about throwing caution to the wind and going with what you feel rather than what you think.” Free spirits listen up! (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’
It’s my birthday on 25th May and if you’re a Wolf Alice nerd like I am, you’ll notice that’s the date on the poster of the dance competition Ellie Rowsell enters in the music video for this track. 29 years old and I’m still angst-ridden af and ready to dance to this song as soon as I hear the opening riff. HB2ME. (KC)

Track Of The Day: GHUM – ‘Get Up’

Having wowed us on numerous occasions with their immersive live performances, and with support slots for the likes of Dream Wife and Muncie Girls, GIHE faves GHUM are now set to captivate our ears once more with their upcoming new EP, The Coldest Fire.

Taken from the EP, new single ‘Get Up’ flows with deep, dark bass lines, as scuzzed-out whirring hooks are propelled by a gritty energy to accompany Laura’s swirling, steely vocals. Building to a hauntingly anthemic offering, ‘Get Up’ perfectly showcases GHUM’s goth-tinged, sparkling majesty and bewitching charisma, proving this band to be deserving of every success they earn.

Of the upcoming EP, the band explain:

These songs have a power and fire about them but they also feel hostile and mysterious at times, which is a trait you’ll find across all the songs we write… The title also perfectly describes us as a band. We’re very different people, with a mix of personalities (and star signs!) covering three of the four elements; fire, water and air. It’s the combination of that fire with the colder elements of water and air which make GHUM – we’re a mix of passion, anger, logic, precision, timidness, volume and emotion, all at the same time. All the songs on the EP talk about love, but the kind of unpredictable, cold and fiery love that exists through life.

Listen to ‘Get Up’ on Spotify now, or on Bandcamp below:

 

The Coldest Fire, the new EP from GHUM, is out 28th June via Everything Sucks Music.  Catch GHUM live at the launch party on 13th July at The Shacklewell Arms.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Poppy Marriott

 

Track Of The Day: Ghum – ‘I’m The Storm’

After wowing us on numerous occasions with their immersive live performance (most recently at Indietracks Festival), and following last single ‘TV’, GIHE faves Ghum are back with brand new video for bewitching new single ‘I’m The Storm’.

Building the tension with throbbing bass-lines and whirring Cure-reminiscent hooks as the magnetising charisma of Laura Guerrero Lora’s vocals soar, ‘I’m The Storm’ oozes a swirling captivating haze. With their immersive gothic energy, the band’s sparkling haunting sounds float into the ears with a majestic grace, sending shivers down the spine. Once again, Ghum’s sweeping dark-pop proves they’re a band who deserve to be heard.

Of the track, guitarist Jojo Khor explains:

“‘I’m The Storm’ speaks about the difficulties of being in a relationship and not being able to give what your partner wants. It talks about the silent internal suffering you experience before breaking up with someone, the calm before the storm.”

Watch the eerily quirky video for ‘I’m The Storm’ here:

‘I’m The Storm’ / ‘Undone’ double A Side is out now. Check them both out on Bandcamp. And make sure you catch Ghum live (you won’t regret it!) at the following dates:

18th August: The Old Blue Last, London – Single Release Party
11th September: The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
12th September: Autonomous Space, Glasgow
13th September: Delicious Clam, Sheffield
14th September: The Moon, Cardiff
19th September: Aces & Eights, London
12th October: The Moth Club, London – with Night Flowers
10th November: The Moth Club, London – with Projector and Gaygirl

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LIVE: Indietracks Festival, 27/07/18 – 29/07/18 (PART 1)

With our ongoing disappointment at the lack of diversity on the majority of mainstream festival line-ups this year, I was particularly excited to have found out about Indietracks Festival (thanks to a number of bands I know who all highly recommended it) – one that refreshingly, consistently, champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres. And, I wasn’t to be disappointed; the weekend – set in the idyllic Midland Railway Centre near Ripley in Derbyshire – exceeded all expectations.

After one of the hottest, and longest, drives of our lives, we finally arrived. Hurriedly setting up our tent at the best campsite we’ve ever been to (Golden Valley Camping and Caravan Park), I was relieved to make it to the site just in time to catch first band of the weekend, the ever lovely Worst Place. Having previously charmed us at one of our events at The Finsbury (a little bit of theme throughout the weekend…), they soon spread their contagious, effervescent joy with their truly dreamy, sparkling brand of infectious indie pop, with shades of the sunny energy of Best Coast or Alvvays. And, with their youthful charisma and witty rapport with the crowd (“Don’t swear in front of the kids… Actually, it’s ok, they’re cool festival kids!”), they’re simply impossible not to love.

Following a tasty – and reasonably priced – pint of local beer, next up are another band who never fail to make me smile: Sacred Paws. Treating us to one delectable, danceable delight after another, front woman Rachel Aggs bounces across the stage with a whirring energy as their vibrant melodies flow seamlessly alongside lush harmonies and thrilling, racing beats. As the whole front field fills with smiling faces and buoyant bodies, I’m left grinning cheek to cheek at the utterly uplifting experience of seeing one of my favourite bands live on a sun-filled evening, surrounded by like-minded people and good vibes a plenty.

One of the few bands of the weekend that I haven’t seen live before, Friday’s headliners The Lovely Eggs blow me away with their immense, raucous offerings. Slightly more cynical, yet no less great, than the evening’s previous acts, vocalist/guitarist Holly Ross fast becomes my new hero. With a refreshing honesty and spot-on wit, her between-song banter (and necking of bottles of water) is matched only by the wonderfully eccentric energy and vibrant riotous delivery of each and every track. Leaving me desperate to make seeing them live a regular occurance, the duo’s insightful and charismatic lo-fi psych sounds are the perfect end to the perfect start of this perfect festival.

After a little boogie to some bangers, thanks to Des Was A David Bowie Fan DJs in the indoor stage (I literally ran inside to the sound of Le Tigre being played), we head back to the tent to prepare ourselves for another day of blissful sounds.

Being one of the first to arrive on site on Saturday, we have some time to spend with the owls and parrots (yes, there are owls and parrots at this festival!), before heading to the indoor stage to check out Belfast-based Strange New Places. With their luscious, folk-tinged punk pop offerings, reflecting on mental health and queerness (and Conor Oberst lyrics), they’re a truly gorgeous way to start a Saturday, and a band I’ll definitely be hoping to hear a lot more of in the future.

Another band who’ve graced our Finsbury stage and wowed me with their immersive live performances numerous times, GIHE faves Ghum kick things off on the outdoor stage with a bit of their unique gothic energy. Simply captivating as always, they treat us to a set of songs old and new, drawing in an attentive and intrigued crowd as their sweeping splendour oozes from the stage. As a wave of pride comes over me, it really is wonderful to see these women take on a festival for the first time and absolutely nail it! As front woman Laura’s magnetising charisma draws you in, and the band’s sweeping atmospheric dark-pop floats into the ears with a majestic grace, Ghum prove they’re a band who deserve to be heard – and have most certainly made some new fans with this stunning performance.

Although I was actually meant to be heading to the church next, we end up back in the indoor stage (it’s where the beer is), and happen upon Happy Accidents – a happy accident, if you will! And I couldn’t be more glad we did. With their instantly uplifting pop-punk offerings and delicious harmonies, they’re a true delight to have accidentally come across. Having waited four years to play the festival, they encourage us to “keep the head-nodding going” throughout, and how could we not? They’re just so buoyantly head-nod inducing with their shimmering creations. And, when asked to boo for the camera for a video they’re making, I find it quite impossible – sorry guys, if there’s someone in the crowd with a big stupid grin on their face, it’s probably me, it’s just the effect you have!

After a short break to enjoy some of the fantastic vegetarian food on offer at the festival, Colour Me Wednesday treat our ears to their luscious honey-sweet harmonies, sunny, twinkling energy and instantly catchy jangly melodies. Priding themselves on their DIY feminist ethos, they succeed in brightening up a drizzly afternoon with their truly enlivening offerings and empowering spirit.

I pull myself away from Colour Me Wednesday to catch some of the dreamy sounds of Nightflowers. Over the last few weeks I’ve been totally addicted to their infectious latest album Wild Notion, and so it’s a delight to be able to sing along to it live. Fronted by the dazzling sparkle of Sophia Pettit, the band deliver a set filled with a vibrant energy and perfect, shimmering indie-pop.
 

Although there’s only a certain number of adjectives to describe just how wonderful all the bands at Indietracks were, I’m going to continuing using them more in part two of my review of the weekend (featuring Dream Wife, Dream Nails, Sink Ya Teeth, Girl Ray and more…) Coming very soon!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Ghum, 09.03.18

Following a host of super amazing bands playing for us over the last year – including LIINES, Witch Fever, The Magnettes, H.Grimace, REWS, Trash Kit and Deux Furieuses – we were back at The Finsbury on Friday night for another jam-packed night of the best new music.

Kicking off the night was our special secret opener, Indian Queens, treating our ears to their totally dreamy sounds.

Next up, London collective Best Praxis draw us in with their immense passion.

Penultimate band of the night, Gravey, blow us all away with their unique seething power and punk-driven energy.

Finally, headliners Ghum end the night by captivating the packed-out venue with the sweeping splendour of their atmospheric dark pop.

HUGE thanks to the four fantastic bands who made Friday night so awesome, and to everyone who made it down to help us celebrate International Women’s Day!  Join us next month on 13th April when GIHE faves Dream Nails will be headlining, along with The Franklys, Madame So and Gold Baby.

 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto