PLAYLIST: February 2020

We made it through January everyone! That achievement alone deserves a shiny new playlist. We’ve put together a list of brand new music to help you celebrate. As February is also LGBT History month, we’ve included a few tracks from some of our favourite LGBT artists in the list too. 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.

 

Wilsen – ‘Feeling Fancy’
I cannot get this song from Brooklyn-based trio Wilsen out of my head! It’s a shimmering guitar ode to the softly spoken, celebrating introversion and inherent shyness. It’s taken from their upcoming album Ruiner, which is set for release on 21st February via Dalliance Recordings. (Kate Crudgington)

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
British synth-pop band Bronski Beat released this classic single in 1984. Whilst on the surface, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a catchy anthem that easily fills a dance floor, lyrically it tells the story of a young gay man struggling to come to terms with his sexual identity, and his place in the world. (GIHE)

Piney Gir – ‘Puppy Love’
The latest single from the Kansas-born London-based artist, ‘Puppy Love’ reflects on the bittersweet nature of love; both the simple, overpowering desire of first love, and then the ‘black dog’ – a common metaphor for depression and its all consuming nature. Glistening with twinkling hooks and sweeping harmonies, it’s a poignant and infectious offering. Of the track, Piney explains: Everyone feels the darkness sometimes, so I’m singing about it. It’s a thin line between Puppy Love and The Black Dog; both can be all consuming and agonising and at times euphoric, manic even.We cannot wait to catch Piney Gir headline for us on 14th February, at The Finsbury (event info here). She’ll be playing along with Grawlix, Captain Handsome and I Am Her – and all for free! (Mari Lane)

Cold Beat – ‘Prism’
San Francisco band Cold Beat, fronted by Hannah Lew from Grass Widow, have announced details of their forthcoming album Mother, out 28th February via DFA Records, and this is their first single lifted from it. It’s the sort of music I could plug into my ears whilst staring at the fast moving world outside of a train carriage. The world slowly speeding by. (Tash Walker)

Ghum – ‘California’
The new one from total faves Ghum, ‘California’ oozes an eerie, reverb-strewn atmosphere as the distinctive sultry power of Laura Gue Lo’s vocals flow. A grunge-inspired anthem for our times showcasing the unique beguiling allure of this band who just keep getting better. Of the track, Laura explains: “The song talks about a love story that was condemned to end badly. The hope and love that both had at the beginning is represented by the idea of running away to California”. (ML)

Indian Queens – ‘Bubblewrap’ 
A beguiling lament about the state of the planet, London three-piece Indian Queens have shared their latest single, ‘Bubble Wrap’. The track is lifted from their upcoming debut album God Is A Woman, which is set to be released via Cool Thing Records later this year. (KC)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’ 
‘Perish’ is the latest track from previous guest on our radio show Amaroun, and I completely love it. The beats, the vocals, the stripped back simplicity – sublime. Amaroun talks about the themes she evokes in her music which consistently touch on her journey of being a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality, and the importance of emotional honesty in music. In Amaroun’s words, “this track is an autobiographical reintroduction of myself”. I can’t and don’t want to stop listening. All the latest music from Amaroun will be showcased at the listening party at the CLF cafe Peckham Rye, on 13th Feb. (TW)

ALA.NI – ‘Papa’
I love this latest track from ALA.NI. ‘Papa’ is taken from her recently released self-produced album, ACCA. The whole thing is almost entirely acapella and just beautiful. ALA.NI originally trained as a dancer, but was told that as a person of colour she would never make it as a professional ballerina. Her latest album is a powerful vision of modern womanhood. It’s an unflinching account of pain, anger, sadness, and growth. Check it out now. (TW)

AyOwA – ‘First Frost’
The new single from the Danish duo, ‘First Frost’ is told from the perspective of a couple who have spent their whole life together and are now setting out into the winter to disappear as one. With its swirling synths and the beguiling haunting power of Hannah Schneider’s vocals, it’s a beautiful, shimmering cinematic soundscape. Amoeba, the upcoming debut album from AyOwA, is set for release in September this year. (ML)

JFDR – ‘Shimmer’
This beautiful new track from Icelandic multi-instrumentalist JFDR is about “loving someone who is a bit broken”. It’s lifted from her second album New Dreams, which is set for release on 13th March via White Sun Recording. (KC)

Girl In Red – ‘Kate’s Not Here’
I have no shame admitting I was drawn to Norwegian artist Girl In Red’s new track because a) it has my first name in it, and b) I wear a red coat. It’s lifted from the official film soundtrack for The Turning, directed by Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, Handmaid’s Tale), which is in UK cinemas now. (KC)

Nuala Honan – ‘Slow Down’
‘Slow Down’ is the first single of 2020 for Bristol-based Nuala Honan and it’s a cracker. Driven by post-punk rawness but with delicate vocals and pounding drums when needed most. It’s a taste of what’s to come from her upcoming second LP, which follows a spell of personal recuperation and sonic evolutions. Loving it. (TW)

Otta – ‘Near Enough A Woman’
I can’t get enough of Otta right now. Their new music is just seeping so perfectly into my ears, it’s what I’ve been craving for so long, but I just didn’t realise. This is one of their latest singles taken from the freshly released debut EP, After It All Blew Over, which is sublime. the perfect combination and concoction of electronic, UK jazz, new soul and RnB. (TW)

Clare Kelly – ‘Less Alone’ 
The tone in Clare Kelly’s voice totally blew me away, so rich and full of emotion, it really sings so beautifully on this song ‘Less Alone’. Describing her sound as “alt-folk mermaid music”, Kelly can firmly consider herself having a new firm fan. Really looking forward to hearing more of where this came from. (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
We’ve played Canadian soul-singer Jackie Shane multiple times on the GIHE radio show, and we’re including her again here because of LGBT History month. Jackie was a pioneer for transgender rights in the 60s & 70s, a time when being your true self was not always welcomed, or accepted. (GIHE)

Pom Pom Squad – ‘Cellophane’ (FKA Twigs cover) 
A stirring, grunge-inspired take on one of 2019’s most popular tracks, this is Brooklyn indie-punks’ Pom Pom Squad’s cover of FKA Twigs’ single ‘Cellophane’. The band have treated Twigs’ material graciously, and frontwoman Mia Berrin’s vocals are as poignant as those on the original recording. (KC)

Half Waif – ‘Ordinary Talk’
The new single from Hudson Valley-based Nandi Rose, aka Half Waif, ‘Ordinary Talk’ is a reflection on coming to accept and find the beauty in being like everyone else. A truly spellbinding slice of poignant alt-pop, it’s filled with captivating glitchy hooks and the raw emotion of Rose’s rich soulful vocals, reminding me of later Radiohead, which is no bad thing. The Caretaker, the new album from Half Waif, is out 27th March via ANTI records. (ML)

Hilary Woods – ‘Tongues Of Wild Boar’ 
A shadowy, captivating exploration of intense discomfort; Sacred Bones signee Hilary Woods has shared this track, lifted from her upcoming album Birthmarks, due on 13th March. Though quiet in terms of volume, Woods’ new single is a fleshy, charged offering that allows her the space to navigate “emotionally charged states” at a pace suited to her. (KC)

Planningtorock – ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’
Planningtorock is one of GIHE’s fave artists, and they’re one of our fave LGBT artists too. LGBT History month feels like the perfect time to give them a spin again. This track is all about their sister, Beulah, and her love of house music. (GIHE)

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