PLAYLIST: St. Patrick’s Day 2020

We began drafting this St. Patrick’s Day Playlist before we were fully aware of the extent of the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland, and before the Irish government called for the mass closure of pubs and clubs, thus removing any chance to publicly celebrate on the 17th. We debated whether it was appropriate to mention St. Patrick’s Day at all – especially after the numerous gig & parade cancellations both in Ireland and here in London – but seeing the resilience of our Irish friends and musicians on social media motivated us in to completing it.

We all need a distraction during these uncertain times, so dive in to our St. Patrick’s Day playlist! You’re going to find a new favourite artist among our choices. We’ve included links to each artist’s social media, Spotify and/or Bandcamp accounts, and we urge you to stream or purchase their music if you have the funds to do so. Make sure you scroll all the way down for the playlist, and for a note about our allies at the end too…

Æ MAK – ‘Dancing Bug’ (Spotify)
A solid fan of Æ MAK otherwise known as Aoife McCann, I’ve followed her since the beginning of 2019, fresh off her recent support of both tUnE-yArDs and Warpaint. ‘Dancing Bug’ is her latest offering which speaks to her chaotic electronic beats and primitive vocal rhythms. (Tash Walker)

Cosha – ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ (Spotify)
A previous favourite of mine known as Bonzai, who released an old favourite of mine Where Are U Now, came back in 2018 under the name Cosha, teaming up with producer Rostam for this single. I’ve been keeping my ears and eyes peeled for their new music ever since. (TW)

New Pagans – ‘Admire’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Filled with urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history, and gender; New Pagans‘ debut EP Glacial Erratic is a powerful blend of alternative sounds. The Belfast band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge, and indie rock and transform them in to abrasive, yet melodic noise. ‘Admire’ is my favourite track from the EP. (Kate Crudgington)

HAVVK – ’52’ (Spotify)
HAVVK have been long term favourites here at GIHE; a band who continually combine activism with their unique musical prowess, their exquisite, spine-tingling splendour resonates now more than ever. Although written about the extreme political dynamics in the run up to the Brexit vote in 2017, their track ‘52’ remains a poignant soundscape with all that’s happening in the world right now. Oozing a stark, stirring emotion, alongside the soaring, celestial splendour and gritty raw emotion of front woman Julie’s vocals, it’s filled with a glistening musicality juxtaposed with a frenzied, angst-driven climax. (Mari Lane)

The Cranberries – ‘Ode To My Family’
I couldn’t really not include The Cranberries on an Irish playlist. With the heartbreaking crystalline vocals of the late Dolores O’Riordan alongside a delicate twinkling musicality, each of their offerings sends shivers down my spine every time. I’ve chosen this particular track as, during these extremely troubling and anxiety-inducing times, I’d like to give an ode to MY family, and all loved ones – we need each other now more than ever, even if for some us it means not being able to physically see one another right now. Solidarity and good vibes to you all; we can get through this together. (ML)

REWS – ‘Monsters’ (Spotify)
I never fail to be impressed by the power of Shauna Tohill’s vocals, and they’re out in force again on this new REWS track. ‘Monsters’ is an aural challenge to self-doubt, and a bit of fiery pop-rock encouragement to persevere in the face of anxiety. (KC)

Vulpynes – ‘2 Cents’ (Spotify)
Propelled by the gritty, impassioned vocals of guitarist Molly, ‘2 Cents’ rages with a seething energy and sublime raw power as scuzzy punk-fuelled riffs are blasted out alongside intense pummelling beats. Reminiscent of the riotous force of the likes of L7 or The Distillers, it’s a storming, empowering offering from my favourite Irish duo. We’re sad that we’re no longer able to host Vulpynes at The Finsbury on 3rd April, but we do hope to reschedule the gig for as soon as possible! (ML)

Bitch Falcon – ‘Prime Number’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Mari booked Dubliners Bitch Falcon the penultimate act for one of our GIHE gigs at The Finsbury a few years ago, and I was totally blown away by their live set. Such a raw, powerful sound. ‘Prime Number’ is a personal favourite, but I’d recommend listening to their latest single ‘Damp Breath’ too. (KC)

Party Fears – ‘Money’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Party Fears are based in Berlin, but Maggie Devlin is originally from Northern Ireland. The band have been consistent favourites at GIHE since Mari first gave them a spin on our Hoxton Radio show, and this track ‘Money’ is one of my favourites. Keep your eyes peeled for their new single ‘All Is Good’, set for release on 27th March. (KC)

PowPig – ‘Pretty Woman’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
PowPig are Irish DIY at its best, I was totally blown away when I found out that they were still at school. ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Mayday’ are their most recent releases jam packed with indie harmonies and grizzly guitars. Loving it. Here’s to hearing more from them in the future. (TW)

Hilary Woods – ‘Orange Tree’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Dublin-based Hilary Woods creates abrasive, primal, charged soundscapes that blur industrial and orchestral elements. She uses sound and image to navigate emotional territories, and I feel intensely comforted when I listen to her music (I also cry to it sometimes, but that’s okay too). “My body knows I can’t make it out” sings Hilary Woods on ‘Orange Tree’, tentatively trying to make peace with her physicality and her surroundings. This need to face her inner fears underscores her latest record, Birthmarks, which is an unsettling, but genuinely liberating listen. (KC)

Fears – ‘Blood’ (Spotify)
Fears is the moniker of London-based, Irish musician Constance Keane. I first heard her music while listening to The Irish Jam, and I’ve tried to keep tabs on her ever since. I love her dark, minimal electronic sounds. Definitely a bit of me. (KC)

SOAK – ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ (Spotify)
I came across SOAK last year when she released her sophmore album Grim Town, which is most definitely worth a listen. This however is SOAK’s cover of The National’s ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, tender and gentle and a pleasingly fresh rendition. (TW)

Aoife Nessa Frances – ‘Here In The Dark’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
‘Here in the Dark’ is taken from the very enjoyable debut Land of No Junction by Aoife Nessa Frances. Her voice evokes so much emotion, you’ll soon find yourself falling into the songs reflective melodic musings. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘july’ (Spotify)
Alt-folk artist Maria Kelly’s ‘july’ looks inward, exploring the idea that we are ultimately in control of how we feel, and must take responsibility for what we choose to dwell on. Another truly beautiful offering from the Irish songwriter, it flows with her silky smooth, emotion strewn vocals and a stirring, bewitching musicality. Oozing a heartbreaking sense of vulnerability, it sparkles with a mystical grandeur, creating something truly mesmerising. (ML)

Rosie Carney – ‘Bud (Rose)’ (Spotify)
This is the last track to close Rosie Carney’s album Bare. ‘Bud (Rose)’ is a beautiful instrumental which mixes birdsong with piano. The piano is one of my favourite instruments to hear on record especially when it is played with such tenderness, as it is here. (TW)

B*witched – ‘C’est La Vie’
One of the first cassette singles I bought, when I was about twelve, I just wanted to include this one from the Irish girl group to put a smile on our faces – so, turn up it up, sing along and try to forget about everything for three sweet minutes! (ML)

 

We’d also like to give a shout out to GIHE allies, and Irish born London-based musicians Niall Jackson and Matthew Sutton. Niall co-hosts The Irish Jam (along with Mel, Kealan & Rob) on Riverside Radio, which celebrates Irish music. Kate often contributes to their ‘New Music Sunday’ section.

Matthew fronts his own outfit called TAYNE, and is currently creating new music with his tattoo machine equipment. They both play together in Sweat Threats too. Both are trying to stay creative in a time of uncertainty, so if you can stream/purchase their music or merch, it would be greatly appreciated. (TAYNE bandcamp here. Niall ‘Swimmers’ Jackson bandcamp here).

PLAYLIST: November 2019

The shift from autumn to winter has been abrupt this year, and if our eclectic track choices are anything to go by; the lack of vitamin D has clearly hit us hard. From moody electronics, to upbeat bedroom bangers, to experimental soundscapes – we’ve got it all on our November playlist. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the end of the page…

 

Catbear – ‘Unrequited Love’
‘Unrequited Love’ is the second single from Catbear, and what a tune! Fully home-recorded, self-produced, and with a heavy helping of synths. In their own words Catbear say: “We make music for the enjoyment of it. We are two good friends that love each other and we love making music together. There is no other agenda. And with that attitude we want to inspire young women and LGBTQ people like us to not only go form a band, but to take control over every aspect of their music. You can be a guitarist, you can be a drummer. You can make beats, you can record and produce your own music. You can be anything.” (Tash Walker)

HAVVK – ‘Operate’
The new single from long term faves HAVVK, ‘Operate’ is about getting caught up in the pressures of everyday life, and how this can effect your health and relationships. Filled with twinkling hooks and front woman Julie’s soaring celestial vocals, it’s a captivating creation filled with stirring emotion. Of the track, Julie explains: “There’s been a massive culture-shift towards measuring our happiness by productivity. Our digital lives mean that there’s always something we can be achieving and we have fewer obvious moments to switch off and connect with ourselves or the humans around us.” ‘Operate’ is out now via Veta Records, and will be followed by  HAVVK’s debut album, Cause & Effect, on 22nd November. (Mari Lane)

Le Butcherettes – ‘Tunisia’
Teri Gender bender opens this song with the lyrics “I’ve been masturbating thinking of no-one at all / and you make think that it is selfish of me / but I am no one at all” and I just want to applaud her for such an unexpected, celebratory few lines. ‘Tunisia’ is so funky, so catchy, and I’m so excited to hear the band’s new EP, Don’t Bleed, in February 2020. (Kate Crudgington)

Sea Change – ‘Scratch That Itch’
Norwegian artist Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde) navigates personal metamorphosis on her new album, Inside, which this track is taken from. Sunde softly sings “I have a white hot anger / I’m slowly setting it free” over mellow synth textures and looping beats that sit in contrast to to emotion she’s expressing. This contradiction in sound and lyricism is what makes Sea Change’s music so compelling, and I’ve had her album on repeat since its release on the 15th. (KC)

Despicable Zee – ‘Counting Cars’
Despicable Zee is an Oxford based musician, composer and performer. I am so very into this track of hers, ‘Counting Cars’. I cannot get enough of the samples and composition – so so good! Despicable Zee aka Zahra is also the director of the Young Women’s Music Project working alongside and guiding young female musicians. Her third EP, Atigheh, is self-produced and independently released, and she will be hitting New Rvier Studios in London on December 8th. I’ll be there, join me. (TW)

ESYA – ‘Blue Orchid’
“I only came here for the meat” broods ESYA (Ayse Hassan of Savages/Kite Base/180db) on her latest track ‘Blue Orchid’, lifted from her new EP Absurdity of ATCG (II) – Emergent Form. Filled with buzzing synth textures, direct vocals and pummeling beats; the song fleshes out the absurdities of our relationships and interactions with each other. We can’t wait for ESYA to headline our next gig at Notting Hill Arts Club on Sat 30th November. Tickets are available on DICE, and you can find all the event info here. (KC)

JFDR – ‘Taking A Part of Me’
I’m highlighting one of my Icelandic loves on this list, JFDR, who is a prolific songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who we’ve supported at GIHE before as a part of her other project Samaris. ‘Taking A Part of Me’ is the first new material to be taken from her forthcoming album set for release in 2020, in conjunction with a gig at St Pancras Old Church on 30th January. Hauntingly perfect. (TW)

Pallas Athene – ‘Through Hell’
One of my favourite songs of the month, ‘Through Hell’ by Pallas Athene, taken from their debut self-titled EP. Exploring themes of man vs machine and the dissolution of self, this is the latest single from the EP which I’m so into – its spaced out vocals and calming chords – keep up the great work! Looking forward to the future of Pallas Athene. (TW)

Memphis LK – ‘Roses’
This track has been buzzing around my head over the last couple of weeks. It comes from Melbourne-based Memphis LK, described as a “spirited bass-pop on a bed of dystopian electro” – in other words ‘Roses’. (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. “I got whoopings for walking like a girl, for using the restroom sitting down like a girl,” says Diamond today. Written whilst Diamond was incarcerated in various men’s correctional facilities between 1999 and 2009, ‘I Am Her’ is a poignant offering oozing an infectious funk-filled groove. With last week being Trans Awareness Week, I wanted to bring everyone’s attention back to this soulful anthem of self-realisation. (ML)

Brix & The Extricated – ‘Wolves’
The latest single from Brix Smith Start (of The Fall) and her awesome band Brix & The Extricated. ‘Wolves’ reflects on pack mentality and the freedom to show your scars. Oozing eerie undertones alongside the impassioned grit of Smith Start’s vocals, it’s filled with searing hooks and a  powerful grunge-tinged energy. Brix & The Extricated’s album, Super Blood Wolf Moon, is out now. (ML)

Captain Handsome – ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’
The debut single from Captain Handsome (aka Lily from faves Fightmilk), ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ is a poignant exploration of every-day anxieties. With a twinkling lo-fi scuzz alongside the sensitivity of Lily’s refreshingly honest and consistently relatable lyricism, it’s a slice of effervescent indie-pop that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways. ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ is out now via Reckless Yes, and is taken from Captain Handsome’s upcoming EP, set for release in early 2020. (ML)

Siv Disa – ‘Moths’
The new single from New York based artist Siv Disa, ‘Moths’ is a poignant reflection on the captivity of love. Propelled by eerie, atmospheric hooks, ‘Moths’ showcases Disa’s soaring raw vocals alongside a spellbinding majesty. ‘Moths’ is out now via Trapped Animal Records. (ML)

Anne Müller – ‘Drifting Circles’
An epic seven minute instrumental from Berlin-based cellist and composer Anne Müller. ‘Drifting Circles’ is lifted from her highly anticipated debut solo album Heliopause, which is set for release on 29th November via Erased Tapes. I love Müller’s blend of frantic yet soothing strings, and feel like they would still captivate me even if the track was double its duration. (KC)

Tears|Ov – ‘All Else Is Bondage (for A.)’
Founded in 2015, Tears|Ov are a queer arts and LGBTQI+ trio. Formed of sound artist/musician Lori E Allen, cellist/mixed media artist Katie Spafford and illustrator/prison psychotherapist Deborah Wale; their sounds are experimental, unusual, and always engaging. Their latest album, A Hopeless Place, was initiated by award-winning photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, who asked them to perform at Tate Modern’s South Tanks for his retrospective back in 2017. A Hopeless Place is out now. (KC)

Katie Gately – ‘Bracer’
Brace yourselves for ten minutes of poignant, eerie electronic sounds from Producer Katie Gately. This single is taken from her second album, Loom, which is set for release on 14th February via Houndstooth. The record is dedicated to Katie’s mother, who passed away in 2018 due to a rare form of cancer. Her shifting stages of grief have informed her sparse, yet seismic soundscapes. Not for the faint-hearted. (KC)

Track Of The Day: HAVVK – ’52’

Having completely mesmerised us on many occasions with their immersive live shows, and captivated our ears with a number of incredible, politically driven offerings, total faves HAVVK are back with a brand new single.

Oozing a stark, stirring emotion, ’52’ is about the extreme political dynamics in the run up to the Brexit vote in 2017. With the soaring, celestial splendour and gritty raw emotion of front woman Julie’s vocals, it’s filled with a glistening musicality juxtaposed with a frenzied, angst-driven climax alongside its all-too-relevant subject matter. Showcasing why we need voices like theirs now more than ever, with their unique euphonic activism and the deeply affecting plea “we’ve got to get over it…”, HAVVK offer a poignant soundscape with necessary meaning.

Of the track, Julie explains:

… we lived in London at the time of the vote and I don’t think any of us will forget the day the result came out. It felt like the campaign was designed to leverage a divide between people. At times, it felt like every spokesperson for or against Brexit was willing to put a short-term win ahead of opening a genuine conversation about people’s safety and futures. It drove a chasm between people which only seems to getting wider, with a rise in racism and hate-crime, and the constant out-pour of hateful language in online media.”

A montage of footage showing Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and protests erupting in violence, watch the affecting new video for ’52’ now:

’52’ is out now via Veta Records, followed by HAVVK’s debut album, Cause & Effect, due for release on 22nd November.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

ALBUM: HAVVK – ‘Cause & Effect’ (Pt.1)

From the moment Cause & Effect begins, until the last riff of latest single ‘Shifting Shape’ ends, HAVVK have your complete attention… And this is only the first chapter! Never wanting to be conventional, HAVVK have chosen to release their debut album in two halves; with the latter set for release on 22nd November. 

Beginning life in London, HAVVK now consists of Julie, Matt and Sam, who – over the years – have developed their own style of feedback-laden, ethereal alt-rock, resulting in two incredible extended plays: the self-titled HAVVK (2016) and She Knows EP (2017).

Alternating between London, Dublin, and Berlin (the latter where Cause & Effect was recorded with producer Rocky O’Reilly), the trio approach Part 1 unrestrained with a take no prisoners/punk rock attitude. Opening with ‘If I Don’t Tell You’ – a biting social commentary on social media discord – you are instantly captivated by the shimmering guitar riffs, pulsating drum beats and brooding basslines, before being transported seamlessly into ‘Birds on a Wire’.

‘Birds on a Wire’ introspectively analyses a destructive relationship through Julie’s raw, honest vocals and an expansive, melancholic sound – “When I’m trying to speak, are you listening? Do you want to hear me scream?” This is followed by ‘Always the Same’, which confronts female objectivity and toxic masculinity, as we hear Julie challenge men who make women feel unsafe as a result of their gender.

On ‘The Factory’, Julie’s vocals soar as the track ascends into a crescendo of meticulous noise, before transitioning into the post-punk x shoegazing of ‘Tunnels’.

Throughout the album, the contrasting narrative of each song is structured into a cohesive whole with each seamless transition. HAVVK have always explored lighter and louder soundscapes through political and social songwriting, and Cause & Effect is the perfect example of their euphonic activism.

HAVVK continue to agitate societal bullshit with their final track, ‘Shifting Shape’. Armed with an abrasive edge, and a quiet/loud dynamic, HAVVK waste no time in getting straight to the point: Fuck constraints, fuck traditional assumptions surrounding gender, and fuck the unwarranted, unnecessary pressure it causes.

HAVVK craft music to make a statement, and with the first six songs from Cause & Effect the band have covered a lot of ground; from inequality to gender-preconceptions. It can be exhausting, but change is happening, so let’s keep this momentum going. Bands like HAVVK are needed now more than ever.

Cause & Effect (Pt.1) is out now via Veta Records.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne