LIVE (Photos): Liverpool Sound City 2018

If you weren’t out on a beach/in a pub garden trying to catch as many rays as possible in the untimely good weather last weekend, you may have been enjoying some of the best new music live at Liverpool Sound City.

Our Jon Mo certainly was, and was able to capture some of our favourites on camera.

The lush, folk-inspired beauty of Irish artist Maria Kelly.

GIHE faves HAWK with their poignant, shimmering creations.

The always wonderful, riotous energy of Queen Zee.

The atmospheric power of Sheffield band Bang Bang Romeo.

The catchy, energy-fuelled rock of GIHE faves Berries.

The jangly indie-pop of Peaness.

Stealing Sheep celebrated the centenary of suffrage with a surreal performance art piece inspired by the movement.

 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

 

Julie Hawk’s Top Ten Female Artists @ Liverpool Sound City

With Liverpool Sound City coming up this weekend, we spoke to Julie from GIHE favourites HAWK about her top ten picks of female bands and artists to catch at the festival.

HAWK will be playing at Liverpool Sound City on Saturday 5th May at Birdies Bar for The Local.

Read about Julie’s picks here (including some of our own faves!), and have a listen to the playlist in preparation for the weekend!

Average Sex – Ugly Strangers
I can’t think of a better time of year to discover this band. Hazy summer slacker vibes
summing up my lowest-common-denominator feelings with sweet guitar refrains and
refreshingly blunt lyrics.

Peaness – Same Place
Super hooky with really satisfying vocal harmonies throughout. I am dancing in the mirror in
the ’90s all over again.

The Orielles – Sugar Tastes Like Salt
I have been wanting to see this band for ages, mostly because Mari from GIHE always has
such good things to say about them! Sugary guitar sounds cut through dissonant hooks and
dripping attitude. Roll on LSC!

Wye Oak – Civilian
Okay, I know Wye Oak has released plenty of stunning music since ‘Civilian’ but this song
gives me such intense nostalgia for my early days in London trying to find some foothold in
music. I love how it constantly rumbles forward from a place of reflection to one of intense
movement and presence.

Maria Kelly – Small Talk
My friend and label-buddy. This woman’s voice has a special place in my soul.

Amaroun – Made a Fire
This is just wonderfully dreamy, infectious alt-pop. But there’s nothing throw-away about it – the depth and tone of her voice takes her music from catchy to deeply resonant.

Super Organism – Everybody Wants to be Famous
When I first heard this song, I decided immediately that it would probably be the soundtrack
to my summer. That was back in January, so we’re nearly there.

Berries – Faults
I saw these guys last summer at Head for the Hills and was totally floored. Since then, their music has been there for me when I need to not give a fuck. Thanks Berries!

Rews – Shine
This band are an absolute power-house and deserve all the attention they’re getting right
now. I’m told they must be seen live to be believed, so they are top of my LSC bucket list!

Gaffatape Sandy – Beehive
Probably my favourite new discovery from the LSC line-up! Energetic garage punk with
interweaving lead vocals. For nights when pre-drinks turns into a perfectly messy house
party.

LISTEN: HAWK – ‘Keeps Me Out’

Having won our hearts over the last couple of years with the politically charged grace of tracks such as ‘Can’t Explain’, ‘Below’ and ‘Sin’, GIHE faves HAWK return to charm our ears with a brand new single.

Oozing the twinkling majesty and subtle power of frontwoman Julie’s celestial vocals, ‘Keeps Me Out’ is filled with whirring hooks and exquisite harmonies, with a shoegaze-inspired haze reminiscent of the likes of Joy Formidable or Cocteau Twins. Exuding a swirling sense of euphoria, it’s another completely spellbinding offering from the band.

Listen to ‘Keeps Me Out’ now:

 

As well as loving her music, we’re also huge fans of Julie Hawk’s wonderful ‘Female Fronted Drawn Together’ project – a project through which she has created a playlist of admirable female bands/musicians and created an illustration to accompany each song.

Catch HAWK live at the following dates:

28th March – Whelan’s – Dublin, Ireland
5th May – Birdies Bar – The Local – Liverpool Sound City

Mari Lane
@marimindles

 

Highlights Of The Year 2017

As we near the end of the year, we wanted to reflect on some of our highlights of 2017; to draw attention to the times when, despite all the shit going on in the world, women in music have inspired us, motivated us, and shown themselves to be positively awesome. So, though we don’t know what 2018 might bring, let’s celebrate these incredible women in all their patriarchy-smashing glory! 

Whilst it’s easy (and natural) to agonise about the harassment and adversity that female musicians face in the industry, it’s even more important to organise and shout back against the injustice of it all: and that’s exactly what Slowcoaches bassist & vocalist Heather Perkins did on ‘Complex’. She wrote the song as a response to the sexual assault allegations against artists in the press at the time. Singing about a male lead singer who “really needs a hand, one’s in the other, and the other’s in his pants”, Heather sounds confident in her assertion that his story “holds no weight”, and the rage and distrust in her lyrics resonated with Mari & I profoundly. (Kate Crudgington)

“Don’t let the bastards get you down, don’t let the arseholes wear you out.”
Wise words from Kesha. A woman who’s provided much inspiration for us this year in her determination in the ongoing legal battle against producer Dr. Luke, amid accusations that he “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally” abused her for years.

After everything she’s been through this year and with the release of her latest album Rainbow – a collection of powerful and motivating anthems – Kesha’s shown herself to be a super strong inspiration of a woman. If songs like ‘Woman’ and ‘Bastards’ don’t make you want to get up, feel empowered and give a whopping middle finger up to the patriarchy, I’m not sure what will.

And, though the battle is far from over for Kesha, let’s give her credit for having the strength to speak out publicly against abusive men, giving us all a bit of inspiration to fight and not let those bastards get us down. (Mari Lane)

Since the release of their single ‘Somebody’ earlier this year, Dream Wife‘s live shows now feel twice as liberating. ‘Somebody’ is an anthem about recovery and reclaiming your body, but the trauma that lurks behind the sexual assault which sparked the song still puts a lump in my throat. Having said that, it was a sheer joy to watch Rakel, Alice & Bella perform the song to their sold out crowd at Scala in October, who echoed back Rakel’s life-affirming lyric “I am not my body, I’m somebody”. If you haven’t seem Dream Wife live yet, I urge you to come to their show at Heaven in 2018. You won’t regret it. (KC)

Having played on the Rising Stage for the last four years, it was a joy to see all-female collective Deep Throat Choir get a turn on the main Mountain Stage at Green Man Festival this year. Since I last saw them two years ago, the group had grown in both size and power. Dressed in matching vibrant oranges and pinks, they succeed in brightening a rather grey last day of the festival, treating us to a mix of covers and originals from their wonderful debut album Be OK. With everyone singing along to personal favourite ‘Baby’ being a pretty emotional highlight, it was a simply euphoric experience watching these wonderful women create such perfect, intense harmonies and sweeping vocal melodies. Epitomising the exceptional power of women coming together to create, Deep Throat Choir unite their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring. (ML)

When Wolf Alice effortlessly performed ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ under the sparkling mirror-ball lights at their Alexandra Palace headline gig in November; I swooned so hard I thought I might drown in my own heart-shaped tears. Their perfectly executed set was laced with tracks from debut record My Love Is Cool (‘Lisbon’, ‘Bros’, You’re A Germ’ & ‘Silk’) as well as a healthy dose of new material from second album Visions Of a Life, (‘Heavenward’, ‘Formidable Cool’ & vicious lead single ‘Yuk Foo’). I’ve seen them live many times before, but I left Ally Pally feeling confident I’d witnessed something special, and I’ll definitely be catching them again in 2018.(KC)

Whilst the #MeToo campaign this year has signalled the start of a change for the better – bringing the issue of violence against women into the public eye, with perpetrators (finally) beginning to see some consequences to their actions – domestic violence against women and children continues to occur every minute of every day. And, with the government continuing to make life-threatening cuts to vital services, charities like Feminist direct action group Sisters Uncut are more necessary now than ever. 

Gaptooth‘s latest single ‘They Cut We Bleed’ celebrates the work of Sisters Uncut; featuring powerful footage from their protests, it rages against the government with a frenzied, impassioned energy and powerful force. With shades of the likes of Le Tigre or MEN, it’s the perfect call to arms that we need now more than ever. Drawing our attention to the issue with the raw honesty of horrific facts and figures (“In the UK on average two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner…”), accompanied by catchy, whirring beats, Gaptooth offers an empowering voice for all we should be saying right now; inspiring us to get up, unite and take action to create the positive change that so urgently needs to happen. (ML)

It feels odd to call this a ‘highlight’, but I want to include it here because I remember reading the statement and thinking “YES! GOOD FOR HER!”. High profile women like Kesha, Alice Glass & Taylor Swift publicly called out the men who had abused or sexually harassed them this year, and it paved the way for female musicians in smaller bands to do the same.

Estrons vocalist Tali Källström used the band’s Facebook page to inform fans that Paul Draper had sent her inappropriate messages prior to their dates supporting his band, and consequently she’d decided to cancel the shows. She wrote: “I have experienced sexism, misogyny and prejudice, but this time, enough is enough. I will not pander because I want success. I was asked to sweep this under the carpet, but I can’t. I want to play alongside musicians that respect me and like me for my music and personality, not because they are sexually interested in me.” Tali is a fierce front-woman who’s not afraid to ask for more, and I hope her words have inspired other women in the industry to speak out against similar types of behaviour. (KC)

We’ve been big fans of Julie Hawk for a while now – writing songs with her band HAWK that draw attention to reproductive rights and the mistreatment of women in her Irish homeland. However, this year – in addition to continuing to create powerfully enchanting music – she started a new creative venture, ‘Female Fronted, Drawn Together’. 

Putting together a playlist of wonderful female artists, new and old, who have inspired her in some way, she created a unique illustration to accompany each song. Including some of our favourites – Bitch Falcon, Dream Nails, Skinny Girl Diet, PINS and The Julie Ruin – it’s provided the perfect, empowering soundtrack to 2017. Julie has now started the next instalment of ‘Female Fronted Drawn Together’, and we urge you to check out all her wonderful illustrations on her Instagram page.(ML) 

Listen to our Get In Her Ears Highlights Of 2017 playlist, including our Tracks Of The Year and songs from our favourite Albums Of The Year.

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles 
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut