GIHE Albums Of 2019

It’s that time of year again when we look back at some of our musical highlights. And what a year for new music it’s been – from empowering guitar-driven anthems and gritty electro beats, to dreamy indie-pop, our ears have been pretty lucky!

Earlier this week, we shared our favourite tracks, and next week we’ll be discussing our top gigs, events and Ones To Watch for 2020, but for now, here are our most loved albums of 2019. Have a read, and a listen to the playlist below! 

Little Simz – Grey Area
Probably my most listened to album of the year, Little Simz’s Grey Area is such a poignant, empowering collection from the London artist. A necessary and stirring listen, with powerful feminist anthems such as ‘Boss’ and ‘Offence’, as well as more reflective tracks such as ‘Therapy’, it’s just been the perfect soundtrack to 2019’s anxieties and injustices. Grey Area makes me feel like there’s hope, like there’s power in being a woman. Listening to it, I’ve been known to strut down the street, headphones in my ears, fists clenched and feel momentarily inspired and indestructible – “I’m a boss in a fucking dress”.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Le Butcherettes – bi/MENTAL
A vivid exploration of maternal relationships and enduring grief, Le Butcherettes‘ fourth album bi/MENTAL is a potent infusion of almighty vocals, hefty guitar riffs, and commanding percussion. Released via Rise Records, bi/MENTAL is an ode to front woman Teri Gender Bender’s mother, and I had the privilege of speaking to her about this, and many other things when I interviewed her earlier this year. ‘give/UP’ is my favourite track on the record, and it gave me goose bumps when I heard it live at Moth Club earlier this year.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Suggested Friends – Turtle Taxi
Any follower of Get In Her Ears will be aware of my love of Suggested Friends; and, having been completely addicted to their eponymous debut release over the last couple of years, and having being utterly charmed by them at numerous gigs in that time, I was extremely pleased to welcome the birth of Turtle Taxi this year. Filled with the band’s totally dreamy harmonies, the album addresses themes ranging from love and trust, to politics and the end of the world, with each track oozing the band’s infectious jangly scuzz. Faith Taylor’s distinctive crystalline vocals are honestly some of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard, and the band’s luscious twinkling melodies and stirring raw emotion never fail to break my heart a little, in the best of ways.
(ML)

Kim Gordon – No Home Record
With her inimitable vocals and uncompromising style, Kim Gordon‘s first solo album, No Home Record, is a multi-textured offering that snarls, bites and sedates in equal measure. Released via Matador Records, it’s an intriguing, heavy, eclectic gem that fascinates me more each time I listen to it. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy from Kim Gordon at Rough Trade too. #FanGirl
(KC)

Bat For Lashes – Lost Girls
As we nauseously hurl towards not just the end of the year but the decade, it’s fitting that Bat for Lashes delivered my record of the year. Lost Girls is nostalgic, brimful of anthemic and anachronistic loneliness of millennial life.
We saw a huge ’80s renaissance in 2019; from films — IT, Wonder Woman — to TV — Stranger Things, American Horror Story, and to me, Lost Girls is the musical response. Whatever it is about the ’80s that takes those of us over 30 back, I don’t know. But it’s ever present. And this record captures that strange sense of longing.
Listening makes me long for a time when technology wasn’t up to par and not all homes had a computer. It makes me yearn to rent video epics like The Lost Boys and Flight of the Navigator and Gremlins. Like I could just drop everything to knock on a friend’s door to see if they want to come outside to play in the hazy sun of an endless summer. Ironically, it makes me think about not thinking. About being free and having hope or no need to search for it. Before anyone fell in love or, if lucky, lost anybody or anything. For 38 minutes, Lost Girls makes me remember what’s gone.
Em Burfitt (Contributor)

ZAMILSKA – Uncovered
A ruthless, beguiling take on the forces that influence and overwhelm us, Polish Producer ZAMILSKA‘s Uncovered is a densely hypnotic record permeated by the artist’s fascination with levitation. The result is thirteen richly textured tracks that seethe with “the anxiety of what we want vs what we get”. ‘Hollow’ is my favourite track, and I’m hoping I get the chance to hear ZAMILSKA’s music live in 2020.
(KC)

Trash KitHorizon
Trash Kit have been faves of mine for a while now; another band to have brought their joyous energy to us at The Finsbury, their 2014 album Confidence was all kinds of wonderful and this year’s Horizon is no different. Filled with an eclectic array of musical influences, including Rachel Aggs’ love of guitar music from Zimbabwe, each track on the album oozes the band’s trademark shimmering effervescent joy and swirling sparkling energy whilst interweaving twinkling hooks, tribal jangly beats and funk-fused bass lines. With its sunny, euphoric vibes, it offers the perfect remedy to all 2019’s despair.
(ML)

Aldous Harding – Designer
Aldous Harding’s third album is the Kiwi goth folk artist’s pop LP. Sure, the videos may be unsettling and uncanny, the songs may have titles like ‘The Barrel’, ‘Heaven is Empty’ and ‘Damn’, but check out the folk lilt of ‘Fixture Picture’ and ‘Zoo Eyes’. Having been following her for quite some time, it felt, initially, a little unnerving to see her move away from the more sombre and abrasive territory of 2017’s self-titled debut Party. But watching her at a sold-out Brudenell Social Club, in front of a rapt audience, made me realise the majesty of these songs and their own soft power. On stage, Harding was her typical idiosyncratic self, and that perhaps is the key to her albums. She does what she wants. Who knows what she’ll do next?
John McGovern (Contributor)

Witching Waves – Persistence
One of the most exciting bands I’ve come across in the last couple of years, Witching Waves have been wowing me with the immense frenetic energy of their live shows on more than one occasion. And, on seeing them support Suggested Friends (see other favourite album choice) at The Shacklewell Arms a couple of months back, I decided to pick up the shiny yellow vinyl of Persistence. Propelled by propulsive racing beats, their energy-fuelled post-punk oozes a visceral power, with tracks such as ‘Disintegration’ and ‘Best Of Me’ showcasing perfectly in-sync musical layers, as Estella’s driving bass and Mark’s metallic melodies accompany Emma’s frenzied rhythms and raw impassioned vocals. I can’t wait to hear what the trio have in store for us in 2020.
(ML)

Black Belt Eagle Scout – At The Party With My Brown Friends
This year, Katherine Paul debuted an overwhelmingly captivating and forward-facing second record under her project name Black Belt Eagle Scout. With lush indie-rock/alternative tones met with echoing vocals and non traditional percussion, Katherine speaks from her crucial voice as a radical indigenous queer feminist. At The Party With My Brown Friends is a profound look into friendship, desire and longing through a lense that has lived through hardship on a cultural scale. Aligned with the pain of the people Katherine represents, Black Belt Eagle Scout exposes a necessary reality. A sonic melancholic marriage between the celebration of life’s lightest moments and an ongoing heavy and fighting heart. In a political climate where indigenous voices continue to fight to be heard, At The Party With My Brown Friends hosts an imperative statement. Make room for the mighty and influential voice of Katherine Paul.
Jillian Goyeau (Contributor)

FKA Twigs – Magdalene
FKA Twigs seems to re-emerge whenever my heart’s taken a bit of a beating, and I’m so relieved when she does. Magdalene is inspired by heartache and the figure of Mary Magdalene, an unlikely heroine who Twigs uses to explore the strengths and weaknesses of her femininity. Both the master and the muse: she is re-inventing what it means to be a performer, an artist, and a woman in the music industry. Her accompanying Magdalene Tour was a beautiful spectacle, and I can’t imagine a time when we won’t be enthralled by her.
(KC)

We’ve updated our Tracks Of 2019 playlist with some songs from our favourite albums of the year. Have a listen now!

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut
Em Burfitt / @fenderqueer
John McGovern / @etinsuburbiaego
Jillian Goyeau / @jillybxxn

 

GIHE Tracks Of 2019

It’s that time of year again when we look back at some of our musical highlights. And what a year for new music it’s been – from empowering guitar-driven anthems and gritty electro beats, to dreamy indie-pop, our ears have been pretty lucky!

Over the next week, we’ll be sharing our favourite gigs, albums, events and Ones To Watch for 2020, but for now, here are our top tracks of 2019. Have a read, and a listen!

Clt Drp – ‘Speak To My’
Having completely blown us away live at The Finsbury in June, Brighton trio Clt Drp are one of the most exciting bands I’ve come across this year. With the immense, thrashing beats, fuzz-filled whirring hooks and soaring, gritty vocals of ‘Speak To My’, the empowered energy of their unique electro-punk sound is showcased perfectly. (Mari Lane – Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

Scrounge – ‘Badoom’
Savage guitar riffs and driving beats form the basis for South London duo Scrounge’s single ‘Badoom’. Taken from their debut EP Ideal, released via Fierce Panda, the track showcases the band’s ability to take relatable concepts such as feeling burned out, and turn them in to punchy, cathartic sounds. Check out the karaoke inspired visuals that accompany the track here. (Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder/Features Editor)

ILL – ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’
We’re all in agreement at GIHE that ILL’s track ‘Kick Him Out The Disco’ is a BANGER! These grrrls blend the best bits of punk, noise, and keys 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 who made you question your self-worth. (KC)

Lizzo – ‘Juice’
Bam! As soon as this piece of pure pop magic hit the radio, it got my attention. ‘Juice’ is perfectly constructed; its opening bars draw you in, and before you know it, you’re shouting along and belting out the ‘ya-ya’ chorus. I defy you to listen to this song and stay still. If you’re not running to – or already on – a packed dancefloor, you’ll be shimmying in your seat. It’s sunny, fun and so empowering. ‘Juice’ was my introduction to Lizzo and my love affair with her has blossomed throughout 2019. Her beautiful album artwork, fabulous statement outfits (two words: finger handbag!), and that Glasto performance sealed the deal. My four-year-old sometimes likes to sing along to ‘Juice’ in the car, thankfully neglecting the naughty words. When he does, it reminds me how lucky we are to have a popstar like Lizzo. Body positive, funny, filthy. She’s an inspiration.
(Vic Conway – Contributor)

God Colony (feat. Samirah Raheem) – ‘Girls’
You might recognise Samira Raheem from her 2 minute interview at Amber Rose’s Slutwalk in 2018. This video caught the attention of UK Producers God Colony, who approached Raheem to collaborate. The result of that collaboration is ‘Girls’ – an encouraging call-to-arms laced with fierce lyrics, and indutrial-tinged, progressive beats. Always remember: “Every dog has his day / and bad bitches too”. (KC)

Pallas Athene – ‘Through Hell’
One of my absolute favourite songs of the year, ‘Through Hell’ is taken from Pallas Athene’s 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 – I just love its spaced out vocals and calming chords. Keep up the great work! Looking forward to the future of Pallas Athene.
(Tash Walker – Co-Founder/Digital Editor)

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”, but 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%! (TW)

Amahla – ‘Dorothy’s Verses’
Having played legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and The Roundhouse, and garnered support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 Extra and 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Hackney native Amahla this year released the poignant ‘Dorothy’s Verses’. Exploring what truth is through the story of her grandmother, and reflecting on the power of female voices, ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ flow with rich, impassioned vocals alongside luscious sweeping hooks, creating a truly spellbinding – and deeply stirring – offering. (ML)

Grimes – ‘Violence’
It’s funny, looking back at 2019, I could swear this song has been out longer than a mere three months. Grimes has always been a bit beyond me up to now: too saccharine for my artsy side, too much of an art angel for my pop tastes, but ‘Violence’ hits the sweet spot. Haunting beats, an insistent hook and candied vocals that bitterly talk of a romance that’s damaging, controlling but satisfying. With 2019’s batshit political and cultural wars veering between poles, ‘Violence’ pins it all to the floor.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

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.” (TW)

BEA1991 – ‘Loser Wins’
Amsterdam-based artist and musical polymath BEA1991 swept me away with this track, taken from her debut album Brand New Adult. I love her subtle, soaring vocals and there’s a beautiful accompanying video to this track that I recommend you check out too. (KC)

Sui Zhen – ‘Perfect Place’
Despite having now released three albums, I only heard Sui Zhen for the first time this year. And it was love at first listen. Inspired by how we exist in the digital age, ‘Perfect Place’ flows with glitchy beats and twinkling, ‘80s-inspired hooks alongside Sui Zhen’s quirky, honey-sweet vocals. An instantly infectious slice of sparkling alt-pop that I haven’t been able to stop listening to. The whole album, Losing, Linda, is pretty magical. (ML)

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, check it out now. (TW)

The Big Moon – ‘Your Light’
The Big Moon proved they’re as talented on two wheels as they are on two feet in the accompanying video to their superb single ‘Your Light’. With its catchy chorus, buoyant melodies and feel-good lyrics, it’s the perfect boost for anyone who’s feeling blue about the current state of affairs. The song is lifted from their upcoming sophomore album Walking Like We Do, which is set for release on 10th January 2020 via Fiction Records. (KC)

Captain Handsome – ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’
Having been a pretty massive fan of indie-pop superstars Fightmilk for a couple of years now, I was excited when Lily from the band shared the first single from her new solo project, Captain Handsome. A poignant exploration of every-day anxieties, ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ showcases Lily’s distinctive silky-smooth-yet-gritty vocals whilst oozing a touching raw emotion. 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 can’t wait to hear more from Captain Handsome in 2020. (ML)

You can listen to all our favourite tracks now, in this handy playlist! We’ll be adding to the playlist as we share our other end of year features – keep your eyes/ears peeled!

 

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut
Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor
Vic Conway

John McGovern / @etinsuburbiaego