GIHE: Personal Highlights Of 2020

2020 has been a year unlike any other and we’ll be glad to see the back of it, but before we wave goodbye, the GIHE team would like to share some of their personal highlights. Thanks to everyone who has been following, reading or listening to GIHE this year. It really does mean the world to us and we couldn’t do this without you.

Shared Highlights

Seeing the GIHE name appear in a PHYSICAL BOOK was a landmark moment for the team this year. Music journalist Lucy O’Brien mentioned us in her 25th anniversary edition of She Bop, a fantastic book that explores the role of female artists and how they’ve helped to shape the music industry. You can buy your copy here.

Fellow GIHE Co-Founder Tash Walker was super busy recording & producing series 2 of The Log Books throughout 2020, a podcast which explores the history of the LGBTQ community via the phone archives of LGBT+ charity Switchboard. Tash is a co-chair at Switchboard and she is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community through her work with them, and through her work with GIHE. She is one of the most resilient, informed and hilarious people we know and it’s a privilege to work alongside her and call her a friend. The Log Books are a truly necessary listen for all.

Now for some personal highlights…

Kate Crudgington (Features Editor)

GIHE usually takes up a big part of my life, but it was a lifeline for me during March of this year when the government text me (lol) telling me to shield for 12 weeks. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to talk to the people who were making the music that was distracting me from the panic-inducing headlines, reminding me what a huge privilege it is to have access to this amazing platform.

As our followers already know, Lockdown 1.0 instantly put a stop to our weekly GIHE new music shows on Hoxton Radio. We had 16 weeks off air, so when it was “safe” for me to go back in to the studio in July I was buzzing with excitement (which you can hear in my voice if you listen back to the show here.)

Like most platforms during the pandemic, we embraced technology and started interviewing artists over Zoom instead of inviting them in to the studio for the usual chat and live session. We managed to get time with Jessica Winter, BISHI, Lucy O’Brien, Tessa from Girlhood, Julia-Sophie, Lizzie from Bitch Falcon, Grave Goods, Problem Patterns, ZAND, Hannah from PELA, Seraphina-Simone & Penelope Trappes. It was so lovely to see Tash in person in the studio most weeks, and while we both missed seeing Mari a great deal, her weekly track contributions to the show still made it feel like a GIHE team effort.

At the beginning of the year, I was invited by Niall Jackson, one of the hosts of Riverside Radio’s The Irish Jam, to be a contributor to their New Music Sunday section. Co-hosted by Kealan, Mel and Rob, The Irish Jam is a London based radio show that celebrates and promotes music from Irish artists. The crossover of favourite bands between GIHE & the Jam is huge and something I’ve enjoyed chatting to the team about both on and off air. They’ve introduced me to the likes of CMAT, fears, Denise Chaila, Silverbacks and Celaviedmai, whilst I’ve shared tracks by Kynsy, Party Fears and CAMI with them. Listening to their show on a Sunday evening continues to be a wonderful distraction from life.

Who could’ve predicted that bandcamp would become the musical hero of 2020? When the streaming platform announced that on the first Friday of every month they’d be waiving their fees so that 100% of profits would be going directly to artists, my newsfeeds were awash with new music recommendations. Moving home to Essex from London in March meant I actually had some expendable income to buy new records, so I was furiously typing bespoke recommendation threads on Twitter every time the date rolled around. bandcamps’ generosity meant you were able to genuinely support your friends (and the artists you secretly wish you were friends with) during a truly depressing year for music.

Normally, we’d be picking our live music highlights too, but for obvious reasons, we’ve hardly been to any gigs this year. Mari had to cancel half of the gigs GIHE she had booked pre-pandemic and it’s fucking depressing to not know when it will be (properly) safe for her to book more. That’s why I feel incredibly fortunate to have wedged in one last GIHE gig before Lockdown 1.0. GIHE worked together with Sofar Sounds to put together a special International Women’s Day gig at their Hackney HQ in March, with Beckie Margaret, Amahla and Indian Queens on the bill. It was so exciting (and nerve-racking) to host the evening with fellow GIHE pal Tash too. Even if I’d had a year full of gigs, this one still would’ve made my highlights list.

One last gloat – I published some of my all-time favourite features on our website this year. My Zoom interviews with the wonderful A.A Williams, the hilarious CMAT and the ultra talented Lido Pimienta are well worth a read.

Mari Lane (Managing Editor)

It goes without saying, most of the highlights I’d normally mention at this time of year were not able to go ahead in the void of 2020. They would normally consist of the monthly gigs that I host at The Finsbury, whereas this year I was only able to put on two before Covid hit. And, in addition to having to cancel at least seven of our regular gigs, we were pretty heartbroken to cancel what would have been our very first festival, due to take place in July. However, I did manage to fit in a couple of memorable live experiences before being confined to being permanently pyjama clad; my only weekly highlight being our regular beer delivery from Croydon’s Art & Craft bar.

The first gig I hosted this year felt particularly special. Personal Best headlined a night filled with all the best vibes. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicated their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined in with “I wanna kiss you in the street / where everyone can see / ’cause this is what we look like,” the poignancy of the lyrics was overwhelming and an empowering sense of unity took hold. The night also included the shimmering folk-strewn offerings of Athabaska, the quirky energy and sparkling charisma of Nun Habit and the sun-drenched swirling anthems of Hurtling. There is nothing quite like that joyous sense of togetherness that comes from hosting gigs filled with like-minded wonderful people.

I was also lucky enough to fit in seeing one of my all time favourite bands with a few of my all time favourite people. The last time that Tash, Kate, Paul and I were all together pre-Covid was for Sleater Kinney at Brixton Academy – a pretty special night. Not only did I get to see the legendary Carrie Brownstein deliver her distinctive gritty, scuzz-filled riffs alongside Corin Tucker’s unmistakable swooning vocals in the flesh, conjuring up massive feelings of awe and nostalgia, but they were supported by one of our favourite current bands. The second time we’d seen Big Joanie on the Brixton Academy stage (the first being opening for Bikini Kill last year!), they showcased just how deserving they are of their rising success; with their unique, raw, post-punk soundscapes and poignant lyricism, they delivered an absolutely incredible set. A truly memorable night.

My last ‘outing’ before lockdown was to the BBC 6Music festival for International Women’s Day at The Roundhouse. An epic line-up consisting of some incredible women and non-binary folk that I’m incredibly grateful I got to witness before everything fell apart. In addition to the immense poignant power of Jehnny Beth, the utterly beguiling splendour of Nadine Shah (who I fell in love with there and then), and the completely mind-blowing presence of hero Kim Gordon, Kae Tempest delivered a fiercely moving, truly breath-taking headline set.

And then gigs were gone. To be replaced by online streamed “events” which I think have had mixed reviews over the last few months – they’re of course no replacement for the “real thing” and it’s hard to feel motivated to “attend” things when you’ve been on the sofa in your pjs for weeks. However, I have managed to organise a few GIHE Instagram ‘Takeovers’, featuring some of our favourite bands and artists. From ARXX’s drum and guitar lessons, LibraLibra’s quirky tele-sales style feature and Tiger Mimic’s interviews with others on the scene, to inspiring chats with Amaroun, Eckoes, Foundlings and Husk, beaut “live” sessions from Gold Baby, Scrounge and KIN, and King Hannah’s EP run through, I feel grateful that so many creatives have wanted to be involved.

It’s a strange time, no doubt, but one which is made that much better by a sense of togetherness within the community. One positive from all this really has been the mutual support and genuine care that I’ve seen musicians and those within the industry show for each other.

John McGovern (Contributor)

On the one hand, there’s been almost no gigs, no festivals, much fewer physical releases and closed record shops. On the other, BBC 6Music’s response helped me stay indoors and make the most of my furlough life. Lauren Laverne‘s show was extended to cover the late morning, running to nearly double the length of most of the other shows on the station and basically saw her appointed as chief mood-lifter for the BBC’s flagship alternative music station. Amongst the days of uncertainty, where even leaving the house offered the risk of serious illness, with no guarantee of a job at the end of the summer, having Lauren there to soundtrack breakfast/brunch made a world of difference. It produced a kind of odd stasis: the background radiation of a pandemic, but an excellent range of music, usually featuring a smattering of classics, new music and obscure gems. The only disappointment was when the schedule reverted back to usual come the end of lockdown. Hopefully, that same semblance of normality will be back for us all, soon.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read our highlights!

You can read about our GIHE Albums of 2020 here and our GIHE Tracks Of 2020 here.

Keep an eye out for our Ones To Watch in 2021 feature next week!

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Personal Best, 10.01.20

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us throughout 2019, including Screaming Toenail, Salad, GENN, Chorusgirl, Witching Waves and CLT DRP, we were back at The Finsbury on Friday for our first gig of the year, with another dream of a line-up, for a jam-packed night of the best live music.

Kicking things off is the dreamily delightful ‘heartland rock’ of newly formed Athabaska. Alternating between the impassioned, crystalline vocals of Faith Taylor (Suggested Friends) and the delicate emotion of those of bassist Roxy, they treat us to a heart-warming shimmering folk-strewn musicality and luscious sweeping harmonies.

Next up Nun Habit deliver their fuzzy, infectious garage pop with a unique, quirky energy. With shades of the jangly synth-driven soul of the likes of Young Fathers, whether guitarist Gregory or bassist Kate is leading the vocals, they ooze a vibrant spirit and immersive, sparkling charisma.

One of my ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2020, London trio Hurtling are third band of the night. With their sun-drenched whirring hooks and the swirling subtle power of Jen Macro’s (My Bloody Valentine) distinctive effervescent vocals, they deliver their fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with a captivating, psychedelic haze.

I’ve been keen to see headliners Personal Best for a while now, and they definitely don’t disappoint. With a joyous punk-rock energy, their “classic rock for tragic lesbians” fills the venue with adoring fans as immense, frenetic riffs are blasted out alongside pure pop harmonies and a sparkling energy. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicates their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joins in with “I wanna kiss you in the street, where everyone can see… ’cause this is what we look like”, the poignancy of the lyrics in these uncertain times is overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity takes hold as the crowd heaves with bodies dancing and singing in solidarity. A really special end to what’s been a night filled with the most life-affirming vibes.

Massive thanks to the four incredible bands who played for us on Friday, and to all who came down and completely packed out the venue! Be sure to join us next month on 14th February, with Piney Gir, Grawl!x, Captain Handsome and I Am Her.

 

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

 

GIHE Ones To Watch 2020

Whilst 2020 may be looking pretty grim in the grand scheme of things at the moment, the array of amazing new music to look forward to is giving us hope… 

We’ve been introduced to so many fantastic bands and artists over the last year, but here we’ve selected just a few who’ve made a particularly lasting impression. Here’s our Ones To Watch 2020. Have a read and listen to the updated playlist on Spotify

LibraLibra
Having completely blown us away at our last gig at The Finsbury this month, and with an appearance on our radio show back in 2018, we’ve been massive fans of LibraLibra for a while now. With their immense dance-punk creations, the band ooze a unique dazzling magnetism, creating the colossal cacophony and overwhelming tribal power of tracks such as ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Tongues’. They’re truly unlike any other band I’ve come across, and with new releases on the way, I predict a big 2020 for the Brighton band.
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

Sea Change
Norwegian electronic artist Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde), sounds like she could be the introverted distant relation of Fever Ray. Her recent album Inside, is an impressive collection of instinctive, immensely enjoyable soundscapes that could fill busy dance floors, or soundtrack private moments of introspection in a dimly lit bedroom. I’m a big fan, and I’m hoping to catch her live in 2020.
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder/Features Editor)

Gold Baby
With a 2019 filled with line-up changes and a new sound, Gold Baby have charmed us on numerous occasions with their beautiful live set, and treated us to acoustic renditions of some of their songs on the radio show. Now, with a confirmed sparkly new line up, front woman Siân has been busy writing new material – offering some of the most dreamy, emotion-strewn creations you’ll ever hear, all held together with spellbinding, crystalline vocals. With a new single set for release in January, I can’t wait to hear more from the London-based trio in 2020.
(ML)

King Hannah
‘Crème Brûlée’, the debut single from Liverpool-based Hannah Merrick – aka King Hannah -, completely cast me under its spell on first listen, and has been one of my most repeatedly played earworms of 2019. With a sweeping, ethereal power and longing, impassioned vocals that flow with a majestic musicality, it’s just utterly compelling; a stunning introduction to the band who I hope to hear a lot more from in 2020. Although they’re just one single down, with already over 5000 streams on Spotify and a sound as captivating and original as this, I have a feeling that they’ll be enchanting many more ears over the next year.
(ML)

ARXX
Brighton power-duo ARXX have been on the GIHE radar for a while, and each time I see them play live, I’m blown away by their raucous guitar tunes and witty on-stage observations. Their headline show at The Finsbury for GIHE on International Women’s Day this year cemented to me that Hannah & Clara are a formidable, and incredibly funny pair of musicians who deserve to be propelled into bigger spotlights in 2020.
(KC)

Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something
Having released their debut album Oh Really, What’s That Then? earlier this year, via Trapped Animal Records, Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something have previously wowed us with the charismatic energy of their live show, and are swiftly becoming one of the most exciting bands on the London circuit. With their unique, soaring vocals and swirling, twinkling hooks, they create truly infectious slices of colourful psychedelia. Already counting Radio X’s John Kennedy as a fan, I predict that the distinct, vibrant sound of JFATC will be heard and loved by many more in 2020.
(ML)

Hurtling
With the release of their debut album Future From Here in October this year, Hurtling have already received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian and Louder Than War, and – on listening to their sun-drenched whirring hooks and sparkling psychedelic haze – it’s easy to see why. Fronted by Jen Macro (also of My Bloody Valentine), the band create fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with an understated grit and sonic majesty. I can’t wait to catch Hurtling live for us at The Finsbury on 10th January, and to see where else 2020 takes them!
(ML)

Thanks to all the bands and artists who’ve got us through 2019, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year. In the meantime, have a listen to all our highlights from the last twelve months, and our Ones To Watch for 2020 in our mega playlist here:

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut 

PLAYLIST: August 2019

Summer’s nearly over, but we’ve selected some of the finest new music tracks to see you through August’s final weeks of sunshine and unexpected showers.Take some time to scroll through our track choices and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the bottom of the page…

Bones UK – ‘I’m Afraid Of Americans’ 
I have Anthony & Elis of Noise Noir to thank for this B.A.N.G.E.R. I heard it during their DJ set for Siren Calling Festival and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. One of my favourite Bowie tracks covered in super cool style. I’m now an avid follower of Bones UK too. (Kate Crudgington)

Sui Zhen – ‘Matsudo City Life’
Inspired by the Japanese city of Matsudo – known by locals as a ‘sleeper town’ -, Sui Zhen’s latest single flows with infectious, ’80s inspired whirring hooks, alongside her luscious vocals. An utterly dreamy, synth-driven soundscape, it’s another slice of sparkling alt-pop from the Melbourne artist, and I cannot wait for the release of her upcoming new album, Losing, Linda, out 27th September. (Mari Lane)

Le Butcherettes – ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have)’ 
My absolute faves Le Butcherettes have shared their brilliant cover of The Buzzcocks’ classic and I’m hooked on it. The Guadalajara-born and El Paso/L.A. based group shot a live video of the song as part of their collaboration with Fender for their Vintera Series of guitars before recording a studio version for the single release. (KC)

Cat Apostrophe – ‘January’ 
‘January’ by Yorkshire-based radically soft pop band Cat Apostrophe is taken from their debut LP Lifelong Amateurism, which is out now via Everything Sucks Music. You can catch them on their tour across the whole of the UK hitting London on 26th August at DIY Space for London. (Tash Walker)

Babeheaven – ‘Seabird’ 
Babeheaven’s cover of 70s classic ‘Seabird’ originally by the Alessi Brothers, is incredibly beautiful and has left me gazing dreamily out of many a window with it playing into my ears… so what better reason for wanting to share that with you all. It is quite simply, heart wrenchingly, sublime. (TW)

Suggested Friends – ‘Cygnet’
I’ve been completely addicted to Suggested Friends‘ eponymous debut release over the last couple of years, and so I couldn’t be more excited to hear that they have just announced the release of their second album. To coincide with the announcement, Suggested Friends have shared new single ‘Cygnets’. With totally dreamy harmonies and the distinctive heartfelt crystalline vocals of Faith Taylor, it’s filled with an infectious jangly scuzz and stirring raw emotion, complete with some impressive rollicking riffage. Turtle Taxi, the upcoming album from Suggested Friends, is out 4th October. (ML)

Wyldest – ‘Mind Over Body/Slowdance’ 
I caught two thirds of Wyldest live at Siren Calling Festival over the weekend, and their shoegazey guitars and smooth vocals melted my ears. (KC)

Hurtling – ‘Summer’
I just can’t get enough of London band Hurtling’s new single ‘Summer’. Starting off with gentle, finger-picked melodies and the luscious, delicate vocals of Jen Macro, it soon builds with sun-drenched whirring hooks and immense beats to a fuzz-filled noisepop anthem. A scuzzy dream of a track, it’s impossible not to get caught up in its sparkling, psychedelic haze.‘Summer’ is out now, whilst Hurtling’s debut album – Future From Here – is out 18th October, both via Onomatopoeia Records. (ML)

Hannah Stewart – ‘Glaze’
The new single from California based artist Hannah Glaze is propelled by throbbing beats and gritty bass-lines. Filled with the smooth allure of Hannah’s honey-sweet vocals and a driving energy, it oozes an infectious danceability and fuzzed-out groove that we can’t get enough of. (ML)

Hana Vu – ‘At The Party’ 
I am hooked on LA artist & producer Hana Vu’s down-beat disco banger ‘At The Party’. It’s a song about ““spite and how truly meaningless it is” and I can’t help but feel any sense of spite evaporate when I hear her sultry vocals. She’s set to release a new EP titled Nicole Kidman/Anne Hathaway on 25th October via Luminelle, and I can’t wait to hear more from this talented nineteen year old. (KC)

TONI&MASH – ‘LTGFU’ 
The debut electro-house banger ‘LTGFU’ by Berlin-based TONI&MASH out via Black Diamond Records. Absolute tune. (TW)

Nasty Cherry – ‘Live Forever’ 
Nasty Cherry co-wrote ‘Live Forever’ with Charli XCX & producer Justin Raisen (Angel Olsen, Kim Gordon), so it was destined to sound cool. In their own words “‘Live Forever’ is a song about being unconfined, unrefined and self-assured” – here’s to that! (KC)

Cozy Slippers – ‘A Million Pieces’
Formed at ‘Ladies Rock Camp’ – a weekend event that introduces women to rock instruments and playing in a band – Seattle band Cozy Slippers are back with a brand new single. Contrasting popular culture depictions of romance with lived reality, ‘A Million Pieces’ oozes shades of the jangly surf-pop of the likes of Real Estate or Best Coast, whilst adding its own dreamy air of romanticism. Flowing with luscious melodies, it’s filled with all the sparkling, uplifting summer vibes. We can’t wait for Cozy Slippers to come over to the UK and play for us at The Finsbury on 8th November! (ML)

Delacey – ‘Emily’  
The from LA singer-songwriter Delacey is an ode to her best friend. Shout out to her for representing the importance of female friendship, especially when it comes in the form of reverb heavy electro. (TW)

Intaya – ‘Guaguancó’ 
‘Guaguancó’ by Venezuelan born, London based Intaya is a potent amalgamation of cross-cultural music, described as a commute to an electric Latin Caribbean Island in a London Tube train. Their debut EP is due out later in the year. (TW)

Like A Villain – ‘My Hands’
The new single from New York artist Holland Andrews, aka Like A Villain, ‘My Hands’ is filled with glistening electronics and a hypnotic, haunting grace. Propelled by the emotion-strewn power of Andrews’ soulful vocals, it creates a poignant, ethereal soundscape.
Like A Villain’s upcoming album What Makes Vulnerability Good is out 20th September via Accidental Records. (ML)

BAD – ‘Sweat’ 
‘Sweat’ is a track so catchy it’s had me popping my shoulders all over London these last couple of weeks – the jury’s still out on those moves, but not on this track. Coming from NYC based duo BAD, described as Lizzo meets George Michael, this track is full of funk, soul and just enough of that throwback to Saved by the Bell that you need. (TW)

Roniit – ‘Foreign Tongues’
Self-proclaimed “Dark Queen” Roniit’s reimagination of Crywolf’s ‘Foreign Tongues’ is an ethereal, melancholy exploration of sound that gives me goosebumps. Roniit is a friend and frequent collaborator of Crywolf’s, working behind-the-scenes for the production of many of his photographs and videos. A true talent. (KC)