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

PLAYLIST: October 2019

Our ears have been flooded with new music over the last few weeks, and our October playlist is an eclectic reflection of the artists who have been giving us goosebumps. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the bottom of the page…

 

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

Peggy Sue – ‘Motorcade’
Taken from their upcoming album Vices (set for release February 2020), Peggy Sue’s new single ‘Motorcade’ flows with the pair’s distinctive rich vocals as it interweaves lilting ’60s inspired melodies and a ’90s garage scuzz. Inspired by feelings of being honest with yourself when ending a relationship, luscious harmonies float along a bright, uplifting soundscape, building with a shimmering energy to create a magnificently more-ish offering. (Mari Lane)

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”, 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%! (Tash Walker)

Poolblood – ‘Dreamer’
Recently signed to Shamir’s label (Accidental Popstar Records), newcomer Poolblood describes their sound as one that evokes feelings of “crying, dancing, teen movies and nostalgia”. If that’s not enough to make you listen to ‘Dreamer’, I don’t know what is. (KC)

Superglu – ‘Forever Endeavour’
After a two year hiatus, long time faves Superglu are back with this new single. Oozing the band’s trademark buoyant energy, ‘Forever Endeavour’ is filled with a gentle sentimentality that we may not have heard in previous releases, creating an instantly uplifting and immensely infectious indie-pop anthem. (ML)

Rosa Bordallo – ‘Citadel’
‘Citadel’ by Chamoru-American indie artist Rosa Bordallo is all about Capitalist vultures in the concrete jungle, showcasing her riot grrrl influences. It’s a “balls-to-the-wall angry eff-you to the 1 percenters who suck us dry, written out of frustration with the myth of New York (“if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”) that attracts bright and ambitious folk who may not realize what they’re getting into until it’s too late”. ‘Citadel’ is the second single from her recent solo debut album Reef Walker. (TW)

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something – ‘Keytar (I Was Busy)’
Inspired by a frayed childhood and fractured memories, ‘Keytar (I Was Busy)’ oozes the distinctive soaring majesty of Jemma’s vocals and swirling, twinkling hooks, creating a colourful slice of psychedelia, filled with raw emotion and an energised electro twist.’Keytar (I Was Busy)’ is taken from JFATC’s new album Oh Really, What’s That Then?, out now via Trapped Animal Records and Cargo Records. (ML)

Kim Gordon – ‘Murdered Out’
Music icon Kim Gordon released her first solo album this month, No Home Record, and it’s a raw, gritty, artistic affair. Her inimitable voice and talent for experimentation shine through on this record, and ‘Murdered Out’ is my favourite track. I was lucky enough to pick up a signed copy from her in person at Rough Trade East (I tried very hard not to nerd out, but I 100% did) (KC)

Shari Vari – New York City
I cannot get enough of the Hamburg based alt-electro/punk/producersShari Vari. Their debut album, Now, out via Malka Tuti is packed full to the brim of brutalist delights. From ‘Dance Alone’, which takes me back to those dark, freezing, sweaty warehouse raves to this track ‘New York City’ with warped vocals, heavy reverbs and cinematic crescendos. What can I say, I’m hooked. (TW)

The Leaf Library – ‘Hissing Waves’
‘Hissing Waves’ is the latest single from The Leaf Library, taken from their new album which is set for release on 25th October via Where It’s At Is Where You Are. This, their first single from the album is in their words “the most pop the band have ever sounded”, skipping inside-esque electronics, and looping verses; I’m enjoying the feeling of elasticity in its sound. (TW)

Hinako Omori – ‘Auraelia’
Influenced by the pain and blurred vision she experienced from multiple migraines, London-based Japanese artist Hinako Omorio has transformed her ailments in to intriguing electronic tunes. ‘Auraelia’ is the title track from her debut EP, which is set for release on 22nd November via Injazero Records. (KC)

POLIÇA – ‘Driving’
POLIÇA are set to release their new album When We Stay Alive in January 2020, and ‘Driving’ is the first track to be lifted from it. Vocalist/synth player Channy Leaneagh explains the context of the new single far more eloquently than I can: “Laying in bed, as I healed from a 10 foot fall of carelessness with my life, I would dream of running in green grass and tears would pour from my eyes – Running in the tall tear grass; imagine wanting life and the want remains – That is a feeling to hold onto; that life is worth living even when all the towers are crumbling and this goes beyond my own little accident but the world around me. Following the crone into the sinking ship and having the chance to return without a shadow. Drive on, Drive on. A second chance you won’t forget”. (KC)

Baby Taylah – ‘Reclaim’
My choices for the October Playlist would not be complete without a heavy helping of pop electronica, which you know I love oh so much. This time it comes from Scottish Baby Taylah, with her debut single ‘Reclaim’. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s a banger! There’s only one way this track should be played, and that’s LOUD. (TW)

Audrey – ‘Paper’
New Jersey based singer-songwriter Audrey has dropped ‘Paper’ her latest single, which is nothing short of a soulful, trap-tinged record, hitting hard with 808s and heavy bass. The accompanying video is equally as cool, with nods to her Korean heritage. (TW)

Bang Bang Romeo (feat Example)- ‘Love Yourself’
An empowering ode to self love, this new single from northern powerhouse Bang Bang Romeo showcases the immense soulful power of front woman Stars’ vocals perfectly. Having completely blown my mind at Cro Cro Land earlier this year, I was thrilled to catch them live again at Omeara. (ML)

Foundlings – ‘I Love You All’
A cover of the original, taken from the 2014 Lenny Abrahamson film Frank, Foundlings’ new single ‘I Love You All’ flows with jangly hooks and luscious vocals, creating an uplifting slice of fuzz-filled indie pop, showcasing all there is to love about them. (ML)

Moor Mother – ‘The Myth Hold Weight’
Philadelphia-based artist, poet, and musician Camae Ayewa – aka Moor Mother – has shared this track from her upcoming album Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes, which is set for release via Don Giovanni Records on 8th November. Described as a “dystopian freestyle poem touching on past, present, and future trauma”, the calmness in her voice as she speaks her heavy truths is remarkable. (KC)

Kate Tempest – ‘People’s Faces’
The new album from Kate Tempest, as with all her albums, is a heart-wrenchingly poignant and mind blowingly powerful collection about the state of the world today. ‘People’s Faces’ is just completely spot on and showcases Tempest’s unique poetic skill at creating relevant and hugely emotive social narratives. As she laments “My country’s coming apart/ The whole thing’s becoming such a bumbling farce…”, she offers a glimmer of hope: “There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces”. Heartbreaking perfection. (ML)

Track Of The Day: ILL – ‘ILL SONG’

A manic cacophony of post-punk & prog noise: Manchester’s ILL have shared their single ‘ILL SONG’ ahead of the release of their debut album, We Are ILL – due tomorrow on May 11th via Box Records.

Recorded over 18 months in the crumbling mills of Ancoats, Manchester, the band channeled their furious love of pop punk in to a record that challenges not just the ears, but the stigma surrounding mental health issues, the politics of identity and gender, capitalism and misogyny. Their latest track ‘ILL Song’ is a surreal, humorous blend of this activism – with a healthy dose of fun thrown in too.

We Are ILL will be released on limited edition transparent blue vinyl, gatefold CD and as a digital audio download on May 11th. The release is accompanied by a launch show at Sebright Arms on the same date, with support from LibraLibra and The Ethical Debating Society, hosted by Club The Mammoth (RSVP here).

Watch the video for ‘ILL Song’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

ILL UK Tour Dates 2018

11 May Sebright Arms, London (album launch)
12 May Doubledotbash Festival, Reading
21 May Soup Kitchen, Manchester (supporting Screaming Females)
31 May The Soundhouse, Leicester
1 June Head of Steam, Newcastle
15 June Liverpool (TBA)
16 June The Deaf Institute, Manchester (album launch)

Photo Credit: Megan Powell

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut