VIDEO PREMIERE: Indian Queens – ‘You When I Close My Eyes’

Let the “weight of the world” melt from your shoulders as you watch the hazy new video for Indian Queens‘ latest single ‘You When I Close My Eyes’. Taken from the band’s debut EP of the same name (released via Cool Thing Records), the track is a blur of the “ugly and [the] beautiful” according to vocalist and guitarist Jennifer O’Neill.

Shot and edited by the trio during a recent trip to California; the footage blends still images and lyric reels to create a “memory book” cut-and-paste feel, whilst also giving an exclusive glimpse of Indian Queens’ studio space in East London.

Championed by John Kennedy (Radio X), LOCK Magazine, and chosen by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his Meltdown festival earlier in the year, the Hackney trio are hotly tipped (especially by GIHEs) for a successful 2019. Watch the video for ‘You When I Close My Eyes’ below and follow Indian Queens on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Live Highlights of 2018

Despite being a pretty scary year in the grand scheme of things, 2018 has actually been exceptionally great for new music. And seeing live music has, as ever, provided a necessary catharsis and enjoyment; forever giving us something to look forward to. 

Having witnessed an uncountable amount of women/non binary folk being awesome on stage this year, it was hard to pick out our highlights … But, from some of our DIY faves, to Fever Ray and Courtney Barnett (and – yes – Indietracks Festival features twice, it’s that great), here are a few events that stood out as particularly special for us… 

Witch Fever Live @ The Finsbury, January:
2018 has been of year of many incredible gigs, not least our own gigs that we’ve been lucky enough to host at The Finsbury. And, whilst I have a massive amount of love and pride in all the gigs we’ve hosted, the year kicked off with a pretty immense one. Manchester’s Witch Fever, who made two six hour coach journeys to be with us, treated us to their frenzied, raucous offerings with an incredible, un-matched power. As front woman Amy’s incredible, snarling energy stole the show, we were all left completely in awe of this band’s formidable intensity. And they weren’t the only amazing band of the night; joining them was the empowering force of The Nyx, the grunge-fuelled energy of ARXX and the gorgeous pop-punk of Militant Girlfriend.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Fever Ray @ The Troxy, March:
Fever Ray’s fierce, focused, sold out performance at the Troxy proved she’s an inimitable talent with a vision, generosity, and energy unlike any other. In Fever Ray’s space, no-one is an outsider: everyone is welcome in her warped and wonderful world. Emerging from the lights in her trademark “I heart Swedish girls” t-shirt and bare scalp, from start to finish the sound was flawless. Each lyric, synth sequence and drum beat was more distinct and discernible than the next – if you weren’t there, you definitely missed out.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Petrol Girls @ Shacklewell Arms, April:
Mari and I were so excited to see the brilliant Petrol Girls live for the first time this year, and they did not disappoint. Loud, lethal and life-affirming: their headline show was a raw, frenzied, furious affair. The band packed out the venue with the help of their friends Pretty Pistol and Screaming Toenail (our new favourite band), and played our favourite track ‘Touch Me Again’ with all the ferocity and energy we’d come to expect from this brilliant band of activists.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indian Queens @  Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, June:
Hackney trio Indian Queens performed to a packed out Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre this year, after being hand-picked by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his (exceptionally well curated) 2018 Meltdown Festival. The band delivered a mesmeric, sharply executed performance that ended in a well deserved standing ovation. I felt like I’d witnessed something truly special from the Cool Thing Record signees when I left the building, and I look forward to catching them again in 2019.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indietracks Festival (and its sense of community), July:
There is the smell of long past years in the carriage as the rails clackity-clack below you, the signalman waves from the box as you pass, and behind the sidings crammed with moss-windowed rolling stock the natural amphitheatre of the main stage hoves into view.

Indietracks is hidden away but for those in the know its not just the boutique festival quietly winning at line-ups, its home. Not only welcoming and familiar, but full of friendship and love. The diversity of the billing, the cute touches and culture-clash between trains and music will delight newcomers but the community sustained between years – by the festival and railway volunteers, each band, every festival-goer – is something to be really astounded by. At a time when togetherness feels more elusive, but is ever more vital, Indietracks should be both celebrated and cherished for the community its nurtured and welcomes home each summer.
(Sarah Lay – Contributor)

Indietracks Festival (and the diversity of its line-up), July:
With our ongoing disappointment at the lack of diversity on the majority of mainstream festival line-ups this year, I was particularly excited to discover Indietracks – one that refreshingly, consistently, champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres. And, I wasn’t to be disappointed; the weekend – set in the idyllic Midland Railway Centre near Ripley in Derbyshire – exceeded all expectations.

Ask me about any of my favourite bands of 2018, and they were probably playing at Indietracks Festival. From an array of glorious indie-pop (Wolf Girl, Colour Me Wednesday, Happy Accidents, Worst Place), Feminist punk (Dream Nails, The Baby Seals, Dream Wife) and all the scuzzy, dreamy sounds in-between (Ghum, Sink Ya Teeth, Sacred Paws, Girl Ray), every single band I saw filled me with an empowering sense of joy and blissful gratitude. And I think all those I saw consisted of female identifying/non binary artists.

So, whilst it still seems to be unusual to attend bigger festivals these days and not encounter ingrained misogyny or disrespect of some kind, Indietracks felt like a different world; a safe, joy-filled world, and one jam-packed with all the best music (plus owls and parrots!).
(Mari Lane)

Qween Kwong @ Rough Trade East, July:
I remember this gig for several reasons. Firstly, because I arrived soaked in sweat and rain from the downpour that briefly broke the overwhelming summer heatwave, and secondly because I was lucky enough to interview Queen Kwong before her set. She was just as cool (and as cutting) as I’d imagined her to be, and her live performance was a visceral, loud, defiant example of her songwriting talent.
(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler @ The Finsbury, September:
I won’t lie; prior to Wendy Rae Fowler headlining for us at The Finsbury this September I was overwhelmingly excited and a little nervous. I’ve been a huge fan of her work over the years, and to have her play for us stands out for me as a particularly special moment (or 45 minutes) of 2018. Immediately creating a captivating, cinematic atmosphere, she filled the room with a majestic sense of wonder, delivering a soul-grabbing, breath-taking set that I’m truly honoured to have hosted.
(Mari Lane)

Courtney Barnett Live In Berlin, November:
Touring her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett was a sight to behold this year: quite literally. I looked on with envy when the Deal sisters provided backing vocals for ‘Nameless, Faceless’ at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend Festival. But, fortunately, a trip to Berlin also included seeing Courtney live at the city’s Huxleys Neue Welt venue. Seeing the songs played on a larger scale, contrasting with the more laidback atmosphere of songs taken from her debut and early EPs highlighted Barnett’s brilliance and renewed my appreciation of her songwriting.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

 

 

 

EP: Indian Queens – ‘You When I Close My Eyes’

The ever cool Indian Queens have shared their debut EP You When I Close My Eyes, and it’s an atmospheric, driving compilation of sounds that prove the Hackney trio are set for big things. Released via Cool Thing Records, the EP is filled with hazy guitars, mesmeric vocals, and brooding percussion; making it the perfect soundtrack for an autumnal evening in London.

The record opens with title track ‘You When I Close My Eyes’, which was inspired by the binary opposites of “ugly and beautiful”. Jennifer O’Neill’s clear, strong vocals permeate the track, alongside sultry bass lines and grungy guitar riffs. ‘Wish You Well’ follows, blushing with an intense romantic need to be next to a lover, with its hushed vocals and catchy chorus.

The band’s first single ‘I Get No Rest’ – written during the midst of a massive political shift (Brexit, the general election) and in the wake of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire – is a response to the inescapable feeling that (as Jennifer puts it) “rich ‘important’ people were taking the piss out of our lives”. The song’s steady percussion and moody bass lines create a jaded, but seductively atmospheric tune that remains in the mind long after it stops spinning.

Equal parts driving and delicate, ‘Pretty Little Thing’ is as attractive to the ears as its name suggests. It’s an infectious blur of hypnotic vocals and shoe gaze guitar sounds, inspired by a childhood memory of being safe and happy in a Grandparent’s garden. This nostalgic undertone makes the track ring out with warmth and understated joy, before closing track ‘Us Against The World’ proves that Indian Queens have the potential to produce original, magnetic, meaningful sounds.

Together, Jennifer, Katherine, and Matt have created an EP that warrants all the praise it’s been receiving from critics and fans alike. It’s no surprise the band received a standing ovation earlier this year after their set at Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival – You When I Close My Eyes is a stunning debut from this compelling trio.

Download Indian Queens’ debut EP here. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: July 2018

British summer time is in full swing, and the gorgeous/overwhelming heat makes every day feel like a summer holiday *wipes beads of sweat from brow*. If you’re stuck behind your desk however, fear not! We have a red hot set of new tunes to see you through the rest of the month. Take some time to scroll through our track selections, and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

 

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Taken from their self-titled album released in 2008 – the same year I attended London Pride for the first time – and without a doubt, the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality; feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life. Last weekend marked the end of the Pride Festival in London, with the Pride in London march on Saturday, where I marched with Switchboard the LGBT+ Helpline that I am a Trustee for. It was a great experience, and only mildly marred by the TERFS protest at the beginning. As a cis-gendered lesbian I denounce everything they stand for and pointedly want to say that I do not agree with any of their statements. I marched for the achievements we have made in society throughout the years to now, but also for all the essential changes still to come…one thing remains the same, it’s about standing for equality. Equality for everyone, everywhere. (Tash Walker)

Indian Queens – ‘Pretty Little Thing’
Equal parts driving and delicate: Hackney trio Indian Queens have shared their new track ‘Pretty Little Thing’ – and it’s as attractive to the ears as its namesake suggests. Released via Cool Thing Records, the single is an infectious blur of hypnotic vocals and shoe gaze guitar sounds. They received a standing ovation after their set at Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival last month, and this track has been swirling around my brain ever since. (Kate Crudgington)

Handsome Eric – ‘Oh No’
I fell a bit love with Handsome Eric on seeing them support Shamir last week at Camden Assembly. As the raw, honest emotion of Stephen O’Dowd propels the track, whirring hooks and a driving energy bring to mind Manchester artist, and personal favourite, Kiran Leonard. Totally luscious lo-fi scuzz of the best kind. (Mari Lane)

Nova Twins – ‘Lose Your Head’
GIHE faves and last week’s guests on the radio show, the immense Nova Twins have just released their ferocious new single ‘Lose Your Head’. Having received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, and none other than Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, the duo continue to prove themselves to be one of the most exciting bands around with the snarling vocals and addictive, frenzied energy of this latest offering. (ML)

The Empty Page – ‘Deeply Unlovable’
We’ve been massive fans of The Empty Page’s gritty, grunge-fuelled offerings for a while now, and we cannot wait for them to blow us away once again at The Finsbury on Friday! (ML)

Queen Kwong – ‘Raptures’
Slow-building bass lines and mesmeric vocals combine on Queen Kwong’s ‘Raptures’ to form a beguiling request to escape unwanted memories. No stranger to adversity, Queen Kwong (aka Carré Callaway) shows how her “cursed mind” is still as sharp as ever on this brilliant new single. (KC)

Carolyn’s Fingers – ‘Twice Born’
LOVE THIS! Experimental pop band Carolyn’s Fingers always deliver such refreshingly unusual music, where I just don’t want to even try and predict where their music will go to next. There is something about there music that consistently dabbles with art/performance and still I am yet to see them live. A firm ambition of mine. Totally DIY in every way, we full support Carolyn’s Fingers. (TW)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Hobby Horse’
Warped, uncomfortable, but morbidly fascinating: avant-garde artist Gazelle Twin has returned with a new image and this un-nerving new single. I can’t wait to hear more of her unusual electronic cacophonies on her upcoming record, Pastoral, on which she “exhumes England’s rotten past, and shines a torch over its ever-darkening present”. Sign. Me. Up. Now.  (KC)

Pitou – ‘Give Me A Glass’
So gentle, so beautiful, and so delicate. ‘Give Me A Glass’ by Pitou is taken from her new EP I Fall Asleep So Fast, released via Mink Records. I think this track is just mesmerising, and it probably helps that it was the first song I listened to after meeting my niece for the first time. So here’s to raising that glass to the new addition in my family! (TW)

Anna Aaron – ‘Why Not’
Love love LOVE! From the disjointed off-beat vocals, to those heavy beats that underpin this track; how can you not enjoy this?! Described as “crunching electronic pop sound”, I think that perfectly sums up this raw slice of intentionally aggressive music. (TW)

Lizzo – ‘Boys’ 
Another utterly empowering and ferociously fun offering from GIHE favourite Lizzo, ‘Boys’ is filled with all the refreshing wit that we’ve come to know and love from the Minneapolis artist. Reminiscent of the legendary Missy Elliot, this track’s funk-filled groove and joyous sex-positive spirit provides the perfect summer anthem. (ML)

Belako – ‘Over The Edge’
I saw Spanish band Belako at Finsbury Park last Saturday kicking off a day of fantastic music from QOTSA, Iggy Pop, Brody Dalle, Deap Vally and more…. And they are now my new favourite band – it was one of the most impressive, engrossing sets I’ve seen for a long time. They delivered each gritty slice of post-punk with a raw, swirling energy and explained that his track ‘Over The Edge’ is “against gender violence” – a poignant and necessary subject. And I just love its immense, gnarly passion. I’m now thoroughly addicted to their latest release Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence. (ML)

Asylums – ‘Millennials’
Essex indie rockers Asylums have returned with their highly anticipated second album Alien Human Emotions – released via their own label Cool Thing Records – and ‘Millennials’ is one of the stand-out tracks on the record. Slower in tempo, but just as powerful in delivery; the single laments the “generational generalisations” that millennial kids face in today’s society. (KC)

LIVE: Indian Queens – Meltdown Festival 2018, London 15.06.18

After watching Hackney trio Indian Queens perform to a packed out Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre last night, we have only one ambition: to become as skilled a guitarist as their front woman, Jennifer O’Neill. The band were hand-picked by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his exceptionally well curated 2018 Meltdown Festival, and after their mesmeric, sharply executed, stunning performance; it’s easy to see why.

Together; Jennifer, bassist Katherine, and drummer Matt create thoughtful, atmospheric sounds reminiscent of bands like Warpaint and Radiohead. Performing against a backdrop of kaleidoscopic visuals – which were a fusion of live footage and urban buildings – Indian Queens played a captivating set, featuring their brand new single ‘Pretty Little Thing’, which was released via Cool Thing Records on the day of the show.

Bare-foot bassist Katherine was animated throughout, delivering her moody bass lines with stylish aplomb, whilst drummer Matt was the driving force behind it all – even after he dropped a stick, he recovered the rhythm seamlessly. Jennifer’s vocals were as magnetic as her guitar riffs; effortlessly anchoring the performance of singles ‘Save Yourself’ and ‘Get No Rest’. She confessed mid-way through that the band had accidentally their set-lists in the dressing room, but the trio moved from song-to-song with such ease and precision, this oversight was barely noticeable. Their set closed with a standing ovation, which was unsurprising, but entirely deserved.

If you haven’t caught Indian Queens live yet, a) what have you been doing? They were the secret openers for our March gig at The Finsbury earlier this year, and b) buy a ticket to their headline show at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in October here. They’re a must-see for those who appreciate hypnotic, alternative, guitar-led tunes. We can’t wait to hear more from this compelling new band.

Photo Credit: Emma Viola Lilja 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Indian Queens – ‘Pretty Little Thing’

Equal parts driving and delicate: the ever cool Indian Queens have shared their new track ‘Pretty Little Thing’ – and it’s as attractive to the ears as its namesake suggests. Released via Cool Thing Records today (June 15th), the single is an infectious blur of hypnotic vocals and shoe gaze guitar sounds.

“’Pretty Little’ Thing started as a childhood memory” explains guitarist and vocalist, Jennifer O’Neill. “My Nan and Grandads’s garden always sounded of birds and far off planes travelling to nicer places. It was a warm feeling and I didn’t want to be anywhere else”. This nostalgic undertone makes ‘Pretty Little Thing’ ring out with warmth and understated joy. Jennifer also designed the artwork for the single (pictured below) – titled ‘Self Portrait no.1 – Writer’s Block’ – making this release particularly personal.

Indian Queens have been championed by John Kennedy (Radio X), LOCK Magazine, they were added to Burberry’s emerging playlist on Apple Music, and they supported We Are Scientists on their recent tour. Now, they’re set to play at Southbank’s Meltdown Festival – curated by the inimitable Robert Smith – tonight, and we can’t wait to seem them live again. Listen to ‘Pretty Little Thing’ below, and follow Indian Queens on Facebook for more updates.

Grab your tickets for Indian Queens’ headline show at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (12.10.18) here.

Photo Credit: Emma Viola Lilja 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Ghum, 09.03.18

Following a host of super amazing bands playing for us over the last year – including LIINES, Witch Fever, The Magnettes, H.Grimace, REWS, Trash Kit and Deux Furieuses – we were back at The Finsbury on Friday night for another jam-packed night of the best new music.

Kicking off the night was our special secret opener, Indian Queens, treating our ears to their totally dreamy sounds.

Next up, London collective Best Praxis draw us in with their immense passion.

Penultimate band of the night, Gravey, blow us all away with their unique seething power and punk-driven energy.

Finally, headliners Ghum end the night by captivating the packed-out venue with the sweeping splendour of their atmospheric dark pop.

HUGE thanks to the four fantastic bands who made Friday night so awesome, and to everyone who made it down to help us celebrate International Women’s Day!  Join us next month on 13th April when GIHE faves Dream Nails will be headlining, along with The Franklys, Madame So and Gold Baby.

 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto