#ThrowbackThursday: GIHE w/ Indian Queens 16.11.17

Due to the current lockdown/coronavirus situation, we’re unable to make it in to the Hoxton Radio studio to broadcast our live new music show from 7-9pm for the foreseeable future.

We have plenty of past shows to share with you though! We’re going to start sharing some #ThrowbackThursday sessions, so you can still enjoy 2 hours of new music, and chats with some of our favourite artists each week.

Today, we’ve picked our November 2017 show with Jennifer O’Neill from Indian Queens. The band are set to release their debut album God Is A Woman tomorrow (3rd April) via Cool Thing Records, so we thought now would be a great time to re-visit our chat with Jen.

Music highlights from Bikini Kill, Average Sex, Gold Baby, MALKAEdits and…Jennifer Paige #crush

Listen back to the show here:

INTERVIEW: New Pagans

Filled with urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history, and gender; New Pagans‘ debut EP Glacial Erratic is a powerful blend of alternative sounds. The Belfast band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge, and indie rock and transform them in to abrasive, yet melodic noise.

Formed of Claire Miskimmin, Cahir O’Doherty, Conor McAuley, and Lyndsey McDougall, the band have cut their teeth playing in different outfits over the years (Girls Names, Rupture Dogs, Fighting With Wire, Jetplane Landing). Together under the New Pagans moniker, they sound louder and more confident, creating a sonic space to explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution. We caught up with Claire to ask about the band’s EP, their recent UK tour, and what bands she’d recommend listening to right now…

 

Hello Claire, How are you holding up at the moment?
All good, I think we are all managing to keep it together at the minute. Keeping fit and keeping our brains ticking over. Absolutely bizarre for everything to be so different yet so normal, seeing this out in our homes, familiar surroundings. Absolutely surreal. Worst sci-fi film ever.

For anyone who doesn’t know, can you explain how New Pagans came together? We know each of you played in different bands before…
The majority of us have been in bands since our teens with the exception of Lyndsey, this is her first band, unbelievably. We’ve been playing for 3 years. Cahir and Lyndsey had talked about starting to write music together for a while but I don’t think they necessarily had a band in mind. Conor was a good friend of theirs and is an unbelievable drummer, so that was a no-brainer. As for me, I was messing about on a bass set up in their kitchen one night, recorded a rough sketch and thought nothing of it again until it was sent back to me a while later fully fleshed out by Cahir and with Lyndsey’s vocals; and it blew my mind. So that was me in! Allan was the last part of the jigsaw. He came in on guitar when we started to have bigger ambitions for the songs and he rounds of the sound off perfectly.

You released your debut EP Glacial Erratic in March. What are you most proud of about this release?
I think we are most proud that it’s a physical release. We had been releasing singles digitally over the last three years and it’s amazing to be able to find a home for them and there’s nothing like holding your own record in your hand and thinking “we made that”. It’s a beautiful object. I can see why people obsess and collect them.

Many of your songs blend the personal with the political, and I think that’s especially clear on ‘Lily Yeats’ and on ‘It’s Darker’. Can you talk me through the contexts of each song, and how they transformed into these affecting, memorable tracks?
This is more a question for Lyndsey to answer as she’s our lyricist, but I would say that she mines everything around her for inspiration. Her studies for her PHD led her to discover Lily Yeats, day to day experiences like an argument at a party with a man trying to exert his dominance over a female opinion like on ‘It’s Darker’. Everyday conversations overheard on a bus strung together into a Dadaist poem as with ‘Charlie Had the Face of a Saint’.
‘Admire’ is about learning to navigate a long term relationship once the initial spark of newness has gone & appreciate what you have. Politics, history, nature, human fragility, forgotten female voices told from an Irish perspective.

Do you have a favourite track on the record? If so, why?
I think my favourite track is ‘Admire’. Maybe it feels freshest. Or it’s the change of pace it brings on the record. It’s a mature track. I think it really sets a precedent for what we are doing next. Saying that, they are all bangers.

You’ve recently returned from touring the UK promoting the record. What were the highlights from your trip? Favourite venues/moments you’d like to talk about?
It was great for us to get out on the road together and actually great timing, another week and those shows would have been cancelled amid the chaos. Stand out venue would be the Flying Duck in Glasgow for me. They really looked after us and it makes such a difference to arrive at a venue and everything to be easy. Believe me this is a rarity for UK shows. Anyone reading this who has toured the UK will understand. As for the highlight, those drives to the hotel after the shows when we are all a little tipsy or running on adrenaline from the gig are the best craic. Makes you forget you are crammed in a tin box hurtling from one end of the country to the other.

We know it’s an uncertain time right now for musicians, especially in Ireland. How are you looking after yourselves? What’s the reaction from the music community in Belfast been like?
There’s always a real sense of community between bands in Belfast, it’s so small you know everyone. I’m just really loving the online presence that’s keeping us all connected right now until we can all play shows together again.

I don’t know how this goes when we come out the other side, but at the minute there’s a lot of positivity. We are using this time to try and write the album although we can’t get in a room together yet. We just need to ride it out.

Finally, what bands or artists would you recommend we listen to?
Careerist, Problem Patterns, Gross Net, Altered Hours. In fact, do yourself a favour and find an Irish music playlist on Spotify and give that a go. A lot of bands making a lot of great music on this island, as there always has been.

Thanks to Claire for answering our questions. Follow New Pagans on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

EP: Yakima – ‘Go Virtually’

Sharpening their steadily developing woozy, lo-fi sound, Glasgow quartet Yakima are set to bring their debut EP Go Virtually into the world on 3rd April. Drawing influence from their love for melodic expression and frenzied sonics, the record flits across boundaries of reality and imagination with its hazy, warm presentation.

Written and recorded in the unusual setting of a drafty gatehouse next to a nearby castle – with a ceiling made entirely of spider webs – the EP lends its echoey feel across six tracks. With production coming from Benji Compston and Jon EE Allan of acclaimed band, Happyness, the quartet’s debut record showcases an array of sounds that vary from upbeat and rock-tinged, to fragile and quiet.

Groovy, upbeat opener ‘It Helped’ establishes the observational lyricism that the band lean towards; looking the uncomfortable reality and battle of quitting smoking right in the eye. Following track ‘Judy’s Lament’ is rooted in the experience of reading about Judy Garland’s insomnia. Eventually turned in to a song about Garland’s imagined feelings about the lack of sleep, it’s a soothing lullaby that stands out as an early highlight for its smooth, quiet vocals.

‘Thanks’ makes way for a sudden spike in energy with it’s guitar-led sonics and melodic vocals, with the wild cut of ‘I’m Happy (In No Way)’ making room for the second high point on the EP, before IT loses itself in the chaotic, improvised outro of ‘Real Time’. Closing track ‘Sheep Boy, Cry Man’ (the title of which draws inspiration from “Cry Rooms” in Japan, where occupants go to relieve stress) is the most somber offering on Go Virtually.

Toying with vocal harmonies and earworm melodies, Yakima’s debut EP is an analytical creation that looks into the complex relationship between what’s right in front of you and what’s in your mind. Influenced by the likes of The Byrds, Elliott Smith, The Beach Boys, Sparklehorse, Low and Duster among so many others, the band still manage to shine with an authentic exuberance that can only be their own.

Yakima’s EP Go Virtually is released on 3rd April. Follow the band on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Malvika Padin
@malvika_padin26

Track Of The Day: Francis Of Delirium – ‘Circles’

A swirling guitar tune exploring the ever-evolving nature of human emotion; Luxembourg-based duo Francis Of Delirium have shared their latest single, ‘Circles’. Lifted from their debut EP All Change, which is set for release on 22nd May via Dalliance Recordings, the track is a lo-fi, grungy earworm.

“It’s all a circle to me now”, sings Jana Bahrich, as she navigates her way through feelings left behind by the breakdown of a relationship. “On a personal level it felt like every aspect of my life was giving into this circle”, Bahrich explains about the track. “It’s about the first time you really like someone and then it ends, and you don’t know if that sadness will ever go away because you’ve never experienced it before. By the end of the song there’s this light, and desperate claw at trying to pull yourself back and out of the circle.”

It’s this emotional resilience and determined spirit that makes ‘Circles’ such a relatable listen. Together, Bahrich and collaborator Chris Hewett have a knack for crafting atmospheric tunes, and we’re excited to hear more of them on their debut EP. Listen to ‘Circles’ below, and follow Francis Of Delirium on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Patricia Marets

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Indian Queens – ‘God Is a Woman’

Described by lead vocalist & guitarist Jennifer O’Neill as “a late night record”, London trio Indian Queens‘ debut album God Is A Woman is a sublime offering, designed to dissolve uncertainty and soothe anxious minds. Set for release via Cool Thing Records on 3rd April, the band have written thirteen dizzying tracks that are equal parts driving and delicate; shimmering with cinematic flair.

Formed of sisters Jennifer (guitar/vocals) and Katherine (bass) O’Neill, and lifelong friend Matthew Dudan-Bick (drums), Indian Queens were born and raised in Hackney Wick. Influenced by the restless city that surrounds them, the trio’s soundscapes reflect both the darkness and the light on a personal, and a universal scale. This is epitomized on opening track ‘Bubblewrap’, a beguiling lament about the state of the planet. It smolders with dense beats, atmospheric guitar and Jennifer’s captivating vocals. “We were born in plastic bags / conveniently stored / bubble-wrapped indoors”, she muses, conjuring up images of over-protection and suffocation. Despite the track’s haunting context, Indian Queens still manage to lull their listeners into acceptance, and hopefully into action too.

Based on a childhood memory of the O’Neill sisters’ grandparent’s house, the nostalgic ‘Pretty Little Thing’ rings out with warmth and understated joy. Jennifer’s extended vocals in the chorus and the rose-tinted guitar sounds make this a truly uplifting track. The eponymous ‘God Is A Woman’ is a tentative, elusive exploration of tolerance, hope, and faith. “Who wants to start a revolution?” sings Jennifer, with a sharp awareness and those “fingers crossed”. The band’s ability to tap into both the personal and the political with the flick of a guitar pedal is extra impressive here.

‘Some Kinda Blue’ is a frustrated, jaded, but intensely affecting invitation to rekindle the flames of a valued relationship. The guitar seems to reflect the quick-switching nature of emotion; one moment it’s shimmering and atmospheric, the next it rings with distortion. Thudding beats, buoyant riffs and hopeful lyrics permeate ‘Wanderlust’, which is a joyful pact to “live for the day”. ‘Us Against The World’ is an intoxicating blend of all that makes an Indian Queens’ track so affecting. Jennifer’s comforting lyrics, charming vocals and agile riffs, Katherine’s buzzing bass lines, and Matthew’s considered percussion are truly magnetic here.

A restless, searching spirit fuels ‘I Got So Much I Wanna Say’, and continues throughout ‘I Get No Rest’. The sweeping, all encompassing sounds on following track ‘Concrete Lips’ and the repeated lyric “there’s something ’bout you that I can’t forget” combine to make a heady, moody lullaby. The dreamy, gentle ‘Warning Sign’ precedes the lusting, disorientating ‘You Came Over Late’, before anti-party anthem ‘Shoot For Sexy’ kicks in with its intoxicating beats. Despite its suggestive lyrics and smoldering bass lines, it’s a track best appreciated under low light with intimate company. Lust paves the way for adventure and hope on poignant, exhilarating final track ‘Walk’.

On God Is A Woman, Indian Queens have crafted a dazzling collection of meaningful songs that provide a welcome rush of blood to the head. It’s impossible not to be caught up in their captivating sounds. Invest immediately.

Pre-order your copy of God Is A Woman here. Follow Indian Queens on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Kana Waiwaiku

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

#ThrowbackThursday: GIHE w/ Amaroun 18.01.18

Due to the current lockdown/coronavirus situation, we’re unable to make it in to the Hoxton Radio studio to broadcast our live new music show from 7-9pm for the foreseeable future.

We have plenty of past shows to share with you though! We’re going to start sharing some #ThrowbackThursday sessions, so you can still enjoy 2 hours of new music, and chats with some of our favourite artists each week.

Today, we’ve picked our January 2018 show with Amaroun (who was due to visit us in the studio this week). She joined Kate & Tash to play two live tracks, and spoke about the inspirations behind her music. Music highlights came from ARXX, Black Gold Buffalo, Vivienne Chi and Sudan Archives.

Listen back to the show here:

PREMIERE: Naoise Roo – ‘Sick Girlfriend’

A slow-burning guitar tune that satirizes the representation of women with mental health issues; ‘Sick Girlfriend’ is the latest single from Irish artist Naoise Roo, set for release on 27th March. The track is lifted from her upcoming EP of the same name, due on 24th April.

Produced by Liam Mulvaney (Girl Band, The Radio, Fionn Regan) and featuring Daniel Fox (Girl Band) on bass and Rian Trench (Solar Bears) on drums and synths; Naoise Roo’s new EP is an exploration of women’s experiences in the music industry, and the stereotypes that continue to burden women who struggle with poor mental health.

Speaking about the eponymous track, Naoise explains: “I wanted to write something that showed the objectification that I’ve seen depicted, and in turn, the reality I’ve experienced within relationships having suffered with mental health issues all my life”. Despite these setbacks, Naoise continues to move forward by creating relatable, optimistic indie offerings.

Listen to ‘Sick Girlfriend’ below, and follow Naoise Roo on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut