PLAYLIST: March 2020

March has been a busy month for Get In Her Ears HQ! It’s Women’s History Month and it was International Women’s Day on the 8th, so we’ve continued to support the women artists we love with regular reviews on our website and a special IWD Playlist which you can listen to here.

Sofar Sounds kindly invited us to curate their IWD gig in Hackney too, which Indian Queens, Amahla, and Beckie Margaret all graciously agreed to play for us. We’ve barely stopped for breath! Take some time to scroll through our track choices for our March playlist below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘The Hot House’
Fresh from their excellent second album aptly named Two, Sink Ya Teeth’s singleThe Hot House’ and the accompanying video features footage shot by the band and audience members at their recent show in Oxford (check it out here). I am SO happy that I’ve got another heavy helping from the Norwich duo to soundtrack the upcoming warmer months. A time where post-punk, and deep house and I really get back into the swing of things. Sink Ya Teeth thank you, thank you! (Tash Walker)

Sleater-Kinney – ‘Hurry On Home’
I have not stopped singing this since us GIHE girls saw Sleater-Kinney live at Brixton Academy a few weeks ago. Their latest album The Center Won’t Hold is such a tonic, and their performance was certainly a gig-life highlight for all of us. (Kate Crudgington)

Noga Erez – ‘VIEWS’
The inimitable Noga Erez stylishly explores the absurdity of paying for exposure on social media on her brand new track, ‘VIEWS’. Collaborating with her partner Ori Rousso, and LA-based hip-hop artist Reo Cragun, Erez effortlessly commands attention in the striking video that accompanies the single. The Tel-Aviv musician’s clear vocals glide over slick beats and pop hooks to create an infectiously powerful anti-fakeness anthem. (KC)

Taquirah – ‘Feel’
‘Feel’ is the latest single from Taquirah, a performance artist form Illinois currently living in Brooklyn. I cannot get this track’s addictive beats and R&B melodies out of my head. I’m obsessed. Taquirah recently released a video for her track ‘Rush’ choreographed and performed by herself, in line with her focus on creating performance art pieces that fuse ballet with hip hop culture. Keep your eyes peeled for Taquirah’s debut project Divine, coming soon. (TW)

Belako – ‘Tie Me Up’
Having previously blown me away with their immersive live show supporting Queens Of The Stone Age in Finsbury Park last year, Basque Country band Belako have now shared new single ‘Tie Me Up’. Filled with gritty, swooning vocals and immense swirling hooks, it’s a super catchy alt-rock anthem showcasing the poignant raw power and majestic musicality that this Spanish band are capable of creating. (Mari Lane)

CLT DRP – ‘Where The Boys Are’
An anthem of self-realisation and new found confidence, ‘Where The Boys Are’ from Brighton-based CLT DRP oozes their immense raging passion in a seething blast of poignant, swirling electro-punk. Commenting on the track, front-woman Annie Dorrett says: “It’s a love song to some of my favourite female artists, a big thank you to my mom for being such a powerhouse and lastly a big f*ck you to all the TERFS out there spreading hate. It’s also just a really playful song to perform with the band, you get a lot of different elements of our sound all jammed into one piece.” CLT DRP’s upcoming debut album Without The Eyes, is out 15th May via Small Pond Records. (ML)

THICK – ‘Mansplain’
A cathartic, witty, guitar driven take-down of the men who undermine women in bands (and women in general), Brooklyn punk trio THICK’s single ‘Mansplain’ will resonate with women and girls who have struggled to be taken seriously on, and off stage. The track is lifted from their debut album 5 Years Behind, which is out now. (KC)

New Pagans – ‘Admire’
I first heard New Pagans whilst listening to The Irish Jam, and I quickly became fascinated by the Belfast band’s genre-bending sounds. Their debut EP Glacial Erratic is a poignant collection of tracks that explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution. ‘Admire’ is a personal favourite. It’s a humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going. (KC)

Why Bonnie – ‘Voice Box’
Oozing sunny uplifting vibes as shimmering hooks and Blair Howerton’s rich, luscious vocals flow with a soaring emotion, Why Bonnie’s ‘Voice Box’ has shades of the twinkling surf-rock of the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast, creating a truly dreamy offering fuzzing with a dazzling, effervescent charm. Voice Box, the upcoming EP from Why Bonnie, is out 10th April via Fat Possum Records. (ML) 

Ghost Car – ‘Virginia & Vita’
Released at the end of last year, ‘Virginia & Vita’ is a perfect example of all there is to love about Ghost Car. Oozing their scuzzy, quirky bubblegum indie-pop sounds, it’s propelled by eerie synth-driven hooks, soaring honey-sweet vocals and their trademark stirring, whirring theramin-soaked fuzz. I cannot wait to catch this totally unique band headline for us this Friday at The Finsbury! As always, FREE entry, event details here. (ML)

Indian Queens – ‘Bubblewrap’
Hackney trio Indian Queens headlined our International Women’s Day gig (in partnership with Sofar Sounds) at the weekend, and we were captivated by their stripped back set. The talented Amahla & Beckie Margaret also shared the bill, and Girls Against were on hand to  help raise awareness of the issues that female musicians & fans often face. This IQ track is a beguiling lament about the state of the planet, and it’s taken from their debut album God Is A Woman, which is set for release via Cool Thing Records on 3rd April. (KC)

Laura Gray – ‘Break, Drift’
‘Break, Drift’ is the first release from Laura Gray’s upcoming EP Better Lighting. Gentle vocals and dreamy synths all mixed together with pulsating beats. I think we could all do with a little more saxophone in our life. Check out the video for ‘Break, Drift’ here. (TW)

A.A. Williams – ‘Cold’
A.A. Williams is set to play her first headline gig at Southbank Centre in the Purcell Room on Thursday 12th March, and I’m excited to hear her dark, atmospheric sounds in the flesh for the first time. (tickets are available here). (KC)

Otta – ‘Near Enough A Woman’
I cannot get enough of Otta! Their new music is seeping so perfectly into my ears, it’s what I’ve been craving for so long and didn’t realise. This is one of their latest singles taken from the freshly released debut EP after it all blew over, which is sublime. Delivering the perfect combination and concoction of electronic, UK jazz, new soul and RnB. (TW)

Okay Kaya – ‘Insert Generic Name’
Okay Kaya who hails from Norway has been a firm fave of mine since I heard her debut Both, released back in 2018. I got to catch her on 4th March at SET in Dalston which was a total pleasure, she’s back again in May at Hoxton Hall so if you can, grab yourself some tickets. ‘Insert Generic Name’ is taken from her recently released and equally fantastic album Watch This Liquid Pour Itself, another incredibly intimate record of self-reflection via boldly honest, exposing lyrics which are delivered with bone dry with wit. One of my albums of 2020, without a doubt. (TW)

Bugeye – ‘Don’t Stop’
The latest single from friends of GIHE, Bugeye, ‘Don’t Stop’ is filled with swirling scuzzy hooks and the band’s trademark impassioned fiery attitude. Complete with whirring synth-driven refrains, it’s a frenzied slice of catchy disco-punk, showcasing the band’s utterly unique vibrant sound. ‘Don’t Stop’ is produced by Paul Tipler and is out now. You can catch Bugeye live on tour this month – check out their Facebook page for details. (Mari Lane) 

Lady Gaga – ‘Stupid Love’
Get me a pink wig and a metallic bikini, because I’m moving to Chromatica to live with Lady Gaga (see the ‘Stupid Love’ video here). I am SO excited to hear her new album (released on 10th April). I hope it’s bursting with electro-pop bangers like this one, and that all of her future videos are just as Power-Ranger-esque. (KC)

ReBalance Celebrates International Women’s Day & Interview with Cat Webb (Lighting Engineer at Union Chapel)

There are plenty of music events happening across the UK on International Women’s Day this year (which we’ve listed for you here), but we’d like to give some extra attention to the ReBalance event that’s happening at London’s Union Chapel on Sunday 8th March (tickets here).

Women from Festival RepublicLive NationAcademy Music GroupBig Scary MonstersSony MusicMAMAOgle HogMetropolisMelody VRNational MerchandiseBBCSafe Gigs for Women, and PRS Foundation will all be in attendance, and on hand to talk to wxmen who are looking for advice about their career in the music industry. There will also be live performances from Nilüfer YanyaMartha Hill and Tamzene.

Cat Webb, who is the Lighting Engineer at Union Chapel, has invaluable experience in an industry environment that has traditionally been dominated by men. Below, she candidly shares how she came to be a Lighting Engineer, and the challenges she’s overcome to excel in her current field.

 

How did you come to know about, and work at Union Chapel?
I’ve lived in Islington for years, and always passed the Chapel with itchy fingers and ambitious eyes. As a lighting engineer you’re always looking to work on interesting shows in spaces that give you a sense of awe and delight, so when the opportunity arose to join the lighting team I jumped on it.

What is your work at Union Chapel, and what does it involve?
I’m a lighting engineer and designer. Some of the time this involves looking after visiting designers, assisting with setting up their equipment or helping them use the lights we have to achieve the looks they want. The work can be technical – rigging, calculating power and programming – but a lot of the time the most appreciated quality is being a friendly, welcoming face.

However, not many bands tour with their own lighting designers, so most of the time I’m the designer for visiting gigs. If you imagine that this is a profoundly complex process involving extensive collaboration and maybe an analysis of the cultural meaning of blue – that’d be great. But the reality is that most of the time you have 4-5 hours between the band arriving and the audience, and though you can listen to sound check and have conversations in that time, maybe even be given a rough set list of songs and binge a few on YouTube if you’re lucky (and the wifi works), realistically most of the time you’re winging it. Even if you do get to hear something from an album they might play, the live version is often very different, which is both the challenge and the thrill of live music.

But! In defense of lighting designers: we are winging it based on years of experience with story, atmosphere and music, as well an understanding of light, colour, angle and the tools that are available to us. Even if I don’t know the music well, my job is to use that experience to judge where emotionally things are going, and to follow and predict in a way which catches the eyes along with the ears. At its best, good lighting adds to something that the brain doesn’t even necessarily experience as sight or sound – just a great big feeling, powerful and true.

What has it been like being female working in a male-dominated industry? What needs to change?
Things have changed a lot in the last ten years. The overt sexism that was very present when I graduated – relentless comments about my appearance, sexuality or ‘lady-brain’ – has declined, for which we can all heave a sigh of relief.

However, there’s still a long way to go. With somewhere between 6-9% of my profession being female, the mental picture people still have of lighting designers is male. Psychologically this has numerous consequences, including making it more likely that men are hired. It is easier to see the merits in someone who already fulfills your mental picture of what the person should be, and to see the flaws in someone who defies that expectation – this is human nature. The goal is to change that expectation.

I have been in more gigs than I can name where my male colleagues are addressed as the sound or lighting ‘engineer’ and I will be the lighting ‘girl’. Visiting engineers have physically started in surprise to see a female in my position, or I have been told that I shouldn’t light a certain kind of music, because as a woman I “just won’t get it”. The base-line expectation of female competence is still not there. Personally – and among many of my peers – this means we aspire to standards of excellence above and beyond, just to be treated with the same respect as our male colleagues. And if our standards drop to merely average, we are judged twice as harshly.

Qualities in a designer such as confidence, commitment, determination, expertise, or precision, are too-often called something else in a woman. Bossiness. Ball-busting. Picky; difficult; cocky. And we are social creatures; it is easier to believe that we are individually failures, than to challenge a cultural bias, let alone in an industry whose leaders, who you depend on for your ability to live and eat, are still overwhelmingly male. Women who call out the sexism are too often dismissed as “difficult” or “flaky”, or accused of making a big deal out of nothing. It is incredibly hard to honestly and openly challenge your own privileges and biases, and having these conversations with generosity is still an ongoing challenge – for all of us.

Machismo still drives large parts of the technical industry, though it too thankfully is changing. A classic example is the endless saga of whether women can lift heavy things. The answer is, of course: yes. Of course we can, and yes, it is frustrating when a woman states her capabilities, but is ignored; her competence and her word mean less than a preconception of her strength and abilities. However I will often ask someone else to help me lift something heavy, not because I’m “weak”, but because the culture of being “strong” has left so many good men I know injured. It is a culture that hurts everyone.

Both theatre and live music often correctly protects the well-being of artists, but does not extend the same human courtesy to its technicians, male or female. Hard hours, rudeness, variable pay – I don’t know any technician of any gender who hasn’t been in some way treated badly at some point in their careers, or told to “suck it up” because we work for “passion” rather than decent work conditions or reasonable pay. The Union Chapel is a fantastic part of changing this, but it’s a big fight. Actively promoting diversity is the first step to changing that culture, and making the industry better for us all.

What has working/volunteering at Union Chapel made a difference to you/your career?
I always wanted to work at Union Chapel, for the space and the music. It was a bucket-list ambition, and fulfilling it has been a privilege.

In recent years, the Chapel’s move to actively seek out female technicians has been incredibly encouraging to see, and it’s been an honour to work with the incredible teams of both male and female engineers in the venue. As a freelancer you can bump from show to show without ever feeling rooted, but the Chapel fosters a sense of community, and the team is so welcoming and good that walking through the Chapel’s doors often feels closer to coming home, than going to work.

As a listed building, lighting the Chapel has changed how I approach my work. Traditional stage lighting is about drawing the eye into only one place, zooming the senses in. At the Chapel you almost have to do the opposite, zoom out to place the music in the context of a shared space and experience. That said, while I’ve lit many gigs that will stay with me and reveled in the power of light in that space to do something big and amazing, the moment a thousand candles were lit up during the Christmas service, I was forced to admit that sometimes, just occasionally, a bit of string and wax can put the twenty first century to shame.

Finally, tell us a bit more about yourself…
I started in theatre before moving more into gigs, but probably still know more about Shakespeare than Adele. That said, I’ve now been in music long enough that every week something will come on the radio that I’ve lit, which is pretty damn cool. I have mild synaesthesia, so I often hear and feel things in colour; I’ll hear a song and see the colours I lit it with long before I recognize the actual band.

I volunteer for the Green Party, and as well as studying a martial art I also sometimes teach women’s self-defense. I hope that none of my students ever have to fight to protect themselves, but I believe that it’s easier to talk your way out of trouble if you know you can also defend yourself, and that crucially you believe in your own right to do so. I also write novels, initially as Catherine Webb and Kate Griffin, and more recently as Claire North.

Get In Her Ears w/ Nun Habit 05.03.20

Kate and Mari were back in the studio this week with all the new music to celebrate International Women’s Day, including tracks from Karen O, Belako, Nova Twins, Taquirah, Why Bonnie and New Pagans.

They were joined by Nun Habit, who entertained us with the wit and musicality of exclusive acoustic renditions of two of their tracks.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
Karen O & Dangermouse – Woman
Nova Twins – Vortex
Noga Erez – Views
Shea Diamond – I Am Her
Tina Boonstra – Out Of My Depth
Actrese – Lola
Pom Pom Squad – Red With Love
Wargirl – Dancing Gold
Beach Riot – Tune In, Drop Out
Deaf Surf – SOFA
Dream Nails – Payback
LIME – Surf n Turf
Belako – Tie Me Up
Johanna Glaza – Exile
Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – Black Rain
New Pagans – Admire
Why Bonnie – Voice Box
Taquirah – Feel
Faber – Time
Matthew Barton – Fag
Ali – No More Trying
Jess Fitz – I’m Fine
Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

International Women’s Day Events Across The UK, 2020

As you may be aware, at Get In Her Ears we celebrate wonderful female and non-binary artists every single day! So, you may feel that there’s no real need for us to remind you on International Women’s Day to recognise them. But, as much as we try, days like this still seem necessary for society to take a minute and recognise not only the achievements of all the fantastic womxn in the world, but also to draw attention to the ongoing injustices and ingrained sexism that still sadly exists in 2020.

And so it only seems right that there are plenty of incredible events happening across the country this weekend to celebrate this official day of womxn. Here’s just a few that we’d strongly recommend!

The Bechdel Sound Test Weekender – Brixton, 6th – 8th March
South London’s ultimate female fronted music weekender is back to celebrate International Women’s Day.The party kicks off at the Bechdel Sound Test’s spiritual home – the Book and Record Bar right next to West Norwood station, with South London bass and garage DJ Rosie Riot. She will be supported by genre spanning Bechdel DJs ensuring the party goes on in to the early hours. Saturday is live music night at iconic Brixton venue the Windmill, headlined by CHROMA and supported by Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something, Foundlings, Rookes and Faultress. Festivities will come to a head on Sunday with an International Women’s Day party upstairs at The Ritzy. Promising an afternoon of chilled acoustic vibes and DJs it’s the perfect way to round off the IWD weekend. There will also be some small pop up stalls with records and feminist gifts supplied by The Book and Record Bar and Brave Girl Gifts. The event is free entry and raising money for Samaritans and Refuge. Sounds like a perfect celebration of all things female! Event info here.

BBC 6Music FestivalThe Roundhouse, 8th March
Where you can expect to find me on Sunday, BBC 6Music bring their annual festival to an epic close on International Women’s Day with a line-up of some of the most incredible females in music at The Roundhouse in Camden. Headlining will be total favourite Kate Tempest with her perfectly poignant and stirringly honest offerings, along with the legendary Kim Gordon, the cinematic sounds of Anna Meredith, the seething power of Jehnny Beth and the gritty musicality of Nadine Shah. I cannot wait! More info here.

Southbank Centre WOW Festival, 6th – 8th March
Southbank Centre’s annual Women Of The World festival is always an incredible and inspiring collection of events, and this year promises to be no different. Over three days, WOW’s line-up of world class speakers, activists and performers including Naomi Wolf, Shazia Mirza, Scarlett Curits, Sandi Toksvig, The Guilty Feminist, Svetlana Alexievich, Mary Robinson and more will be joined by thousands to explore the state of gender equality across the globe and tackle the subjects that matter most to women and girls across the world today. With a range of both free and ticketed events, it’s definitely worth a visit. More info here.

GRL 2020 – Base Camp Boro, Middlesborough, 7th March
Featuring GIHE faves Bugeye, as well as other awesome bands such as Dead Naked Hippies, Bad Bug and Eve Conway, this family-friendly Middlesborough event brings together some of the UK’s best female/female-identifying performers & artists, in addition to live art, street food, a feminist market + more! If you’re in the area, get your tickets now.

BSWA Fundraiser – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, 8th March
Indie Midlands have collaborated with Loud Women to host this Birmingham event. Taking place at The Sunflower Lounge, it aims to raise money for Birmingham & Solihull Womens Aid (BSWA). With music from The Sunset Beach Hut, Glass Ceilings, Fawner, Gray Wave and Shanghai Hostage, it sounds like a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day, and all for a good cause. More info here.

WCDI International Women’s Day Special, Peckham Audio, 8th March
Female promoters We Can Do It celebrate International Women’s Day by hosting Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale, who will play a special solo set. With support from The Pearl Hearts and more, it’s going to be awesome! More info here.

Punka International Women’s Day Show, Zed Alley, Bristol, 8th March
If you’re in the South West, you should be aware of promoters Punka by now. Championing womxn and LGBTQ artists of all genres in Bristol, their events always like a lot of fun! For International Women’s Day they’re hosting a special show at Zed Alley with performances from solo artist Emily Breeze, Lucy Reynolds and drag kings such as Isaac Dix. More info here.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY w/ WXMB 2, Colours Hoxton, 8th March
London collective WXMB 2 are celebrating International Women’s Day by hosting an all day event at Colours in Hoxton. With a programme full of great live acts, DJs, workshops such as sound engineering, music production, freelancing and zine culture, panels, a sustainable creatives fair, yoga, a balancing feminine energy course, and much more, it really sounds like an inspiring day for all! Including live music from Elsa Hewitt, Austel, Rory Sky, Evie Balfe and more. Ticket info here.

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Ghost Car, 13th March
Ok, so this one’s a bit late, as our Finsbury gig doesn’t quite fall on International Women’s Day this year… but we’ll be celebrating some incredible womxn in music as always at our gig the following Friday! With a headline set from the quirky bubblegum indie of Ghost Car, there’ll be support from The Other Ones, Gaptooth and Minimals. We cannot wait! Get In Her Ears celebrate women every day, we welcome everyone at our gig who supports our ethos, but especially aim to create a safe space for female identifying and LGBTQ+ people. Come and keep the IWD celebrations going with us on the 13th, and all for FREE! More info here.