INTERVIEW: Jessica Winter

Described as a state of mind that relates to both romantic and platonic relationships, ‘Limerence’ refers to the “intrusive, melancholic thoughts” and the “involuntary, intense desire” we experience when falling in love with someone. This myriad of conflicting emotions is what inspired Jessica Winter‘s upcoming EP of the same name. Set for release tomorrow (10th Feb) via Lucky Number, the London-based artist has transformed her heavy experiences of heartache into five new glossy, energetic pop gems.

We caught up with Jessica to talk about her new record, what she’s learned from falling in and out of love, and her anticipations for her upcoming SXSW appearance and support slots touring with Rebecca Black…


Hello Jessica, it’s been a while since we last spoke! We were big fans of your EP, Sad Music, which you released back in 2020, but a lot has happened since then. You now have a new record on the horizon now, talk me through what inspired the songs on your new EP, Limerence

I think it all started with the final track of the EP, which is called ‘The Love Song’. It was a stream of consciousness thing, it was almost like verbal diarrhea. Life can be quite chaotic, especially with love, and having no control over it. It was just all of my thoughts and feelings coming out. So I was thinking about why these things were happening in my life, what patterns I kept following, and then it got into other things things like addiction, which is where ‘Funk This Up’ came from. That track is to do with sabotaging yourself through drugs, drink and sex. You know that’s the place that you can go to to escape, but that it will hurt you, but you end up doing it anyway. It’s like the angel and the demon complex. So I think from those two songs, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a lot issues going on there!’

I wrote ‘Let Me In’ a long time ago, but it is also about struggling with the same kind of love issues. ‘Choreograph’ is more of a perspective of society in itself. It’s about where we’re at, in terms of what we portray love as and what we deem as happiness. I think ‘Choreograph’ is the standout track for me. ‘Clutter’ is the pop banger, which I’m really proud of, but I feel that ‘Choreograph’ is the best song, for sure. In terms of production, it has three different genres in one. It starts as a piano musical theater ballad, and then goes into a disco, trance-y big chaotic mess at the end. It’s really dramatic. It’s just one of those songs that doesn’t come around very often. It stands on its own. It’s all about the lyrics for me on that song. The desperation to just find something real.

So when I put all of my songs together, I realized there was a running theme to do with love. I think the EP is also a reaction to what was going on in 2020 too. We all went into lockdown, and I think we’re all yet to realize how that has affected us in the years to come. It’s amplified all of our demons in some weird way.

There’s something about your music and the way in which you tackle quite dark concepts, but with such a euphoric pop twist. I think that’s a real achievement.

Thank you! I don’t want things to just be doom and gloom. You’ve got to entertain!

Exactly, you’ve got to have the light with the dark. That’s how it works. Something that I do find really entertaining are the music videos that accompany your singles, especially your most recent ones ‘Choreograph’ and ‘Clutter’, which features Lynks. Talk me through your approaches to making them…

I feel like you can’t take yourself too seriously. There’s a real fine line between taking yourself too seriously, but also not being a joke. So I’m always treading that fine line. But with ‘Choreograph’, it had to be quite a grandiose kind of video, because I was talking about that classic Hollywood-style type of love. So obviously, I had to have a rain machine and do a video where I was recreating ‘Singing In The Rain’…

I always feel like I need to juxtapose things, depending on the song and the content. So with ‘Clutter’, it’s such a shiny glossy song, so with the video, it was more like a very British reality. A gloomy day in a vintage car, not in Hollywood with a rain machine.

I love the group of older women who feature in the video. I also love the concept that they have “left their husbands in order to seek a new life, filled with independent energy and hotness…”

It was so nice working with the women in the video, because they ended up giving us some words of wisdom. They were telling us about the different stages in your life as a woman, and how you come to different realizations at different points. It ended up being almost like a therapy session! They said not to worry, because it does take women a lot longer than we think to work out relationships, and what they want and need from a relationship. It can take people up to their 40s to suddenly realise, ‘Oh, my God, this is what I need out of life!’

We’re so put upon with the idea of ‘you need to be this, and you should be this’ by a certain age, especially in romantic relationships. It stops us from thinking ‘actually, what do I want?’ It takes women a lot longer to get to a point where we can actually go ‘this relationship is making me ill. I’m not going to do that anymore.’

That’s good advice.

You collaborated with Lynks on that track, but you’ve also collaborated with lots of other artists before, including The Big Moon, Jazmin Bean, Phoebe Green, Sundara Karma, Walt Disco and Brodka. Juliet from The Big Moon described you as “an angel who came into her life” and helped her to make sense of the band’s song ‘Wide Eyes’, which is very sweet. What do you think makes for a good musical collaboration? 

That’s probably the nicest compliment I’ve ever had! I think a positive collaboration, for me, is when people come to me because they rate what I do, rather than me having to bend or change what I do to please someone else, and vice versa. I always end up working with people that I really, genuinely love. There have been times when I’ve been put in a room with a Tik Tok star, and when I ask them what they want to do, they’ve got no idea. That’s not really a collaboration in my opinion, that’s just me working for someone.

So, I think what makes it good is working with someone who already knows what they want. They just need someone with a fresh perspective. Because sometimes when you’re on your own, you do get lost, and you need a fresh pair of ears. Just to have someone that can come in and say ‘Oh, how about this? Have you tried this?’ That’s what is good for me. I think it’s about having a shared ethos and respect.

You’ve got some great live shows coming up, including a performance at SXSW in March and some support slots with Rebecca Black on her UK tour. What are your anticipations for these?

I’m excited to go over to the states and play SXSW because I haven’t done that before. I’m not expecting anything other than to just to have some fun!

I’m really excited to play with Rebecca Black too. I love her new music, it’s so good. I think she’s gone through so much, from her parents buying her a day in a recording studio for her thirteenth birthday, up to now. I don’t think they knew how much that would change her life at the time. I love the fact that she’s having a moment now.

You’re taking this call from inside a recording studio, so does this mean you’re recording more new music? What can you tell us about that?

I’m writing an album at the moment actually. Well, I’m desperately trying to write it. I’m just never happy with any anything I do. At the moment I’m just in writing mode, but at some point I’ll stop and review everything.

Taking time away from things is useful in all walks of life, but do you think this is especially useful in terms of music? Is it important to you to have gaps between your records?

Completely! This is what I feel is kind of wrong with the pop world, is that you have to try and bang out a song in a day – and then that’s it. No one ever goes back to it and tries to refine it. I love refining, going back and really taking time over things and then having a break, not listening to it, coming back to it refreshed. I feel that that process is dying in pop music, but I’m going to try and keep it alive. I come from an indie background, from bands and stuff like that, so that’s probably why I do it like that. But making pop music is what I really want to do.

Do you think people’s attitudes to pop music have changed since the introduction of Tik Tok? You mentioned earlier that you had worked with someone who was famous on the app, and it wasn’t the most equal collaboration. What are your thoughts on this new online culture around music? I find it hard to wrap my head around sometimes.

I feel like Tik Tok a great platform to make silly videos and make silly songs. I think it’s really entertaining, but the thing that it doesn’t really account for is artistry. You’re making content for that platform, and that’s great, and there are people that can do it really, really well. It can translate on to Spotify, but I don’t think people really care where it comes from, or who it was made by. They’re not going to want to go and see the artist live necessarily. I just feel like that it separates the two, and I think trying to urge artists on to Tik Tok, to create for Tik Tok, has to be done in a certain way.

As an artist, it’s really good to try and stay authentic to what feels comfortable for you, because these platforms change so often. In five years time, I think that Tik Tok will have so many more different levels to it, so I’m not going to obsess and change my entire diary to factor in Tik Tok all the time. The way in which we use it will probably change, or it might even just go altogether, just like Vine. We’re in this crazy technology age, unfortunately. We’re all still so new to this.

That’s a really good point. Tik Tok feels like the biggest thing ever, and you can’t live without it. But truthfully, it could just disappear tomorrow, because it’s just all digital, isn’t it? It’s not tangible. This makes me feel better about not being on the app…

Finally, we always ask people we interview to recommend some new music to us. Who have you been listening to recently?

I really love JVKE and his song ‘Golden Hour’ at the moment. It just does it for me. It’s like if John Legend was on speed or something. I love Hemlock Springs as well. She’s got this song called ‘Girlfriend’, which is just brilliant. It’s kind of like 80s lo-fi, but the song is basically two chords and it just builds and builds and builds and is really beautiful.

Thanks to Jessica for answering our questions!

Follow Jessica Winter on bandcampSpotifyTwitterInstagramTikTok & Facebook

Photo credit: Nan Moore

Kate Crudgington

Introducing Interview: Frankie Morrow

Having released their debut EP, Blue Parrot Backpackers Hotel, in October, Scottish alt-rock band Frankie Morrow finally formed their current fully-fledged outfit last year after initially playing together and separately in various musical projects across Scotland since their teens. Since January, musicians Frankie Morrow, James Smith, Duncan Carswell, Samuel Nicholson and Neev have been playing and recording together, and have received airplay from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Amazing Radio.

We’re big fans of Frankie Morrow’s glistening, folk-strewn sounds and heartfelt lyricism, and can’t wait to hear more from them in 2023. We had a lovely chat to find out more about the EP, what inspires them, being a woman in music and more… Have a read, and make sure you listen to the beautiful EP now!

Hi Frankie. Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello GIHE! It’s so cool to be speaking to you, we are huge fans – we loved your night down at the Victoria in October where Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something headlined. Frankie Morrow are a Scottish, female-led 5-piece who play alt-rock for the soul. 

Are you able to tell us a bit about how and why you initially started creating music?
Well, myself and James were actually in a band together back in our hometown of Paisley when we were 14 years old! To be honest I think most of our friends came to the shows as a place to drink cider underage hahaha, but we had a rare time.  

We love your luscious, soaring folk-strewn sounds , but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We as a band have a hugely diverse range of musical influences, though I’d say some of my personal influences would be classic Americana/rock like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bob Dylan, Scottish writers such as Rab Noakes, and more contemporary bands like Big Thief and Katy J Pearson.

You recently released your debut EP, Blue Parrot Backpackers Hotel,  which is very exciting! Are you able to tell us a bit about what inspired it and the themes running throughout it?
Well, it all started where most records start – with a break up! These songs are a collection of my musings over the years; before the band got together I used to perform as a solo artist, and so I guess the impetus was really just me coming to terms with lots of the changes and upheaval that had happened in my life at the time. Blue Parrot Backpackers Hostel is my ‘Sliding Doors’ moment. Have you seen that film? The whole premise is based around Helen – who’s played by Gwyneth Paltrow – and how her life could dramatically change based on whether she catches a train or not. It got me thinking about how these tiny decisions we make in our everyday lives can have such huge impacts on us later down the line, and I found that a really interesting concept for the record.

You recently played live at the Sebright Arms – how was that? And, for those who missed it, what can fans expect from your live show?
We had an absolute blast! We were still buzzing from it the next day. Our live show and our current musical direction is actually a lot more raucous than what we have on record so far. We absolutely love playing for people – it’s our favourite thing to do, we want people to feel moved and for them to forget their worries at our shows.

The EP was produced and arranged by you, with an all-female engineer team, which is very awesome! What was the recording process like, and how did you all work together? 
It was amazing! I deliberately wanted to recruit an all-female engineering team from the get go for this debut. We recorded most of the EP between my flat and kind friends’ houses. then I sent the stems to Taylor Pollock (Platoon) to mix. Taylor was an absolute dream to work with; it was such a collaborative process from start to finish, and I’ve never met someone so dedicated to a project. Izzy McPhee was absolutely brilliant as well, and I even got to go and meet her at her studio in Bristol. It was really powerful to be part of that team.

And is there a particular live show you’ve played that stands out as a highlight?
To be honest our headline at the Sebright is probably the standout so far as it’s such an iconic venue and we’ve seen so many bands we love play there over the years. It was a real honour to headline.

How do you feel the industry is for new artists at the moment? And do you feel much has changed over the last few years in its treatment of female and queer/LGBTQ+  artists? 
In some ways the industry is far more accessible than before in terms of opportunities for editorial playlisting which breaks down global barriers, and of course through social media. Though, on the flipside, labels are taking less chances on bands and there’s not much money in streaming at an emerging level. However, I do feel quite positive about it overall; I think if you focus on the making of good music supported by other marketing tools, and just try not to get to bogged down in the numbers… In terms of treatment of female and queer artists, I think things definitely have moved on, though I have unfortunately had quite a few people presume men have produced the EP or that it wasn’t me playing guitar etc – this is still something that happens regularly. A personal highlight from a recent gig: “Wow, you can actually play the guitar?!” …  If you don’t laugh, you will cry!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists you’re loving right now that you’d recommend we check out?
Oh absolutely! Lizzie Reid had a gorgeous EP out this year. We saw her with full band down at Paperdress Vintage towards the end of last year. Oh, and I was just introduced to NewDad who are brilliant.

Finally, what does 2023 have in store for Frankie Morrow? 

We are so excited to get back into the studio this month. The new tracks are big alt-rock bangers and we are chomping at the bit to get started.

Massive thanks to Frankie for answering our questions! Listen to Blue Parrot Backpacker’s Hostel now, and watch the charming video for single ‘Sunflowers’ below:

Introducing Interview: Jewelia

With over 20,000 listens on Spotify and with acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing and BBC Radio Kent, London based artist Jewelia has been charming our ears with her soulful alt-pop sounds. Oozing a sparkling raw emotion alongside her rich, honey-sweet vocals, latest single ‘Second Best‘ offers a heartfelt anthem delivered with a subtle, stirring power.

To celebrate the single’s release, we caught up with Jewelia to find out more…

Hi Jewelia! Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a singer-songwriter based in London, originally from Bucharest, Romania. I moved to the UK a few years ago to study Music Production, so that I would be able to execute the vision for my songs without a middle-man. I play piano and I’m learning guitar. I love books and also writing my own stories and poems when I have time, online shopping (especially when it’s for music video props), and cats, but sadly I don’t have one… !

Are you able to tell us a bit about how and why you initially started creating music?
I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was little – in fact, I believe I wrote my first song when I was seven. When I was thirteen I became interested in production and started teaching myself to record and produce my own songs. Music was always something I was very interested in, so there was simply no other way!

We love your Maisie Peters-inspired alt-pop sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
As a teenager, I was obsessed with Muse. Their early material was so powerful and intensely emotional, and I loved how their topics were things that don’t often appear in songs, such as outer space or the state of the world. It was what made me want to have a band, and have my own voice, so a very strong early influence for me. A couple of others would be Amanda Palmer (in the period of my first EP and album), Sufjan Stevens and Lana del Rey. These days I listen to a lot of alt-pop, the likes of Phoebe Bridgers or Holly Humberstone.

You’ve just released your new single ‘Second Best’. Are you able to tell us a bit about it?
‘Second Best’ is about feeling inadequate in a society that celebrates the one-in-a-million American Dream stories of going from rags to riches, while collectively pitying the the masses living average lives. From a young age, we watch stories of success against all odds and are besotted with the chosen one, while getting accustomed to look down on the average people and their struggles – the irony being, of course, that we are them. We are told that we can achieve anything, if only we try hard enough. As inspiring as this sounds, it also implies that we only have ourselves to blame (regardless of systemic disadvantages, biological limits, financial difficulty etc) for having an average life, in a world where mediocrity is viewed as being worse than utter failure. Something is messed up here, and I thought it was worth exploring.

Being based in London, do you get to see lots of live music? Would you say it’s recovered since the pandemic?
There is always something cool happening in London, but I don’t go out as much as I should, really! I used to go to a lot of gigs before the pandemic; not so much now, but planning to change that! I’m Not sure if things are the same, as some venues have really suffered and even had to close, but I see that lots of things are going on, and lots of friends and people I know are back to putting on gigs.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
No shows planned for this year, but hoping to put together a UK tour in 2023, to promote the new album coming out next year. More details TBC!

How do you feel the industry is for new artists at the moment? And do you feel much has changed over the last few years in its treatment of female and queer/LGBTQ+  artists?
I am seeing a lot of positive change, a lot more visibility and lot more acceptance. But there’s still a long way to go! I’d love to see more women producers (we are still a tiny fraction of the total, less than 3%)! And less ageism, again especially directed at women. Life doesn’t end at 30, so why should music careers end then? Thankfully this also seems to be improving, slowly.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists or bands you’re loving right now that you’d recommend we check out?
Just looking at my feed at some musicians I know that have released music recently, check out Austel – ‘Cut Me Down’, GRAY – ‘A Million Roses’, Rookes – ‘Paint’, Feral Five – ‘Silver Sky’. I also love Luna Keller’s ‘Wolves’ and Luke Fraser with ‘Moth Eaten Romeo’.

Finally, what does the rest of the year have in store for you?
I have at least one more single dropping before the end of the year, a new album pre-order announcement to come, and also the obligatory Christmas video! And I’ll also be found playing songs and taking requests on Twitch (almost) every Sunday!

Massive thanks to Jewelia for answering our questions!

Introducing Interview: Queen Colobus

Having received support from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs, as well as Jazz FM and Soho Radio, South London based indie-jazz collective Queen Colobus have recently released their new EP Think Fast. Filled with blissful hooks, luscious swooning vocals and glistening laid-back beats, it showcases the band’s ability to fuse together an eclectic array of influences to create wonderfully woozy, musically rich euphoric soundscapes.

We caught up with Queen Colobus to find out more about the EP, what inspires them and what to expect from their live shows…

Hi Queen Colobus, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hiya! We’re a genre-bending 4-piece based in South London. We’ve been together for about three years and Beth (sax/vocals) and Jelly (guitar) live together in sunny Camberwell in a house full of musicians. Our name was derived from an Old World Monkey called King Colobus, which we thought reflected our wise and playful nature (but being a female-led band, Queen felt more apt). We all love marmite.

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Beth & Jelly met at a jam session in Southampton years ago and bonded over being the only female instrumentalists in the room. We forged an alliance and, upon realising how weird we both are following a raspberry-blowing-on-a-random-person’s-stomach incident, we roped in our frivolity-filled mates Will & Adam to create Queen Colobus. We thought the weirdness might seep into the music too and, sure enough, our music has been repeatedly described as wonky.

Your new EP Think Fast is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any specific themes running throughout the album?
Yes, we’re really proud of this one! It’s our second EP. Beth wrote the bare bones of most of these songs and then brought them to the band, so they’re fairly personal. The EP covers themes that are often not talked about in society; grief, mental health struggles and unrealistic body ideals. ‘Think Fast’, the title track, hits back at body ideals and their damaging effects on women, especially young women, whereas ‘5/9’ was written about Beth’s Dad’s relentless positivity as he underwent cancer treatment. The final track of the EP, ‘Old Friend’, was recorded live in one take and is a sweet song on learning how to be alone.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote and Arlo Parks, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We’re lucky to all have such a wide spread of influences. For example, Beth always says that she sort of fell into jazz because she plays saxophone, but listens to so much indie and rock music that this weird amalgamation of them all comes out in her writing. Then when we come together, everyone brings their styles to create an even weirder combination that we often struggle to identify. We can feel a lot of the underground scene’s genre lines becoming blurred and us slowly moving into a post-genre music world, and we’re excited to be part of it. If we had to name one or two influences, Hiatus Kaiyote and Led Zeppelin are probably top of the list.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
As Beth & Jelly live in a house of musicians we were lucky to have a full band in the house over lockdown. As things started to open up but venues hadn’t yet, we would host jams for our community in our back garden, so we were really fortunate to still experience live music throughout the pandemic. Our music community is incredible – everyone is so supportive of each other. We see a lot of live music because we’re passionate about it but also because we want to support all our mates!

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Lots of cathartic rage channelled through a saxophone, followed by sweet calming sounds soothed by Beth’s voice. Extreme guitar solos from Jelly via a concerningly un-grounded plethora of guitar pedals. Will’s head bobbing so furiously you feel his neck must be a slinky. An absurd rhythmic wizard named Adam via the medium of drums. Seriously, though, the audience are very much a part of our performance – we’re always so inspired by everyone’s energy in the room. We always try to create a space where everyone on and off stage feels like they can let go and be completely immersed in the moment.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! We’re loving Holysseus Fly ‘Marigold’ and Stanlæy ‘omnibiguous’ – two singles released last month that are incredible. Shoutouts to Plumm ‘Flame to Flame’, Nina Fine ‘Little Lies’ and t l k ‘Frame Of Ted’. Also we became completely obsessed with Jessi Mac’s tune ‘Carry On’ last year. Excited for Marla Kether and China Bowls to drop their new music soon too.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It’s hard because the pandemic stopped so many artists’ trajectories in their tracks – it sort of felt like we were over-saturated as a scene as venues started to open up and bands released music they wrote over that time too. Having said this, the saturation is also super inspiring – everyone is creating and pushing boundaries with their art and it inspires us to do so too. There’s always an element of luck too which is impossible to predict.

Finally, what does the rest of 2022 have in store for Queen Colobus?
We’re working on some new music and will be back in the studio early 2023 – lots more weird sounds coming your way!

Think Fast, the new EP fro Queen Colobus is out now. Listen to / buy it on Bandcamp now.