Introducing Interview: KENICHI & THE SUN

Set to release her new album next month, Katrin Hahner – aka KENICHI & THE SUN – has previously received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Gold Flake Paint and BBC 6Music’s Lauren Laverne.

Creating utterly enchanting dark-pop offerings, it’s impossible not become captivated by the immersive and powerful soundscapes she creates.

We caught up with Katrin to find out more…

Hi Kenichi & The Sun, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi, thanks for the invitation, Get Her Ears! Delighted to be here. I love to create music and art. I turn on/off the lightswitch in my kitchen with my right foot. I like solitary walks and hikes. I love to look at the sky. I just released the first single ‘Splendour’ of my new album WHITE FIRE which will be out April 3rd. I am looking for patterns in everything and am always ready and willing to be amazed.

How did you initially start creating music?
Someone left their electric guitar and an amplifier  in our shared art studio in Art Academy and after staring at it for a while I finally picked it up and subsequently recorded three  albums over the next few years under the name MISS KENICHI. In 2019 that transformed into KENICHI & THE SUN. I created the music for a huge theatre production in Iceland and wrote the music for art performances that were performed in contemporary dance spaces all over Europe, doing film scores for video artists and collaborating with a lot of really inspiring people completely changed my way of writing and producing the songs. It really expanded my horizon of whats possible and I  allowed all these musical influences to play out on WHITE FIRE. That was very liberating. 

Your new album WHITE FIRE is out 3rd April 2020 – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the album?
It really is about transformation and an opening that happens through something like a rock bottom. The core of the fire where the heat is strongest is glowing white. Even the ashes get burned in there. Only very few things remain. Medicine people have forever used the fire to turn previously toxic materials into healing medicine. I felt like I threw my previous experiences, my assumptions, my self imagery into that fire and allowed them be transformed. There´s themes like loss and transience and the strength and wisdom that can come from going though it. I lost a great friend to suicide, my father passed away. Yet there is always a profound presence of beauty and wonder. It´s an exploration of the shadows in order to understand how to see through them. It´s a puzzle of sorts. Every song is one piece that adds to a greater picture. I am interested in life itself with all its strange mechanisms and its intensity and glory and beauty. I am always looking for ways to connect the dark and the light. Can´t have one without the other. Everything is part of the deal. Harmony and chaos, human and divine, male and female, success and failure, sacred and profane. It´s all life. It´s the full colour wheel. 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Björk and Fever Ray, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
All kinds of music influences me. Everything I hear really. These two amazing artists are definitely influential, their fierce creativity and curiosity and courage is a great inspiration. My taste is pretty eclectic.  My head is full of music and images, so I also love (and need) long stretches of silence (or even better: nature sound) . And then if I listen to something, I really listen. I love Talk Talk, Palestrina, Gagaku Music, Gyda Valtisdottir, Kendrick Lamar, Pauline Oliveros, My Brightest Diamond, Erykah Badu….I just made a playlist with music that inspired me during making WHITE FIRE – Check it out! 

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Yes! Great concerts in Berlin!

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Dreamlike. Colourful. A celebration. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
TAU, Candice Gordon, Nina Hynes, Tara Nome Doyle, Johanna Amelie, Mynolia, Dolphin Midwives, Gyda Valtisdottir, Daughters of Reykjavik. 

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I try to not focus so much on the difficulties, but on the possibilities. Be creative, leave the playing field for a moment and change the perspective, allow the unexpected. I perceive music more like medicine. Music is not a luxury, it´s an essential nourishment. Of course I put some effort into getting it to the people. I want to have a conversation. I do not only set out to get noticed, but I want to notice the other side as well. It´s a conversation, isn´t it? 

Finally, what does the rest of 2020 have in store for KENICHI & THE SUN?
The release of WHITE FIRE next month, which I am very much looking forward to. Concerts. More videos. An Exhibition. A few months in Iceland. Lots of time in nature there plus an art project I started last year. Right now I am  printing an exclusive special edition art poster for my record release show in April (they came out beautifully!). A movie I did the score for called ‘We always need heroes’ by British artist Rosie Heinrich will be released later in the year. Connecting with more amazing people and getting some new work done. 2020!

WHITE FIRE, the upcoming new album from KENICHI & THE SUN, is set for release 3rd April.

Introducing Interview: Chloe Foy

Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, Manchester-based artist Chloe Foy has just released her enchanting new EP.

An introspective collection of reflective offerings, Callous Copper showcases Foy’s smooth, rich vocals and stirring heartfelt emotion alongside glistening sweeping string arrangements.

We caught up with Chloe to find out more…

Hi Chloe, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a singer-songwriter living in Manchester, originally from Gloucestershire, trying my best to do what I love.

How did you start creating music?
I had always been musical, and started off learning classical music, but then picked up a guitar when I was about 14, learnt a few basic chords and started to write my own songs. A lot was going on in my life then and it was my most instinctive form of expression.

Your new EP Callous Copper is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the album?
There’s not a lyrical theme as such, other than the fact my songs are all inspired by this weird thing we do called life. There’s themes of love and death and mental health too. Really, it was an opportunity for me to realise this idea of doing a record with a string quartet, which I had wanted to do for a while.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Laura Marling and Lucy Rose, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I think they are probably up there with some of the big ones, as well as Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Manchester is great for live music. There’s usually something going on every day of the week that you can go to. These days I’m busier, so I don’t get to see as much as I’d like but I still try and see a fair amount.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Heartbreak.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
There are some great North West artists who I love – Caoilfhionn Rose, Katie Mac, Hannah Ashcroft, Lindsay Munroe – all amazing female artists making diverse and beautiful music.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I think it’s tough. There’s an abundance of music out there so it’s hard to be heard above the noise. I think it’s easier than ever to get your music onto platforms like Spotify and start to make a few little waves, but to get further and make a sustainable living I think is tough without a strong team behind you.

Finally, what does the rest of 2020 have in store for Chloe Foy?
A headline tour with my string trio in March, to get out and play songs from my forthcoming EP, and hopefully some trips further afield, as well as some festival slots to be announced!

 

Callous Copper is out now. Catch Chloe Foy live at The Islington on 4th March via AntiFraglie.

 

Introducing Interview: SUN

Following their visceral single ‘Higher Fire’, Franco-German brutal-pop outfit SUN have now announced the release of their debut EP.

With an intense, brooding sound that is uniquely theirs, SUN is the embodiment of founder and sole member Karoline Rose’s brutal pop aesthetic, creating utterly captivating, atmospheric soundscapes.

We caught up with Karoline to find out more…

Hi Karoline, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about SUN?
Hi Get In Her Ears! SUN is my music project. Live we play as a two-piece (I’m on guitar/bass and vocals and I have a mysterious drummer with me). Since I was a teenage metalhead in Germany I wanted to blend Pop and Metal with just a hint of Riot Grrrl. I came up with the term Brutal Pop. For years I was chasing after that Brutal Pop sound. I went from Church Choir to Death metal bands, then did Contemporary Theatre and Musicals as a performer. All in order to gain the skills to create the Sound and the Live show I had in mind since my childhood. SUN was born two years ago and SUN’s first EP Brutal Pop just came out in December. I feel so relieved that I finally have my very own musical language together and out in the world! 

How did you initially start creating music?
I would imitate my mom (who is a French chanson singer) as a toddler and go through some classical training on the piano as a child. When I was twelve I discovered Courtney Love and Tairrie B and from then on I knew I had to make heavy music. My American aunt would send me cool CD’s from oversees and I would analyse the song structure and the lyrics and create my own. I had my first band at 12 (they were between 18-25) and it all started then.

Your latest single ‘I Killed My Man’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the track?
‘I Killed My Man’ is a goodbye to a toxic relationship/ toxic relationships in general. Sometimes we mistake admiration for love and lose ourselves in the process. It can make us accept the unacceptable and it is very hard to get out of that kind of situation without casualties. I wanted to say goodbye to that relationship but also to all the toxicity in my life. I also wanted to say goodbye to someone I lost a long time ago.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Chelsea Wolfe all the way to Pink, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I think my top 3 would be Michael Jackson, Hole and Devin Townsend! It’s really representative of the mix I wanted to hear for so long: Groovy Pop, Indie Grunge (life through this era) and powerful yet original Metal.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
In Paris we have some really cool spots and cool bands. Local promoters like Hypergéante or Morsure organise great gigs at Olympic Café,  Espace B  or the amazing Bus Palladium. In my second hometown Karlsruhe (Germany) we have an amazing club called Substage. In both cases the local scene is very small and especially in France promoters and festivals prefer to welcome foreign bands than giving the locals a shot. That’s why I try to support locals as much as I can.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Our live performances are a Brutal Pop show. My background in Contemporary Theatre and Musicals helped us to make our shows more 360 degrees, not only – foot on wedge – rock n roll (even if there’s nothing wrong with that!). I wanted to be able to create a space in which I can let loose, run, jump, come from different angles without cables and surround my drummer like a wild lion playing with his prey. I would say that our live performances are pop shows but we headbang… a lot! 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
I recommend my Parisien friends Toybloid (female fronted riot grrrl) as well as one of the craziest french bands ever, Igorrr!

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 is difficult to get past the algorithm. if you don’t want to force your music on an audience that you’ve targeted and paid for you have less chances to be heard. . Things are chaotic right now and no one really knows what to do (labels, press etc) no one can be certain of any strategy, but maybe that is a good thing! Great music might take root in chaos and take off out of nowhere.

Finally, what does 2020 have in store for you?
SUN’s first EP Brutal Pop just came out in December 2019 and the second EP is already finished. It will come out in April 2020. In the meanwhile we will be touring Europe from January until April in a theatre play (‘Nous l’Europe’) in which I am an actress and SUN is the play’s music (for real! We play ‘Higher Fire’ and ‘I killed My Man’ amongst others). We will then go back to touring normally, and get our debut album ready!

Massive thanks to Karoline for answering our questions!

Brutal Pop, the debut EP from SUN is out now. Watch the new video for ‘I Killed My Man’ here:

 

Introducing Interview: Sun Bloom

Having originally formed at college, London trio Sun Bloom have now shared their latest single ‘Take It Away’.

Filled with jangly melodies and the luscious swooning vocals of of front woman Viv Youel, it’s a sunny slice of dream-pop perfect for warming these dark winter days.

We caught up with Viv to find out more…

Hi Sun Bloom, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hello! We make upbeat, no-frills guitar music. We come as a pack of four from London. Sometimes we play as a more compact duo for the smaller gigs. We’re all about getting the crowd flailing around sticky floored venues and enjoying live shows.    

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
The two gals (Viv – guitar, Poppy – bass) met when we were 18 at college, and the guys (Troy – drums, Theo – guitar) met at Goldsmiths. Viv found drummer Troy after posting a Facebook advert… Essentially ordered him online!

Your new single ’Take It Away’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
It’s about what happens to love when it becomes long distance; how it survives in strange ways; how memory can take on a life of its own, and persist despite time and distance. You wouldn’t believe it, but it’s actually super upbeat and cheerful!

You’ve been compared to the likes of Alvvays and Best Coast, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I love Anna Calvi – she is so deft with her guitar work, she’s completely in control of it and owns the instrument on stage; serious (long term) guitar goals there!! Then bands like La Luz, Surf Curse and The Drums.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
My area is mainly populated by OAPs, so not much of a scene. I see bands I love when I can though! 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Drum beats to dance to, lyrics to yell along to, and hopefully some guitar parts to take you hair down for. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Gaygirl, Jelly Boy, Midnight Mouth, Lala Lala and Black Country New Road are a few of my current favourites. 

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
There are a lot of ways to get noticed. It’s the early stages that are hard to get past: when you are trying to build a following, so don’t have many people to bring to shows, but the promoters won’t book you unless you do… 

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Sun Bloom?
We’re recording a vinyl of six tracks through indie label Dog Tunnel records. We’re very excited to do it analogue style, and have a really raw, energetic recording of us all playing live together in one room. Hopefully we’ll get some gigs in the bag too! 

Huge thanks to Sun Bloom for answering our questions! 

‘Take It Away’, taken from Sun Bloom’s debut EP of the same name, is out now.

 

 

Introducing Interview: The Frampton Sisters

Hi, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
We are sisters from East Sussex that sing and play folky pop. We grew up on the Orkney Isles where we learned to read and write music, as every child on the island learns to play the fiddle, or some sort of instrument! Growing up here started our music interests, plus our parents were also both musical, so encouraged us a lot.

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
We have always played music together; starting in our family band when we were five and seven! When we moved South we started to take it more seriously, performing at various venues and events around the area.

Your new single ‘Birds Of A Feather’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
The track is simply about everybody and everything; how when it comes down to it, we are all the same, and that we should accept everyone for who and what they are.

You’ve been compared to the likes of First Aid Fit and Lily & Madeleine, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We enjoy all sorts of styles of music, but our influencers would start with Van Morrison, The Carpenters, Taylor Swift and Passenger. To name a few! 

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
There are many musical venues around us which support local musicians – encouraging them to perform their own material. We quite often watch other bands when we play at these venues. 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
They can expect thought-provoking storytelling songs, close harmonies and some fun sisterly banter. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
A band called Infrared, who are also from East Sussex. They are just starting to make it on the music scene and are really great!

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
As we have so much support from people in the area, we haven’t found gigs and performing difficult. We suppose it is hard to get noticed, but we are on our way, and we are happy to take it slow. 

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for The Frampton Sisters?
Charlie has just started a degree in Performing Arts and Professional Dance, so she is super busy! And Freddie, having just had a baby, is also quite busy. But we are very much still focusing on songwriting and gigging, as that’s what we enjoy. We plan to release some new tracks in the coming months, which is exciting! 

Big thanks to The Frampton Sisters for answering our questions! 

‘Birds Of A Feather’ is out now via Dharma Records.

Introducing Interview: Eilis Frawley

Already known to us as one half of duo Party Fears, Berlin based artist Eilis Frawley has now got our attention with a stirring new solo release.

Combining poignant spoken word lyricism with throbbing beats and twinkling ethereal electro soundscapes, ‘illusions’ reflects on the pressures of modern day life and the effects it can have on our mental health.

We caught up with Eilis to find out more…

Hi Eilis, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about what you do?
Hey! I’m a drummer, playing in Party Fears and I Drew Blank, and more recently as a solo performer working with spoken word, drums and samples. 

We already know you as one half of art-pop duo Party Fears, but what inspired you to start this solo project, and how did it come about?
I had been thinking about it for a number of years but I can’t sing (or play a more ‘solo’ friendly instrument), and was unsure of what medium I could create something in. Last year I applied for a job in a circus (truth!) and they asked me to send a video of me playing/using electronics (tbh I probably wasn’t qualified for the job), which was the birth of the ‘Intellectual Men’ video I put out last year; much to my surprise it got a lot of attention, and I started to think maybe the world is big enough for exactly that, a solo drummer with spoken word. 

Your stirring new single ‘illusions’ is out now – can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m fascinated by the various masks people wear to function in society. We show ourselves so differently on social media, towards people we love and towards strangers. We’re living in a time of extreme busy-ness and I think it takes a real toll on peoples mental health, so wanted to touch on that. 

Your music is pretty unique and I wouldn’t ever try to pigeon hole it into one genre, but who or what would you consider to be your main inspirations for this new project?
I’ve been fan girl-ing Tune-yards for years, I love the layers she uses and how unapologetic she is in her style. Holy Fuck and Battles are also huge inspirations for pad/synth/soundscapes.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
The music scene in Berlin is large and diverse. We’re extremely lucky to get so many bands coming through on tour. Any night of the week there’s a possibility to see a show. I try to go to a gig every week – sometimes it doesn’t happen, but other weeks I go to three! 

And what can we expect from your solo live show?
You can expect it to be loud, and hopefully reflective. I hope people can relate to my stories of feminism, growing up, living abroad, mental health and the general feeling of being an ‘outsider’. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
So many! I made a tour playlist full of new releases (mostly) by upcoming artists. Have a listen here. For Berlin Bands: People Club, SchnickSchnack, Aporia, Jaguwar, Shybits, Gym Tonic.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I hands down don’t understand the industry. There seems to be a lot going on and there are plenty of blogs/promoters/playlists, but be dammed if I understand anything about algorithms. At the moment I’m trying to just work with people who are decent and genuinely interested in my music. If the industry is a deep sea, everyone is trying to be in the reef!

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for you and your solo work?
I have plans to go back into the recording studio at the end of November, and another single to come out by the end of the year. In December/January I will be soaking up the sun in Australia, spending some time with my family and also playing a few shows.

Massive thanks to Eilis for answering our questions! 

‘illusions’ is out now, via Reckless Yes. Buy on Bandcamp. And catch Eilis live on tour:

30th October – Earth, London
31st October – Hatch, Sheffield
1st November – The Old Abbey, Manchester
2nd November – The Gallery, Leicester (w/ Amateur Pop)

Photo Credit: Nina Hynes

Introducing Interview: MIPSO

Having played shows extensively across the world, North Carolina band Mipso have recently released their latest album Edges Run. 

Taken from the album, new single ‘People Change’ is a beautifully poignant offering. Reflecting on themes of loss, it oozes a twinkling charm, flowing folk-fused melodies and lush harmonies.

We caught up with Libby from the band to find out more…

Hi Mipso, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
We are a group of four college friends from North Carolina, along with our wayward Wisconsonite drummer Yan. We play about 150 shows a year across the United States and the planet Earth. 

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
We met when we were about eighteen and looking forward to bright futures in politics, science, academia, etc. Instead, we began playing weekend gigs at local bars and eventually decided to do it full time. Harmony singing was one of the first things we really liked doing together. We also all enjoyed songwriting and song arranging, so we tried to make a band where everyone could contribute to the creation of songs. 

Your new video for ‘People Change’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
The video is intentionally open-ended in terms of its narrative. In a general sense, it’s about looking back on a relationship of some kind that has ended, quietly rather than with a bang. We wanted a series of images that would evoke that particular dull heartache of nostalgia — the smoky haze that’s left over after the flames of love and rupture have burned away. Jacob had the original song idea about a friend he grew apart from after college, but we wanted the video to be vaguer, because I think one of the strengths of that song is how it feels relevant to range of types of relationships. It has some vivid specificity – “that night in Carrboro”, “I hate when people bring me flowers”, etc – but it calls to mind all the forms that follow that type of memory. Jake McBride’s video takes your mind into all those corners. 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Local Natives and Fleet Foxes, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I’m very bad at these kinds of questions. The thing is that we all listen to different music, so our influences are more of a melting pot than a single through-line. We were born in the early ’90s, so we had Destiny’s Child, Blink 182 and Third Eye Blind in our ears during some very formative years. Joseph grew up listening to his dad’s Bob Marley and James Taylor records, Jacob got into jam bands via String Cheese Incident, Wood picked up a lot of jazz love from his dad, several of us sang in church choir. I have spent some time trying to play old time and Celtic fiddle, and as a band we have definitely studied harmony singing and arrangements for acoustic instruments via old bluegrass records. These days some artists at the intersection of our music appreciation Venn diagram are Buck Meek, Phish, Joni Mitchell, Wilco, Sandro Perri, Bedouine. 

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Our local music scene is so wonderful it has made it virtually impossible for me to leave this area, even though I’ve been here for about a million years and sometimes I’m so sick of it thatt I don’t want to leave my house. Most of my hometown friends play music around here, and most of my music friends who live elsewhere play here on their tours. I do see a lot of live music, even though sometimes my instincts tell me to stay away from music venues after I get home from tour where I feel like I’ve spent several lifetimes in music venues. Generally though, if I can get over that mental block, I enjoy pretty much every show I go to. And then I get a lot of FOMO when we’re out on the road and I miss the great stuff that comes through; just this past week, Les Filles de Illighadad, who are an incredible Tuareg band from Niger, were here playing a free show in a park in downtown Durham. The week before that we had a great festival called Hopscotch in Raleigh, and I was luckily home to see some of my old favourites like Dirty Projectors and newer favorites like Mega Bog, not to mention an 8-hour series of purely improvisational sets in one of my favourite venues, Neptune’s, which is down in a basement with red lighting and no stage. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
I don’t totally know what falls into that category (like remember when the Grammys gave best new artist to Arcade Fire?), but I will take a swing: I really love the debut record by my friend Molly Sarlé, who is also a member of Mountain Man. It’s produced by Sam Evian, whose music I also recommend very hard if you haven’t heard it. Emma Louise’s ‘Lilac Everything’ is a gut punch. T. Gold, some more pals from around here, have the perfect soundtrack for your lazy morning or your late-night porch sit. And probably a bunch of artists I will remember as soon as I finish this!

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Probably not much more difficult than it was in 1969 or whatever. Or, who knows? Certainly not me. It feels difficult to get noticed these days just as a human being, and it feels like getting noticed is at a premium. Basically everybody knows what it’s like to want more likes on your picture and simultaneously feel like an absolute piece of trash for wanting that. At least these days you don’t have to wait for a big radio DJ on his high horse to pick your record out of the stack. It does seem more difficult now to get people to listen to your music without first hearing some story about you via social media. They’re like, you want me to LISTEN to this record before I even know where you were born and how many times you’ve been to rehab and how your band name is an anagram of your bank robber uncle’s middle name??

Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Mipso?
We’re finishing a new record next month. Then this Europe tour is sort of the capstone on 2019 for us. I’ve never been to about 75% of the countries we’re playing, so I’m excited to at least wave to the scenery as we drive by. 

Big thanks to Libby for answering our questions! 

‘People Change’ is taken from Mipso’s recently released album Edges Run. Catch Mipso live in the UK this month:

26th October – Broadcast, Glasgow
27th October – Castle Hotel, Manchester
28th October – Thousand Island, London