Introducing Interview: Æ Mak

Æ MAK‘s otherworldly soundscapes and creative visuals are utterly bewitching, making them one of GIHE’s current faves.

Having played festivals such as Electric Picnic and Liverpool Sound City, and supported big names such as Warpaint, Django Django and Tune-Yards, Æ MAK are now back with new single ‘Love Flush’; another truly captivating, genre-defying creation.

We caught up with front-woman Aoife McCann to talk influences, live shows and gender imbalance in the music industry…

A huge welcome to Get In Her Ears! We’re big fans of yours, so firstly we want to just say keep doing what you’re doing!
Ah, thanks guys!

Can you tell us a bit about how Æ Mak came to its current formation in 2018?
Last summer myself and Daniel McIntyre started collaborating. He’d been playing synth in the band for a while. He’s an amazing producer and song-writer in his own right. We discovered a unique creative spark between us that’s really worked. With each new tune we create we get more and more excited about the sound we’re honing. ‘Love Flush’ is the second single we’ve created and released out of this partnership. For recording and our live set-up we’ve two beautiful drummers who’ve been a core part of Æ MAK since the very beginning: Peter Kelly and Dylan Povey.

And you are still based in Ireland?
We’re based in Dublin. I live in Carlingford where I do most of my song-writing, it’s real beautiful there. Sea and mountains galore. Dan has a gorgeous home in Stillorgan where all of the songs are produced, so we’re happy creating in Ireland. It works for us. It’s home!

We’re loving your latest single ‘Love Flush’ at GIHE HQ, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
What’s happened a lot over the past year when writing is that, in hindsight with a bit of time away from it, I realise what the song is really about and where my head was at at the time. ‘Love Flush’ is basically a twisted love song, steeped in ego. At the time it was inspired by a need to self-protect and create a world where I’m solely a strong ambitious individual. I AM all I need.

Your music has already been likened to the beginnings of Bjork and the electronically enchanting Fever Ray – are you happy with these comparisons?
Yeah, myself and Dan are chuffed, especially with the likes of Fever Ray. We’re massive fans of The Knife too. Before we started collaborating I came to Dan with references of The Knife’s and Little Dragon’s synth sounds, beat sounds, electronic music with a darker pop vibe; a sound that resonates with the vision I have as a performing artist.

It seems that the artwork and visuals that accompany your track are integral to the overall piece, would you agree with this? Do you see yourselves as performance artists as well as musicians?
Definitely. I started Æ MAK, started song-writing, so I could be a performing artist. The artwork and visuals go hand in hand with and embody each song, reflect the colourful, visceral visual concepts I get from or before the music is created. It enhances the music and lets it live in its fullest form. Gives it its own world to breath in.

We’ve seen you talk about gender imbalance in the music industry, specifically being the first act chosen for Festival Republic’s ReBalanced programme – congratulations! This is a new initiative that will address the gender imbalance in the music industry, can you tell us firstly what your thoughts are on this, and what this initiative will be doing?
Thank you! We were ecstatic to have been chosen for the programme and they’ve been brilliant over the past 6 months, giving us guidance and some amazing opportunities. Festival Republic and PRS Foundation are using their resources and position within the music industry to enhance and push the professional careers of female composers, bands, engineers and artists. ReBalance offers studio time with professional female producers in the U.K, festival republic slots and introductions to labels, management companies, booking agents. They help you find your people. They offer a supportive platform basically – what you do with it is up to you and what your goals are. I think it’s a brilliant initiative. It champions women in music at a time of positive change and growth in gender equality. Women represent only 16% of UK composers and songwriters and there’s a scarcity of females in other roles across the industry as well.

What do you think other people in the music industry and fans can do to help push this movement forward?
Just keep listening, promoting, booking, representing the music you love and are excited about. I wouldn’t want to be chosen for something for the sole fact that I’m a woman, but on the merit of the songs and music I make. I think the mindset that men rule the music industry is fading. Great music is great music and it should stop there regardless of gender. The ReBalance programme is promoting talented and forwarded thinking female writers and performers which is fantastic. PRS Foundation have launched its International Keychange initiative, which aims to improve greater equality in festival line-ups. 50/50 male and female bands and artists by 2022. This is coming from the best of places and with good intentions. However, it’s so important that we focus on the quality and unique authenticity of art being created, not simply which gender created it. Personally I think there’s a risk of it becoming patronising and degrading. The opposite of the intended effect.

It’s great to see you playing so many different festivals and gigs! You recently played the beautiful Latitude Festival, how did you find it? Did you take a dip in the pond?
Latitude is beautiful. Really cool festival. Don’t think we’ve ever been treated so well at a festival before. We played the Sunrise Arena on Sunday afternoon to a massive crowd of hungover, enthusiastic heads. Didn’t take a dip in the pond unfortunately. It was the last show of our stint in London, so we got to chill and see some of our favourite bands – Wolf Alice and Alt-J. Amazing.

How’re you finding the most recent tour that you are on? It must be quite the experience
being ferried around in a van during this insanely hot summer??

A nice van would be luxury. Planes, trains and automobiles over here. The heat is crazy. Burn, peel, white, repeat.

How would you describe your live show?
High energy. Emotive. I hope it creates a separate world that the audience can escape into and lose themselves. A space where they think ‘this is odd’, I’m odd too.

You’ve supported some great acts like Warpaint, Tune-Yards and Django Django – have you had a favourite so far?
Tune-Yards. They are amazing and the nicest people. I’d been a massive fan from early on so getting to chat with Merrill about music was very very surreal and fuzzy. The Nikki Nack album massively influenced me as a songwriter when it came out in 2014. Inspired me to create freely without the restraint of what I thought a pop song ‘should be’ and find that primitive rhythm we all have deep down in our core. We were chuffed to have been given the opportunity.

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
We’re big fans of Wastefellow, he produced a few of the earlier Æ MAK songs. He’s a brilliant experimental electronic producer. I’m also loving Mongoose at the moment, an Irish indie folk band. Check them out!

Huge thanks to Æ Mak for answering our questions!

Introducing Interview: Delhia de France

Electronica artist Delhia de France has just released her debut EP, Morai. We caught up with Delhia de France to talk about the release, the inspiration behind the name (Greek goddesses of fate representing divine feminine power), fossil waterfalls and so much more…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
Hi Ladies thanks for having me! The music was always there: I had piano lessons at age 7, wrote my first song at 10 and had classical singing lessons at 15 which was when I also started my first band – a hiphop project with 2 Mc’s, a DJ and me. I went on to study design to have a possible alternative until I realised that I didn’t want any plan b.

You are described as a ccollaborator, producer, songwriter and visual performer – do you feel you identify more strongly with one particular creative arm, or do all these aspects of your life influence the other?
I´d say music is definitely the core but I love to express myself in any way I feel.  Ultimately I am interested in creating a whole world, a gesamtkunstwerk if you will. And yes they definitely influence each other, like, when I write I always see images with it or I write from an image.

You are originally from East Berlin, what was it like growing up there in the ’90s after the wall came down?
Well, I was very little and of course didn’t realize what that meant at the time but in retrospective I think the vibe was feeling free on one hand but also very confusing and insecure on the other hand ’cause nobody really knew what was going to happen…  The millennium for me was a wild time, growing up between all these subcultures of hiphop, techno and drum and bass. Nobody really cared we were just having fun.

I read that you completely lost your voice at 17, starting therapy to try and recover it? That must have had an incredible impact on you both physically, emotionally and creatively?
Oh definitely, I thought I would never be able to sing again. You feel helpless surrendering to your body. On the other side it was a chance to learn how to be careful with myself, my body and my mind. A lot of it was fear. I believe that most of our illnesses are deeply rooted within our mind, manifested pain in a way.

We’re loving your latest single ‘Waterfalls’ at GIHE HQ, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
When I write I mostly write on in sounds. I would come up with something completely different if I´d play chords on a piano than on a certain synth. With waterfalls the sound felt so watery and the word waterfalls popped pretty quickly while Lester and me where Jamming, and then I just followed that image.  I had recently visited a fossil waterfall and the deep canyons of water and sanded silky stone were such a strong picture – incredible force yet such gentle form. I guess that inspired the song.

And the single is part of your upcoming EP Moirai set for release ‪on 13th July, how would you describe the themes of this record?
The Sound of the EP is electronic but warm and organic, yet dark and melancholic. I guess thats just something I am really drawn to. I like playing with textures and vocal layers and Robot adds his magic with his signature hypnotic beats and baselines. We both love detailed and rich sounds. The visual theme evolves around the Moirai, the three goddess sisters from Ancient Greek, weaving mankind’s destiny. I have always admired greek philosophy and mythology. I like how it is explaining mundane concepts with divine intention and I think thats not only beautiful but consolidating in a world striving for meaning and being obsessed with the material.

The EP was made in collaboration with Grammy winner Lester Mendez and Robot Koch, how did you find the creative process working with such renowned people?
I wrote all tracks together with Robot Koch except for waterfalls, which we wrote together with Lester. Robot and me have been working together for a while but I think this project has been quite challenging for both of us as I would also be co-producing most of the songs.  I am blessed to be able to work with someone who gives me so much freedom and encourages me to go down my own path.  Writing with Lester has been equally amazing, he is the most humble and kind person. His studio is full with synths and instruments, so we would take bits and pieces from digital and analogue gear, record sounds on his modular and Robot even played drums. Both Robot and Lester work very fast which was a bit hard at times for me as I would need my time to retreat to writing the lyrics… mixing especially is quite a difficult process for me, which Robot and I did together.

Throughout your music career you’ve collaborated with numerous people, do you have a particular project that you are most proud of?
One of the highlights definitely was playing with the MDR Symphony Orchestra and the Stueba Philharmonie together with my band project Pentatones. Also when Sony used the song I made with Robot Koch and Savannah Jo Lack for their worldwide ad campaign.

What are the differences between the music scenes in Berlin and LA?
I think Berlin in general has bit of rawer, darker vibe and you can feel that in the music.  It’s much more electronic dance music oriented which makes sense given the dark winter months here. Total opposite to the eternal sunshine of LA which mirrors in a rather positive and warm sound I think.

As a visual performer, can you tell us what can fans could expect from your live music shows? 
I want people to enter a different world for a bit and I am now shaping that world. It probably will be very stripped down at first but for the future I envision a raza immersive and performative live show.

More importantly are you planning on coming to the UK anytime soon??
Definitely wanna play the UK, but nothing concrete yet. Stay tuned!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by some amazingly talented people, especially women. My LA friend Drum&Lace has just released two beautiful ambient songs, RYAT, also from LA, who has already released on Flying Lotus label… Brainfeeder will drop some unreleased material in the summer and another close collaborator, violinist Savannah Jo Lack will release her neoclassical debut in Autumn… And if you haven’t heard yet about Perera Elsewhere from Berlin you should definitely check out her trippy doomfolk productions.

Morai, the debut EP from Delhia De France, is out now via Trees and Cyborgs.

 

Introducing Interview: Nausica

Since forming in 2013, Nausica have continued to work from their home countries of both Germany and the Netherlands, writing and producing their own material.

Skilled in creating ethereal, mesmerising soundscapes, Nausica have just released their new single ‘Black & White’. We caught up with them to find out more…

Hi Nausica, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
We’re a Dutch-German band, located in both Holland and Berlin and we’re working towards our first full length album, first releasing some singles like this one, ‘Black & White’.

How did you initially get together and start creating music?
We met in Holland. Actually our guitarist and our lead singer were the first ones to make music together, later our drummer Jannis Knüpfer joined, and then bass player Pim Walter. So, basically we started in 2013.

Your new single ‘Black & White’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the single?
The title Black & White is based on the lyrics “It’s black & white, boy, the air we breathe” and describes symbolically two different mindsets in form of an ongoing flashback. Conscious choices made with clear memories in contradiction to the typical grey area, where everything you feel and do seems blurry. The chorus could be described as the deep powerful and colourful outpouring of emotions, almost losing the feeling for reality.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Warpaint, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We listen to a lot of different stuff, but some all time favorites are Future Islands, Warpaint, Foals, PJ Harvey, Talking Heads and Michael Jackson.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
We are spread over two countries, though we met in Arnhem (Holland), so I think our local scene has always been Europe. We’re not bound to one place. So, of course we see and meet a lot of other bands, but mostly we are going to concerts where we already know someone. I think it’s a very normal habit for musicians.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
People mostly describe it as very energetic and expressive. I’d add that we have fantastic songs!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Two bands that we’re big fans of, who also happen to be friends of ours, are Parfum Brutal from Berlin, and Ode to the Quiet, from Holland.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Hmmm. Actually it’s changing so fast all the time, especially in the social media world, which has got extremely important over the years to reach your audience. I would say that’s the most difficult thing for us to understand – how it works to get noticed.

Finally, what does the rest of 2018 have in store for Nausica?
We will release 1-2 new music videos/singles and plans are going towards a full length album, but that depends on a lot of factors, for instance – if we will release it DIY or with a label. We’re still playing some shows in Holland this summer, and hopefully more around Europe soon!

‘Black & White’, the new single from Nausica, is out now.

Introducing Interview: M.I.

Hot off the back of her latest release ‘Euphoria’ we caught up with East London born DIY, alternative R&B artist M.I. to talk about living in Leeds, being a DIY artist and an excellent list of new music artists to shout out!

And what a pleasure it was…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit yourself – who is M.I and how did it all get started?
Hello! Thank you for having me (or featuring me lol). Where it started…? I’ve always loved the music since I was a kid. Mum played Motown classics all the time. I also went to theatre schools on the weekends throughout secondary school and then I decided I wanted to do it all day, everyday. So I studied music in college then came to Leeds to continue. When I initially started gigging it was under the name ‘Miss Idele’. I enjoyed it but I realised that it wasn’t a true representation of me. I wasn’t a ‘sassy soulstress’ all the time and I got a bit tired of trying to be that at every performance/appearance. So I created M.I.
M.I I would say is kind of a culmination of all the different aspects of me. So she’s got the sass of Miss Idele, but she’s also vulnerable, scared and anxious. With M.I there are no expectations or limitations.  She can be anything or everything she wants to be.

And you’re originally from East London (where GIHE HQ is!), what made you make the move to Leeds?
Yes, E17 all day everyday! Hahaha. I moved because of the choice I made to go to Leeds College Of Music (LCOM). It was a tie between there or Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). As soon as I got to Leeds it felt like a second home immediately, and it helped that three friends from college were coming to Leeds too!

Leeds has a great music scene, do you find it very different to London’s?
The Leeds music scene is great. Lots of talent all around. I have to give a whole heap of praise to DJ Lubi for giving a lot of us opportunities to gig around some of the best venues, line ups and promoters! I do think the London scene is a bit different – the music scene is huge with lots of different things happening. Unfortunately from what I know, I feel like the London music scene is kind of people saying the same thing over the same type of music. Something I really appreciate is coming to Leeds to find my sound and what I like and/or dislike, and what I have to say that can impact, that is honest. Having said that I do feel like the London scene would cater more to my sound than Leeds would. I think Leeds has a soft spot for Jazz, Afro Beats or singer-songwriters!

You are a DIY artist which we respect so much, was this a conscious decision to keep more control over your music? How do you find being a DIY artist?
I’m neither happy or sad to be a DIY artist. I don’t think I can see it any other way right now as I know what I want, I’m very involved in all aspects like the writing, arrangement and production. So, unless the perfect recording contract came along giving me that same amount of control, I’m happy to stick with being a D.I.Y artist! I must say though, it is sometimes easy to be a DIY artist because I don’t see music as a task or job. Sometimes I don’t even see it as a career. It’s my passion so it will always be a part of me whether I become a huge superstar or not. I think the only big struggle with being DIY is there isn’t a big company funding you so you kinda have to find ways to literally DIY, hahaha (sorry, bad joke).

We’re loving the new single ‘Euphoria’ at Get In Her Ears HQ and have played it on our radio show! Can you tell us a bit about the song and what inspired it?
Euphoria!!! The first song I ever wrote. It was surprisingly easy to write despite having never written before and not thinking I could. I just started improvising to an instrumental on youtube and boom! It appeared! I think what helped is that I needed to get something of my chest… I didn’t realise it at the time but writing was my outlet. My inspiration for that song was a guy I liked…! I wrote it as a kind of letter I suppose. We were both dealing with a huge change in our lives and I was kind of writing to myself as well.  Telling myself (and him) to try something new, to escape reality (funnily enough most of my songs became about escaping). I really enjoyed writing it as if it was a breath of fresh air, instead of making it direct which gives it a freedom to mean the listeners interpret it to be.

 

Am I right in thinking you are part of a vocal group called Leeds Contemporary Singers? Who have performed with the likes of Kelis? That must have been amazing!
Yes!  L.C.S!!!  I absolutely adore them! Yes we have! We also performed with Will Young who was one of our mentors on the show! We also got to see Jermaine Jackson, Nick Jonas, Seal and my number one idol CHAKA KHAN!!  Definitely the big highlight of 2017!!!

At Get In Her Ears we’re about promoting and supporting women in music, hoping for a day when people can talk about good music no matter what the artist’s gender is on an equal basis. Do you find as a woman that people label you as a ‘female’ artist rather than an ‘artist’? If so how do you feel about that?
Sadly I think my race is picked up on before my gender. So kind of a double whammy there.  Most of the time, despite my change in image/sound, I’m labelled as a “Soulstress” or “Gospel Singer”. It’s something I really struggled with in University, people just assuming what I do and limiting me to that. Most of the time I got labelled as a backing vocalist. I think a lot of the time people think because I’m a female, all I do is sing and if I play an instrument too an even bigger achievement. But yes I sing, I can accompany myself on a piano but I also write, arrange and produce my songs. I may not be the best producer but I know what I want and it was really hard finding producers who let you do you. I found a lot of producers try and force what they want for you, upon you and ignore when you disagree or try to have an opinion on your own songs! When speaking to male artists, they never seem to have that issue. I think that enforces my being DIY as well as I do not have the time or the patience to deal with it.

What’s 2018 got in store for M.I.?
2018!!  Reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time!!  I plan to ‘snatch wigs’, be the best version of me musically and personally, put in the work and leave the rest to GOD! I want to release a couple more tracks throughout the year and get some gigs in. But other than that, I’m gonna live my BEST LIFE!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
New music! I love supporting friends so here is a nice list! I’m mentioning producers, instrumentalists and writers because I think it’s important to shed light on people behind the spotlight – they’re all important too!! Becky Bowe, Loux, Park fires and Luna Pines recently released new singles. The compilation album by Sixteen Records compiled by Lotte Van Den Berg is full of loads of upcoming artists/bands in and around Leeds – Ofure Faith, Dija Bhlue, Mali Hayes and Jermaine Peterson – amazing artists! Chloe Rianna – best drummer I know! Kieran Williams – greatest songwriter I know, he’s written a couple of bops including BBC Radio 1’s Track Of The Week ‘I’m Not Ever Coming Back again’ (I’ve also got a couple of bops coming out with him). Akin Music – he co-produced ‘Euphoria’ and a couple of other tracks of mine, AND he’s opening for Lalah Hathaway in July in Leeds!  Monkey Harper – he’s a producer, he’s got some bops coming out too! And he co-produced ‘Euphoria’ and a couple of other tracks. I could actually go on but I think that’s enough!!!

‘Euphoria’ is out now, check out more from M.I. via her socials – Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Introducing Interview: Chymes

When I find myself describing a track as “so chill, I can’t even” I know it deserves a solid place on my current playlist, and that’s exactly what happened with ‘Dreaming’, the latest release from Sydney duo Chymes. We caught up with Kiersten – one half of Chymes – to talk about how it all began, Australia’s music scene and what equal billing is really about.

Welcome to Get In Her Ears!  Can you tell us a bit about Chymes and how it all started?
Thanks for having me! Chymes came about when I was writing my own music as a folk artist and needed a producer. I found Cameron through some mutual friends and we began working together. We started to turn what we were creating into something neither of us had explored before. We found we had similar ambitions and decided to pursue them together as Chymes.

So you are currently in Australia… Have you ever visited the UK?  If so do you think there is a difference between the two scenes?
I visited the UK two years ago just before Christmas to see my sister who was living there at the time. I wasn’t there long enough to check out the music scene. However it seems to have a really artistic and creative vibe and in the future I’d LOVE to go back and perform our music and write with other musicians.

Australia (Melbourne especially) has such an incredible music scene, with so many great artists emerging. Would you say there is much of a community among emerging artists over there?
There are some seriously talented people coming out of Australia and it is very exciting! All kinds of music too, which is great. In terms of a community… Not really. From what we’ve experienced, it is hard to get in touch with other artists because everyone is hustling and focusing on their own path. In saying that though, we have made really good friends with lots of people who we’ve met through doing shows and often invite each other back for more.
Also, Chymes HQ is an hour and a half away from Sydney and it makes it hard for us to be properly involved in a community if there was one.

We’re loving your latest single ‘Dreaming’ which we played on our radio show, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
Yay! We are sooo glad you like it. It’s about that euphoric feeling when you experience something that feels larger than life, like coming up with a new idea or falling in love and how you find yourself being whisked away into another world or a dream-like place. It’s how we feel when we make music.


Here in London there is a big movement to promote and support women in music, and increase the representation of women & non-binary people in the music industry. I was wondering what the scene is like in Australia?

We definitely feel like it’s growing. The last festival we played at had a designated stage for ‘female artists only’ which is cool. And there are a few “mini festivals” & shows popping up advertising female only line-ups.

Do you have any thoughts on what we can do to combat these issues in the music industry such as equal billing on festival and gig line ups?
Creating awareness around the value that these people have in the industry. Let’s just pay attention to the fact that a woman’s skill set is just as good as anyone else’s and that’s why there should be equal billing, not just because they are suppressed.

Many people I’ve talked to say that more often than not, being a woman is highlighted over the music you are producing. What has your experience been like?
We haven’t experienced too much of that ourselves. I can see why it would be frustrating because it actually has nothing to do with the music. In my experience, I often find an emphasis on how young a female artist is. Which is annoying! As if there wasn’t already enough pressure on women to stay or look young.

Do you have any plans to come to the UK in the future?  We’d love to see you live!
We would seriously LOVE to but unfortunately there aren’t any plans yet. Hopefully soon!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Omg yes, you MUST check out a band called Refs – my absolute favourite song is called ‘Fools’.

Chymes’ single ‘Dreaming‘ is out now, find out more via their socials Facebook | Soundcloud
Instagram

Tash Walker
@maudeandtrevor

Introducing Interview: Kid Cupid

Gigging together for over a year now, GIHE faves Kid Cupid have been building a reputation for their joyous, immersive live performances, with headline shows at The Garage, Proud Camden and Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen under their belts.

Now, having graced our ears with the cinematic electro-pop of last year’s single ‘Easy’, they’re ready to release their debut EP. We caught up with Laura from the band to find out more…

Hi Kid Cupid, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do?
Hey there! Thanks for having us, we are a four piece alt pop band based in London.

How did you all initially get together and start creating music?
I wish there was some really profound story like we all met on a life changing rocket trip to the moon but sorryyyy the truth is that James and Laura met when working on a TV show (Jonathan Creek) James was in a band and asked Laura to feature on one of their tracks. Unfortunately that band decided to split up so James and Laura decided to create a new one, joined by a friend Ian and John was found on gumtree!!

Your new EP ​Unholy Ceremony ​is out next month, can you tell us a bit about it? Are there any themes running throughout it?
It is and we’re so excited to get it out there, we’ve really poured a lot into this debut EP. Theme-wise it’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster – it’s based around conversations with a friend in need. The helplessness and the frustration of trying to drag someone you love back from a dark space. Saying that, the main single ‘Better’ is actually a celebration of the person, it’s us saying “if you could only see yourself how we see you”, and I think it’s something everyone can relate to.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Little Dragon and Låpsley, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Such amazing comparisons there and we feel really humbled to be mentioned alongside them! For me (Laura), I grew up with female greats such as Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, Joan Armatrading, Judi Tzuke (the list goes on), and I feel like I try to harness their amazing freedom/wildness/feminine energy when I write. But as a group we have so many varied influencers and genres, from soul and r’n’b to punk. We are also very inspired by film scores and cinematic soundtracks, so hopefully all of this enables us to blur/transcend genres ourselves.


You’ve previously wowed us with the uplifting energy of your live show at The Finsbury, but would you say there’s been a particular gig you’ve played that stands out as a highlight for you?

We had a blast at that gig so thanks again for having us! We headlined The Garage last year and that was a standout gig for us. The atmosphere was on point, we had our own light show and the stars just aligned! Hopefully that was the first of many to come and we will see you all out on a big old stage again soon, light show and all.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see much live music?
London is just full of talent, we try and see as much as we can. Our favourite is heading into unexpected places and discovering a new band, it’s just magical!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new upcoming bands/artists who you’d recommend we check out?
Check out our friends Bronte and Alesund! We’re also loving Ibeyi, Leif Erikson, Ardyn and Blaenavon.

And how do you feel the industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
The music scene can feel a bit over saturated at times and that can be really daunting/disheartening as a band trying to get noticed. As long as we are having fun and making music that we love, we will continue! Hopefully people can see our passion for what we are doing.

Finally, what does the rest of 2018 have in store for Kid Cupid?
Onwards and upwards! We are heading to Berlin on June 13t​h​ to play a gig for FluxFM Bergfest, and then we plan to tour the EP and more writing!!

Huge thanks so Kid Cupid for answering our questions! 

Unholy Ceremony, the upcoming EP from Kid Cupid, is out 18th June.

 

Introducing Interview: Candice Gordon

Candice Gordon is a Berlin based Irish artist who delivered a big slice of high-tension, trashy, garage rock with her latest single ‘The Kids Are Alt Right’. We talked about the mundanity of mainstream music and pop-culture phenomenons, before she signed off with an excellent list of artists that she recommends. Oh, and a shout out to a lost pair of her most valued black jeans.

Hi Candice, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
I don’t think there was one definitive lightning bolt of a moment for me. It was a part of my personality to be turned on by exploration and adventure. From when I was a kid I loved the freedom and independence that busking allowed me. I travelled with my guitar and later with a crystal ball. Songwriting as an artform also appealed to me from early on.

You are originally from Ireland but now living in Berlin, what were your reasons for moving to Berlin?
Before Ireland I lived in Botswana. I had been living in Ireland for long enough that I wanted to get the fuck out again. I was depressed and suicidal, and Berlin seemed to be a decent option, and when I first came here it felt really right. I like the grassroots movements that happen in Berlin. At the moment there is a fightback against Google moving into a neighbourhood. I don’t think that sort of thing is common in a lot of other places. In Ireland they welcomed Google, Apple, and Facebook with open arms and tax breaks.

What are the differences between the music scenes in Berlin and Ireland?
Both Germany and Ireland have terrible taste when it comes to mainstream music. But I’m in Italy at the moment and there’s that common thread of god awful music on most all the radio stations, so I don’t know if there’s a place in the world that’s immune. There’s a lot of talent in Ireland for such a small country, but it’s not getting nurtured and celebrated like it should. Berlin is comparatively huge so there’s a huge amount of artists. A lot of great artists live here. I think in Berlin there’s an effort to push boundaries and break standards. I like that.

We’re loving your latest single ‘The Kids Are Alt Right’ (great name) – can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
I was looking at modern culture and the alt-right movement. When there’s the idea that young people are progressive, looking forward, and open-minded, it’s a surprise to discover that they are conservative traditionalists, looking backward. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “alt” means “old” in German. Every time I see another pop-cultural phenomenon my expectations in humanity are lowered yet again. Be it ‘Gangnam Style’, or Nigel Farage. I think they’re all the same. It’s mob mentality and veneration. The chorus is a play on The Who song, but I don’t think they’re alright. I think they’re fucked. We’re fucked. But yeah, the song is roughly about data analytics and propaganda. On a deeper level, I think capitalism causes media to do shitty jobs – they can’t afford to have integrity, so they give Farage a microphone because he’s entertaining.


Am I right in thinking that it was aptly recorded in a basement in Texas soon after Trump’s inauguration? And you have been targeted by members of the alt-right online since it started streaming?

Yeah, I recorded it in Texas. We went over last year and the only food I could afford was tacos and donuts. Yeah, because of YouTube and Facebook algorithms, when I put the song up it got directed to alt-right people and they write comments and emojis, but it’s probably time sensitive because it was only during the first week or so. I feel if they are distracted by my video it’s serving a valuable purpose. The finished video is coming soon though, so fingers crossed I can catch some trolls.

The single was launched at Berghain in Berlin, how was the party?
It was a great gig. I lost a bag with my most valued black jeans and red Hawaiian shirt though, if anyone finds it.

Your music has been described in such a variety of ways from “gothic guitar-noir” to “garage rock raucousness” to “sweetly dark folk-tinged music” … Do you feel that you fall into any of these descriptions?
Yes, I think they’re all really good descriptions of elements of what I do. But I think genres are for marketers.

You are in the midst of your current tour, how’s that all going?
I am currently in Terni, Italy, eating cherries and drinking coffee in the sun. So it’s not bad. Great shows, great audiences, not enough sleep, too much car. Unsurprisingly incredible food.

What can fans expect from your live shows? And, more importantly, are you planning on coming to the UK anytime soon??
Let’s see… There’s drums, bass, synth, electric guitar. Sometimes there’s other instruments. I sing. I wear shoes. People clap. I sing some more. I was planning on a London show but now I’m booked up until I don’t know when!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
A.S. Fanning – lyrics and tone to die for.
Alice Dean – acid beat straight from the lab.
Louis Brennan – Sartorial quips in song form.
Nina Hynes – fourth dimensional.
Paddy Hanna – manufactures earworms.
Badhands – sensationally crafted songs.
Gordon Raphael – endlessly entertaining.
Medicine Boy – representing psychedelic desert blues from Cape Town.

Huge thanks to Candice for answering our questions!