Five Favourites: Deux Furieuses

Having previously wowed us with their truly immense live show at The Finsbury a couple of years back, duo Ros Cairney and Vas Antoniadou – aka Deux Furieuses  – have been going from strength to strength with their powerful offerings.

Now, with the release of their poignant new album My War Is Your War, they continue to blow our minds with their explosive post-punk and stirring raw emotion.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Ros from the band, who has shared her “Five Favourites” – five tracks that particularly resonate with her and Vas. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the new video for ‘Let Them Burn’ at the end of this post.

PJ Harvey – ‘All and Everyone’
This makes me feel ill. I first listened to the album lying in a hospital bed which was a mistake. The track alternates heart-stoppingly between urgent and woozy sections as she plays with time, life and death. When the drums come in with a dull thud they sound stilted, then soon stop to leave the build up of chiming autoharp chords which introduce the voice with the words “Death was everywhere, In the air, And in the sounds, Coming off the mounds, Of Bolton’s Ridge..”. The vocals echo with a sense of place and history. Verse 2 is propelled along by churning chords until the rhythm slows and the song just lets go into the most sublime free fall with “As we advance in the sun, As we advancing every man, As we advancing in the sun”.  After the last line “Sing death to all and everyone” the track descends into a repetitive outro with long trombone notes conveying an out of tune malaise. I didn’t think PJ Harvey could improve on Dry until I heard Let England Shake. I had always loved PJ Harvey the actual band, that first trio with her distorted guitar riffs locking into that fantastic rhythm section, rather than her songwriting or her ‘solo’ albums. Vas and I saw them many times and are honoured to have worked with drummer Rob Ellis on both our albums. But on Let England Shake, Polly Harvey surpassed all her previous work.

Bert Jansch – ‘January Man’
I first heard Bert Jansch on an old battered copy of 1965 album Don’t Bother Me, borrowed from my aunt Aine Carey who actually taught me to play guitar. I loved his voice and the track ‘Ring a Ding Bird’ with its mesmerising major to minor and back to major key mood shifts. But this is my favourite Bert Jansch song for the combination of his voice and guitar playing on this fantastic song written by Dave Goulder. “And the January man comes round again in woollen coat and boots of leather, To take another turn and walk along the icy road he knows so well, The January man is here for starting each and every year, Along the road for ever”.

Joni Mitchell – ‘Amelia’
I took a year off university in Glasgow to work as a houseparent in a ‘free school’ near Dumfries and would take off into the countryside on a bike. It was summer and I loved to sit under a tree in a field and listen to Hejira, Joni Mitchell’s electric guitar road album endlessly on headphones. I loved the words and guitar on ‘Amelia’, skies streaked with vapour trails that look like “the hexagram of the heavens, the strings of my guitar… The drone of flying engines is a song so wild and blue, It scrambles time and seasons if it gets through to you… I dreamed of 747s over geometric farms”. The song progresses without a chorus, powered by her finger picked electric chords with sonic textures and a line at the end of each verse addressed to Amelia Earhart, another solo traveller with a dream to fly. I was considering moving to London to pursue music but then stayed on in Glasgow for a few years until I realised it was now or never. When I finally moved I met Vas. 

The Beatles – ‘A Day In The Life’
It was tough to choose between ‘A Day in the Life’ and ‘Gimme Some Truth’ by John Lennon solo, which is the only cover we have ever played live and is so relevant to now. But ‘A Day in the Life’ won through. Wafting in with atmospheric guitar and piano which reminds me of PJ Harvey, the dead pan vocals intone the almost callous words. On verse 2, thunderous rolling drum fills propel the track along without playing a beat. “He blew his mind out in a car… A crowd of people stood and stared… Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords”. This experimental track has a violent cruelty about it which is lightened by Paul McCartney’s middle section which ends with “And I went into a dream…” before returning to John Lennon’s evocative wailing “Aaaahs”. ‘A Day In the Life’ evokes for me an indifferent England sleepwalking into catastrophe which resonates even today.

Kate Bush – ‘Sat in Your Lap’
This is the track Vas and I put on to remind ourselves that we have a very long way to go and should possibly just give up. In fact all of these tracks do this. But you have to keep going if you are driven to communicate with music like we are. With its thunderous drums and absolutely insane vocals, this is a masterpiece. The words have a great rhythm to them. “Some say that knowledge is something sat in your lap, Some say that knowledge is something that you never have.” It comes to a thunderous and operatic end which I can hear us trying to emulate in some of our songs. Is this rock? Who cares. We don’t make music to fit your genres! These artists inspire and challenge us and brought us together with their music.

Massive thanks to Ros for sharing her Five Favourites with us! 

My War Is Your War, the new album from Deux Furieuses, is out now. Watch the searing video for latest single ‘Let Them Burn’, here:

Catch Deux Furieuses live at the following dates:

2nd November – Blossoms, Stockport
5th November – Banshee, Edinburgh

 

Photo Credit: Dan Donovan

VIDEO PREMIERE: Medicine Boy – ‘Bottom Of The Blue’

Berlin-based duo Medicine Boy have shared new visuals for their single ‘Bottom Of The Blue’ and were delighted to be premiering it here on GIHEs. Formed of André Leo and Lucy Kruger, the pair released their latest album Lower via Fuzz Club at the beginning of October, and are currently touring the UK before moving on to play a host of EU shows.

We caught up with Lucy to talk about her ‘Five Favourites’ – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below, and make sure you watch the brand new video for ‘Bottom Of The Blue’ too!

I have never been someone who has been able to approach music/writing with a particular style or reference in mind. Things sort of fall out of me or they don’t. I like the idea that listening to something obsessively means somehow embodying it. There is a small (or not so small) shift in the way you think/feel/listen that will inevitably come through in the things you create. These are five albums that found me at certain pivotal points in my life – both musically and personally.

1. Joni Mitchell – Blue
I was sixteen the first time I heard Joni Mitchell. Or at least the first time I really listened to her. It was evening and I was lying on my bed and it felt like she was in my room with me. I was overwhelmed by the intimacy, the feeling of companionship. The kind of music that hurts you and holds you. And heals you. This record has scored most of my adult life and so every listen gets a little fuller. It is home and a constant reminder to remain honest.

2. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
I fell in love with Kate Bush when I was very little. Her music excited me. I found her strange and intriguing. She seemed to be full of magic. As if she was an angel or a fairy or
something. She remains that presence in my life. So wild and full of feeling. She makes me want to dance and weep. She makes me feel braver about experimenting with expression.

3. Nirvana – In Utero
I suppose this was the first time music served a truly cathartic purpose for me. A vessel for deeply uncomfortable fifteen year old feelings. To be able to find and create beauty in the disconcerting and disturbing. This has always stuck with me. Music that allows you to feel seen, in all of your states. Particularly those that you are expected to keep more private.

4. Lark – Razbliuto
Lark is a South African alternative electronic band fronted by Inge Beckmann. I discovered them when I was in University and became a little obsessed. I would have done so had they not been South African but it was extremely meaningful to have something so inspiring so close to home. Their music is dark and driving and full of beauty. Melancholic, glitchy and gothic. I fell in love before seeing them live. And then I saw them live and was completely bewitched. Inge has an incredible presence. There is a force and freedom that is intoxicating. She is a punk and a poet.

5. Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)
This is an anchor of mine. There is a weight and a warmth in it that makes me feel safe and open and alive. It is stripped and essential and so very steady. The songs seem to fall out of Gillian and Dave and into each other. The last track is 14 minutes long and I am so grateful for all those seconds.

Medicine Boys UK Tour Dates 2018
23/11 – London (UK) – The Waiting Room
24/11 – Cardiff (UK) – The Moon
25/11 – Bristol (UK) – The Lanes

Order your copy of Lower here.
Follow Medicine Boys on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Five Favourites: Arc Iris

With their new album Icon of Ego released this month via Ba Da Bing Records, Providence trio Arc Iris, fronted by Jocie Adams (formerly of The Low Anthem) have been busy sharing their brand new sounds far and wide. We caught up with Jocie to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – Five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below…

1. John Martyn – Bless the Weather
This record is the Five Leaves Left that never found it’s spotlight in America. The simple musicality on this record is wholly inspiring. The interplay between the bass and guitar is moving. John Martyn’s singing is incredibly human and musical.

Bless the Weather is a perfect record minus one. For some reason the British folk artists had a habit of ruining their perfect records with one electric blues tune. John Martyn did it (with Sugar Lump), Fairport Convention did it, Sandy Denny did it….

2. Yes – Close to the Edge 
A classic that we have shared as a band since day one. Zach and Ray had to learn this record as teenagers when they toured with Jon Anderson, but Zach was a die hard Yes fan well before that moment came about. In addition, Rick Wakeman was Zach’s number one keyboard influence as a kid. It’s hard to talk about this record. You should go listen to it, if you haven’t already. You will either love it, or hate it. It might take 2 or 3 tries to make sense.

3. Joni Mitchell – Blue
This year we re-imagined and released all of Joni Mitchell’s Blue under the name Foggy Lullaby. Learning and re-imagining these songs has had a big influence on the growth of our band. Joni Mitchell’s songwriting taught me a lot about the line between loose and tight when it comes to lyric writing and rhythm in singing. She is a melodic queen. Lastly, Joni’s attitude towards creating art as art rather than art as a part of trending pop culture is inspiring. Of course, she wouldn’t like me saying that because I don’t think she takes well to people trying to summarize her opinions.

4. DJ Shadow – Endtroducing….
Our immediate love for the sonic landscape on this record is paramount to the incorporation of samples into our set. Zach uses samples from my clarinet or his or my voice doing whacky things for both live purposes and the writing process. We have also started doubling drums with sampled drums on a lot of tunes.

5. Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
Stevie is another wildly influential artist for all of us. Strangely, his biggest influence on our band is likely his left hand bass playing. Zach learns a lot from his melodic bass choices, groove and tones. This record is undeniably a classic on so many levels. The fluidity and ease that Stevie carries while playing keys and singing and even playing the drums is inspiring for us all as musicians. The songwriting is beautiful. The arrangements are simple and effective. It’s just great.

Thanks to Jocie for sharing her favourites! Follow Arc Iris on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: Valentine’s Day 2018

Look, we know Valentine’s Day will never top Galentine’s Day, but we might as well hijack this awful date and try and use it as an excuse to get another cracking playlist set up for your listening pleasure. Whether you want to celebrate romantic love, sisterly love, brotherly love, other-worldly love – or just stay in with a bottle of whatever and seduce yourself – we reckon this playlist has you covered….

Best Coast – ‘Crazy For You’ 
When Paul and I first started going out, I was living in Dorset and he was living in London, so we were sort of pen-pals for a while – sending each other mixtapes and little drawings (his were much better than mine, obvs). One weekend when I was missing him a lot, I received a package with a copy of Best Coast’s Crazy For You album enclosed. The title track has been one of ‘our songs’ ever since. An upbeat, summery tale of naive romanticism and all-consuming love. (Mari Lane)

Wolf Alice – ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’
“I’d like to get to know you, I’d like to take you out…” My heart beats so hard when I hear the opening line of this glorious tune from Wolf Alice. The sweet, reluctant lyrics and gentle synth sounds make having feelings for someone sound like the most tender and precious thing in the world – even if they scare you half to death when the track stops playing. (Kate Crudgington)

Kill J – ‘You Have Another Lover’
An anti-valentine ode to love and betrayal from Danish faves of mine Kill J. Equal parts heavenly and haunting, ‘You Have Another Lover’ layers and loops, so unsettling and so suffocating. This was actually where my favourite phrase to date “so chill I can’t even” derives from. (Tash Walker)

FKA Twigs – ‘Good To Love’
I heard FKA Twigs’ debut album LP1 for the first time after a painful break-up a few years ago, and I was captivated by her musical explorations of lust and heartbreak. I always return to the album when I feel lost or rejected, but stand alone single ‘Good To Love’ is another soft, calming tonic for the moments when my heart starts second-guessing itself. (KC)

Le Tigre – ‘Eau D’bedroom Dancing’
Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time, this uncharacteristic ballad of Le Tigre’s is a simple, lo-fi proclamation of love. Maintaining the stripped back nature of Hanna’s solo Julie Ruin project, it showcases a subtle fragility to her vocals; one which is often hidden behind her powerful persona. And, with lyrics like “The world’s a mess and you’re my only cure”, it seems to sum up the feelings of longing and vulnerability that can come with being in love, however independent we may normally be. (ML)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Lance Jr’
The excellent lyricist Courtney Barnett delivers some of my favourite lines in this track ‘Lance Jr’, where she casually sings about masturbating to a guy’s songs followed by “Doesn’t mean I like you man/It just helps me get to sleep…” Legit. We’ve got to look after ourselves people, and what a difference a good night’s sleep makes. (TW)

Alvvays – ‘Archie, Marry Me’ 
This song from my fave Canadian band just always puts a smile on my face. Paul and I have spent many an evening, or car journey, singing this to each other. It just makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside. (ML)

Nirvana – ‘Love Buzz’
Originally sung by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, Nirvana released this as their debut single back in 1988. It’s one of my favourite songs, and I still feel a glorious buzz whenever I spin it. (KC)

Joan Jett – ‘Crimson & Clover’
If you’re not singing this classic in to the face of the one you love on karaoke by the end of the day, you’ve failed Valentine’s Day 2018. (KC)

Blondie – ‘One Way or Another’
Co-written by Debbie Harry, this track is actually about an ex of hers who took things too far and started stalking her… I think it’s good to know what’s out there guys, this is still a tale of love, albeit obsessive creepy love. (TW)

Deep Throat Choir – ‘Baby’
I’ve seen Deep Throat Choir live a number of times, and each time it’s been a simply euphoric experience watching the exceptional power of these women uniting their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring. This exquisitely beautiful cover of the Donnie and Joe Emmerson ’70s classic just gets me every time. (And, don’t tell anyone, but if I ever get married I’d like Deep Throat Choir to come and sing this at the wedding, please). (ML)

Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case Of You’ 
If you can listen to this song without tears in your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I ever will be. The heartbreakingly poetic lyrics, the stripped back instrumentation, the soaring, subtle power of Joni’s incredible vocal range; it’s just a devastatingly perfect love song. (ML)