LISTEN: Laura Guarch – ‘Fleeting Light’

Having established herself as a professional vocalist, with collaborations with ACM Gospel Choir and London Contemporary Voices under her belt, Spanish London-based artist Laura Guarch has now shared her debut single. 

Soaring with Guarch’s stunning crystalline vocals and an anthemic emotion-strewn musicality, ‘Fleeting Light’ builds to an ethereal, glistening soundscape. A cinematic, alt-pop ballad with shades of the other-worldly majesty of the likes of Bjork or Kate Bush. Of the track, Guarch explains:

The idea for Fleeting Light was born on a night looking at the starry sky from a semi-deserted island in Thailand, called Mu Koh Ang Thong. How are the old stars looking at us, humans, and the changes the Earth is experiencing? Fleeting Light imagines million year-old stars looking down on the Earth and watching the history of life on our planet as their Sunday afternoon entertainment.

Listen to ‘Fleeting Light’ here:

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Guest Playlist: Temples Of Youth

Covid 19 and the necessary restrictions surrounding it have brought about a number of cancellations of music events, including what would have been Get In Her Ears’ very first festival. It would have taken place on Saturday, 18th July, and was set to be a pretty special day, filled with some of our favourite female and non binary artists. Fingers crossed we can finally make it happen next year.

One of the bands set to play was total faves Temples Of Youth. Captivating us with their hypnotic, musically rich neo-pop and majestic, emotion-strewn splendour, the Winchester duo have charmed us live at The Finsbury more than once and we were very much looking forward to hosting them again.

In the absence of our festival, and any gigs, at the moment, Jo from the band has put together a playlist of songs that have shaped her songwriting, and written a few words about the inspirations behind Temples Of Youth. Have a read, and listen, below!

Inspiration…

As I sit to write this a few days after my 30th birthday, I can’t quite get my head around the fact that Temples of Youth is already five years old. I don’t know where that time has gone – it’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had.

So often in life, we are reaching for the next achievement, trying to make each one bigger and better than the last. I find this is so prevalent in the music industry, with something you worked so hard on becoming “irrelevant” so quickly. It’s a tough place to be – overcrowded, competitive and at times, disheartening. It is important to take a step back, and to reflect on what you have already achieved, and take note of its value.

Paul and I came together with a shared interest in starting something new, and whilst our influences have grown and changed, our ethic has stayed the same. We write for us, we play for us, and we hope that people will find something to connect with.  Paul is very driven by sound and the feel of a track, where as I find myself drawn to the lyrics and the vocal melody – so we make a good team.

Our inspirations are hard to pinpoint – from ’80s dream-pop, to grungier sounds and modern US indie bands, plus art and film soundtracks. To give you an idea, we’ve curated a playlist of some of the tracks that have shaped the way we write, and we hope you enjoy listening to it.

We’re currently working on recording our third EP remotely, and I think it’s the best thing we’ve done so far. We always hope these things won’t be released to ‘disappear’; forgetting that they can’t.

Listen to Temples Of Youth’s playlist below, and also make sure you check out their spellbinding latest single ‘Silver Cross‘ now. 

Introducing Interview: Koza

Having made the move from Istanbul to London in order to follow in the footsteps of her musical idols, emerging pop artist Koza recently released her second, dreamy single ‘Hold My Breath’.

We caught up with Koza to find out about her journey so far… 

Hi Koza, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about when you initially decided to start making music?
Hi, thank you for having me! My passion for music and writing goes a long way back. If I had to pinpoint a defining moment, I would say definitely my high school years when I first joined a band and performed on stage. It was the scariest moment of my life, but also the most amazing experience. I had already been writing songs, but there was something about being able to perform them and connect with an audience. That became the dream. 

What inspired you to make the move from Istanbul to London in order to pursue a career in music?
After graduating from high school, I really didn’t know how to proceed to a career in music. All I knew then was that I wouldn’t be satisfied with doing gigs with function bands at weekends, or just singing covers. I wanted to write and sing my own songs, about things that mattered to me – I wanted to sing my own truths. I started writing in English, which came naturally to me because of all my influences growing up. This was part of the reason why I wanted to move to London, so I could explore music in a specific language. The music industry in Turkey didn’t have many established artists writing original songs, and nothing in English, so it didn’t make much sense to me. London, on the other hand, had everything that I was after; the writers, the venues and the culture which I had grown up listening to and loving. The decision to leave my studies in Istanbul and move to London was a tough one but I’m so glad I did it. It’s been tough trying to adapt to a new culture, but it’s helped me grow in ways which I would have never imagined.

Which bands or artists would you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
Growing up I found myself drawn to songs which gave me new perspectives on storytelling or song structure; I really loved Alanis Morissette for this reason. She is an amazing lyricist and her songs are so powerful in their vulnerability. Madonna is another big influence – I mean, I think we can all agree that she is one of the ultimate pop-stars. Then of course Kate Bush – she’s my number 1! I think she’s so eccentric, effortlessly cool and such a talented musician and poet. Her musical language is unique to her and that makes her an amazing artist. My other favourites growing up included Fleetwood Mac, Alicia Keys, Duman, Teoman, No Doubt, Prince, Depeche Mode and The Cure. 

You recently released your dreamy second single, ‘Hold My Breath’. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the lyrics?
The inspiration was the feeling which I got every time that I thought I was maybe falling in love. I mean, maybe I did fall in love every time… “there are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” I don’t know if that makes sense, but every moment of love feels so magical. It’s like that feeling you get when you meet someone and think “maybe?”. These lyrics might be my rawest ones yet, I didn’t change them at all after I wrote them. They were written in a very authentic and joyous moment, and I wanted to write down that feeling and make a song which reflected that.

In ‘normal’ times, how is your local music scene? Do you have a favourite local venue?
I live in Notting Hill and yes, we have a small but very satisfying music scene. Notting Hill Arts Club has always been a favourite. Another place that’s been around for a couple of years now is Laylow, our cool neighbourhood hangout; it’s introduced me to many new artists.

Although it is rather difficult to be making plans at the moment, what are you hoping to have achieved by the end of 2020?
Like you mentioned, it’s a bit tricky right now! My plan was to release two more singles before the year ends. However, quarantine has been very fruitful for me and I am now considering finishing an EP in the same time frame. Either way, I will continue to release music and hopefully start doing live shows from late September. I am very excited to sing my new songs because they’re really special in a way that they will allow me to connect with more people than I ever have done before as an artist. It will hopefully lead to some collaborations with musicians/writers I have not yet had the chance to work with.

Thanks so much to Koza for answering our questions! 

‘Hold My Breath’ is out now. Listen here:


 

FIVE FAVOURITES: OHMME

Formed of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart; Chicago-based OHMME blend driving beats and brooding, distorted guitars to create their deceptively simple, catchy songs. The pair are set to release their new album, Fantasize Your Ghost, on 5th June via Joyful Noise Recordings, and it’s full of snaking riffs and restless lyrics designed to relieve the feeling of being stood still. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Macie & Sima to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five songs and/or albums that have influenced their writing techniques. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to listen to OHMME’s track ‘Selling Candy’ at the end of this post.

1. Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
Macie: Cate Le Bon is a new discovery for the both of us. We listened to ‘Reward’ a lot last Spring/Summer when we were touring, and then dug into some of her earlier records. “Mug Museum” really stands out as one of our favourites. The guitars weave together in this snake-like way which inspired a lot of our approach to the guitar part writing on Fantasize Your Ghost. She just has such great songs and arrangements that groove so easily and make you feel good. ‘Are You With Me Now’ is one of our favourites off of the record.

2. Kate Bush – The Kick Inside
Macie: It would be impossible to downplay how much we love Kate Bush. She has this ability to create a different universe on each record of hers, and listening to The Kick Inside woke something up inside of us. I can’t believe she was 17 when she made this record! She’s so young but her voice is so powerful and commanding, it’s really inspiring. It’s cool how this record plays with the aspect of performance in the theatre sense, she’s always embodying these characters in her songs and making them larger than life. It opens up a lot of possibilities of what a song could be.We have a dream of doing a Kate Bush cover night and performing the entirety of this record…We’ll let you know when that happens.

3. The Roches – ‘Hammond Song’
Sima: There’s something about the unison singing in the song that just cuts right through you. The Roches’ use of harmony, unison, and polyphonic singing has been very influential on us the last couple years as we play with all the different ways we can combine our voices. We also adore their songwriting; how direct and hilarious but also earnest it can be. The eponymous album that this song comes from also feels like it was written specifically for people (and maybe even more specifically, women) who are on tour all the time.

4. The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices
Sima: I grew up singing in a choir and was introduced to Bulgarian Women’s Choral singing at a young age and I always loved it. I love any singing where you can sing full-throttle – sacred harp, gospel – it just pulls your guts right up through your throat and I love that. A few years ago on tour, Macie put on the album made by this group and we we’re both just really excited about it. Its one end of the spectrum of singing that we love to indulge in and you can hear it pretty directly influence moments on Fantasize Your Ghost.

5. Neko Case – Star Witness
We’ve both loved Neko for a long time; her voice, her music, but especially her poetry. We sing this song sometimes together when we’re sitting around with acoustic guitar. Neko has an incredible ability to convey a mood without saying exactly what or who she is always singing about. The sound of her words works so well with how her melodies leap and bound around each other. This album came out at a time when we were coming of age as songwriters and is therefore immortalized in our brains forever.

Thanks to Macie & Sima for sharing their favourites with us.
Follow OHMME on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.