PLAYLIST: March 2021

It’s been another long month of lockdown here in the UK, but the end is in sight with lighter evenings and the chance to see more than one friend in public on the horizon. The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our March Playlist. It’s an eclectic mix of indie anthems, alt-pop gems, intriguing electronics and raucous guitar tunes. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Grandmas House – ‘Small Talk’
This thumping new track from Bristol-based punk trio and GIHE faves Grandmas House speaks for itself. ‘Small Talk’ explores the times when you’ve had to unwillingly engage in idle conversations with strangers at the bar, when all you want to do is sit and have a pint with your friends. (Kate Crudgington)

ARXX – ‘Deep’
The new single from GIHE faves ARXX, ‘Deep’ offers an empowering ode to leaving behind all your anxieties and getting what you want. Propelled by a sweeping, impassioned energy, it interweaves an electro-infused, glitchy sound with the duo’s signature ferocious drive, instantly hitting you with its raw, anthemic rush and gritty, sensual prowess. A swirling slice of rousing power-pop. (Mari Lane)

CLAMM – ‘Liar’
Melbourne punk trio CLAMM are gearing up to release their debut album Beseech Me on 9th April, and single ‘Liar’ is a crash course in what to expect. “The song is about mental health,” the band explain. “It’s about wanting to break through a pattern of thinking that isn’t necessarily positive. It’s about dealing with an internal monologue that isn’t always telling the truth.” Through their thrashing guitars and relentless percussion, the band beat back their doubts on this raucous offering. (KC)

Gender Chores – ‘Night In The Woods’
A slice of fast-paced punk-pop, and inspired by a video game of the same name, ‘Night In The Woods’ reflects on slum landlords and the high costs of living in the city. As the Belfast band ooze a swirling, playful energy, the track builds to an immense whirring cacophony. A raging punk anthem, truly of our times; despite being coated in a buoyant, quirky charm, it’s no less powerful in its explicit enraged message. (ML)

CYNICS – ‘Idiots’
This high energy single from London-based four-piece CYNICS is lifted from their recent EP, restless in comfort. The band will be releasing a second EP in April, so keep your eyes peeled for that. (KC)

Du Blonde and Ezra Furman – ‘I’m Glad That We Broke Up’
Du Blonde joins forces with Ezra Furman on latest track ‘I’m Glad That We Broke Up’ which is an absolute tune released ahead of Du Blonde’s upcoming LP Homecoming, due on 2nd April. “It’s our take on a 60s girl group/glam rock explosion,” Du Blonde explains. “I feel like Ezra and I have been travelling towards a duet for years and we finally got our shit together.” (Tash Walker)

deep tan – ‘camelot’
Taken from their upcoming debut EP, deep tan’s ‘camelot’ is propelled by the majestic whirr of sparse hooks and throbbing beats, building with a quirky hypnotic splendour and fizzing tension. As swooning vocals glide across the angular soundscape, it creates another truly captivating sonic delight from the post-punk trio, leaving you longing for more of their exquisite stirring allure. (ML)

People Club – ‘Take Me Home’
The title track from their upcoming EP which is set for release on 7th May, this single from Berlin-based indie outfit People Club is about the realisation of mortality in old age. It’s an upbeat offering, but it explores the cynicism that often plights the elderly after losing their loved ones and being left alone with their regrets. (KC)

ĠENN – ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’
Taken from their upcoming EP Liminal, ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’ is the latest single from Brighton-based ĠENN. Propelled by a quirky, playful energy and eccentric, colourful charisma reminiscent of the likes of The Orielles, it races with scuzzy hooks alongside the raw, gritty vocals of front woman Leona. Building to a fuzz-filled, psych-infused cacophony, it showcases all there is to love about ĠENN – a band set on continually developing their compelling sound and enrapturing our ears with their unique fantastical spirit. Liminal, the new EP from ĠENN, is out tomorrow 30th March via Everything Sucks Music. (ML)

45ACIDBABIES – ‘Mommy’s Favourite 1’
Following the success of last year’s ‘3 (Walk With Me)’, ‘Mommy’s Favourite 1’ is the latest single from Dutch band 45 ACIDBABIES. Propelled by a vibrant, playful energy, it races with swirling layers of sound creating an instantly infectious, danceable cacophony. As scuzzy, electro-driven hooks race alongside the soaring sultry power of Sophia De Geus’ vocals, a psychedelic haze ripples, creating an uplifting sonic fusion. (ML)

Boudicca’s Bass Service – ‘Egypt’s Over There’
This is the latest single from Somerset based 19-year-old Georgina Cotteril aka Boudicca’s Bass Service. I love her laid back vocals, trippy synths and the feel-good vibes of this track. Speaking about ‘Egypt’s Over There’, Georgina explains: “This song is about realising you’re doing fine, all things considered…this song brings with it the new growth of spring and provides a resting spot, a much needed escape, amongst the craziness of your mind – and the current world in which we live in.” (KC)

Notelle – ‘Doctor Sign’
Nashville-based, nightmare-pop artist Notelle’s latest single ‘Doctor Sign’ was heavily influenced by the intense, shadowy sounds of Nine Inch Nails. Writing the track was a form of emotional exorcism for Notelle, who gave herself permission to “lean into some unattractive emotions” on this new offering. (KC)

Debby Friday – ‘Runnin’
Vancouver-based audio-visual artist Debby Friday blends intoxicating rap verses, trippy beats and snaking rhythms together on this eccentric anthem about self-expression. Full of commanding rhythms and jagged synths, ‘Runnin’ marks a new musical direction for Friday, moving away from her abrasive earlier work into more sultry, effervescent territory. Dripping with unfazed confidence, Friday’s synth-rap tune smoulders with autonomous vibes. Love, love, love it. (KC)

Loraine James – ‘Simple Stuff’
This is the first single from Loraine James’ new album Reflection, which is set for release on 4th June. ‘Simple Stuff’ is a minimal, cathartic plea for equality and acceptance as a black, queer woman. I love the criss-crossing drums and Loraine’s straightforward vocals on this track. (KC)

Mykki Blanco – ‘Free Ride’
The latest single from queer pioneer and musician/rapper extraordinaire Mykki Blanco, ‘Free Ride’ was written back in 2018 after Blanco had just ended their first long-term relationship. Co-produced by FaltyDL and Hudson Mohawke, it oozes a funk-fuelled uptempo musicality and glistening soulful refrains alongside Blanco’s trademark flowing lyricism. Appearing less brash and perhaps more sentimental in sound than some of their previous offerings, it loses none of their distinctive wit and poignant spirit. The video for “Free Ride” was directed by Hannah Rosselin, produced by DIVISION, watch it here. (ML)

Ci Majr – ‘Guillotine’
This is the latest track from Atlanta-based, emerging non-binary artist Ci Majr. Taken from their upcoming debut EP Side Effects, set for release on 16th April, ‘Guillotine’ is a shimmering pop anthem about cutting off your own ego in order to grow in a new relationship. (KC)

Sofia Kourtesis – ‘La Perla’
One of my absolute favourite songs at the moment! Inspired by the sea and her father (written when he was dying of leukemia), the result is a kaleidoscope of synths and deep house. Kourtesis describes the song as about feelings that can’t be captured with words – ‘La Perla’. (TW)

Gemma Cullingford – ‘Wide Boys’
Known as one half of GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth, musician and songwriter Gemma Cullingford has now announced the release of her debut album this summer. Taken from the album, ‘Wide Boys’ reflects on the need for us to wake up and take back control from those in power. Driven by a racing energy and interweaving immense hooks, including a fiercely flowing flute solo, it’s an instantly catchy funk-fuelled call to arms for these desperate times. (ML)

Elsa Hewitt – ‘Inhaler’
This new single from London-based, experimental electronic producer & GIHE favourite Elsa Hewitt soothes my tired mind. It’s taken from her upcoming album LUPA, which is set for release via Cargo Records on 30th April. (KC)

Fears – ‘vines’
Another poignant meditation on some of her darkest hours, Dublin-born London-based musician Fears aka Constance Keane penned her latest single ‘vines’ before she experienced a breakdown. Through her tentative beats and soft vocals, Fears taps into her pain and offers listeners a chance empathise and heal alongside her. I’m excited to hear her debut album Oíche when it’s released on 7th May via her own label, TULLE. (KC)

Penelope Trappes – ‘Nervous’
A graceful, evocative soundscape that tentatively traverses the inner thoughts of an anxious woman, this single from Australian-born Brighton-based artist Penelope Trappes is taken from her new album, Penelope Three. Set to be released on 28th May via Houndstooth, the track ripples with a sense of mystery and disquiet, both of which are beautifully reflected in the accompanying video. (KC)

Beckie Margaret – ‘FF’ 
Inspired by the Bob Marley quote “I don’t have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever,” ‘FF’ is the latest single from Essex songwriter Beckie Margaret, released via Cool Thing Records. Her voice melts me every time I hear it, and this lush, atmospheric new offering is no exception. (KC)

Ailbhe Reddy ft. Sacred Animals – ‘City Unfolds’
Dublin alt-folk artist Ailbhe Reddy and producer Darragh Nolan aka Sacred Animals have teamed up for this atmospheric new offering ‘City Unfolds’. Lyrically based on Ailbhe’s own experience of being close to a panic attack in the back of a taxi on her way to play a festival in Barcelona, the pair blend tentative keys and atmospheric beats to work through this heightened state of emotion. (KC)

Shamir – ‘DsharpG’ (Sharon Van Etten cover)
Shamir’s cover of Van Etten’s ‘DsharpG’ is just beautiful and will appear on Epic Ten, a special 10th anniversary edition of Van Etten’s second album, Epic. (TW)

Flock Of Dimes – ‘Hard Way’
Taken from her second solo album Head Of Roses, ‘Hard Way’ is the latest single from Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner aka Flock Of Dimes. Reflecting on the power of the subconscious to hide truths from ourselves, it combines glitchy elements of modulated synths with a lilting musicality and the smooth, emotion-rich splendour of Wasner’s vocals, creating a truly exquisite enchanting soundscape. (ML)

Hanya – ‘Lydia’
Having previously captivated our ears playing for us live on more than one occasion, Brighton band Hanya have now shared a brand new single. Flowing with shimmering hooks and an effervescent, ethereal grace, ‘Lydia’ showcases the stirring emotion of Heather Sheret’s rich, glossy vocals alongside a swirling musicality, creating a beautifully dreamy slice of shoegaze-tinged indie; a soothing soundscape oozing a blissful tranquillity. (ML)

Thallo – ‘Mêl’
This is a lush offering from Welsh songwriter Thallo, sung in her native tongue. Of the track, she explains: “‘Mêl’ which is Welsh for ‘Honey’ is about fearing inevitable heartbreak, but only making a feeble attempt to avoid it and resist temptation.” Check out her latest single ‘The Water’ too. (KC)

Naz & Ella – ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’
Having just announced a new EP set for release this Spring, Naz & Ella have now shared a poignant new single. Reflecting on the all-too resonant theme of sexual harassment, ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’ oozes a gritty, grunge-infused aura alongside the duo’s traditional folk-inspired musicality. Tinged with an eerie majesty with shades of grunge pioneers Alice In Chains, it’s a beautifully stirring offering, exuding a subtle, stark power. Find out more in our recent interview with Naz & Ella. (ML)

Ayoni – ‘Unmoved (A Black Woman Truth)’
‘Unmoved (A Black Woman Truth)’ was released last year, but I only heard it for the first time recently. Described as her most vulnerable song to date, the song is about her journey and the struggles she’s endured as a Black woman growing up. In Ayoni’s words “This song is my every uttered whisper and prayer. It is every heartbreak, micro-aggression, breakdown in the bathroom, and every swallowed fit of rage. But most importantly it is every single moment I remembered the walking poems that are my Black sisters, the breathing reasons to continue fighting to forge a path forward. So here I remain unmovable and unmoved.” (TW)

Clever Girls – ‘Stonewall’
“I wrote ‘Stonewall’ about the distribution of emotional labour in relationships and what is often asked of us AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals based on our perceived gender identities,” explains Clever Girls’ front person Diane Jean. “It’s really my own anthem of rebellion – against my own perfectionism and against the constant inner monologue that tells me to adapt to others’ needs and expectations.” I love this track, which is taken from the band’s recent album, Constellations. (KC)

Johanna Samuels – ‘Single File’ (Elliott Smith Cover)
Iconic riot grrrl label Kill Rock Stars turns 30 this year! To celebrate, they’re releasing a string of cover singles under the title Stars Rock Kill (Rock Stars), where several artists from around the world will cover tracks from the label’s expansive back catalogue. This dreamy cover of Elliott Smith’s ‘Single File’ by Johanna Samuels is their latest celebratory offering, full of lush vocals and soft guitars. (KC)

Amy Ellen – ‘This Life’
Dublin-based indie musician Amy Ellen says ‘This Life’ is about “loosing someone who meant something to you, but also appreciating those who come into your life and stick around.” She embraces life’s bittersweet nature via her clear vocals and rich guitar sounds on this single. (KC)

Vox Rea – ‘Dufferin Ave.’
Always a sucker for some silky sax, this latest track ‘Dufferin Ave.’ from Vancouver-based Vox Rea delivers with an abundance of ambience. As we look to warmer and lighter evenings, I’m looking forward to listening to this song glisten out over those hazy nights. (TW)

Nadine – ‘Hair Up’
An aspiring singer & rapper from Sudan who’s currently based in Cairo, Egypt, Nadine wrote this R&B-tinged offering after she spent a week living in sweatpants during quarantine. It’s a chilled tune that celebrates feeling confident in your natural state. (KC)

PLAYLIST: LGBT History Month 2021

GIHE Co-founder & Switchboard Co-Chair Tash Walker has put together some poignant words to introduce our LGBT History Month Playlist:

“As a society we all have to strive to be better allies, to not make the same mistakes that we have made in the past, to learn and to evolve so that we move towards a more equal society for all. Learning more about our untold histories is essential for this. February is LGBT History Month, so we’ve created a playlist for you as the perfect accompaniment to all that learning!

But remember it’s not just about the famous names, it’s about all LGBTQIA+ people who lived, whether they were out or unable to be open, they are all part of history, they have all shaped where we are today. This LGBT History Month, have a look for those unsung heroes, lift up their stories and learn more about their hidden lives.

By delving into LGTBQIA+ history, we learn so much about the struggle and fight for equality – the discrimination, the victimisation, the love, the support, the strength – it’s all a part of who we are today, as queer people, as allies, as people. You have to learn from the past to understand what community, allyship and support really mean. The stories you discover will make you laugh and cry – from sex, to police raids, to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, to censorship – it’s all there! It’s so important that we look back, honour, remember, celebrate and mourn for all that has happened in our LGBTQIA+ history, so that we can all work together for a more equal future. A good place to start is by listening to The Log Books podcast – untold stories from Britain’s LGBTQIA+ history and conversations about being queer today.”

If you need support during LGBT History Month or at anytime in the future, you can always reach out to Switchboard LGBT+ via their website or by calling 0330 330 0630.

Take some time to scroll through our track choices below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post!

 

SOPHIE – ‘It’s Okay To Cry’
With the tragic news last week of SOPHIE’s sudden passing, I felt it was necessary to pay tribute to her as we celebrate LGBT History Month. An inspirational pioneer in both electronic music and for Transgender artists, she is gone far too soon, so please don’t hold back in shedding a tear as you listen to the beautifully poignant ‘It’s Okay To Cry’. (Mari Lane)

Planningtorock – ‘Non Binary Femme’
This track is take from one of my favourite albums of all time, Planningtorock’s Powerhouse. Unarguably paving the way for not only a better understanding of what those words mean, but also leading in acceptance for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Planningtorock and their music has unquestionably helped me on my own gender identity journey and I’m sure many others. (Tash Walker)

Bishi – ‘Don’t Shoot The Messenger’
For the Southbank Centre’s 2019 Meltdown Festival, Kate and I had the privilege of meeting Bishi. An incredibly talented singer, electronic rock-sitarist, producer and performer born in London of Bengali heritage. She is also the co-founder of WITCiH: The Women in Technology Creative Industries Hub, a platform elevating Women & Non-Binary in tech through commissions, performances & panels. (TW)

JD Samson & Men – ‘Who Am I To Feel So Free’
Having been part of GIHE faves Le Tigre, genderqueer musician, artist and activist JD Samson is a constant inspiration. Taken from Men’s 2011 album Talk About Body, ‘Who Am I To Feel So Free’ offers a joyous celebration of having the freedom to be yourself. (ML)

LIINES – ‘Sorry’
Manchester post punks LIINES continually impress with their deep, intense bass lines, the gritty, commanding growl of vocalist Zoe McVeigh and Leila O’Sullivan’s consistent pummelling beats. Propelled by a thrashing sense of urgency, ‘Sorry’ will captivate the ears with its punk-fuelled bewitching allure. (ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Cut Your Hair’ & Charmpit – ‘Bad Attitude’
Putting these tracks from two fab UK based feminist punk groups together as they were shared on a split single release for iconic record label Kill Rock Stars last year. We’ve made no secret of our love for Big Joanie or for Charmpit here at GIHE, and we are all collectively inspired by the incredible work they do on and off stage. Check out Decolonise Fest and First Timers UK to see just some of the vital creative projects they’re involved in. (Kate Crudgington)

Problem Patterns – ‘Terfs Out’
Belfast Feminist punks Problem Patterns are big faves of mine and Kate’s, and with ‘Terfs Out’ showcase the true meaning of Feminism – being inclusive of ALL women, including our Trans sisters. Taken from last year’s Irish compilation album A Litany Of Failures, Vol. III, ‘Terfs Out’ rages with a seething angst-driven energy, poignantly asserting that “LGB is nothing if not for the T”. A perfect call for solidarity and one which is needed now more than ever. (ML)

Dream Nails – ‘Kiss My Fist’ 
An aural uppercut to those who antagonize the LGBT+ community, this single from GIHE faves Dream Nails is a riotous stand against homophobic violence. The band penned the track days after they saw the news that queer couple Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan were attacked by a group of teenagers for refusing to kiss on a London bus in 2019. Guitarist Anya Pearson spoke poignantly about how the news affected her: “As a queer woman, I live in fear of violence every day because of my sexuality and the way I look. In the UK, anti-LGBT hate crime has surged in the past five years. We released ‘Kiss My Fist’ in honour of all the queer people trying to get from A to B without getting beaten up. Our message to homophobes and transphobes is clear: ask us to kiss again and we will eat your brain.” (KC)

Gossip – ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’
This is an absolute ANTHEM that is guaranteed to get me on to any dance floor. Bith Ditto’s voice is so powerful and so defiant on this track. A proper indie banger that you can belt out whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. (KC)

pink suits – ‘Fake Great Britain’
Margate based queer punk-rock duo pink suits incorporate politically driven rage, dance and even theatre into their work, exploring issues of sexuality, mental health and a resistance of binary gender. Propelled by a frenzied, angst-driven power and scuzzy hooks, ‘Fake Great Britain’ is a queer punk anthem inciting us to get up, make our voices heard and fight fascism with all our might. (ML)

Kermes – ‘Peeling Off The Rind’
The latest single from Leicester queercore outfit Kermes, ‘Peeling Off The Rind’ reflects on feelings of unity and togetherness, and their importance in resistance. With front person Emily’s raw, seething vocals driving the track’s poignant, impassioned power, it’s a much needed slice of uplifting catharsis. (ML)

Partner – ‘Big Gay Hands’
I’ve been a bit in love with Canadian duo Partner since seeing them live at The Victoria a few years back, supported by faves Charmpit and Suggested Friends. Taken from their latest album Never Give Up and reflecting on “a wild night on the town filled with queer desire”, ‘Big Gay Hands’ epitomises the duo’s playful sense of fun in an epic, uplifting rock anthem. (ML)

ARXX – ‘Call Me Crazy’
The latest single from GIHE faves, Brighton duo ARXX, ‘Call Me Crazy’ showcases Hanni and Clara’s more reflective side. A heartfelt reflection on mental health struggles, at a time when this topic is more resonant than ever before, it builds in emotive splendour to an epic, pop-strewn ballad. (ML)

Foxgluvv – ‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich’ (Lady Gaga Cover)
A glamorous cover of Mother Monster’s fabulous original 2008 single, London-based queer hungover pop artist Foxgluvv has paid homage to LGBTQ+ ally Lady Gaga by crafting this funky re-working with producer by Scott Colcombe. Her cover has all the spirit and sass of Gaga’s original, with a slight disco-pop twist. It’s not on Spotify, but you can watch the fab accompanying video to the track below. (KC)

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
Robyn is an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights. I think it’s important to recognise the role that allies play within LGBTQ+ history and the movement’s continued fight for equality. Being an ally is about educating yourself, it’s about listening, being visible, challenging inequality and helping to educate others. Being an ally isn’t just about LGBTQ+, it applies to any under-represented, marginalised section of society worldwide. As Stonewall says “If we want to live in a world where people are accepted without exception, we all need to be part of the solution.” (TW)

Mykki Blanco (feat. Princess Nokia) – ‘Wish You Would’
This is a song from an artist who I feel needs no introduction, a queer pioneer who is doing amazing things for LGBTQ+ rights as well as being open about their positive HIV status. Mykki Blanco is also such an incredible artist and his music is just oh so gooooood. (TW)

Tyler Holmes – ‘Actors’
I’ve only recently become acquainted with artist Tyler Holmes, but I have fast fallen in love with their poignant, affecting and utterly unique sweeping electronic soundscapes. Holmes has spent a lifetime crafting their own Black, Queer narrative by pushing the limits of their imagination, and is set to release their new album next month – I cannot wait to immerse myself in it. They have also just shared a cover of SOPHIE’s ‘BIPP’. Check it out on bandcamp now. (ML)

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
This track is so important me, taken from Hercules & Love Affairs’ self-titled album released in 2008, which I was obsessed with. Growing up I don’t remember any out famous LGBTQ+ women in music, so seeing Kim Ann Foxman who was part of their line-up on the album -so confident in her sexuality – it made the biggest of impressions on me. The music isn’t bad either. ‘Blind’ is without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life. (TW)

KERAI – ‘desire’
KERAI is the project of nonbinary/trans producer & writer Sasha Wilde and co-producer Julian Wharton. Influenced by Russian new wave, Scandinavian electronica and Lithuanian folk, the duo blend pitch-manipulated vocals, punchy beats and edgy noise to create their haunting sounds. Their debut album Show Me a Future Where I Can Live is an intense electronic exploration of Wilde’s childhood. Growing up queer in a hostile post-soviet environment, Wilde has channeled their fears and hopes into this “serious shape-shifting” record, and I’m so glad it dropped into my GIHE inbox. (KC)

Gordian Stimm – ‘Though My Love Is Always Still’
I am such a huge fan of everything  Gordian Stimm (aka Maeve Westall of itoldyouiwouldeatyou) releases. They’ve crafted so many experimental gems in the last year, from their debut album Your Body In On Itself, to this single for Amateur Pop Inc.’s compilation record, their offerings are intensely eclectic & so well produced. Definitely check out their new instrumental EP Flirty Lucre for Public Sector, on bandcamp too. (KC)

The Crystal Furs – ‘Comeback Girls’
Oregon queer indie-pop band The Crystal Furs last year released their second album Beautiful and True. Taken from the album, ‘Comeback Girls’ is a twinkling offering, flowing with uplifting shimmering synths, honey-sweet vocals and scuzzy hooks. (ML)

Rookes – ‘Liminal’
Having wowed us live more than once, London based Rookes is fast becoming known in the industry for her fearless exploration of queer-female identity. Taken from 2019’s EP of the same name, ‘Liminal’ offers a beautifully uplifting pop ballad twinkling with a dreamy warmth. (ML)

Marika Hackman – ‘Realti’ (Grimes cover)
Taken from last year’s Covers album, Marika Hackman’s rendition of the Grimes classic adds her own ethereal, soothing touch to the original, oozing a spellbinding majestic splendour. (ML)

Landshapes – ‘Drama’
One of the first guests we ever had on our radio show, Landshapes last year released their first album in five years. Taken from the album, ‘Drama’ reflects on the imbalance of emotional labour that’s often seen between men and women. Propelled by a steady, jazz-infused bass-line, it soars with a whirring synth-filled musicality as the lustrous distinctive power of Luisa Gerstein’s vocals flows.
(ML)

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
Released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heart-breaking story given an empowering beat. In 2020 I worked on the second season of a podcast called The Log Books all about LGBTQ+ history, covering the years from 1983 to 1991, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic hit the UK, this seems like a brilliant way to look back and think of that time – through all the pain and loss, there was love and laughter and most importantly DANCING! Happy LGBT+ History Month! (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Coming Down’
We’ve played Canadian soul-singer Jackie Shane multiple times on the GIHE radio show, and included her on many a playlist and we’re certainly not stopping now! Jackie was a pioneer for transgender rights in the 60s & 70s, a time when being your true self was not always welcomed, or accepted. (TW)

Arlo Parks –  ‘Black Dog’ 
I cannot get enough of Arlo Parks and her mesmerising music, so full of emotion I get lost in every second. ‘Black Dog’ is a frank, heart-breaking insight into the the darkness of depression. Mental health awareness within the LGTBQIA+ communities is so important, especially with rising levels of isolation and loneliness. Asking for, or reaching out for help is so important and totally OK to do. The more we can look out for each other, the more we can show people that asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. (TW)

Perfume Genius – ‘Without You’
I wanted to include the heart-string tugging ‘Without You’ on here to dedicate to anyone who’s ever lost someone. With the pandemic and the recent (rightful) attention being drawn to the effect that the HIV/AIDS crisis has had on the lives of so many in this country with the release of Channel 4’s It’s A Sin, I’ve been thinking a lot about grief and the ways to support each other through it. (ML)

Frank Ocean – ‘Chanel’
Such a great song. As you may or may not know, Frank Ocean came out back in 2012 to mixed but mainly positive responses. Although he’s not technically a hip-hop artist, he is very much part of the community and this was a positive step for LGBTQ+ artists not only in hip-hop, but also on a much wider scale. (TW)

Ma Rainey –  ‘Prove It On Me Blues’
Unarguably the mother of blues Ma Rainey, this taken from 1928, a song that is very possibly one of the first references to queer lesbian culture. Where Ma Rainey, a queer woman sings, “Went out last night with a crowd of my friends. They must’ve been women, ’cause I don’t like no men.” An essential to any LGBT History Month playlist. (TW)

Follow Get In Her Ears on Spotify to listen to our previous playlists featuring more LGBT+ artists.

ALBUM: Tamar Aphek – ‘All Bets Are Off’

Israeli artist Tamar Aphek arrives on the legendary Kill Rock Stars with an indie rock pedigree to rival some of the label’s most celebrated acts. After close to a decade playing wild guitar licks and fronting some of Tel Aviv’s most prominent rock bands, Aphek got a taste for the solo life and promptly moved to Paris to focus on her song-craft.

Stepping into her new role in style, she teamed up with fellow Israeli Yonatan Gat (ex-Monotonix) to record her first Tamar Aphek EP, Collision, released in the summer of 2014. She turned down the guitars, dipped back into the classical piano training of her youth, and started to explore the full range of her voice. Until that point she had considered herself to be more of a guitarist than a singer, though it’s hard to reconcile that fact with the confidently deadpan and sophisticated voice we encounter on All Bets Are Off. People will inevitably make comparisons with Nico but Aphek’s vocal style is less scorched and droning, though still dry enough to cut through even the knottiest of her tightly wound, jazz inflected songs.

Much of the recording for All Bets Are Off was completed some years ago with her original touring band, but Aphek has been in no hurry to release it. Instead, she has taken an intuitive yet purposeful approach to producing the album herself, re-sculpting and layering the instrumentation where necessary to best suit her stories of jealousy, injustice, anger and revenge. Take a moment to compare the Bandcamp demo of ‘Russian Winter’ (aka ‘The Second I Am Gone’, from 2013) with its stonking final form on the record to see how Aphek’s vision has paid off. Powering in on scuzzy guitars and precision drums and exiting with an out-of-nowhere farfisa final eighth, ‘Russian Winter’ sets the tone for an album that’s packed with sudden diversions and unruly intermissions.

Aphek is at her most aggressive on ‘Crossbow’, last year’s pummeling first single, boosting her villainous tale with motorik propulsion and a flashy guitar line that brings it all together. Her production skills come to the fore again on the strung-out funhouse-mirror funk of ‘Too Much Information’, turning a potential clown car of a song into a woozy mid-album set-piece of beautifully controlled chaos. Elsewhere, ‘Show Me Your Pretty Side’ is a discomfiting, sax-strewn, stalkerish track that goes heavier on the twang, recalling a more cynical Holly Golightly or early Eleni Mandell.

Aphek never wavers in her commitment to the rollercoaster approach she has adopted, though her tricks can start to wear a little thin on longer songs like ‘Beautiful Confusion’ and ‘Nothing Can Surprise Me’. For the most part, though, All Bets Are Off is a thrillingly cohesive ride that’s not afraid of ambiguities or of going to extremes. There’s a lifetime of musical experience at work here, more fully revealed with each repeated listen, confirming Tamar Aphek as one to keep a close ear on.

Listen to Tamar Aphek’s new album All Bets Are Off on bandcamp or Spotify

Follow Tamar Aphek on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook for more updates.

Alan Pedder
@_neverdoneing

#ThrowbackThursday: GIHE w/ REWS (27.10.17)

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown in the UK, we’re unable to make it into the Hoxton Radio studio to broadcast our weekly live new music show from 7-9pm. Instead, we’re sharing previous GIHE radio show recordings as #ThrowbackThursday sessions, so you can still enjoy 2 hours of new music tunes & chats with some of our favourite artists each week.

Today, we’ve picked our October 2017 show with the wonderful Shauna from REWS. Mari & Kate spoke to her about the band’s debut album Pyro, the video shoot for ‘Your Tears’, growing up in a musical family, and performing on the John Peel stage at Glastonbury. Shauna also played acoustic renditions of ‘Your Tears’ and ‘Miss You In The Dark’ live on air too.

Listen back to the show below.

(You can listen back to our May 2016 show with Shauna here afterwards too, if you’re a big REWS fan. This was also Kate’s first ever GIHE radio show!)

Tracklist
Wolf Alice – Yuk Foo
Witch Fever – Carpet Asphyxiation
Placebo – Without You I’m Nothing
Adria – Gold Water
The Magnettes – Sad Girls
French For Rabbits – It Will Be Okay
Fever Ray – To The Moon and Back
I Am Harlequin – Minimal
PILLARS – Honest People
Halina Rice – Atoms
VERO – Out Of My Head
**REWS Interview & Live Session**
VUKOVI – Animal
Fever High – Good Advice
Miya Folick – Give It To Me
Cindy Wilson – Mystic
Just Because – Everything
Sextile – Ripped
Suzie Stapleton – Yesterday’s Town
David Bowie – Heroes