GIHE Ones To Watch 2020

Whilst 2020 may be looking pretty grim in the grand scheme of things at the moment, the array of amazing new music to look forward to is giving us hope… 

We’ve been introduced to so many fantastic bands and artists over the last year, but here we’ve selected just a few who’ve made a particularly lasting impression. Here’s our Ones To Watch 2020. Have a read and listen to the updated playlist on Spotify

LibraLibra
Having completely blown us away at our last gig at The Finsbury this month, and with an appearance on our radio show back in 2018, we’ve been massive fans of LibraLibra for a while now. With their immense dance-punk creations, the band ooze a unique dazzling magnetism, creating the colossal cacophony and overwhelming tribal power of tracks such as ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Tongues’. They’re truly unlike any other band I’ve come across, and with new releases on the way, I predict a big 2020 for the Brighton band.
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

Sea Change
Norwegian electronic artist Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde), sounds like she could be the introverted distant relation of Fever Ray. Her recent album Inside, is an impressive collection of instinctive, immensely enjoyable soundscapes that could fill busy dance floors, or soundtrack private moments of introspection in a dimly lit bedroom. I’m a big fan, and I’m hoping to catch her live in 2020.
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder/Features Editor)

Gold Baby
With a 2019 filled with line-up changes and a new sound, Gold Baby have charmed us on numerous occasions with their beautiful live set, and treated us to acoustic renditions of some of their songs on the radio show. Now, with a confirmed sparkly new line up, front woman Siân has been busy writing new material – offering some of the most dreamy, emotion-strewn creations you’ll ever hear, all held together with spellbinding, crystalline vocals. With a new single set for release in January, I can’t wait to hear more from the London-based trio in 2020.
(ML)

King Hannah
‘Crème Brûlée’, the debut single from Liverpool-based Hannah Merrick – aka King Hannah -, completely cast me under its spell on first listen, and has been one of my most repeatedly played earworms of 2019. With a sweeping, ethereal power and longing, impassioned vocals that flow with a majestic musicality, it’s just utterly compelling; a stunning introduction to the band who I hope to hear a lot more from in 2020. Although they’re just one single down, with already over 5000 streams on Spotify and a sound as captivating and original as this, I have a feeling that they’ll be enchanting many more ears over the next year.
(ML)

ARXX
Brighton power-duo ARXX have been on the GIHE radar for a while, and each time I see them play live, I’m blown away by their raucous guitar tunes and witty on-stage observations. Their headline show at The Finsbury for GIHE on International Women’s Day this year cemented to me that Hannah & Clara are a formidable, and incredibly funny pair of musicians who deserve to be propelled into bigger spotlights in 2020.
(KC)

Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something
Having released their debut album Oh Really, What’s That Then? earlier this year, via Trapped Animal Records, Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something have previously wowed us with the charismatic energy of their live show, and are swiftly becoming one of the most exciting bands on the London circuit. With their unique, soaring vocals and swirling, twinkling hooks, they create truly infectious slices of colourful psychedelia. Already counting Radio X’s John Kennedy as a fan, I predict that the distinct, vibrant sound of JFATC will be heard and loved by many more in 2020.
(ML)

Hurtling
With the release of their debut album Future From Here in October this year, Hurtling have already received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian and Louder Than War, and – on listening to their sun-drenched whirring hooks and sparkling psychedelic haze – it’s easy to see why. Fronted by Jen Macro (also of My Bloody Valentine), the band create fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with an understated grit and sonic majesty. I can’t wait to catch Hurtling live for us at The Finsbury on 10th January, and to see where else 2020 takes them!
(ML)

Thanks to all the bands and artists who’ve got us through 2019, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year. In the meantime, have a listen to all our highlights from the last twelve months, and our Ones To Watch for 2020 in our mega playlist here:

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut 

PLAYLIST: July 2019

Whilst we’re still in the midst of a mind-melting heatwave here in the UK, we’ve thrown together some fresh new music on our July playlist that promises to soothe your sunburned ears. Take some time to scroll through our track choices and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the bottom of the page…

BEA1991 – ‘Loser Wins’
Amsterdam-based artist and musical polymath BEA1991 has swept me away with this track, taken from her debut album Brand New Adult which is out now. I love her subtle, soaring vocals and there’s a beautiful accompanying video to this track that I recommend you check out. Bliss. (Kate Crudgington)

Grawl!x – ‘Epicene’
The new single from Derby-based artist James Machin – aka Grawl!x – ‘Epicene’ is a collaboration with Umbilica’s Jo Lewis, A soaring, cinematic soundscape that sends shivers down the spine, it explores discussions of gender, sexuality, feminism and the role of allies. Identifying as non binary themselves, Machin explains: “… [gender] is an issue I’ve wanted to explore in a musical dialogue for quite some time. It’s quite alarming when you realise how great the gender disparity is and how our culture is divided in binary terms.(Mari Lane)

Noga Erez & ECHO – ‘Chin Chin’
A dizzy, laid-back take on the links between sex and money; Noga Erez’s latest collaboration with Israeli MC and producer ECHO brims with off-kilter beats and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Erez combines intimidatingly cool vocals with her trademark defiant flair on this new release. (KC)

King Hannah – ‘Crème Brûlée’
The impressive debut single from King Hannah, ‘Crème Brûlée’ is as utterly moreish as the dessert it’s named after. With its sweeping ethereal power, majestic twinkling musicality, and the longing, impassioned vocals of front woman Hannah Merrick, it’s a stunning introduction to a band who I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from very soon. (ML)

Elliot Lee – ‘Dirt’
‘Dirt’ is the latest single from Brooklyn based Elliot Lee – a big slice of dirty pop which narrates the frustration towards those who don’t understand how much music means to people. (Tash Walker)

Kitzl – ‘Wizard Girls’
‘Wizard Girls’ is the latest release from Canadian producer and composer Kitzl, described as a shining offering, combining elements of ambient-electronic-pop, art-pop and experimental shoe-gaze. I’m into it. (TW)

Jenny Hval – ‘Ashes To Ashes’
Sacred Bones signee Jenny Hval’s new single is an enchanting, uplifting electronic affair. The track is taken from her upcoming album, The Practice of Love, which is set for release on 13th September and I can’t wait to listen to the record in full.(KC)

Sui Zhen – ‘Perfect Place’
Inspired by how we exist in the digital age, ‘Perfect Place’ flows with glitchy beats and twinkling, ‘80s-inspired hooks alongside Sui Zhen’s quirky, honey-sweet vocals. An instantly infectious slice of sparkling alt-pop. Zhen recently contributed a Five Favourites feature for the website, and because she couldn’t narrow it down to five, we also put together a banger-filled playlist of all her favourites – check it out! Sui Zhen’s upcoming new album, Losing, Linda, is out 27th September. (ML)

Arthur Moon – ‘Reverse Conversion Therapy’ 
Fronted by Lora-Faye Åshuvud, Brooklyn avant-pop group Arthur Moon are set to release their self-titled debut album on 2nd August via Vinyl Me, Please. ‘Reverse Conversion Therapy’ is another example of Lora-Faye’s “deconstructed pop music” which celebrates the queer impulse, and takes ownership when it comes to “breaking the rules” and doing things wrong – something we should all embrace a little more. (KC)

ZAMILSKA – ‘Hollow’
Polish Producer ZAMILSKA released her third album Uncovered this month, and it’s a densely hypnotic record permeated by her fascination with levitation. The result is thirteen richly textured tracks that seethe with “the anxiety of what we want vs what we get”. If you’re a fan of industrial or electronic music I recommend a listen. She’s my new music obsession. (KC)

Deep Deep Water – ‘Something In The Water’
Having recently wowed crowds at Glastonbury, London-based four piece Deep Deep Water have now shared blissful new single ‘Something In The Water’, and we can’t get enough of it. Flowing with whirring soundscapes and soaring, harmonising vocals, it’s an utterly euphoric creation, twinkling with a majestic splendour. Of the track, the band explain: “‘Something in the Water’ is about change… Something is making you act differently, strangely, in a way you can’t explain. It is change out of your control, you are rendered powerless.” (ML)

Daniella Mason – ‘Deepest of Wells’
Deep, synth-based melodies from Nashville-based Daniella Mason, taken from her EP Mental State – it’s so hauntingly addictive, once you’ve heard there is no going back. (TW)

Greentea Peng – ‘Downers’
The new single from South-East London’s Greentea Peng, described as “A disillusioned confession to self, my London city blues. A tune for us hedonistic youths searching to feel nothing, but who actually feel everything. Instead of getting you to sleep – I’m tryna wake ya up.” (TW)

Anna Wiebe – ‘I Felt It In The Wind’
‘I Felt In In The Wind’ is the latest release from Anna Wiebe taken from her recently released album All I Do Is Move, and I can’t stop listening to this emotionally evocative track. (TW)

Salad – ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’
Taken from their upcoming new album, Salad’s ‘Under The Wrapper’ is about exposing what we are sticking in the sand, and shoving under the carpet. With its gritty, post-punk energy and tongue-in-cheek deadpan vocals, it’s a unique euphonic delight, proving that the ‘90s band have still got it and are still capable of pushing boundaries with a distinct, vibrant spirit. Salad’s upcoming new album, The Salad Way, is out 30th August on Three Bean Records. (ML)

Track Of The Day: King Hannah – ‘Crème Brûlée’

Let’s get it out of the way – King Hannah‘s lead singer, Hannah Merrick, insists that this wonderful, mournful lilt is really, genuinely about the 1980s dessert fave. But, even if that’s true, there’s still a lot to read into ‘Crème Brûlée’: the dessert itself consists of a tough skin sitting on top of a softer side, not unlike the passionate longing of the song’s lyrics. Even how the thing is made: the burning of caramel laid in custard, not entirely dissimilar to the way Hannah’s vocals mix into the song’s thick layers of ethereal backing before a flambé of a guitar solo from guitarist Craig Whittle finishes off the song. 

It’s also entirely possible that the title and Hannah’s comments about it are merely deflection, a culinary tongue-in-cheek. That wouldn’t be too out of character for the band, whose approach to self-promotion could be described as somewhat reluctant, especially by today’s standards. And they’ve got form – in one interview, Merrick described the band’s mixture of sorrowful Americana (in the vein of Lera Lynn) as a fusion of “Flashdance and MC Hammer”. It all lends an aura of other-worldliness around a group who seem as tight, implacable and hypnotic on record as they do live.

With a moreish, deceptively simple, country-meets-indie flow set around Merrick’s deadpan Nico-style vocal delivery, ‘Crème Brûlée’ is an impressive choice for a debut release, particularly clocking in at a mammoth six and a half minutes – half of which is pure instrumentation. If you’ve seen the band live, you’ll probably be aware that, although this is a spectacular starter, it’s just a glimpse into what King Hannah can do. They’ve gone straight to dessert, so you’d better have left room for more.

 

‘Crème Brûlée’ is available to stream on Spotify now.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego