GIHE Turns Three: The Music Getting Us Through 2020

Though we’d already been hosting our own radio show and gig nights at The Finsbury for some time before, last week marked three years since we started this little website; a sanctuary dedicated to promoting and supporting women and non binary people in new music. A place for us to spread the word about the bands and artists so deserving of your ears; a place to indulge ourselves in writing about just how truly necessary their art is to our wellbeing. And how prevalent this has been over the last few months. For the government to pass off musicians as a surplus profession that doesn’t deserve any funding in these hard times seems utterly ludicrous; their work is a total lifeline for us, something we need in order to survive, now more than ever. 

So, to celebrate our birthday, we pay tribute to the bands and artists who we’ve sought refuge in throughout these trying times. Some old favourites who may have cropped up on the website/at our gigs/on our radio show more than once over the last three years; and some new discoveries who we have happened upon and fallen in love with whilst in the depths of lockdown… 

Read about our choices below, and make sure you have a listen to our special Birthday playlist

Mari Lane:

Whilst the last seven months haven’t been easy – in addition to the general anxieties I’m sure everyone has been feeling, continuing my day job of supporting students with mental health difficulties has certainly taken its toll on my own wellbeing – the situation has also given me a chance to reflect on the things I treasure most. Not only am I extremely lucky to live with a loving partner (our very own GIHE art director, Paul) and still have a job I feel passionately about, but being part of Get In Her Ears and the feeling of unity and togetherness (despite being physically apart) I feel with co-founders Tash and Kate is something I’m grateful for every day. That, and the abundance of incredible new music I’m being constantly sent, plus the many memories I have of incredible gigs at The Finsbury, is definitely something that has got me through recently. So, a huge thank you to all the bands and artists who have been a part of the Get In Her Ears journey, and have been continuing to create wonderful offerings of catharsis this year.

Little Simz – Grey Area
Whenever I need an uplift, a shot of motivation – which has been quite frequently lately – I listen to Little Simz’ Grey Area. The perfect soundtrack to the current anxieties and injustices rife in society, it gives me a little bit of hope. It makes me feel like there’s power in being a woman; it leaves me feeling momentarily inspired and indestructible – as she asserts in album track ‘Offence’, “I’m a boss in a fucking dress”.

Eilis Frawley – ‘Stats’
Having been left utterly spellbound by classically trained drummer and percussionist Eilis Frawley’s set for us at Notting Hill Arts Club last year, her recent singles have been perfectly affecting and resonant right now. ‘Stats’, for example, highlights the everyday injustices facing women today. Tackling issues such as period poverty, FGM, domestic violence and other vital issues, it’s a beautifully striking and necessary listen. 

Screaming Toenail – Growth 
Screaming Toenail headlined one of the last gigs we hosted in December last year – the night after the fateful election result; a night when a sense of impending doom lingered, but who could have foreseen just how horrific things would get. With us all feeling emotionally drained, the band managed to bring a comforting sense of unity and cathartic joy to the venue, as like-minded people came together to dance and sing in solidarity. And their recent album Growth is truly a soundtrack to our times; a necessary listen right now. Starkly reminding us that on returning to ‘normality’, we need to create a new normal. One in which voices like Screaming Toenail’s can be amplified to the max; one in which we prioritise creating safe, queer, intersectional communities and spaces for people to share their art together. One in which we are all continually fighting for change and feel able to grow bigger and louder in the face of challenges.

Diet Cig – Do You Wonder About Me?
Having been pretty obsessed with their 2017 album Swear I’m Good At This since it came out, the return of Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman – aka Diet Cig – to my ears could not have been more welcome. Their latest album Do You Wonder About Me? is filled with Luciano’s luscious honey-sweet vocals, infectious jangly melodies and all the twinkling energy I need now more than ever. A shimmering collection; perfectly uplifting isolation listening. 

Fightmilk – ‘If You Had A Sister’
They’ve headlined for us at The Finsbury not once, but twice, over the last four years and Fightmilk remain one of my complete favourites. Latest release ‘If You Had A Sister’ may be more sombre in tone than previous releases, but loses none of the band’s trademark catchy, emo-tinged indie-pop goodness. A band that are continuously refining their sound and, in the process, consistently continuing to win my heart – a much needed combination right now. 

Emma Kupa – It Will Come Easier
Having been a big fan of Mammoth Penguins for some time now, especially since they delivered a total dream of a set for us at The Finsbury last year, front person Emma Kupa releasing her debut solo album It Will Come Easier has been a definite high point of the last few months.  It’s impossible not to become utterly immersed in each song’s subtle passion and heartfelt lyrical storytelling; listening to Kupa’s stirring indie-pop calms my mind on each listen. 

Amaroun – ‘Rise’
Having released a stream of singles each month for the first half of this year, Jay Brown aka Amaroun’s stirring creations have succeeded in blissing me out whilst giving pause for reflection through some trying times. Flowing with shimmering hooks and glitchy beats alongside Brown’s rich, emotion-strewn vocals, each track has focused on the theme of being a queer woman: each a poignant, effervescent reflection on love, life and rising up against oppression. Jay has also hosted two of of Instagram Live Takeovers recently – talking about the meaning behind her songs and promoting her new book of poetry, Black, Queer and No Idea. 

LibraLibra – ‘Listerine’
From the riotous colossal cacophony of the all-too-poignant ‘Panic Buy’, to the spellbinding melancholic grandeur of most recent single ‘Listerine’, total faves LibraLibra have provided a powerful and eclectic lockdown soundtrack. With each track, whatever the mood, they offer a perfect, impassioned catharsis. And LibraLibra completely blew us away at one of my most favourite gigs that we’ve hosted over the last four years, when they played for us live last December… I miss organising gigs so much – such a huge void in my life – and I cannot wait for when it is safe to witness the raging charisma of LibraLibra live once more. 

Blonde Maze – ‘Not All Flowers Bloom’
Having been a huge fan of New York artist and previous guest on our radio show Blonde Maze for a long while now, I’ve been super grateful for her latest releases ‘Not All Flowers Bloom’ and ‘To The Moon’ over the last few months. Complete with chiming beats and twinkling hooks, they’re further testimony to the truly euphoric electro-pop soundscapes she’s capable of creating. I could listen to her exquisite offerings on a loop forever – I just find her music so completely calming and blissfully cathartic. Essential listening for these anxiety-inducing times. 

HNNY – Sunday
I came across HNNY through one of my Spotify ‘Daily Mix’ playlists – something I have frequently been relying on in my indecisive, distracted state throughout lockdown. I’d never heard HNNY before, but one listen of Sunday and I was completely hooked. I still don’t really know anything about the artist, but have found myself listening to their back catalogue on repeat – their utterly luscious, other-worldy dreamscapes the perfect working from home accompaniment.

Additional shout outs to: Bikini Kill – we all know how much they mean to me, so treated myself to their special 20th Anniversary edition EP last Bandcamp day; Bandcamp – for supporting artists so consistently and waiving their fees once a month since the start of lockdown; and Bugeye – they’ve hosted an epic weekly podcast ‘Rock, Pop, Rambles‘, providing uplifting chat and tunes, and even had yours truly on as a guest back in May. 

Kate Crudgington:

When I received a text from the government on the 9th of April telling me to shield and not to leave the house for 12 weeks, I thought I’d have a pretty easy lockdown. Little did I know that staying inside for 24 hours a day, only interacting with people via Zoom would be quite detrimental to my mood, I’d become slightly agoraphobic, and I’d have to do a course of CBT over the phone because I was obsessing about things that had happened to me a year ago. Still, I think my lockdown experience was easier than most, and it was certainly made easier by the constant flow of good music that kept my GIHE inbox full.

Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia
When I Skyped Lido Pimienta back in April and asked her what she was up to during lockdown, she replied: “Staying indoors, but being fabulous,” as she gestured to her colourful make-up and red hair accessories that matched her dress. Her joyful perspective, and her passion for her upcoming album Miss Colombia transcended the screen. “My biggest pride is having put Afro-Colombian music – that we recorded in Colombia with traditional roots – right in the mix of electronic and orchestral music.” she explained, and what an achievement that is. (you can read the full interview here.)

Lady Gaga – Chromatica
I was one of millions of Gaga fans who spent Chromatica release day prancing around their bedrooms, dramatically miming the lyrics to ‘Stupid Love’ into the mirror. The album is full of sweeping instrumentals and wall-to-wall dance BANGERS. ‘Rain On Me’ may have been written pre-pandemic, but a song about uncontrollably bawling your eyes out slotted perfectly into my psyche during my lockdown blues, so I was able to ride out my coronacoaster of emotions in true Gaga style. Listening to this album and talking about it with friends really cheered me up, and soothed the sting of missing out on seeing her live again (for the third time…)

Jessica Winter – Sad Music
Sad Music, the debut EP from Brixton-based Queen of sad bangers Jessica Winter was such a tonic for my ears during April and May. It’s full of edgy, electro-pop bangers designed to provide relief during life’s more hectic moments. She was also one of the first guests we interviewed via Zoom for our GIHE radio show when it returned after 16 weeks off air, which was an even bigger mood booster for me! (you can listen back to that here.)

Noga Erez – ‘NO News ON TV’
“I don’t wanna look at my phone anymore,” muses Noga Erez at the beginning of this track, and I felt that with every fibre of my being during summertime. I get so fatigued staring at screens all day, and while it’s important not to disconnect from social media and world events entirely, it is important to put this song on and give yourself a 3 minute dance break from it all at least four times a day. Noga Erez is yet to release something we don’t all collectively love here at GIHE, and I’m just so glad she’s keeping up the momentum and releasing incredible singles, and beautifully shot videos like this one.

Beckie Margaret – ‘God’
If you’d like to read 200+ words about how emotional Beckie Margaret’s music makes me, click here. I think she has a flawless voice and her lyrics bruise me in the best kind of way. She releases through Cool Thing Records, whose roster I cannot recommend enough. They’re a proper DIY collective run by people who absolutely love the music they’re making and promoting, and it’s always a good day when an email about one of their artists appears at the top of my GIHE inbox.

Slightly off topic for GIHE – but I also listened to Rage Against The Machine’s The Battle Of Los Angeles, and Run The Jewels new album regularly throughout lockdown. I also got a bit obsessed with series 3 of an amazing podcast called ‘Slow Burn’ which is in depth discussion about the lives and deaths of Tupac & Biggie Smalls.

Tash Walker:

2020 has been a year unlike any other. Everyone’s lives have been impacted in one way or another, in varying degrees and complications, and I am at the privileged end of that spectrum. But it wasn’t until several months into the lockdown that things started to hit for me, maybe because all my energy went into keeping the LGBT+ helpline I run going, maybe because I filled every hour I had with zooms, or maybe because I, like so many others was in shock. One thing I missed the most was doing our weekly radio shows, going to our monthly Get In Her Ears gig nights and just live music in general. Which is why I delved into my memories and looked to all the fantastic artists that we have had the opportunity to interview, play on our radio show or see at one of our gigs – thank you to all of you! Get In Her Ears is for you. 

Scrounge – ‘Etch’ 
I included this particular song on an earlier playlist this year in the midst of lockdown after having a rather dramatic moment running in torrential rain with it, thrashing my frustration out in air drums. On a more serious note, this band and their music got me through one of my lowest moments during this lockdown. The infectious drums, catchy chorus and memories of seeing them live dragged me out of my cloud and reminded me of the importance of music in dealing with life’s challenges. Thank you Scrounge – I owe you.

Julia-Sophie – ‘Breathe’
I discovered Julia-Sophie’s music at the beginning of 2020 and with the release of her EP Y? in the midst of the pandemic, I cannot be more thankful. The record draws you in from the outset, with this lead track ‘Breathe’ enveloping you with its sound as the pulsating title lyric repeats, leaving it reverberating around your head after only the second listen. It’s been a staple on speakers throughout this year and still is. Being given the opportunity to go back to Hoxton Radio studios and restart our Get In Her Ears radio show couldn’t have come at a better time, not only because it is a highlight of my week picking and choosing the music to spin for you all but also because we get to stay connected with amazing artists such as Julia-Sophie. You can check out our Julia-Sophie radio interview here and also Julia-Sophie’s Five Favourites giving you an insight into what is getting into her ears. 

Balraj Singh Samrai, Pandit G Gavsborg, Farah Amad Khan, Shanique Marie, Tunde Adekoya, Vikaash – ‘I Should Have Hugged You Tighter When We Last Met (Oh What A Joy)’
This piece was made in June of this year with help from Opera North’s artist development programme, Resonance: The Lockdown Edition. Combining  music and spoken word to document life  during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on  communities of colour, Samrai initially produced an instrumental which tabla player Vikaahsh Sankadecha added South Asian percussion rhythms to. Equiknoxx member Gavsborg then penned a poem for the track, and Farah Ahmad Khan added her own spoken word contribution. The accompanying video is so powerful and was made by the Rainbow Collective, go check it out and raise the profile of this track. This is documentary art at its best. 

Seraphina Simone – ‘Hollywood $$$’
One of the things that I will always be thankful for are the artists and the music that continued to be released throughout 2020 against a backdrop of chaos, and Seraphina was one of those artists. ‘Hollywood’ was one of those songs shining the spotlight on the glitzy, gritty, ghastly Hollywood. Now with the slow reopeninig of the world we got to talk to Seraphina about life, music and LA on our radio show, which you can listen back to here. Big love to Seraphina and go check her out now if you haven’t already! 

Skunk Anansie – ‘Weak’
I couldn’t contribute to this feature without mentioning a definite highlight for me in 2020 and that was interviewing Skin! I had an amazing chat with Skin and Lucy O’Brien to talk about the fresh off the shelves memoir “It Takes Blood and Guts” which they have co-written together. If you want to hear a little snippet of some wise words that Skin said when it comes to dealing with all the racism, sexism, homophobia and general inequality that so often reverberates around the world (especially now) then listen back to our 01.10.20 Radio Show. The interview is available for you to cast your eyes over here in all its fangirl glory (I couldn’t help myself). 

GIRLHOOD – ‘The Love I Need’
London duo Girlhood returned with their banging single ‘The Love I Need’ earlier this. year. The first taster from their debut album which is set for release this October. I have played this track and all their subsequent releases consistently on repeat since, samples mixed with Tessa’s lyrics, nods to 90s neo-soul and songs that just fill you with so much joy – exactly what we all need right now. You can listen back to our radio interview on GET IN HER EARS W/ GIRLHOOD 08.10.20 here.

Playlist: Pride 2020
My last choice is a bit of a cheat but this is one thing that has definitely helped me get through this year, get through all the negativity that has been thrown at the LGBTQIA+ communities, specifically transgender and gender non-conforming folks. Music brings us together, it challenges and it changes, but most importantly it helps us to survive. 

To copy Kate and give a shout out to a podcast I would strongly recommend Ecstacy: The Battle of Rave series which is all about the history of Acid House in the UK, it’s really great and probably the closest thing to an actual rave right now.

Thanks to all who’ve supported us over the last three years. Listen to our special birthday playlist below!

PLAYLIST: Pride 2020

With no marching, no gatherings and no physical prides this year, it’s more important than ever to remember why Pride started. Remember the lengths the LGBTQIA+ communities have come, but more importantly, how far we still have to go. The LGBTQIA+ communities and their allies need to stand strong and united with each other, but especially the black and transgender and gender non-conforming communities.

This period of lockdown has been, and is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, with increasing levels of anxiety, isolation and loneliness. Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, where I am Co-Chair, has seen a 40% increase in contacts to their services, and a 42% increase in people who are transgender and gender-non conforming getting in touch. People have been reaching out for support all across the LGTBQIA+ communities, from young people feeling the pressures of the closure of schools, to trans people self-isolating within transphobic families, to the elderly – an already isolated group – who felt they may not see a friendly face for a very long time.

The lockdown has had an unimaginable impact on all of us, especially folx from marginalised communities – magnifying any existing situation people may be in from domestic violence to transphobia, biphobia, homophobia but especially loneliness and isolation. Something members of the LGBTQIA+ communities have been battling heavily against for a while now.

What Pride means to everyone within the LGBTQIA+ communities will be different, but as a queer person I stand and I protest for every single one of those people’s rights. For LGBTQIA+ rights, for anti-racism, for black people, for people of colour, for transgender and gender non-conforming people and every intersectionality in-between. We have to learn from our history and we have to work together where we support the human rights of each and every one of us. People should be free to live without fear of judgement or discrimination. People should not have to fear for their lives because of their sexuality, gender identity, race, socio-economic class, disability or religion.

If your pride flag doesn’t include black and brown stripes, it’s outdated. If your pride flag doesn’t include the transgender flag, it’s outdated. So wherever you are, at whatever Pride you are supporting, spread the word and make it known – equality is for everyone, but most importantly, black lives matter, trans lives matter, black trans lives matter.
Tash Walker (Co-Founder of GIHE & Co-Chair of Switchboard)

 

The GIHE grrrls have put together a playlist full of their favourite LGBTQIA+ artists to help celebrate Pride 2020. Read about their choices below and scroll down to the end of the post to listen to the playlist on Spotify

Janelle Monae – ‘Pynk’
A brash celebration of creation. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power! Need I say more. (Tash Walker)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’ 
Amaroun talks about the themes she evokes in her music which consistently touch on her journey of being a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality, and the importance of emotional honesty in music. In Amaroun’s words, “this track is an autobiographical reintroduction of myself”. It’s one of my faves. (TW)

Foxgluvv – ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’
A sparkling, sultry tune inspired by the 1985 film of the same name, ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ is another example of Foxgluvv’s natural ability to create “hungover pop” tracks that celebrate her queer identity. We’re big fans here at GIHE. (Kate Crudgington)

TABS – ‘Love Like This’
We had the pleasure of having TABS on our radio show back in 2019, where she sang the original of ‘Love Like This’ and we savoured every moment. Whilst signed to major labels (Polydor, BMG) TABS felt misunderstood. As a club promoter of Butch, Please! – an amazing lesbian club night which we love – she connected with butch lesbians all over the world and began the journey of making her EP of the same name. Seeking authenticity, she self-released this EP with the support of her queer community, and we are so glad she did. (TW) 

Lido Pimienta – ‘Eso Que Tu Haces’
When I interviewed Lido Pimienta earlier this year, she described herself as “the grey area” in Colombian culture – “but very gay, very queer, very feminist.” I’ve been captivated by her music and her artistic vision since listening to her second album Miss Colombia, and feel that no-one else makes electronic music sound as warm and meaningful as she does. (KC)

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. Her latest release ‘Black Dog’ is no different, a frank, heartbreaking 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. From talking, to supporting, to asking and 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 encourage and show people that asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness, the more we can combat these rising numbers. (TW)

Brown Belt – ‘Lamplight’
Brown Belt self-described as the non-binary boi band of your dreams, and we couldn’t agree more. I’ve only just come across them with their latest release ‘Lamplight’ a super catchy number, with a rad video to accompany it. Looking forward to hearing more from this trio, certainly ones to watch. (TW)

Personal Best – ‘This Is What We Look Like’
Headliners at one of our last Finsbury gigs, Personal Best perfectly brand themselves as “classic rock for tragic lesbians”. Closing their set for us in December, front person Katie dedicated this track to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined in with “I wanna kiss you in the street / where everyone can see /’cause this is what we look like”, the poignancy of the lyrics in these uncertain times was overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity took hold as the crowd danced and sang in solidarity. A perfect anthem for love between anyone and everyone. (Mari Lane)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Spaceman’
Since first meeting at Roller Derby, London based all queer/non-binary band Bitch Hunt formed at First Timers Fest, and have been going from strength to strength ever since. Filled with catchy, scuzzy hooks, a subtle tongue-in-cheek wit and the gritty deadpan vocals of front person Sian, ‘Spaceman’ is an observational and relatable slice of punk-pop. A spot-on reflection on the sickening arrogance of all those cis male ‘splainers and ‘spreaders we so often have to endure in our day to day lives. An uplifting raging anthem inspiring us all to take those men down a peg (or four). (ML)

Kermes – ‘Time To Shut Him Up’
Self proclaimed “anxious rock for the gay agenda”, Leicester band Kermes were due to headline for us at The Finsbury in August, and I’m desperately hoping we can get this rescheduled for as soon as it is safe to do so! Addressing issues such as gender dysphoria, sexism and dysfunctional relationships, their infectious emotion-strewn punk-pop oozes a raw, angst-driven energy and scuzzy shimmering power. ‘Time to Shut Him Up’ is taken from Kermes’ 2018 album, We Choose Pretty Names. (ML)

Ms Mohammed – ‘Pandora’
‘Pandora’ and its rolling, rumbling drums – such a tune by Ms Mohammed who we had a total blast with in the Get In Her Ears studio last year. As well as being an artist in her own right, Ms Mohammed founded the Clit Rock movement in 2013 as a way of speaking out against female genital mutilation. As a champion of cross-cultural tolerance and an out queer artist who advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility, Ms Mohammed is challenging prejudice through her music and we stand by her every step of the way! (TW)

Le Tigre – ‘Hot Topic’
Pioneers of queer culture and ultimate faves, Le Tigre’s ‘Hot Topic’ is a celebratory ode to those who’ve inspired us. Paying homage to some queer feminist champions of the ‘90s and earlier, it’s an empowering and joy-filled protest in the face of adversity. (ML)

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. (TW)

Bishi – ‘Who Has Seen the Wind’
Last year as part of 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)

Blonde Maze – ‘Hold On To Me’
NY based GIHE fave Blonde Maze consistently writes heartfelt shimmering electro-pop reflecting on life and love. Taken from last year’s EP Hold On, ‘Hold On To Me’ is an example of the utterly enchanting euphoric soundscapes Blonde Maze is capable of creating. I listen to Blonde Maze whenever I need to feel calm; I just can’t get enough of the iridescent hooks and blissful, emotion-filled romanticism. The perfect soundtrack if you need to take a break this Pride to stop and refuel before continuing to protest, organise and celebrate. (ML)

Husk – ‘Below The Neck’
“I would never change being trans. I would never change being a trans musician. And the industry should support us. Book us. Play us. Listen to us. We have so much to offer.” A poignant sentiment this Pride from Trans, Non-Binary artist Husk, who combines ’80s synth-pop nostalgia with fresh leftfield pop to create their signature sound. A colourful, high-energy offering, recent single ‘Below The Neck’ is the perfect danceable anthem for any Pride party – though, for now, sadly, dancing around your bedroom/living room to it will have to do. (ML)

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
This track was released in 1984 at the beginning of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat. In 2020 it may feel like we have come so far from the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s and 90s but those lost will never be forgotten, and we, the LGBTQIA+ communities still live with the impact today. (TW)

Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’
I know I add this Gaga track to our GIHE Pride playlist every year, but it’s such a BANGER and so fun to dance to. She’s always celebrating being the best version of yourself, and for that reason, I can’t leave Gaga out! (KC)

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Taken from their self-titled album released in 2008, the same year I attended London Pride for the first time, this 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)

Princess Nokia – ‘Sugar Honey Iced Tea’
Openly queer rapper and all round inspiration, Destiny Nicole Frasqueri – aka Princess Nokia – writes powerful, feminist anthems promoting self love and body positivity. A strong advocate of intersectional feminism, having founded the Smart Girl Club with Milah Libin, a podcast where she discusses healthy living and urban feminism, Princess Nokia offers a hopeful and empowering presence in these times when pushing for change is so important. (ML)

Lotic – ‘Burn A Print’
Born in Houston USA but now a familiar face on the Berlin underground club and electronic music scene, Lotic (aka J’Kerian Morgan) shared her debut album, Power, in 2018. The record showcased her vocal and songwriting abilities for the first time, consolidating her skills into a coherent message about transforming fear in to fierce autonomy. ‘Burn a Print’ continues this narrative, as Lotic explains: “to burn your print into this Earth, because when you go, you need to remind the future bitches that you was here.” (KC)

Mykki Blanco (feat. Devendra Banhart) – ‘You Will Find It’
Queer pioneer and musician/rapper extraordinaire, Mykki Blanco has been an inspiration for the GIHE team for quite some time, and their voice is more poignant now than ever. ‘You Will Find It’, their latest offering, oozes a glistening, soulful splendour as shimmering hooks and swirling atmospherics provide the backdrop for Blanco’s trademark gritty power. Replacing their usual glitchy energy with a soothing aura, they have created a perfect tranquil interlude; an alluring soundscape to immerse yourself in and find blissful cathartic release. (ML)

kate can wait – ‘to be alone with you’
Molly Kate Rodriguez – aka kate can wait – is a collective member of Grimalkin Records, a US-based benefit label and queer artist collective. Rodriguez lives in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico and she crafts dark, haunting folk sounds. She’s not on Spotify, but you can listen to ‘to be alone with you’ via bandcamp. (KC)

Phantómódel – ‘Passing Through’
Another band on Grimalkin Records‘ roster, Phantómódel are a post-punk three-piece who explore the internal struggles of gender dysphoria and body image, systemic oppression and mental health through their dark sounds. Phantómódel describe themselves as a “TRANS GOTH POWERHOUSE of darkness dismantling white supremacy at every turn. We are phantoms of the night, goblins who lurk in the shadows, and demons of chaos and magic, here to enchant everyone we meet.” (KC)

Gordian Stimm – ‘Miscellaneous Body Parts’
The solo project of Maeve Westall of itoldyouiwouldeatyou, Gordian Stimm’s sound is visceral, distorted, yet at times totally dance-able. They remind me a little of early Passion Pit or Crystal Castles, and I recommend listening to their debut album, Your Body In On Itself, released via Amateur Pop earlier this year. (KC)

Perfume Genius – ‘Jason’
Having been a huge fan of Perfume Genius for many years now, it’s been wonderful immersing myself in his poignant latest album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately. Reflecting on a one night stand he had with a straight man over fifteen years ago, ‘Jason’ resonates with its twinkling musicality, nostalgic lyrical story-telling and the raw emotion of Hadreas’ trademark heartstring-tugging vocals. Throughout changes in his musical style over the years, Perfume Genius never fails to captivate and inspire. (ML)

Antony & The Johnsons – ‘My Lady Story’
A strong advocate for trans rights, feminism and climate action, Anohni (formally of Antony and the Johnsons), is a necessary and powerful voice that we need now more than ever. On identifying as transgender, Anohni once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man… It’s a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it’s one of nature’s best ideas. What an incredible impulse, that compels a five-year-old child to tell its parents it isn’t what they think it is. Given just a tiny bit of oxygen, those children can flourish and be such a gift. They give other people licence to explore themselves more deeply, allowing the colours in their own psyche to flourish.” (ML)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
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)

 

PLAYLIST: March 2020

March has been a busy month for Get In Her Ears HQ! It’s Women’s History Month, and it was also International Women’s Day on the 8th; so we’ve continued to support the wxmen artists we love with regular reviews on our website, and a special IWD Playlist which you can listen to here.

Sofar Sounds kindly invited us to curate their IWD gig in Hackney too; which Indian Queens, Amahla, and Beckie Margaret all graciously agreed to play for us. We’ve barely stopped for breath, and we’ve got more exciting new music to share over the next few weeks. Take some time to scroll through our track choices for our March playlist below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘The Hot House’
Fresh from their excellent second album aptly named Two, Sink Ya Teeth’s singleThe Hot House’ and the accompanying video features footage shot by the band and audience members at their recent show in Oxford (check it out here). I am SO happy that I’ve got another heavy helping from the Norwich duo to soundtrack the upcoming warmer months. A time where post-punk, and deep house and I really get back into the swing of things. Sink Ya Teeth thank you, thank you! (Tash Walker)

Sleater-Kinney – ‘Hurry On Home’
I have not stopped singing this since us GIHE girls saw Sleater-Kinney live at Brixton Academy a few weeks ago. Their latest album The Center Won’t Hold is such a tonic, and their performance was certainly a gig-life highlight for all of us. (Kate Crudgington)

Noga Erez – ‘VIEWS’
The inimitable Noga Erez stylishly explores the absurdity of paying for exposure on social media on her brand new track, ‘VIEWS’. Collaborating with her partner Ori Rousso, and LA-based hip-hop artist Reo Cragun, Erez effortlessly commands attention in the striking video that accompanies the single. The Tel-Aviv musician’s clear vocals glide over slick beats and pop hooks to create an infectiously powerful anti-fakeness anthem. (KC)

Taquirah – ‘Feel’
‘Feel’ is the latest single from Taquirah, a performance artist form Illinois currently living in Brooklyn. I cannot get this track’s addictive beats and R&B melodies out of my head. I’m obsessed. Taquirah recently released a video for her track ‘Rush’ choreographed and performed by herself, in line with her focus on creating performance art pieces that fuse ballet with hip hop culture. Keep your eyes peeled for Taquirah’s debut project Divine, coming soon. (TW)

Belako – ‘Tie Me Up’
Having previously blown me away with their immersive live show supporting Queens Of The Stone Age in Finsbury Park last year, Basque Country band Belako have now shared new single ‘Tie Me Up’. Filled with gritty, swooning vocals and immense swirling hooks, it’s a super catchy alt-rock anthem showcasing the poignant raw power and majestic musicality that this Spanish band are capable of creating. (Mari Lane)

CLT DRP – ‘Where The Boys Are’
An anthem of self-realisation and new found confidence, ‘Where The Boys Are’ from Brighton-based CLT DRP oozes their immense raging passion in a seething blast of poignant, swirling electro-punk. Commenting on the track, front-woman Annie Dorrett says: “It’s a love song to some of my favourite female artists, a big thank you to my mom for being such a powerhouse and lastly a big f*ck you to all the TERFS out there spreading hate. It’s also just a really playful song to perform with the band, you get a lot of different elements of our sound all jammed into one piece.” CLT DRP’s upcoming debut album Without The Eyes, is out 15th May via Small Pond Records. (ML)

THICK – ‘Mansplain’
A cathartic, witty, guitar driven take-down of the men who undermine women in bands (and women in general), Brooklyn punk trio THICK’s single ‘Mansplain’ will resonate with women and girls who have struggled to be taken seriously on, and off stage. The track is lifted from their debut album 5 Years Behind, which is out now. (KC)

New Pagans – ‘Admire’
I first heard New Pagans whilst listening to The Irish Jam, and I quickly became fascinated by the Belfast band’s genre-bending sounds. Their debut EP Glacial Erratic is a poignant collection of tracks that explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution. ‘Admire’ is a personal favourite. It’s a humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going. (KC)

Why Bonnie – ‘Voice Box’
Oozing sunny uplifting vibes as shimmering hooks and Blair Howerton’s rich, luscious vocals flow with a soaring emotion, Why Bonnie’s ‘Voice Box’ has shades of the twinkling surf-rock of the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast, creating a truly dreamy offering fuzzing with a dazzling, effervescent charm. Voice Box, the upcoming EP from Why Bonnie, is out 10th April via Fat Possum Records. (ML) 

Ghost Car – ‘Virginia & Vita’
Released at the end of last year, ‘Virginia & Vita’ is a perfect example of all there is to love about Ghost Car. Oozing their scuzzy, quirky bubblegum indie-pop sounds, it’s propelled by eerie synth-driven hooks, soaring honey-sweet vocals and their trademark stirring, whirring theramin-soaked fuzz. I cannot wait to catch this totally unique band headline for us this Friday at The Finsbury! As always, FREE entry, event details here. (ML)

Indian Queens – ‘Bubblewrap’
Hackney trio Indian Queens headlined our International Women’s Day gig (in partnership with Sofar Sounds) at the weekend, and we were captivated by their stripped back set. The talented Amahla & Beckie Margaret also shared the bill, and Girls Against were on hand to  help raise awareness of the issues that female musicians & fans often face. This IQ track is a beguiling lament about the state of the planet, and it’s taken from their debut album God Is A Woman, which is set for release via Cool Thing Records on 3rd April. (KC)

Laura Gray – ‘Break, Drift’
‘Break, Drift’ is the first release from Laura Gray’s upcoming EP Better Lighting. Gentle vocals and dreamy synths all mixed together with pulsating beats. I think we could all do with a little more saxophone in our life. Check out the video for ‘Break, Drift’ here. (TW)

A.A. Williams – ‘Cold’
A.A. Williams is set to play her first headline gig at Southbank Centre in the Purcell Room on Thursday 12th March, and I’m excited to hear her dark, atmospheric sounds in the flesh for the first time. (tickets are available here). (KC)

Otta – ‘Near Enough A Woman’
I cannot get enough of Otta! Their new music is seeping so perfectly into my ears, it’s what I’ve been craving for so long and didn’t realise. This is one of their latest singles taken from the freshly released debut EP after it all blew over, which is sublime. Delivering the perfect combination and concoction of electronic, UK jazz, new soul and RnB. (TW)

Okay Kaya – ‘Insert Generic Name’
Okay Kaya who hails from Norway has been a firm fave of mine since I heard her debut Both, released back in 2018. I got to catch her on 4th March at SET in Dalston which was a total pleasure, she’s back again in May at Hoxton Hall so if you can, grab yourself some tickets. ‘Insert Generic Name’ is taken from her recently released and equally fantastic album Watch This Liquid Pour Itself, another incredibly intimate record of self-reflection via boldly honest, exposing lyrics which are delivered with bone dry with wit. One of my albums of 2020, without a doubt. (TW)

Bugeye – ‘Don’t Stop’
The latest single from friends of GIHE, Bugeye, ‘Don’t Stop’ is filled with swirling scuzzy hooks and the band’s trademark impassioned fiery attitude. Complete with whirring synth-driven refrains, it’s a frenzied slice of catchy disco-punk, showcasing the band’s utterly unique vibrant sound. ‘Don’t Stop’ is produced by Paul Tipler and is out now. You can catch Bugeye live on tour this month – check out their Facebook page for details. (Mari Lane) 

Lady Gaga – ‘Stupid Love’
Get me a pink wig and a metallic bikini, because I’m moving to Chromatica to live with Lady Gaga (see the ‘Stupid Love’ video here). I am SO excited to hear her new album (released on 10th April). I hope it’s bursting with electro-pop bangers like this one, and that all of her future videos are just as Power-Ranger-esque. (KC)

 

WATCH: Butcher & the Florist – ‘Ordinary Love’

A gritty, electro-pop offering; ‘Ordinary Love’ is the debut single from newcomers Butcher & the Florist. Comprised of Kendel Lester and Jody Miller, the Chicago-based pair began performing under their new moniker in 2018 after simultaneously deciding to branch out from their rock roots

Their new single ‘Ordinary Love’ was produced by Taylor Franklyn and Matthew Dougherty, and the accompanying music video was shot by powerhouse
production company, Exhibit 91. The visuals and sounds are reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s work on her 2013 Artpop – but with a DIY edge.

Butcher & the Florist will share their next release in April, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, watch the video for ‘Ordinary Love’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.