Track Of The Day: Bait Bag – ‘Safe Word’

A riotous drop-kick to one of the worst years in global history, US riot grrrls Bait Bag have shared their latest single ‘Safe Word’. Full of sardonic lyrics and punk-infused riffs, the track is a vigorous farewell to 2020 and more specifically, to the last four years of tyrannous American politics.

Formed in the summer of 2018 by North Haven Island-based pals Fiona Robins, Claire Donnelly and Courtney Naliboff, Bait Bag are inspired by the sounds of Sleater-Kinney, Blondie and Le Tigre. They’ve channeled their collective energies into new single ‘Safe Word’, a track that encourages listeners to dance and swirl around in the ashes of this “dumpster fire” of a year.

“This is the song to blast at midnight with a glass of champagne and all your friends on Zoom,” the band explain. With its crashing percussion, energetic guitars and relatable lyrics – “Hey man, stop the world I wanna get off!” – it’ll be hard not to bop along with the grrrls as they enthuse about the exhaustion that came with the continuous flow of bad news this year.

With songs intended to “empower and excite, or at least give other frustrated people something to flail around to,” Bait Bag’s latest single is a strong opening track for the soundtrack of 2021.

Listen to ‘Safe Word’ below.

 

Follow Bait Bag on bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Camila Fuchs

An exploration of the world around us, how we interact with it and the cyclical nature of life, Lisbon-based Mexican/German duo Camila Fuchs are preparing to release their new album, Kids Talk Sun, via Felte Records on 13th November. Formed by Camila De Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini in London in 2012, the band create experimental electronic pop with spectral vocals and avant-garde sensibilities. 

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 Camila to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired Camila Fuchs’ song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to Camila Fuchs’ latest single ‘Come About’ at the end of this post.

1. Le Tigre – ‘Deceptacon’
I remembered discovering Kathleen Hanna, starting with Bikini Kill, how I felt a massive outburst of energy, how my brain started rewiring and possibilities widen up – abruptly. It was a shock, a great shock. It got me straight into trying new ways of expressing, straight into using words I wouldn’t usually use. It freed me up. It was for me a completely new and necessary female energy to come across. Secure, open, unlimited, gutsy. I was 19 and had just decided to give music a big role in my life so it stirred it right away. It gave me confidence and great times, enjoying her songs, watching live concerts, head banging and foot stomping. It gave me something no one could take away and worked as a key to never go back! I chose this song because it reminds me of those times and makes me feel the same all over again.

2. Maria Minerva – ‘Spirit of the Underground’
Maria Minerva really influenced my first electronic productions, especially my first solo EP Opuntia. I absolutely love her free flow and way of singing. It resonated and inspired me so much. I wished so many elements could form part of what I did, in a really sweet way, I looked up to her. She does electronics and vocals, which was what I always dreamt of doing, and by the time I discovered her I was trying it. There’s still traces of her influence in what I do nowadays. You can hear it on ‘Moon’s Mountain’, a track on our new album Kids Talk Sun. Who sings “did your mamma drop you off to this party?” I love this track and so many more. My favourite full album is Cabaret Cixous though.

3. Laurie Anderson – ‘Big Science’
I didn’t grow up with much music around me. 3, 4 CDs in the car and that was it. When I moved to London, after high school, I heard a record for the first time, placed a record on a record player for the first time, and it blew my mind obviously. When I went back home to Mexico I asked my mom if she had any records by any chance. She did! In the house! And I never knew! The good thing was she gave me the chance to take some back with me. I picked 3 by the artwork covers. ‘Big Science’ by Laurie Anderson being one of them. I had no chance but to wait to be back in the UK and go to a friends and borrow their turntable. You can imagine the surprise! Can’t believe that record was so close to me my whole life and only then it crossed my path!

I LOVE LAURIE ANDERSON. It’s to date one of the records I play the most at home. I’ve never heard anything like it. She has such a unique relationship to sound. One of the most unique, at least for me. She’s my idol.

4. Lhasa de Sela – ‘El Desierto’
When I mentioned 3 to 4 CDs in the car (because that’s the only place my family played music), La Llorona by Lhasa de Sela was one and ‘El Desierto’ was one of my favourite tracks. My dad used to play it all the time. I registered it but it totally slipped my mind for years, completely. I rediscovered it again when I was in my teens and it brought me so many flashbacks of my childhood. The first time sound took me back like that…unconsciously and then consciously, Lhasa influenced my singing a lot! A singing from the guts. I always thought that was the way it had to be, that you had to feel each word you were singing. You can hear her voice coming deep from within. She also sang in different languages and did it well, something I always admired. I’m not a fan of the instrumentations in general, but the lyrics and voice I hold dear. A sweet song in English I recommend is ‘Small Song’. RIP Lhasa xx

5. Connie Francis – ‘Love Is A Many Splendored Thing’
A recent discovery. What a beautiful voice. I used to have allergic reactions to cheesy songs. I guess it’s slowly crumbling apart. I heard this song, amongst others, lying down in bed and literally felt in love. I feel her influence kicking in. Maybe I’ll end up doing an album with love songs, maybe even more than just one. It is extremely corny, but there’s something about that level of clarity in words that I appreciate. It is what it is, it says what it’s saying, doesn’t go around in circles, straight to the true words. I like that. Enjoy!

Thanks to Camila for sharing her favourite tracks with us. Listen to ‘Come About’ below.

Follow Camila Fuchs on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Thyra Dragseth

Guest Playlist: Sink Ya Teeth

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. Taking place this Saturday 18th July, it 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 Norwich duo, Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford – aka Sink Ya Teeth. Creating their own unique dance-punk soundscapes, they’ve become firm favourites of ours over the last few years, having blown us away with their soaring, sparkling majesty at one of our earliest gigs at The Finsbury.

In the absence of our festival, and any gigs, at the moment, Gemma and Maria have put together a playlist of the songs that have been getting them through lockdown… Have a listen, and make sure you check out their latest album Two now!

Gemma’s Choices:
My song selections are songs by new (to me) bands, or songs that I’ve discovered during lockdown (mainly via playing Scrabble while listening to music!) or RE- discovered – songs that I’d forgotten how good they are.

Automatic – ‘Too Much Money’
Really enjoyed this album!

U-Bahn – ‘Turbulent Love’
Devo-esque greatness. The whole album is great!

Public Practice –  ‘Extra-Ordinary’
My favourite new band discovery via Lockdown. 

Le Tigre – ‘Friendship Station’
Listened to the whole album again for the first time in a long time and it was like “this song is my favourite, no THIS song is my favourite, no THIS song is my favourite…” – you get the jist!

French Vanilla – ‘Suddenly’
Love a bit of post-punk and sax.

This Human Condition – ‘God Kills Another Kitten’ 
A Bristol band that we were introduced to when doing a short interview for Punka/Wig in A Box All Out and Loud programme on Twitch. 

Spandau Ballet – Glow’ (12″ Version)
I’ll let this speak for itself. 

Eddy Grant – ‘Electric Avenue’
Was reminded of this great song by some American friends. Then became a massive ear worm for days on end!

The Bangles – ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’
As soon as I hear this, I wanna dance!

Juniore – ‘Adolescent’
ADORE this song! Perfect.  

A Certain Ratio –  ‘Always in Love’
Their new single from their upcoming album, which we’ve heard and can confirm is amazing!!! And we’re also proudly doing some vocals on a couple of songs on it.

Maria’s Choices:
Just feeling kinda mellow and summery. Enjoying the sunshine, wild flowers, and the slow pace of life. My choices are just a backdrop to that vibe…

Rare Silk – ‘Storm’
Falle Nioke/Ghost Culture – ‘BARKé’
The Style Council – ‘Long Hot Summer’
The Rah Band – ‘Messages From The Stars’
Sylvester – ‘I Need Somebody To Love Tonight’
Carly Simon – ‘Why’
Yasuaki Shimizu – Kakashi’
Jan Hammer Group – ‘Don’t You Know’
Virna Lindt – ‘Underwater Boy’
Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes – ‘Summer Nights’ 

Listen to the full playlist on Spotify now!

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)