Guest Blog: HUSK

To mark Transgender Day Of Visibility – a day to set the tone for every day, show your support, increase equality and stand by trans people to live their lives freely and confidently – trans, non binary artist HUSK talks to us about their experience in the music industry. Dubbed as “the outsider popstar we’ve all been waiting for” and “pretty darn good” by BBC 6 Music, they combine ’80s synth-pop nostalgia with fresh leftfield pop to create their signature sound. 

Find out more below: 

I always get comments about my voice, both good and bad; it’s the first thing people notice. It’s high, it’s low. It’s soulful, it’s raw. It’s trans. Despite the coronavirus disruption, today is Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV), and I’m so proud to be a Trans NB synth-pop musician.

I’ve always been attracted to synth-pop because of its queer history and androgyny. Artists like Grace Jones breaking the gender wall and Erasure, Eurythmics and Bronski Beat challenging vocal expectations that became an iconic symbol of the ’80s. It also has a natural sadness to it, but you can still dance to it. I think that draws a parallel with what it’s like to be a trans musician at the minute.

The difficult parts are well-known. The prejudice of not being booked or featured before listening to what I’m offering. The “I don’t get it” comments about my awesome gender-bending voice. The TERFs and transphobes sending tweets you could do without, and not to mention all the other things that come with being a trans person in society right now.

There’s so many amazing things too.

You’re not confined to societal standards about gender if you’re not conforming anyway. So, you’re a bit more free to write what you love, be your unapologetic self, no matter how many times you have to figure that out. And you get to weed out all those that you’ll ignore when you’re huge! Ha!

It’s really humbling to be representative of such a diverse community. I was once introduced on stage as “an emblem of trans masculinity”, which was terrifying, not to mention inaccurate. I always try to be vocal about my experience and the fact that I’m not a man, I’m just simply not a woman, and I happen to take testosterone.

I’ve been featured in some pretty major BBC 6Music LGBT+ shows, amongst some huge names. This is massively important, not just to me as an artist, but for gender non-conforming people to see. I didn’t have that, and I’ve had to carve out space for someone like me.

You also inherit a community. Allies and other trans people want to see you do well, especially in a world where trans people are vilified for simply existing. Supporting trans people has never been more important.

I’m currently working on my new single campaign for ‘Below The Neck’, which has been supported by Superbia of Manchester Pride, allowing me the freedom to release a high energy, new wave-y synth catchy af pop song. A song that would have otherwise been gathering digital dust on my laptop. It’s also giving others work, including the talented Sugar House and a team of all female radio pluggers.

Now though, we are seeing more and more trans noise. Anohni and Big Freedia are both out trans women of hugely different genres at the top of their game. Half of the artists on AnalogueTrash have trans band members, including the ‘gay metal disco’ from St Lucifer, who are always ridiculously fun to see live. Harvey is making the news in the Midlands and The Spook School are still making their super fun indie pop. Not so long ago, Jordan Grey was up on prime time TV on The Voice and is now on Comedy Central smashing it. And this is HUGE!

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. Find out – we’re dying to share it with you!

‘Below The Neck’ is out 3rd April on Spotify, iTunes & Bandcamp. Find HUSK on social media – @husknoise .

Massive thanks to HUSK for talking about their experiences with us! 

Get In Her Ears x Songs of the Summer 18.07.19

Tash was holding fort in the studio this week playing all the latest new music favs from the Get In Her Ears crew from the likes of….Joviale, iD3, King Hannah and Nikita Bassi.

In addition she spun some of their Songs of the Summer from Ella Fitzgerald to The Selecter, listen back and start getting into the Summer vibeZ!

Listen back:

@getinherears
@maudeandtrevor

 

Tracklist

Planningtorock – Much To Touch

Fuck With Your Friends – Lala Lala

Anna Wiebe – I Felt It In The Wind

Velvet Volume – Pretty In Black

Elliot Lee. Entitled ‘Dirt’

Joviale – Taste of the Heavens

Chorusgirl – ‘In Dreams’

Hurtling  – Summer

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Summertime

Joviale – Dream Boat

The Selecter – On My Radio

Isaac Delusion – Midnight Sun

Odesza – My Friends Never Die

Sui Zhen – Perfect Place

Daniella Mason – “Deepest of Wells”

Greentea Peng – Downers

iD3 – Joy of a Kind

King Hannah – Creme Brulee

Kitzl – Wizard Girls

Pip Blom -Tired

Nikita Bassi- Satin

Planningtorock – Let’s Talk About Gender

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Crumbs, 10.05.19

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us lately, including Mammoth Penguins, ARXX, Wolf Girl, Sit Down and Fightmilk, we were back at The Finsbury on Friday with another dream of a line-up, for a jam-packed night of the best new music from awesome womxn.

Kicking things off is Birmingham born, London-based artist Rookes. Oozing a sparkling, magnetising charisma, she takes full command of the stage, delivering her electro-infused anthemic pop, as the subtle power of her shimmering vocals flows into our ears.

Next up, London duo Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey – aka Panic Pocket – treat our ears to their twinkling indie-pop. Interspersing each uplifting ditty with charming cat-filled tales, it’s impossible not to be instantly cheered whilst singing along to their infectious, synth-filled melodies and refreshing, tongue-in-cheek wit.

Having not seen third band of the night live before, I was not prepared for just how intoxicatingly powerful Charismatic Megafauna‘s performance would be. Delivering their unique, percussion-filled electro-punk, all-the-while swapping instruments, they blast out empowering, patriarchy-smashing anthems, covering topics from sexual abuse, to diet foods and female ejaculation. Completely breathtaking.

Headliners Crumbs continue to wow the packed-out venue with their fiery post-punk. With funk-fused basslines, scuzzy hooks and impassioned vocals, they ooze a gritty, buoyant power which has the whole crowd buzzing and bouncing with enthused energy.

Massive thanks to the four bands and artists who played for us on Friday; you were all absolutely incredible. It was such a great night filled with amazing live music and the best of vibes! And make sure you don’t miss our next night at The Finsbury on 14th June with headliners CLT DRP.

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

ALBUM: Big Joanie – ‘Sistahs’

DIY punks Big Joanie release their debut album Sistahs today, and it’s a mix of the personal and political; coupled with riotous rhythms and a sistah-hood ethos. Recorded at Hermitage Works Studio with producer Margo Broom, and released via Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz’s new label (The Daydream Library Series), Sistahs is a strong debut from a band who have been actively working on and off-stage within London’s DIY scene for years.

Together, Steph, Estella & Chardine have been busy running the Decolonise Fest for punks of colour, volunteering at Girls Rock Camp, and leading the Stop Rainbow Racism campaign, which works to stop racist performances in LGBTQ venues. Their combined pro-active efforts have resulted in the creation of 11 songs that tackle issues of self-motivation, race, equality, and letting go of unhealthy relationships.

The pensive and highly relatable opening track ‘New Year’ brims with a quiet yearning to kick start something, to stop waiting. It’s followed by ‘Fall Asleep’, with its infectious bass lines and wicked guitar riffs. The introduction of electronics 1:44 minutes in is ultra cool, and was inspired by the likes of Joy Division and New Order (which is why Producer Margo added a wall of synths and drum beats).

‘Used To Be Friends’ is an anthem everyone can sing with confidence, with a sarcastic smile and no real sense of aggro – just the care free attitude of someone who’s shed the skin of an unhealthy acquaintance. ‘Eyes’ is a cacophony of guitars, percussion, and recorder. It’s one of the first songs guitarist Steph wrote aged nineteen, inspired by her disdain for “working a part time job handing out over-priced artisan bread at Waitrose”.

‘Way Out’ is a wonderful, reverb-soaked, 90s-esque tune, whilst the brief ‘Down Down’ spirals along with its driving percussion for just shy of two minutes, before the surf-pop-style ‘Tell A Lie’ lifts listeners up again. Much like ‘Used To Be Friends’, ‘Token’ laments an unhealthy friendship, although this time it’s about the feeling of ‘tokenism’ experienced by people of colour, when middle class white people decide to befriend them as a lame act of liberalism. Following track ‘It’s You’ was born from a bad situation. After the lead singer from Steph’s first band (My Therapist Says Hot Damn) left just three days before their next gig – ‘It’s You’ was one of the many songs she had to write from scratch to play at the show.

The penultimate ‘How Could You Love Me’ will have you swaying from side-to-side as it rings out in “60s girl group style”, whilst closing track ‘Cut Your Hair’ is a vulnerable but optimistic ode to predicting a relationship is over before you or your partner are willing to admit it. Despite their breezy, confident nature; the contexts of Big Joanie’s songs are powerful because the relay the struggles of everyday – whether that’s having your mind turned to mush by a boring job, falling out with yourself, or others around you. They’re three women of colour talking about their life experiences to the backdrop of marching beats and punk-inspired riffs – and that’s something the world needs plenty more of in our opinion.

Order your copy of Sistahs here. Follow Big Joanie on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut