Get In Her Ears w/ Bengi Unsal 14.03.19

Tash and Kate were back in the Hoxton Radio studio this week with all the new music, including tracks from Stainwasher, Dwen, Mammoth Penguins and Annavr.

They were joined in the studio by the Southbank Centre’s Senior Contemporary Music Programmer Bengi Unsal, who talked about their upcoming Meltdown festival, her re-branding of Friday Tonic and their success with Concrete Lates.

Listen back:

@getinherears
@maudeandtrevor
@KCBobcut

GIHE Celebrates International Women’s Day 2019

As you may be aware, at Get In Her Ears we celebrate wonderful female artists every single day! So, you may feel that there’s no real need for us to remind you on International Women’s Day to recognise them. But, as much as we try, days like today still seem necessary for society to take a minute and recognise not only the achievements of all the fantastic womxn in the world, but also to draw attention to the ongoing injustices and ingrained sexism that still sadly exists in 2019.

So, this International Women’s Day, we’ve put together some of the female/non binary artists that we feel have been pivotal in pushing forward womxn and equality in music over the last year. Read about why each of them inspire us, and listen to the super mega playlist below…

Aretha Franklin – ‘Respect’
I just couldn’t not include Queen Aretha, who the world sadly lost in August last year. She remains one of the most influential artists the world has ever known; a beautiful soul who changed music forever, as well as campaigning for civil rights throughout her life.
(Mari Lane)

Nova Twins – ‘Lose Your Head’
A lesson in cutting loose and walking on the wild side, South East London duo Nova Twins provided us with this mind-melter of a track earlier in the year. Last year, we were lucky enough to have Amy & Georgia come into the Hoxton Radio studio for a chat, and they blew us away playing live for Loud Women at The Lexington too. Their raw, abrasive, genre-defying tunes are consistent favourites here at Get In Her Ears, and I’m sure they’ll bring the noise again at Cro Cro Land next month!
(Kate Crudgington)

Noga Erez – ‘Bad Habits’
Tel Aviv renegade Noga Erez has been a favourite of ours ever since blowing us away with 2017’s Under The Radar. Last year’s ‘Bad Habits’ is a snarling tirade of anger, spoken through gritted teeth, exhibiting an intense defiance in both Erez’s lyrics and her music: “I’m no-one, but who the fuck are you? Huh?” she repeats, as the beats of Ori Rousso – her partner, co-writer, composer & producer – helps it mutate in to a “gritty, truth-seeking alt-pop” anthem – culminating in Erez’s vicious “Fuck you” at the close of the song.
(KC)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Bite’
We’re massive fans of Austrian artist Mavi Phoenix’s dreamy lo-fi electro offerings, and even bigger fans of all she does to promote LGBTQ+ rights. We were lucky enough to have a chat with her on our radio show last year, listen back here.
(Tash Walker)

Little Simz – ‘Boss’
I’ve been a little late to the Little Simz party, but now I’ve found her, I don’t know what I did without her immense power in my ears. Having released her debut album A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons in 2015 via her own independent label, she has continued to defy genres and receive acclaim over the last few years. And now, with her completely mind-blowing brand new album, Grey Area, she proves once again that she’s an incredible force to be reckoned with, with her ferocious, empowering anthems. She sums it up perfectly in this track: “I’m a boss in a fucking dress.”
(ML)

Pussyliquor – ‘MY BODY.MY CHOICE.’
Bringing their pure, uncensored female rage with a wild, punk-fuelled passion, Pussyliquor’s ‘My Body.My Choice’ gives an urgency to its explicitly important message. Having played for us at The Finsbury last year, they immediately filled the venue with the heaving bodies of an army of moshing fans, their intense riotous power, tongue-in-cheek wit and empowering messages of equality being delivered with a fierce energy and searing, colossal force.
(ML)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
The Menstrual Cramps pretty much sum up the current state of things with each of their topical, tongue-in-cheek offerings and empowering, feel good vibes. Taken from their incredible album Free Bleedin’, ‘The Smash’ blasts out the all-too-relatable refrain of “It’s time we took back the floor, kick the Tories out the door – we want a revolution”. Oozing an immense, politically-charged force as vocalist Emilia’s genuine, seething passion shines through, The Menstrual Cramps combine activism with musical prowess, providing an essential soundtrack for all womxn right now.
(ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Fall Asleep’
DIY punks Big Joanie released their debut album Sistahs last year, 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.
(KC)

Alice Bag – ’77’
Taken from last year’s poignant album Blueprint, punk legend Alice Bag brought together a dream team for her single ’77’. Featuring Riot Grrrl queens Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe, plus an appearance in the video from Shirley Manson, it draws inspiration from Dolly Parton’s 1980 proto-feminist workplace comedy ‘9 to 5′, commenting on the gender pay gap that still plagues society. Filled with seething, punk-driven riffs, the women not only rage that “I make 77 cents and it’s not right / It’s bad for women!”, but make the point that “it’s worse if you’re not white”. As Bag poignantly sneers “… don’t pretend that we’re paid equal… You wrote the script / But I’m writing the sequel”, ’77’ is an empowering, inspiring call to arms to unite against the patriarchy and make the changes needed for equality, in the workplace and beyond.
(ML)

Peach Club – ‘Boy In A Band’
I first became aware of Norwich Riot Grrrls Peach Club seeing them support The Tuts at The George Tavern a few years back, and they continued to blow me away headlining for us at The Finsbury last year. With a raw ferocity, thrashing hooks and driving beats, ‘Boy In A Band’ builds with a frenzied energy to a riotous anthem, blasting into the ears with a racing sense of urgency. And rightly so. We need voices like Peach Club’s now more than ever; a voice that gives motivation and inspiration to girls and women to speak out and be heard in order to prevent the damaging actions of certain boys in bands continuing to be swept under the carpet (or even accepted as the norm) within the music industry.
(ML)

Queen Zee – ‘Boy’
Making weirdness into wonderful, inclusive, explosive new tunes, GIHE favourites Queen Zee shared their debut self-titled album last month, and it was every bit as glorious as we’d hoped. Album highlight ‘Boy’ is an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be ignored, or oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes. “You can try and bury my head in the sand, but that won’t make the body at the surface a man’s” sings Zee, as manic guitar and heart-pounding drums smash out for just shy of five minutes. A poignant offering that gleefully cuts down any of the forces that attempt to stand in the way of equality.
(KC)

Lizzo – ‘Juice’
Another utterly empowering and ferociously fun offering from GIHE favourite Lizzo, ‘Juice’ is filled with all the refreshing wit and funk-filled grooves that we’ve come to know and love from the Minneapolis artist. With Lizzo’s joyous, body-positive spirit and its immensely infectious, ’80s reminiscent hooks, ‘Juice’ is the ultimate feel-good anthem for women everywhere.
(ML)

Tirzah – ‘Gladly’
Beautifully understated, gently hypnotic and lyrically touching. I cannot get enough of Tirzah right now, and you know what, it’s not just this track, but the whole album Devotion. What can I say… I am hopelessly devoted. Cringe statements aside, please go listen if you haven’t already, your life will be better for it.
(TW)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Hobby Horse’
A unique artist with razor sharp vision and uncompromising creativity; Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) combines glitchy beats, menacing samples and an uncanny new costume on her latest album, Pastoral. Gazelle Twin delivers her Pastoral vision through grinning but gritted teeth. Her altruistic style is one that can’t be mimicked – even though she herself is a master at adopting the traits of others, and transforming into a new species of performer who offers brutality and intrigue in equal measure.
(KC)

Pitou – ‘Give Me A Glass’
So gentle, so beautiful, and so delicate. ‘Give Me A Glass’ by Pitou is taken from her EP I Fall Asleep So Fast, released via Mink Records. I think this track is just mesmerising, and it probably helps that it was the first song I listened to after meeting my niece for the first time. So here’s to raising that glass to the new addition in my family!
(TW)

HAVVK – ‘Glass’
Last year, GIHE faves HAVVK (formally HAWK) marked their rebrand with the re-release of their bewitching single ‘Glass’. Originally written in 2015, and released in the run up to the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum, ‘Glass’ addresses themes of conflict and resolution. Oozing an eerie subtle power and magnetising grace, it showcases HAVVK at their most exquisite – doing what they do best; combining activism with their unique musical prowess. And front-woman Julie doesn’t stop there; she has also co-founded SelfMade – a platform to explore DIY music in Ireland through performance, discussion, and art, and last year launched Female Fronted Drawn Together – a project through which she has created a playlist of admirable female bands/musicians and created an illustration to accompany each song.
(ML) 

Courtney Barnett – ‘Nameless, Faceless’
Courtney Barnett is probably my favourite, and most relatable, lyricist. She has a unique ability to tackle everyday life with a perfect wit and raw honesty; that, combined with her woozy vocals and infectious jangly melodies, makes for an utter dream. Taken from last year’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, ‘Nameless, Faceless’ is a refreshingly honest take on male chauvinism; with lyrics inspired by Margaret Atwood – “Men are scared that women will laugh at them, women are scared that men will kill them…” – it perfectly sums up why we still need International Women’s Day.
(ML)

Wolf Alice – ‘Yuk Foo’
Seeing Wolf Alice perform under the sparkling mirror-ball lights at their Alexandra Palace headline gig in 2017; I swooned so hard I thought I might drown in my own heart-shaped tears. And I couldn’t be happier for them winning the 2018 Mercury Prize this year; extremely well deserved from Ellie Rowsell and co., and a promising step in the right direction for female bands and artists at award ceremonies.
(KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” our favourite Feminist Punk Witches rage in last year’s ‘Vagina Police’. A formidable offering from the band that proved once again just why we need Dream Nails in our lives; a group willing to combine activism and music to form a unifying force against the patriarchy; a group who create sparkling, energy-filled tracks that succeed in inspiring and motivating girls everywhere to get to the front and make our voices heard.
(ML)

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’
We don’t need to say how inspirational Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill and the whole Riot Grrrl movement are to us. But what we will say is that we’re are over the moon excited to all be going to see Bikini Kill live this June! Literally dreams can come true…

Listen to our International Women’s Day playlist on Spotify, and catch us for our IWD party tonight at The Finsbury. We’ll be joined by ARXX, The Baby Seals, Scrounge and Rainbow Corp, and will also be raising money for fantastic charity The Outside Project.

Playlist: LGBT History Month

To mark the end of LGBT History Month, we dedicated our 28th February radio show to highlighting some of our favourite LGBTQ+ artists. We’ve put together a LGBT History Month playlist of all the tracks we played, plus some extras we didn’t have time for on the show, because LGBTQ+ history is part of all of our history and should be celebrated every single day!

Read about why we picked some of the tracks here, and then make sure you listen to the full playlist!

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.
– Tash Walker

Shamir‘Straight Boy’
I’ve had a massive love for Shamir since seeing him at Visions Festival a few years ago, and then again last summer at Camden Assembly. A step away from the uptempo playful pop of his debut, ‘Straight Boy’ is a real beauty laying bare a heart-rending raw emotion. Shamir explains: “(it’s) about how frustrating it was for me to have my whole identity picked apart at a young age just to see straight white men use it as an aesthetic choice.”
– 
Mari Lane

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

Syd ‘All About Me’
This is one of my favourite tracks from Syd who is openly LGBTQ+, and you may know from the excellent collective The Internet.
– TW

Blonde Maze‘Awake/Asleep’
Ever since first hearing New York artist Blonde Maze a few years ago, I’ve been completely and utterly addicted to her luscious atmospheric offerings. This beautifully twinkling track is taken from her 2015 Oceans EP – a collection of songs reflecting her long distance relationship with her girlfriend, who at the time lived in England.
– ML

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

Jackie Shane‘Any Other Way’
I was sad to learn of the recent death of trans rights pioneer and musician Jackie Shane last week. Jackie has remained largely unknown outside of Toronto, where her career flourished in the 1960s, but with the 2017 reissue of Any Other Way – the first approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work featuring highlights from her sessions at the Sapphire Tavern – I think that’s about to change. She lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated towards those who identified as trans. Though she has a classic sound, her obvious talent and her championing of equality will forever remain contemporary.
– Kate Crudgington

King Princess – ‘1950’
Something that I am really proud of here in the UK is the latest generation of LGBTQ+ people, who continually amaze me with their openness and their acceptance of how others identify in their sexuality and gender identity; so different from when I was growing up. ‘1950’ by King Princess is an excellent example of the progression we have made throughout the last 60 years.
– TW

Suggested Friends ‘I Don’t Want To Be A Horcrux For Your Soul’
I can safely say that Suggested Friends are one of my most-listened to, and most thoroughly loved, bands, so I’m super excited to hear that they’re currently working on a new album to follow their self-titled debut. This track in particular showcases their perfect, immensely infectious queer punk-pop to a tee. Filled with racing, catchy hooks and luscious harmonies, Faith Taylor’s witty charm and exquisite vocals fill me with pure joy on each listen.
– ML

Dream Nails ‘DIY’
Collective GIHEs faves Dream Nails are renowned for making women and non-binary people feel safe at their live shows, and they tirelessly campaign on and offstage for LGBT rights too. DIY is an anthem that reminds me time and again that all that’s needed to inspire change is a pro-active attitude, some self belief, and a healthy bit of collaboration. Long live Dream Nails!
– KC

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something‘Someone Else To Blame’
Non-binary London artist Jemma Freeman creates wonderful psychedelic creations that’ll take your ears on a sonic, spacey journey on each listen. We’ve been wowed by their immensely captivating live show on more than one occasion, and we highly recommend you do the same.
– ML

Sleater Kinney ‘Jenny’
A song written by Corin Tucker reflecting on her past relationship with bandmate Carrie Brownstein, ‘Jenny’ is an underrated gem from one of my all time favourites, and pioneers for women in rock, Sleater Kinney.
– ML

ARXX‘Intervention’
Having blown us away with their immense energy at their live shows, and supported bands such as Dream Wife, ARXX are one of our ones to watch for this year. They just keep getting better. This track, ‘Intervention’, taken from last year’s EP Daughters Of Daughters, oozes a ferocious spirit, as vocalist Hannah talks of social injustices, giving a shout out to the LGBT charity Stonewall, exclaiming that “you don’t get to say who we fall in love with”. It’s a perfect, raging anthem for equality. And we cannot wait for ARXX to headline for us at The Finsbury for our special International Women’s Day gig next Friday, 8th March.
– ML

Queen Zee‘Boy’
‘Boy’ by Liverpool’s Queen Zee is an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes. ‘Boy’ is taken from Queen Zee’s debut self-titled album which is available now, and I’m so happy to see Queen Zee doing so well, refusing to be melted in to a “masculine mould”.
– KC

Bugeye ‘Is This Love?’
Fellow Croydonites, Bugeye, have been lifting my spirits with their colourful disco-punk for some time now and this track – a twisted play on the theme of love, taking inspiration from Donna Summer’s ’80s club anthem ‘I Feel Love’ – is a perfect example of what they do best. Having got the whole crowd dancing at last year’s Croydon Pride festival, Bugeye are flying the flag for LGBT women in music south of the river, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
– ML

Le Tigre‘Hot Topic’
I just couldn’t not include total faves and pioneers of queer culture, Le Tigre. An unabashed celebration of (mostly) female and LGBT artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers, ‘Hot Topic’ remains one of my all time favourites, as it never fails to inspire and motivate me to get up and achieve my dreams.
– ML

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
Robyn is an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights. I think it is 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

Janelle Monae (feat. Grimes) – ‘Pynk’
A brash celebration of creation from the powerhouse that is Janelle Monae. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power! Need I say more.
– TW

Planningtorock ‘Non Binary Femme’
This track summed up 2018 for me, a year that gave with free abundance in good music, in particular Planningtorock’s album Powerhouse. Throughout the whole album, Powerhouse has such an uplifting sound, the music is under the skin catchy and any album that uses the language ‘Non-Binary Femme’ in the title of the song is unarguably paving the way for not only a greater/better understanding of what these words and this sort of language means, but also for it to become a fully accepted part of everyday conversation.
– TW

Shura – ‘2Shy’
I just love this track from London artist Shura, who has been consistently challenging stereotypes since she came out as a lesbian a couple of years ago and helping to ‘queer the mainstream’. Bring on the blurring of gender and sexuality in pop!
– TW

St. Vincent – ‘Fast Slow Disco’
A believer in gender fluidity, pioneering pop artist Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent’s, 2017 Masseducation album was an utter joy from start to finish. With an accompanying video featuring Clark dancing through crowds of men at a gay club, ‘Fast Slow Disco’ is a perfect, uplifting anthem.
– ML

Perfume Genius‘Hood’
At just two minutes long, ‘Hood’ from Perfume Genius is a perfectly heartbreaking song. Taken from his 2012 album Put Ur Back In2 It, which is start to finish heart-string tugging perfection, it’s accompanied by a video featuring Mike Hadreas and gay porn actor Arpad Miklos embracing each other, which was deemed ‘unfit for family viewing’ by YouTube. But it’s actually just truly beautiful and powerfully poignant, and should be viewed by everybody. Of the track Hadreas explains: “The song’s about how if someone knew you 100%, they would go away… So, in the video, I didn’t acknowledge [Miklos] until I was fully done-up in all my gear and my wig. That’s how I feel in general. That freaky shit underneath — that’s kind of who I am, really.
– ML

Antony and the Johnsons ‘For Today I Am A Boy’
A stirring and powerful ode to the journey of transitioning. With the immense passion of Anohni’s distinctive, soulful vocals, ‘For Today I Am A Boy’ is a simply exquisite creation.
– ML

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
Released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat. Outside of Get In Her Ears I am the Co-Chair for Switchboard – the LGBT+ Helpline which turns 45 years old this year. It is an incredible organisation that is rich with LGBTQ+ history, but it got me thinking and made me look at all the different events that Switchboard’s volunteers have supported people with throughout its 45 years. From the numerous police raids on LGBT+ venues in the 70s, the HIV and AIDS crisis in the 80s, as well as Section 28 which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality (only revoked in 2003). It also went on to support people after the Soho Nail Bomb which it is the 20th anniversary of this year. More recently we’ve seen such events as the Orlando shooting, along with an increase in hate crime towards members of the LGBTQ+ communities specifically targeting transgender people, which is completely unacceptable. But it hasn’t been all bad, there have been a lot of positive changes throughout our recent LGBTQ+ history. Changes in legislation such as equal marriage and educational guidance in schools (hot off the press this week), and changes in societal and cultural views. What we’ve got to keep remembering is that we’re still on that same journey. A journey for equality. A journey for full acceptance… of everyone, no matter how they identify.
– TW

Listen back to last night’s show to hear more about our chosen tracks, or give the full extended playlist a listen on Spotify now:

LIVE: Anna Calvi @ The Roundhouse, 07.02.19

The buzz around the catwalk is already palpable. You could cut the atmosphere with a butter knife and anyone who’s seen Anna Calvi live before will know that she can and she will. She’ll forego the butterknife for bright red lipstick, jet black hair, and the bruised Telecaster that’s been by her side since long before she ever found herself screaming into the historic Roundhouse.

Do you think the designers knew that what started as an engine house would end up having the kind of acoustics that could make any audiophile’s expensive headphones melt off their ears? Doubt it, but that’s what happened on 7th February 2019, when Anna Calvi—alongside her band, Mally Harpaz and Alex Thomas—brought Hunter to Camden Town.

Opening the show were two LGBTQ artists-cum-DJs, Austra and Victoria Sin, spinning tracks that both enlivened us queer indie kids and the more seasoned (cis-oned) fans alike. As well as being palpable, it was equal parts emotional. As the stage went dark and screams echoed around the ‘house, there was a strange but enlivened twist in the air: Calvi was home.

Playing songs from Hunter and her self-titled debut, there wasn’t a single soul in the crowd left uncaptivated. Even at the bar, people were being coughed at by bar tenders when they’d forgotten to order; too busy watching art unleashed on the stage in front of us.

The synergy between Calvi, Harpaz, and Thomas lead to the kind of artistic improv Marina Abramović could bathe in – and while I say these things as a fan of both, if you don’t feel nauseous at at least one point of a great gig, your Stendhal moment is still there waiting.

Anna Calvi is an artist to remember. She is, in my humble (gobby) opinion, the greatest living guitarist we have. And she left her mark during every second of the Roundhouse show; from beginning to end. Some cried, some came, and most of us would willingly live through that concert again and again.

Em Burfitt
@fenderqueer

Playlist: Galentine’s Day 2019

Grrrls, it’s the best day of the year: GALENTINE’S DAY! Coined by Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) back in 2010, Galentine’s has since been recognised by girls across the globe, and used as a light-hearted platform to celebrate the girls and womxn who enrich our lives.

We wanted to celebrate it with you in the best way possible: by chucking some of our favourite female-identifying artists on a big old playlist. We’re all about self-love & sisterly (not just cis-terly) love today, so have a read about our choices, then hit play!

Aretha Franklin & Annie Lennox – ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’
Whenever I hear this I immediately want to get up and dance. Two talented women coming together to sing about equality and independence never fails to make me feel good. It was released in 1985, but the lyrics are just as poignant today.
(Kate Crudgington)

The Julie Ruin – ‘Girls Like Us’
I couldn’t make a playlist and not include something from queen Kathleen. And this track from The Julie Ruin seems to sum up our feelings this Galentine’s perfectly. A unifying anthem for all us misfit grrrls, it never fails to pick me up and leave me feeling ready to face the world. 
(Mari Lane)

Argonaut – ‘You Are’
With motivational lyrics such as “You rock, you can change the world, you inspire boys and girls, you can do anything!”, Argonaut’s ‘You Are’ is the perfect motivational pop-punk anthem to unite and empower you and your friends this Galentine’s.
(ML)

Honeyblood – ‘Babes Never Die’
Every time I hear Honeyblood’s Stina sing “Witch if I float, damned if I don’t” on this track it fills me with such a rush of defiance. It’s an anthem for resilience and I regularly return to it on days where I need extra motivation.
(KC)

Sleater Kinney – ‘Modern Girl’
I’m currently reading Carrie Brownstein’s memoir ‘Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl’ (the title of which is taken from this track) and it is honestly one of the most enjoyable and refreshing reads – she just seems totally down to earth, unpretentious and incredibly witty. And one thing that particularly stands out throughout is (despite encountering various obstacles) the constant unwavering friendship and unity between Brownstein and bandmate Corin Tucker. 
(ML)

Wolf Alice – ‘Beautifully Unconventional’
I dismissed this song the first time I heard it on Visions Of A Life because it’s not as heavy or shoegazey as the majority of Wolf Alice’s other songs. However, when I heard it live and frontwoman Ellie dedicated the song to a female friend, it changed the way I listened to it. Now when I hear the track, I think of how great that gig was, and how great it is to celebrate being a “beautifully unconventional” girl.
(KC)

Panic Pocket – ‘Mr Big’
Inspired by too many formative Sex And The City marathons, ‘Mr Big’ is an uplifting ditty about desperately wanting your close friend to stop defining herself by her relationship status and focus instead on friendship. Strewn with memorable SATC quotes, highlighting the importance of friendship – “Don’t laugh at me but maybe we could be each other’s soulmates” – it’s a luscious slice of indie-pop from the duo. (ML)

Dream Nails – ‘Chirpse Degree Burns’
The mock-anxiety Dream Nails sing with as they lament about being ghosted on this track is so funny and so relatable! This is the perfect Galentine’s (and Valentine’s) Day anthem.
(KC)


The Baby Seals – ‘Guuurl’
With their uplifting charisma and triumphant wit, The Baby Seals consistently champion autonomy and body positivity with their wonderfully tongue-in-cheek offerings. Celebrating all things female and breaking gender boundaries in all the right ways, with ‘Guuurl’ The Baby Seals assure us that we can indeed pee where want to. And we cannot wait to seem them live again for us at The Finsbury celebrating International Women’s Day on 8th March!
(ML)

Miss Eaves – ‘Bush For The Push’
A vibrant celebration of self love, GIHE fave Miss Eaves’ ‘Bush For The Push’ is filled with all her trademark disco-punk energy, reminiscent of queen Peaches. An empowering and wonderfully entertaining call to be free to have the bush you want – “It’s your body, so have a little fun…” – it encourages us to celebrate and take pride in our body, whatever shape or size it may be.
(ML) 

Nova Twins – ‘Hit Girl’
Georgia & Amy share a unique talent for making riotous new music, and they’re a brilliant example of what you can achieve when you’re working alongside your best friend. They’ve yet to release a song I don’t instantly fall in love with, and I can’t wait to catch them live again later this year at Cro Cro Land.
(KC)

Lizzo – ‘Good As Hell’
I just can’t get enough of Lizzo’s joyous, body-positive spirit and immensely infectious offerings. And with motivational lyrics such as “Come now, come dry your eyes; you know you a star, you can touch the sky”, ‘Good As The Hell’ is the ultimate feel-good anthem to sing at the top of your lungs to your besties when they need cheering up.
(ML)

Cyndi Lauper – ‘Time After Time’
With Galentine’s Day originally being coined by the ever inspirational Leslie Knope from Parks And Recreation, I just had to include this classic. ‘Time After Time’ soundtracks a rare moment of unity between contrasting characters April and Ann in the series, as we see the two coming together (with an appearance from Donna!), singing this song, showing the power of music in bringing us together. 
(ML)

Alanis Morissette – ‘Thank you’
This iconic 1998 tune from Alanis is the best thing to sing to yourself on a day where things aren’t going your way, or if you need a minute to take stock of what you’re really grateful for. Whether you do that in your head, in front of your bedroom mirror, or naked in the street like Alanis does in the video is entirely up to you…
(KC)

Antony and the Johnsons – ‘You Are My Sister’
I can’t put into words just how utterly beautiful and deeply moving I find this song, so I’ll just leave it here: “You are my sister, and I love you, may all of your dreams come true.” Happy Galentine’s, sisters. 
(ML)

Listen to our special Galentine’s Day Playlist here, and give us a follow on Spotify if you fancy it:

Interview: Dream Nails – ‘Take Up Space’

As if putting on immense, riotous live performances wasn’t enough, in September last year GIHE’s favourite Feminist Punk Witches Dream Nails decided to blow our minds in a slightly different way – by putting on their first ever acoustic set at infamous independent and anti-fascist bookshop Housmans. A much smaller space than the band have played in the past, the gig was a wonderfully intimate experience, and – whilst perhaps quieter in volume – no less powerful and empowering than your usual raucous Dream Nails gig.

And if you weren’t able to make the gig, fear not! Dream Nails have now made the full recording of the set into a new acoustic album, appropriately entitled Take Up Space. And it’s most certainly worth a listen. Showcasing their luscious harmonies and poignant songwriting in a way we’ve not yet heard, it proves that plugged in or acoustic, Dream Nails are a sparkling, formidable force. Combining impassioned activism and infectious tunes, they consistently inspire and motivate us to get up, make our voices heard and fight fascism with all our might.

We caught up with Mimi, Janey, Lucy and Anya to find out more…

Hi Dream Nails, welcome back to Get In Her Ears! How are you doing today?
Mimi: Thank you! I’m refreshed and ready for 2019.
Janey: I’m rested too!
Lucy: Ran 4 miles on the treadmill this morning like a little excited hamster so I’m bathing in the endorphins right now.
Anya: Me and Janey just did a songwriting session and I’m gassed about our latest ideas, including one about feminism and the future of technology. I can’t say what it’s about but it’s completely ridiculous and hilarious.

We’re super excited to hear about the release of your new acoustic album Take Up Space! What was it that inspired you to record this – something perhaps so different from what fans might expect?
Mimi: We really feel there’s magic in our live shows. In the past we’ve tried to record some shows, but it’s always really difficult because of the sound in the venues, and it’s never come out that great. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to try again, in a less noisy setting.
Janey: We put so much thought into our song lyrics and vocal harmonies, and much of that gets lost in the fuzz of a punk PA system. This gig was a chance to finally let our songs breathe and the lyrics be heard.
Lucy: We were excited to listen to the recordings but didn’t know how good they would turn out and certainly didn’t expect to release them! We only had one acoustic rehearsal before the show and were very pleased with the new dimension the songs have taken on!
Anya: We also wanted to try more of an intimate show, more of ‘an evening with Dream Nails’ sort of thing where the crowd were very much part of the show and we could be really spontaneous with our interactions.

The album was recorded at your intimate gig at Housman’s Bookshop (which was a pretty wonderful evening!) in September last year – how was this experience for you? And how did it differ from your usual gig set ups?
Mimi: For me, I had no distortion pedals and no big amps, I was playing my semi-acoustic bass guitar. My bass was very à la Violent Femmes. It was a much more intimate setting with no stage, and it was a lot of fun to be in with the crowd and hear everyone’s laughs during all of the funny bits.
Janey: That gig was so much fun, and a challenge for us because the audience were sitting right in front of us in pretty good lighting – we could see everyone! That completely changed the dynamic and made it special.
Lucy: Yeah it was exposing at first and I was more than a little nervous! I’m usually hiding at the back on my all-seeing drum throne, so this was my chance to get my jokes and chat in too. I got pretty over-excited tbh. Fun fact: the tom and snare drums I was using were propped up on old Delia Smith cookery books and I think you can definitely hear this in the music!
Anya: I actually play an acoustic guitar borrowed from Dave McManus who runs Everything Sucks Music, one of the labels we work with! It was weird playing an acoustic and I had to change a few things in the songs to make it work, but it was a fun challenge. My hands were like frozen claws by the end – an acoustic is a lot harder work, strangely!

Do you feel that putting on a gig in such a different setting opened up your music to some people who may not normally be able to attend gigs in late night bars/music venues?
Mimi: Yes definitely! We really want to play more bookshops. Because most gigs are in bars, it’s almost impossible to hold all ages shows, and we would love to play to younger people.
Janey: Almost all punk shows are held in squats, basements or alcohol-based venues, which excludes a lot of people from experiencing our live music, and we wanted to change that. At this show, we had more under-18, muslim and disabled fans than usual, many of whom mentioned they hadn’t managed to get to a show before. This show was our most inclusive by far, and I want to do more gigs where we transform a community space into a gig space.
Lucy: Our shows are accessible as we can make them, but I feel like the audience were so relaxed at this show and that contributed to a very special atmosphere. It was early in the evening and the fact that no one felt they had negotiate beer being chucked around, creepy dudes at the bar, dark and sometimes intimidating spaces and pushing created a calmness that was palpable.
Anya: We also live streamed it via Facebook with the help of Get in Her Ears, which we’ll probably do more of in the future so our fans in other countries can see the bookshop gigs we do.

Has having had the experience of performing acoustically changed the way you approach writing songs now?
Lucy: You know what, it’s made me itching to get more into the composition side of our music. Hearing everything so stripped back, and being mindful of how our songs sound in the state will surely translate when we start writing again (imminently!).
Anya: It’s definitely reinforced my feeling that our songs need to work on an acoustic guitar or they won’t work at all!

The album includes a couple of new songs… including ‘Jillian’ and ‘Chirpse Degree Burns (Text Me Back)’ – can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind these tracks?
Mimi: ‘Jillian’ is about Jillian Michaels, a fitness personality who has a workout DVD called ‘The 30 Day Shred’. It was permanently in my DVD player growing up, she is seriously strong and fierce, and I definitely memorised her chat throughout the entire workout. Her message is that you can push yourself and literally be strong!
Janey: Mimi and I really bonded over our shared love of Jillian. To be honest, the 30 Day Shred was my first experience of exercise and recognising how good it was for my mental health. I have Jillian to thank for that. Plus she’s one of my queer idols.
Lucy: ‘Chirpse Degree Burns’ (fyi chirpse is London slang for flirt and can be a noun, verb or adjective) is tragically close to the hearts of me and another anonymous band member. It was written in an emotional outburst during the comedown of Glastonbury 2017 when Anya (oops) and I were thwarted by our short-lived festival loves. I don’t get it?! We are a catch and also 1000000% chill as the song we wrote will attest to!
Anya: There’s also a new track ‘Time Ain’t No Healer’ which is about how much work it is to get over the troubles in your life and recover from trauma. The idea is you can’t just wait for time to do it for you, it takes a conscious effort. And probably a therapist, lol.

The album’s appropriately entitled Take Up Space, which very much ties in with your mantra of “Girls To The Front” at gigs. How important do you think it is for girls/non binary/female-identifying people to take up space in the music industry? And what do you think people can be doing to encourage this more?
Mimi: It’s hard to encourage women and non binary people to get into the music industry because you just know they’re going to meet so many obstacles, which are only there because of deep set misogyny. It just needs to be challenged by everyone. I can’t bear to think of how many women and non binary bands have quit doing music because of people being shit to them at every turn. Even little things – like I can’t even count how many times a sound guy has told me where to plug my bass in.
Janey: Bookers need to change their policies, and introduce diversity quotas. The musicians are out there. Look harder. There’s no excuse for all-male tour line-ups anymore. The issues within the music industry are structural, and need to be met with structural changes.
Lucy: Obviously the need is vital and I’d like to quote an iconic Anya statement here relating to all-male bands: “men, ask yourselves, does the world need any more of your dry music?” We try to hammer home the idea that skill level and technical know-how does not take precedence when it comes to music, no matter what intimidating sound people, music shop assistants, or band boys would like you to think. YOUR music and experiences are valid and vital and you’re the only person in this world who can make it. Until these structural changes manifest, we endeavour to create these spaces and opportunities ourselves.
Anya: For women to Take Up Space, men need to Make Up Space. Make way, not today, man bands, go away!

As ‘Feminist Punk Witches, what does ‘punk’ mean to you?
Mimi: Punk means challenging everything, even the definition of ‘punk’. It’s about being a good ally, standing up for what’s right, being an activist, taking our lives into our own hands. It bothers me that people like Donald Trump and Doug Ford (Canadian Premier of Ontario, where I’m from, who literally fucked Ontario) are seen as punks, only because they’re kind of rogue outsiders from the political world?? They’re the farthest thing from punks, their only intention is to fuck the little guy and they only benefit the rich.
Janey: For me, punk is about shared creation. Not just tearing the world apart, but challenging the status quo by building a new one. I think the punkest thing we do isn’t even our music, but the bands we support behind the scenes, or making sure promoters have gender-neutral toilets.
Lucy: Punk is about utilising a rebellious spirit in a way that DOES NOT resemble a teenager with a “my mum and dad aren’t home, no one can tell me what to do” attitude. For me, the rebelliousness of punk is about radical collectivity, thoughtfulness, inquisitiveness, joy, rage and action that both strengthens you and provides relief in a world and city that seeks to crush you.
Anya: Some of our dearest female idols like Viv Albertine and Patti Smith interrogated the world as they saw it, threw stale, patriarchal convention out of the window, and filled their world with new meaning. Punk is about being thoughtful and honest. It’s interesting that they both taught themselves to play guitars as young women. Being self taught makes you approach music differently, I think.

So, after the experience of playing acoustically in Housman’s, do Dream Nails have plans to play any more acoustic shows in 2019?
Mimi:
This is something we are seriously talking about and would love to do a radical bookshop tour!
Janey: 100%!
Lucy: Yes! It feels so pure!
Anya: I’ll only play in places where they have the entire back catalogue of Simone De Beauvoir now. It’s my rider.

And what else do you have up your sparkly sleeves for the rest of the year??
Mimi: We are going to be spending a lot of the first part of this year writing and recording for our debut album release (not acoustic), and then playing many festivals over the summer.
Janey: We’re headed to Switzerland in the first week of February, and are playing four shows there! Follow us on Instagram for our tour stories, they never fail to delight.
Anya: We are curating a stage at one of our favourite festivals this year. We can’t say which one, but it involves a zine making workshop for young people and I’m so excited.
Lucy: Aside from this, my personal dream is to sell our critically acclaimed ‘Chipadvisor’ chip reviewing YouTube series to Netflix. We would use the proceeds from this to buy ourselves more chips.

Massive thanks to Dream Nails for answering our questions!

Take Up Space is available exclusively on Bandcamp, where you can also get hold of an awesome accompanying t-shirt designed by illustrator Sumena Owen.

 

Photo Credit: Poppy Marriot