Five Favourites: Bria

Whilst you may recognise Bria Salmena from working in Orville Peck’s world-conquering backing band, she is also an immensely innovative artist in her own right. Following the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.1 in 2021, Salmena has now collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Duncan Hay Jennings once again for Vol.2., set for release next month.

As a taster of the upcoming EP’s release, Bria has now shared her rendition of Paula Cole’s ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?‘. Adding her own unique reverb-strewn scuzz and whirring danceable energy to the original, her rich, sumptuous vocals ripple alongside a soul-strewn groove, creating a dreamily immersive soundscape.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Cuntry Covers Vol.2, we caught up with Bria to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. Rather than pick five all-time top albums, she’s selected the songs she’s listening to the most right now – read/listen below and check out Cuntry Covers Vol.1 while you await the release of Vol.2!


It’s impossible for me to pick my favourite songs or albums, I’m just not one of those people. For me, it’s constantly in flux. So I’ve decided instead to share my top five songs of January 2023. And to be clear, these are not songs released in Jan 2023 but rather what’s been on repeat in my house, car, headphones etc. This list is extremely manic, I hope you enjoy it. 

Nourished By Time – ‘Romance In Me
Nourished By Time is a new discovery – initially introduced through an NTS playlist. There’s a very obvious nostalgic quality to the track, but I really just think the vocal progression is something entirely unique. I love the production – there’s a really satisfying balance of tension between the keys and guitar, especially in the choruses. This song really builds extremely well, I feel as though I kind of get swept away in it. It’s the kind of song I find myself harmonising with vocally, however annoying that may seem. When I’m in the mood to feel heartbroken I’ll probably put this song on.

Kate Bush – ‘Pull Out The Pin’
I’m a long-time Kate Bush fan, and this song came back into my rotation this month. The intensity of this track lyrically and musically is so satisfying for me. I love Bush’s ability to tell a story, it feels like theatre. This song was written after she had seen a documentary about the Vietnam war, wherein they show Vietnamese soldiers putting little silver buddhas in their mouths as they approached the front line. I love hearing this side of Bush’s vocal range – her ability to sing-scream is so beautiful, it’s been somewhat cathartic to listen this month. I also feel as though this is an overlooked B-side of hers, so I’m urging you now to give it a listen. 

Deftones- ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’
So technically, I started having this song on repeat in December, but there are no rules here. On Christmas day, I went to a very famous bikini bar here in Los Angeles called Jumbo’s, and one of the dancers did a very impressive pole dance to this song. I hadn’t heard it in so long and after that, I played it throughout my somewhat lonely holiday season. I think it might be the hottest song ever written – not sexiest, but hottest. The whole record is amazing, I don’t even know if I can say any more about it.

Golpe – ‘Non Piergarti’
Golpe is an Italian punk band whose first full-length record came out in 2021. Lots of Italian friends had told me to check them out and I finally did sometime last fall. ‘Non Piegarti’ might be one of my favourites of theirs – with ‘La Colpa E Solo Tua’ as a close second. I’ve spent most of January moving into a new apartment and sorting out my life here in Los Angeles, and the song title translates to “Don’t Bend Over” which has been a bit of a mantra of mine throughout a stressful month. I’m a big fan of the production of this song, and I love the vocal effect on this song and how well the guitars sit alongside. It’s heavy, but very well-balanced.

Florist – ‘Red Bird Part 2 (Morning)’
This song is extremely beautiful and EXTREMELY sad. You’ve been warned. When I’m searching for a sort of sad calm feeling, I will put this on. It’s a beautifully tragic song about the death of the singer’s mother. I’m drawn to the simplicity of the instrumentation, rooted in acoustic guitar and accompanied by a kind of dreamy ethereal electric guitar. I also am a big fan of the double unison vocals on this track – I myself love doing that, as I feel you can really round out the sound that way.


Massive thanks to Bria for sharing her five ‘favourites’ with us! Listen to new single ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?’ now:

Cuntry Covers Vol.2, the upcoming EP from Bria, is set for release on 24th February via Sub Pop.

Photo Credit: Justin Aranha

Five Favourites: Ghost Car

Having released their epic debut album, Truly Trash, towards the end of last year, London band Ghost Car have previously received acclaim from the likes of Skunk Anansie’s Skin and DIY Magazine, as well as sharing stages with legends such as Beth Ditto and Amyl and The Sniffers. Showcasing their quirky, retro energy and trademark whirring soundscapes and honey-sweet vocals, the album is a pure post-punk delight; a whimsical, yet gritty, insight into the world of Ghost Car.

Originally due to be released by Burger Records, the band then pulled out of the planned album release as accounts of sexual assault and exploitation of women by associates of the label came to light. As activists for feminism and members of the LGBTQ+ community, Ghost Car practice what they preach, and aim to spread their mantra of inclusivity and equal rights as loud as possible.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Truly Trash, we caught up with Ghost Car to ask about the music that has inspired them the most. See below for their choice of five favourite albums!

Sweeping Promises – Hunger For A Way Out

Cece: This masterpiece came out during lockdown and I immediately became obsessed with it. I always thought that a good lo-fi sound can cut through you way better than overly produced music and this album is proof of it. I haven’t heard something so genuine, direct, and beautiful in a long time. It has all been recorded live, using the “single-mic” technique which creates a perfectly unique and nostalgic sound. Lira’s vocals are incredible and a big inspiration for me, I always keep her style as a reference when I need to push my singing to something less obvious and it’s a good reminder to not detach myself and sing with the heart, not just using my voice.


Du Blonde – Homecoming

Clara: We’ve been asked to play with Du Blonde and we didn’t know much about her. When we checked out one of her video clips to check the vibes, I got super excited, and what an album this is! I could feel that same crazy excitement as when you were in your teens and you got a new record. She’s fun, she’s so talented, she’s so sincere! And she wrote, recorded, produced and released this album herself – how amazing. Loving the ‘90s vibes, but also the romantic chords of ‘Take Me Away’ sending me back to a love song from the ‘50s.


Stiff Little Fingers – Inflammable Material

Maeve: This is one of the greatest albums ever written in my opinion. I got a lot of my musical understanding from my mum – she was in her 20s during the troubles and told me stories of going to see SLF in Belfast and having punk music as a release for all the political chaos happening around them. The start of ‘Johnny Was’ gives me chills and there’s nothing better than screaming ‘Suspect Device’ with my mum really loud.


Deerhoof – The Magic

Laura: I’ve been a fan of this band for a long time, but only bought this album quite recently at the independent label fair – tempted by the white vinyl and the fact it’s released on Upset! The rhythm… It’s brilliant! I really enjoy how it switches tempo and mood often, and you can see the band’s many influences worn on their sleeves! Recorded in 2015, it’s raw and full of experiments – I love the way it takes your hand and leads you through their world. Plus, Satomi’s voice is iconic.


X – Los Angeles

Maeve: I only found out about this album from Cece recently when she said “you need to listen to this album, you’re gonna love it” and she was right. One of the great things about Ghost Car is that we all have such varying different music tastes – we know each other so well, and are constantly discovering new music together. I love the intensity and grit of this album and it got me really excited to write some new bangers with the girls.

Cece: X was a late discovery for me too and I knew it would quickly escalate to my top 10 after listening to ‘Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not’ – a brilliant song where you can see a great example of perfect harmony between male and female vocals. I was also quite amazed to find out that was produced by ex-Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. X had a huge impact on the ‘80s punk scene and without them we wouldn’t have loads of the great bands that we have today. For example, would Kathy Valentine ever have joined The Go-Go’s if she hadn’t met Charlotte Caffey at the X gig at the Whisky at Go Go in 1980…?

Massive thanks to Ghost Car for sharing their Five Favourites with us! Their debut album Truly Trash is out now via One Little Independent Records. Watch the video for album track ‘Conch Pearl’ below:

GIHE: Ones To Watch 2023

2022 saw its fair share of highs, and lows…but if there was one positive to take away, it’s the immense amount of incredible new music that’s been released, and the hope of even more sublime offerings from some wonderful new bands in 2023.

So, following our Tracks Of 2022, Albums and EPS of 2022 and Personal Highlights 2022 features, we’re now sharing our ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2023 – Just a few of the amazing bands and artists who have impressed us throughout 2022, and that we predict will be reaching ears far and wide next year. Have a read of our choices, and make sure you give them all a follow to keep track of their unmissable achievements over the next twelve months.

 

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something
Although Jemma Freeman is certainly no newcomer to the music scene, having released their acclaimed debut album, Oh Really, What’s That Then? back in 2019, and previously played with swirling indie-pop collective Landshapes as well as featuring in Wendy Rae Fowler’s band, I feel like over the last twelve months, they have really found their stride. With the release of their new album Miffed via Trapped Animal Records, they’ve showcased their ability to create immense, kaleidescopic soundscapes perfectly, garnering support from the likes of Mojo Magazine, plus airplay from Radio X’s John Kennedy, BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Amazing Radio’s Charlie Ashcroft along the way. And they remain one of the most impressive live acts I’ve ever seen; we were lucky enough to have them headline for us back in October, and their utterly unique hypnotic majesty and psychedelic allure blew me away, just as it had done the first time I saw them live back in 2018. 
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder & Managing Editor)

Midwife
Watching Madeline Johnston aka Midwife perform to a sold out crowd at Cafe Oto for her debut London show last year felt like a privileged form of voyeurism. Fans were granted permission to enter the New Mexico-based musician’s dream-like, melancholy world, in which introverted tendencies and unrequited yearnings blur and clash with the urgent desire to find connection and understanding. Musing into her telephone mic with her soft vocals, it felt like Midwife was in dialogue with an unknown person at the end of the line, the distance between the two entities simultaneously expanded and minimised as she sang into the receiver, in front of a room of silent strangers. I was deeply moved by her music and I’ve been thinking about the gig ever since. You can read my full live review here, and make sure you check out Midwife’s most recent album Luminol too. It is absolute Gloomy Girl Heaven
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder & Features Editor)

Hypsoline
I’m ashamed to say I was a bit late to the Hypsoline party this year, but thankfully – due to Currls suggesting they play with them at their EP launch last month – I can now say I’m a fully fledged super fan of the Brighton band. In the run up to the gig, I was pretty much totally addicted to the fuzzy, sparkling allure of their debut single ‘Space Babe’, and afterwards I realised there was even more to love about them than I’d previously anticipated. It was a true joy to witness the twinkling, swirling energy and scuzzy charm of each of their eclectic, but equally catchy, offerings. And I can’t wait for them to continue to surprise and captivate me (and the rest of the world) throughout 2023. (ML)

Alien Chicks
Mari booked Brixton-based post punk trio Alien Chicks as one of the support bands for our faves Bad Sidekick for our final GIHE gig of 2022, and their sound knocked the hangover right out of my skeleton. Not only were they totally in sync with each other, relentlessly smashing out their angst-ridden anthems, their guitarist & vocalist was also playing with a broken hand, which is punk af. I can’t wait to hear more from them this year. Grab a ticket to their biggest headline show to date yet at The Lexington in April here. It will be worth every single penny. (KC)

Fräulein
I’ve made no secret of my huge love of London-based duo Joni and Karsten – aka Fräulein – since first being introduced to them in 2020 by Hanni from ARXX, and so it’s been really wonderful over the last twelve months to see them go from strength to strength, and get some of the widespread acclaim that they truly deserve. As well as the release of their debut EP A Small Taste, they’ve wowed us live at two of our GIHE events with their utterly unique and fiercely powerful live set. The duo have also shared stages with the likes of The Mysterines, Thee Quasi and deep tan, and – with acclaim from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Fred Perry Subculture – it’s been fantastic to see the positive reception they’ve received and the number of new fans they’ve gained. And this year’s already looking promising with a support slot with none other than total legends Big Joanie booked for 11th January at The Garage, and – I’ve been assured – new music on the very near horizon… 2023 is going to be the year of Fräulein, and I could not be happier for this immensely talented, consistently dedicated, truly innovative (and just plain lovely) duo. (ML)

Chuck SJ
Chuck SJ is a huge part of the London DIY punk community and their commitment to their art and activism is something that deeply impresses all of the GIHE team. They released their epic punk album, Resist Recharge Revolt at the end of last year, and it’s a riotous, eclectic manifesto of political and personal rebellion, spotlighting Chuck’s immense talent as a songwriter and a producer. I’ve yet to see them perform live, but that’s something I’m hoping to change in 2023! Listen to their album via bandcamp here. (KC)

Collars
Another band I’ve been a bit late to the party with, but am so incredibly grateful to have discovered over the last few months. Stepping in as main support for Currls at their EP launch last month fairly last minute, Cambridgeshire based Collars have become my new heroes. Having released their debut album Clyde in 2022, they’ve received plenty of acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing, and have been wowing crowds across the country with their totally mind-blowing live set. As Kane simultaneously pummels the drums whilst blasting out whirring hooks on guitar, Dan exudes a captivating charisma as her powerful vocals soar (sometimes with the help of a megaphone) – it’s no understatement to say it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from them this year… (ML)

CIL
Tash and I caught enigmatic artist CIL when she supported t l k at The Jago in Dalston at the end of March last year. She’s a composer, poet and producer who manipulates sound via a motion-controlled synthesizer. Watching her gracefully move her hands around the altruistic equipment was hypnotising, as was listening to her deeply calm, soothing voice. Definitely check her out, her performance is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before. (KC)

So, even if you may be feeling apprehensive about 2023, at least there’ll be some fantastic music to accompany it! Massive thanks to all who supported GIHE throughout 2022, it really means the world. And huge thanks too to all the amazing bands and artists who’ve soundtracked it, and who will continue to soundtrack 2023!

Get In Her Ears Live @ Sebright Arms w/ Breakup Haircut, 17.11.2022

Following our super special September gig with Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something headlining, our November instalment of GIHE live saw us return to the Sebright Arms in Bethnal Green for a night filled with the best music, best people and best vibes. Massive thanks to Breakup Haircut, Piney Gir and BCOS RSNS, and to everyone who came down to support the bands and help us raise money for completely vital organisation, Mermaids.

First up, exciting new band BCOS RSNS treat us to their scuzzy garage-rock offerings, reflecting on themes ranging from people being dicks and internet crushes, to being yourself in a patriarchal society.


Next up, Piney Gir delivers her magical indie-pop dreamscapes with a swirling psychedelic haze and sunny, lilting energy. Oozing a majestic witchy allure, she completely immerses the crowd in her sparkling, uplifting majesty.


Back to headline for us after supporting Fräulein in January, Breakup Haircut treat us to 45 minutes of their joyous, tongue-in-cheek brand of pop-punk. Exuding a vibrant energy, they deliver their fizzing, danceable offerings with an infectious wit and colourful charisma. As I sing along to every word, I know for sure that I’m in the presence of a band on the rise.

Massive thanks to the three bands who played for us on Thursday! We’ll be back next month for not one, but two, special gigs! On 1st December we’ll be at Shacklewell Arms hosting Currls‘ EP launch with support from Collars and Hypsoline – tickets here. And on 9th December we’ll be back at the Shacklewell Arms again with Bad Sidekick and support from Alien Chicks and Cosmic Ninja – tickets here.

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Don Blandford / @snapperchap.don